Feefo Reviews

Feefo website screenshot

Feefo website home page

A client recently asked me to review Feefo and in particular its benefits from an SEO standpoint. I knew little about it up to that point but found it interesting enough to decide to make it the subject of my next (this) blog post.

Although Feefo is first and foremost about reviews, it also has big implications for content marketing and SEO and also for the financial performance that a business can achieve, in terms of return on investment, from using Google AdWords, Google’s paid advertising service.

So, What is Feefo?

Feefo is an independent online review system. Independence is claimed because the reviews are generated by Feefo and not the trading business (which I’m going to refer to as the ‘shop’ from now on to avoid confusion over which business I’m referring to). This independence means the reviews should be able to be trusted more than reviews that are generated by the shop and published on its own website. More about the independence, later.

How Does Feefo Work?

After the shop makes a sale or supplies a service, the shop periodically provides certain customer contact data to Feefo which enables Feefo to contact the customer by email and invite them to leave a review about their experience. This data can be supplied to Feefo in a number of ways, ranging from manual to automatic feed. After Feefo emails the customer, the review is supplied by the customer direct to Feefo who publish it on the Feefo domain so the review is therefore not under the control of the shop.

How Do You Set Feefo Up?

There are two options for installing Feefo on a shop’s website. Some shops use both methods concurrently and others choose just one of them. The quickest and simplest is to install a short piece of JavaScript code in the shop’s website pages which generates a pop-up window displaying the Feefo reviews to the shopper.

Method 1
This is the method chosen by my customer and the screenshot below shows how it looks on their page about glazing tools.

You can click on the image to get a much bigger version.

Feefo badge on the Wholesale Glass Company

Feefo badge on the Wholesale Glass Company

When you click on the badge, you get a pop-up window the top section of which looks like this.

Feefo pop-up display 1 on wholesale glass company

Feefo pop-up display

The bottom half of the pop-up window displays a list of all the individual reviews. These reviews allow for the shop owner to respond to the reviews and each review also has a link back to the relevant product page on the shop.

Feefo pop-up display 2 on wholesale glass company

Feefo pop-up display

Method 2
An alternative to the JavaScript pop-up method above, is to include the reviews as part of the permanent content of the shop’s page. This has been done by notonthehighstreet.com and has several advantages. Firstly pop-ups can be an annoying distraction. Secondly, there is a small chance that a visitor will leave the shop to read the reviews and not return. By hosting the reviews on the shop’s domain, there is no need for the shopper to leave the page he is viewing. There may be an additional benefit to Google rankings from having the content on the shop’s pages as well as on Feefo.com but since this would be a duplicate of the content already hosted on Feefo, I’m not clear whether having the content existing in two places instead of just one actually provides an incremental ranking benefit.

Feefo method 2 on notonthehighstreet.com

Feefo method 2 on notonthehighstreet.com

What Are The Main Benefits of Feefo and Reviews?

1. Conversion rates. Trust, or lack of it, is one of the biggest obstacles to overcome in converting a browser into a shopper and the presence of independent, trusted reviews can increase conversion rates enormously. In the world of online reviews “bad” is the new “good”. Nobody expects 100% perfect reviews and indeed the existence of perfect reviews is likely to be viewed with some scepticism. Bad reviews are usually seen as opportunities by enlightened busines owners these days. Bad reviews as well as good reviews can help to engender trust for different reasons.
2. Reputation management and brand protection. Providing a mechanism for your customers to leave reviews means that you can respond, address any valid concerns that particular customer has whilst in addition accumulating, from all reviews, invaluable feedback about how you might improve your business. Far better to have a bad review on a site where you can reply rather than find that frustrated customers have left reviews on other sites or on social media where you don’t have access to be able to comment. The fact that a shop owner replies to customer complaints will be seen by other shoppers as a sign that the owner genuinely cares about quality of service.
3. Better AdWords campaigns. After a certain number of reviews have been acquired, you can have gold stars displayed by Google as part of your AdWords ads and this can improve click through rates, improve ad positions, reduce costs and therefore increase return on investment of AdWords campaigns.
4. SEO benefits. Ever since the Panda updates were announced by Google, ‘content became king’ in the world of SEO. But trusted content probably became ace. Many large ecommerce sites that had thousands of product pages with very little original or in depth content suddenly lost a lot of traffic. The challenge for those sites was how to create content for all those product pages without employing an army of content writers. User generated content such as reviews provide the perfect solution. The reviews are in essence content that works well from an SEO standpoint. The content is unique, it’s highly relevant to the product (since it’s on or linked to the product page and is about the product) and is trusted. This is like the perfect SEO content outsourcing solution for product pages. Notonthehighstreet.com had 229,957 reviews at time of writing. That’s a vast amount of content, automatically populating the deep pages of the shopping site. The reviews will not only help those pages rank better but they will convert better and improve any AdWords campaigns.

