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