Yotpo Review – Boost Traffic and Sales Through Customer Reviews
Yotpo is a SaaS solution to the problem of gathering and managing customer reviews. You know that reviews are important tools for converting website visitors into buyers of your products. And the most powerful reviews of all are those generated by your verified customers. The search engines love this UGC (User-Generated Content) and reward it with better search results.
But getting these reviews and managing them is time-consuming and difficult work. This can be a hard investment to justify, particularly when your reviews end up on one of the big review sites, where you have little or no control over them.
Yotpo offers a range of solutions to these problems. The service uses smart algorithms and data science to encourage your customers to write product and site reviews. This flood of reviews helps potential customers find you, and gives them the confidence they need to buy from you.
These reviews also generate the new, authentic content and links back to your site that the search engines love. And because the content is created by customers in their own words, it generates highly-specific long-tail keywords that can bring you customers who otherwise might never find you.
Yotpo also addresses the problems inherent in not having control over your product reviews. They believe that your reviews belong on your site, in your control. The reviews generated through the Yotpo service belong to you. Your reviews appear on your website, and are totally under your control.
This means you can prevent junk reviews or ridiculous comments from ever appearing. You have the ability to protect your brand reputation while defending your business from unscrupulous competitors posting phony negative reviews.
If you sell online, you need to learn more about Yotpo. There is a ton of useful information on their website, but I sometimes found the organization of it to be hard to follow. In this review, I’ve summarized what you can find in the various sections of the site. More importantly, I’ve organized information about the various features and benefits of Yotpo to make it easier for you to evaluate the services they offer.
The Yotpo service continues to evolve, adding new features that enhance their service. At the time of this review (March, 2016) the hot new feature in Yotpo was User-Generated Photos. With this feature, your customers can take photos of their products and include them in their reviews. This feature is available if you have the Powerhouse+ or Enterprise plans.
User-Generated Photos offer some real benefits for your business:
- These photos add to the amount of UGC on your site and everywhere else your customer reviews appear.
- Professional photos increase the conversion rate of ads. And “Organic, instagram-style” photos like these User-Generated Photos reportedly increase conversion rates by 25% compared to professional photos.
Yotpo makes it easy for your customers to generate these photos. The feature is designed to be “mobile-first.” It assumes that photos taken by your customers will be taken using their mobile devices. It takes just 3 taps for the customer to upload a photo from their mobile device.
The User-Generated Photos feature also gives you complete ownership of, and moderation rights to, all the photos customers upload. This ensures that you have control of the photos associated with your business.
Since the service continues to grow and change, you’ll want to watch for even newer features. You can find the newest Yotpo feature by clicking Features at the top of any page on the site, then clicking New Features.
The Five Pillars of Yotpo
Yotpo is built on top of the company’s “five pillars.” Each pillar focuses on a different aspect of using customer-generated reviews to boost your business. As described in a blog post by Tomer Tagrin, CEO and co-founder of Yotpo, these pillars are:
- Content Generation – How to encourage and gather customer content
- SEO – How to ensure customer content gets pushed to search engines
- Marketing – How to use customer content in marketing
- On-Site Conversion – How to display customer content on-site to increase conversions
- Retention – How to use and gather customer content in a way that keeps buyers coming back
Yotpo’s various packages are built around the idea of helping any size company dominate each of the five pillars in their own space. To that end, they offer several different packages ranging from the free forever Lite package all the way up to a fully-customized Enterprise plan.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what Yotpo is all about, it is time to look at each of the five pillars in more detail. We’ll begin with Content Generation.
Content Generation is where everything begins. When Yotpo talks about Content Generation, what they are really talking about is getting your customers to write reviews of your product or website.
The main way that Yotpo encourages your customers to write about your stuff is by emailing them Review Requests. As you will see in the list below, there are several types of Review Requests that the Yotpo service can send. Which ones you can send, and how many of them you can send per month will be determined by the plan you have.
Here are some of the types of Review Requests you may be able to have the service send to your customers:
- MAP (Mail After Purchase)
- Resend MAP
- Targeted Review Request
- Mail After Service (after a customer service event)
The MAP (Mail After Purchase) Review Request is your primary tool for getting customer reviews. Yotpo refers to it as their secret weapon.
Yotpo emails MAP requests to customers after they purchase a product. However, this isn’t a case of simply blasting a message to each customer immediately after they make their purchase. Yotpo uses techniques from the interdisciplinary field of data science to determine exactly which products to request reviews for and when to do so.
How all this works behind the scenes is proprietary and I doubt I would understand it even if someone explained it to me. But with Yotpo posting industry-leading email open rates of 40-50% and a 6-11% review response rate, it is clear that their approach works very well.