Feefo summary stats for notonthehighstreet.com

Feefo summary stats for notonthehighstreet.com

Are The Reviews Totally Independent and Trustworthy?

When there is so much at stake, there are always those who will try and manipulate the system. Perhaps, the one achilles heel of this system is that the shop owner could filter the email addresses he supplies to Feefo. Technically, it would be possible not to supply contact details of any customer that was known to have had a bad experience e.g. late delivery, damaged goods etc. in an attempt to improve ratings. So it was interesting to see one business make a public declaration that they always provide all their customers with an opportunity to leave a review. Of course, anybody could say that but the more effort one makes to be transparent, the more likely you are to trust them.

Who’s Feefo Best For?

Feefo really comes into its own when deployed on very large ecommerce shopping sites. However, there is no reason why it can not also be used by a service business or for that matter by businesses of any size in almost any sector.

I hope you found the above helpful or interesting. Please feel free to leave a comment below (using your real name) if you’ve had any experience of Feefo.

If you would like help with your SEO, you can find all our contact details here or alternatively you can get an overview of all our services on our home page.

Comments

  1. I found this article very interesting and helpful. I am new to Feefo and am very impressed by their service. I am, however, a small company. My sticking point is what I see as cost per review. For the large ecommerce shopping sites this isn’t an issue. For small businesses it is a tough call balancing the monthly costs against the unknown return on investment, increased conversions and SEO benefits. The Bed and Breakfast Club markets bed and breakfast accommodation in private homes. As an accommodation provider, trusted reviews are paramount to our business. I have signed up with Feefo and paid their set up charge. Before I take on the additional charge of full website integration, is there any small business that is using Feefo that can share their experience?

    • Hi Carol,

      I hope this reply is not too late to influence your decision.

      It’s my website and the Feefo review service that Ewan has described so well. I added Feefo to my website in March this year, the appeal for me was an article on their website describing how reviews, negative or positive could increase sales by increasing customer confidence. After reading a few testimonials ‘We put Feefo in about 18 months ago, it now ranks as probably the best initiative we tried’ – Iain Burgess, CEO of BVG Airflow, owner of Samuel Windsor & Clifford James, I was sold!

      As always, it’s hard to judge the true value to your business, additional products were still being added to my store, rankings were fluctuating and AdWords was being used. The effect has been impressive though. If I had to estimate, I’d put the figure as high as a 20% increase in conversions, boosted by the types of feedback we receive.

      Besides the boost to sales though there have been even bigger benefits. I can now truly measure our product satisfaction and service levels. My emails are set to send five days after receipt of product and so far the feedback for them has been 99%. How else would I know this and be able to tell which of my products were not fulfilling the customers expectations? Our service level has also been encouraging, 98% so far but that’s not without reacting quickly to negative feedback. I have been able to make improvements to my website in response to negative comments about our delivery charges, an error that displayed incorrect information on our courier’s tracking service and a misleading product description, to name a few.

      Negative feedback is sometimes the most influential, I thank my customers for theirs, often sending money off vouchers to ensure that they visit again and experience their feedback in action. (Note, be very careful what you write publicly, use discretion. If I send a voucher code for example or to answer a direct question, I do this via email directly to the customer). Last month a customer used their feedback to suggest a product they would’ve purchased with their order, if I had sold it. That product has now been added, that’s feedback!

      Hope this helps, if you would like to ask me any questions I’d be happy to help. My website’s feedbacks may also help you to see what customers can potentially say about your business.

