In a recent study, 88% of customers reported that online reviews of a business influence their buying decision. If you run a small business, one of the biggest hurdles you need to overcome is convincing customers that their experience with your company will outshine your larger or more established competitors.
When it comes to conveying the quality of your company, you need to build credibility. Providing reviews from actual customers — that were verified authentic by Yelp, Google, or Facebook — gives your company that element of trustworthiness consumers are looking for.
Why Embedding Reviews Is Important
Once a potential customer is on your company’s website, you’d prefer they stay on your website, peruse customer reviews, and then make a purchase. As opposed to the customer clicking out to a third-party review site and crossing your fingers that they eventually come back.
The solution? Provide customer reviews from third-party sites displayed on your own company website.
How do you actually display a feed of recent customer comments? Let’s walk through, step by step, how to add a feed of social media reviews directly onto your WordPress site.
1. Embedding Yelp Reviews
Yelp is the leading review platform for a number of industries, including restaurants and professional services.
There aren’t a lot of choices when it comes to displaying Yelp reviews on your company’s WordPress site. That’s because, despite its prominence in some industries, Yelp is a smaller, more niche platform, and as a result not as many businesses are looking for such a solution.
If, however, you operate in an industry where Yelp reviews are important, you know how much credibility they convey. That’s because Yelp has a robust ‘fake review’ filter that does an excellent job of displaying only legitimate customer reviews.
Yelp Widget Pro
Yelp Widget Pro is a freemium Wordpress plugin that enables you to embed various features of your business’s Yelp page onto a Wordpress website. You’ll need the premium version of the plugin to embed reviews, which costs $45 for a single site license per year.
Purchasing and enabling the plugin is relatively straightforward. After purchase, you’ll be emailed a file for the plugin. After logging into your company’s Wordpress dashboard you’ll need to complete the following steps:
Step 1: Plugins → Add Plugin → Upload Plugin
Step 2: Zip Up the File → Upload It
Step 3: Add Shortcode Wherever You Want Reviews to Appear
In all, it should only take you about 5 minutes to install and fully enable the plugin.
There are a number styling options for how your reviews are displayed, which you can tweak manually by altering the specific ShortCode that you add to your pages (see Shortcode Documentation for options). You can also choose whether to show only 5 star reviews or all reviews, whether to display your company’s phone number and address, and a few other formatting options.
In the end, you’ll have a custom, fully embedded listing of your company’s most recent Yelp reviews, like this:
2. Embedding Facebook Reviews
Unlike with Yelp, there are multiple plugin options for embedding Facebook reviews into your WordPress website. The differences are largely as to the ease of implementation and formatting options for reviews.
Option 1: The ‘Feed Them Social’ Plugin
The easiest Facebook review plugin to implement is Feed Them Social. The big benefit is that the plugin can be uploaded and configured entirely through the Wordpress Plugin Dashboard without any manual uploading required. And while uploading and implementing a plugin manually is by no means hard, doing so within the dashboard simply removes the potential for issues, particularly for those who don’t have a lot of experience working with WordPress plugins. Here’s the step-by-step:
Step 1: Install
Log into your WordPress dashboard → click Plugins → Add new. Then under the title "Install Plugins" click Upload → Choose the zip → Activate the plugin.
Step 2: Configure
Feed Them → Settings → Review Style Options → Select Formatting Options
Step 3a: Format Reviews A
Select options for how many reviews you’d like to appear and how much text of each review.
Step 3b: Format Reviews B
Select styling options for how you’d like your reviews to appear.
Rather than manually altering the shortcode as with other plugins, this built-in shortcode generator presents you with a full list of your formatting and design options, and will generate a copy-and-paste-able shortcode.
Step 4: Place Shortcode
As with any of these review plugins, the final step is to simply copy and paste the shortcode to whatever pages you’d like the reviews to appear on your website.
In addition to ease of install and configuration, this Facebook review plugin offers a number of unique formatting options. Depending on whether one of these formats is what you’re looking for will largely determine which Facebook review plugin you find the best fit for your website.
Option 2: The ‘Facebook Reviews Pro’ Plugin
The second option is a plugin called Facebook Reviews Pro, by WordImpress. It costs $45 for a one-year license.
This plugin was developed by the same company as the Yelp plugin, so the installation and implementation for displaying your Facebook Reviews is nearly identical here. That means it's a little more involved than the Feed Them Social plugin, since you’ll need to manually install the plugin and configure the shortcode. But if you’re even minimally comfortable manipulating HTML code, then ease of use probably won’t be a problem. The main difference between Facebook Reviews Pro and Feed Them Social is simply the formatting options available for a business to display their reviews.
3. Embedding Google Reviews
Unlike embedding Facebook or Yelp reviews, adding your Google reviews won’t require you to pay anything. Although there are a number of paid Wordpress plugins that can make your life slightly easier when embedding Google reviews, there are sufficient free options that paying for a plugin is unnecessary for most applications.
Option 1: The ‘Google Places Reviews’ Plugin
If you’ve added plugins to embed other social media reviews, then using the Google Places Reviews plugin to embed your Google reviews is probably the easiest option.
This plugin will display a maximum of 3 reviews (similar to the Yelp plugin), offers a number of configuration and design options and is similar to the Yelp plugin in its installation requirements.
Option 2: Manual Add
If you’re looking for the least technically arduous method of adding Google+ reviews to your website, you can also add them manually. This isn’t a practical option for businesses that regularly receive new reviews, but if your business only receives a couple of reviews per year, manually embedding them into your website is certainly a very easy method. Here’s the step-by-step:
Step 1: Log Into Your Google+ Business Page
It’s important that you’re logged into your business’ Google+ page directly, as opposed to visiting the reviewer’s Google+ feed when grabbing the embed code, otherwise it will be formatted incorrectly.
Step 2: Share the Review
Step 3: Click Embed Post
Step 4: Copy Header and Body Code
Step 5: Paste the Code Where You Want Your Review To Appear
Harness the Power of Customer Reviews
The marketing benefits of displaying credible, third-party authenticated reviews on your website are clear and statistically supported. With the tools above and our step-by-step guidance, embedding a curated feed of those reviews on your WordPress website is super quick and easy, no matter your level of technical savvy.
Go forth proudly and display your company’s reviews!