      In response to Dave’s comments, Feefo and other similar certified feedback providers are 100% independent. The only way I can influence my customer’s feedback is to strive to provide the best products and service possible. Also with Feefo a customer that has left a negative response can respond with a second review if your reply has been satisfactory, it’s an added incentive and I’d recommend achieving it.

      • Hello Nick,

        Thanks for your comment and taking the trouble to describe in detail your own experiences of Feefo.

        I read your comment at around 11pm. As you know, we SEO’s rarely sleep … :-)

        The rate of change in online marketing seems to increase all the time and the more we can share experiences, the faster we all learn.

        I am also keenly watching reviews in Google+ Local … to be continued.

  2. Hello Carol,

    Thanks for reading the post and taking the trouble to comment.

    Yes, it can be challenging weighing up the costs versus the benefits of any spending decision where the costs are certain and the benefits (specifically to your business) are not yet quantifiable. One of my sisters runs a 13 bedroom B&B and her experience of reviews (and review websites) is that they made an almost immediate noticeable difference to the number of enquiries and bookings for a number of reasons ranging from the obvious such as overcoming the ‘trust obstacle’ to generating direct referrals from the review sites to other less obvious benefits such as better rankings in google for her own website.

    In answer to your question about the experience of small businesses, I can’t refer you to one but I am sure Feefo would be only too happy to put you in contact with some or if you wanted to select some independently of Feefo, a few google searches should throw some up, possibly in your own niche.

  3. Thank you for this helpful advice which I will follow up.

  4. Dave Valsler says:

    From a consumer point of view this system does not work. I left poor feedback for a company and they replied stating that they would look into it and contact me. This they have failed to do despite several more e mails to them. I am unable to update my feedback. The only option after the company has replied is to withdraw your feedback so it now looks like they have responded to my complaint and all is well. Nothing could be further from the truth. From a consumer point of view it cannot be trusted. It is just a marketing tool

  5. Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I can understand your desire to continue the dialogue on Feefo with the company in question but the system did allow you to register negative feedback so worked to that extent, didn’t it? I’m just wondering what might be the outcome if dissatisfied customers were able to continue their correspondence indefinitely on Feefo. There has to be a limit doesn’t there, if it’s to be useful to other users?

  6. Dave Valsler says:

    You have hit the nail on the head. Is it useful to other users? For it to be of use to consumers it has to be open and trustworthy. If the system is controlled by the company – which it is and the company has the last word – which it does it is of no more use than a testimonial page which any company can do themselves without paying a third party.

    Whilst there has to be a limit on correspondence surely it should be possible for the consumer to report back after the company has commented to show whether they have done what they stated they would do or not. Given my experience I would not take into account any Feefo feedback when making a purchasing decision.

  7. The principle of Feefo is the organisations they partner agree that all customers can leave feedback, irrelevant if this is postive,negative etc. I approached Feefo as I wanted to leave negative feedback about a company I bought a product from, basically after several years I still haven’t received the product. The company is Auctionair and I am now taking legal action. I approached Feefo to leave this feedback and they refused as I apparently had to receive the product before leaving feedback…….yet I have paid for it. So I can’t leave feedback/advise other potential customers that this could happent to them…..pay for a product and not get it! All very odd and clearly the needs of Feefo’s client (Auctionair) are a much higher priority than the consumers……all very odd!!

  8. Hi M Dundas,

    Interesting point. I’m not familiar with the legal aspects but if I were to comment as a layman (read that as a “CMA clause”), I suspect it’s not within the scope of Feefo’s proposition to deal with feedback about a service where that service has not actually been received. I think Feefo’s purpose is to provide a voice to consumers who have actually received a service and can therefore rate that service.

    I found this a few minutes ago and point 2 looks significant to me.

    http://www.feefo.com/en/en/page/The+feefo+system

    A remedy for your complaint against Auctionair might require a quite different course of action and it seems as though you have concluded that yourself by taking legal action.

  9. I can see both sides to this argument, but I tend to agree that Feefo isn’t everyone’s idea of perfection. For example, my husband bought my engagement ring from a company that uses Feefo, and buyers are encouraged to leave feedback five days after the purchase. There are two clear flaws here. First, the person who is going to use the product isn’t the one reviewing it. And second, the vast majority of people haven’t proposed within five days of receiving the ring. My husband left a glowing review prior to his proposal only to discover the diamond would come loose a few days later (and we had to pay twice for it to be fixed!). It just goes to show that not every business is suited to a review site, and not every customer should rely on them.

    • Hi Claire,

      Thanks for making some interesting points there. Would it not have been possible for you to leave the review yourself some weeks or even months later then? Is there a time limit for leaving a review? I agree that no system or review system is ever perfect but I think they still serve a useful purpose, so we’re better off with them than without them in general terms. I suppose whenever a review is left, there is always the possibility that one might want to modify that review at a later date. When leaving reviews in Google+, one can edit them later but I’m not sure if there is any similar option with Feefo.

      Anyway, I’m glad the loose diamond didn’t get in the way of the marriage! Talking of loose reminds me of a couple that I met in Mauritius on the day after their wedding on the beach. The groom’s ring slipped off in the sea and he spent the rest of his honeymoon snorkelling trying to find it. :-(

      I was interested to read about your technical content writing services and have hooked up on the usual social channels.

  10. Duplicate content is an issue, it appears that feefo use rel canonical pointing to our site from the review pages however if I search for a review from what the customer types in to google feefo outranks our site.

    Also feefo has no seo benefit as far as i can see as our rankings seem to have dropped further since installing site reviews which could be to do with this duplicate content, we may be seen as a scraper.

    • Hi Andy,

      Very interesting. I did a few test searches just now using some fairly random phrases from within some of your reviews and sometimes found Feefo at number 1 with your site – keepitpersonal.co.uk – ranking lower down but on other occasions found your site to be the only result i.e. Feefo didn’t rank at all, never mind above you. I wonder whether it might just depend on other (ranking) characteristics of the page in question i.e. sometimes Feefo’s page is more relevant in google’s view and sometimes it’s yours. I noted Feefo’s usage of the rel canonical element which specifies your home page as the canonical version which isn’t ideal because that’s not the page on your site where the content is actually located. Since Feefo publish many reviews on one page, specifying your home page may be the only practicable use of the canonical link. My guess is that you needn’t fear being interpreted by google as a scraper site if your only potential dupe content clash is with a major review site.

  11. This is a very interesting article as I have myself recently contacted Feefo. I received shocking service from a company who uses them and I reviewed them online. They responded to the review and used Feefo to almost boast about their 5/5 rating with them, so how could I possibly have received bad service? I contacted them again but I also contacted Feefo to advise them I felt that companies were paying for a better rating and would prioritise Feefo customers over the likes of myself. My main point was why should I receive worse service simply because I had not used Feefo. I was also concerned companies were paying a fee to protect their rating.

  12. Hi Denise, what was it about your experience that led you to believe that companies were paying for a better rating and also that the level of service you received from the company was in any way connected with whether you had used Feefo or not?

  13. Hi Ewan, as the company had specifically mentioned Feefo, when they responded on my review, it made me want to review them on Feefo. I knew nothing about Feefo so checked their website and it appeared to be an open 3 way purchase between the consumer, seller and Feefo. Everyone was aware of the sale and the company knows in advance it will be rated. All this can ensure priority to those purchased with Feefo and as such provide excellent service and for a fee, “protect their rating”. It makes it all about the money and takes online reviewing to a different level in my opinion. I appreciate the need for companies to eradicate false reviews but I received shocking service and I felt i should have the right to review them on any website. They ignored my emails, gave me wrong information and had extremely poor customer service. I would not rate them 5/5 but all their Feefo customers had. They obviously were not treated like me. This was all over a replacement bolt for a recently purchased item which broke. I do wonder if I had used Feefo would have I received such a bad experience?

  14. I have just had message from Google on Webmaster tools citing a link from Feefo as being an example of an unnatural link and so contributing to a manual penalty. It is a perfectly normal customer review.

    Does this mean that Google regards ALL Feefo links as unnatural?

    • Hi Julian,

      Is the link from Feefo just one item in a list of possible suspect links provided by Google (in which case it might just have been accidentally tarred with the same brush as the other links) or has it been specifically identified?

      Either way, the answer to your question can only be no.

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