Beyond Review Requests, Coupons are another tool you can use to encourage your customers to write reviews. You can configure Yotpo to give your customers discount coupons they can use for future purchases, in exchange for writing a review. The coupons reward your customers for writing the reviews you need, and also encourage them to make additional purchases to take advantage of the coupons they have earned.
Note: Yotpo allows you to give customers coupons when they share product reviews (their own or reviews written by other people) on their social networks. We will discuss this more in the SEO section.
Yotpo supports two types of coupon codes: static and dynamic. Static codes apply the same coupon code to every customer, while dynamic coupon codes are unique to each customer. Dynamic coupon codes are only supported on higher levels Yotpo plans and are generated on your platform and uploaded to Yotpo. To ensure that you don’t run out of dynamic codes, you can ask Yotpo to notify you after it has used a certain number of codes.
Yotpo gives you a great deal of flexibility for designing coupons exactly the way you want them. Include your own messaging, artwork, and of course the discount you are offering. There’s a preview section at the bottom of the Coupons screen where you can see what your coupon looks like in real-time as you design and update it.
You probably want the coupons you send to customers to expire at some point. With Yotpo, you can set the expiration dates for your coupons. They can expire on a specific calendar date or a certain number of days after the coupons are received by your customers.
Yotpo includes several tools that drive quality traffic to your site by boosting its SEO. These tools include:
- Inline SEO
- Google Seller Ratings
- Google Product Listing Ads
- Rich Snippets
- Inline SEO
Yotpo inserts customer reviews into your website’s content automatically, based on the settings you specify. The result is that your site is constantly getting refreshed with new content. Even better, it is content written in the words of actual customers. This is incredibly valuable, since it lets your site “speak the language of your customers.” This makes your site rank higher with the search engines, and is more effective at connecting with potential customers.
Google Seller Ratings
Yotpo can interact with your AdWords campaigns so that your ratings and reviews appear with your ads on Google. Reviews that appear this way can increase the CTR of your Google ads, giving you more results for the same amount of marketing spending.
Google Product Listing Ads
Yotpo can display your customer reviews in both Google search and Google Shopping by turning them into Product Listing Ads. This does more than give your products wider exposure. The presence of your reviews in these results gives potential customers the kind of information they need to be comfortable making a purchase from you instead of a competitor who just displays standard advertisements.
By formatting your customer reviews with the microdata that Google wants to see, components of your reviews like the star ratings and photos can appear in the search results instead of just simple text. This makes your results stand out on the page and ensures that potential customers see the kind of information that makes them want to click your link.
Coupons for SEO
As you saw in the Content Generation section, Yotpo gives you the ability to grant people coupons for writing reviews. These reviews appear on your site and boost your on-site SEO by providing fresh, relevant content written from a customer’s perspective. This kind of content often contains long-tail keywords that pull in customers who would otherwise have never even found your site.
You can also give customers coupons for sharing reviews (either their own or reviews written by other customers) on their social networks. When reviews are shared in this way, they boost your SEO by providing valuable backlinks from social media sites as well as sending potential new clients to your site.
According to Yotpo, some vendors are providing both types of coupons to their customers for the same review. One example would be giving a 5% discount coupon to someone for writing the review, and another 10% discount coupon for sharing that review. This encourages the customers to do both activities at the same time, which earns them bigger discounts and gives you more SEO power faster.
It is pretty clear that shoppers have learned to ignore brand content. What they want to see is what actual customers have to say about your product. Real customer-generated content, combined with Yotpo’s features and smart algorithms, can make your customer reviews into your most powerful marketing tool.
Here are four ways that Yotpo leverages your customer reviews to boost your product marketing:
- Yotpo Ads
- Social Push & Share
- Facebook Reviews Tab
- Email Upsells
Yotpo Ads for Facebook is a tool that does exactly what it sounds like; it allows you to turn your best customer reviews into Facebook Ads. If you choose the Powerhouse+ or Enterprise packages, you will be able to use Yopo’s Ad Builder tools to create these kinds of ads for Facebook and for Instagram too.
To make your Yotpo Ads even more effective, the service does all the analyzing and optimizing of your ads automatically. At the same time, you have complete access to all the relevant analytics through your Yotpo dashboard.
According to Yotpo’s test results, Facebook ads that include verified customer reviews generate a 300% higher CTR, 50% lower CPC, and 50% lower Cost per Acquisition, as compared to Facebook ads without the customer reviews.
Social Push & Share
This feature allows you to easily share your best reviews to company resources on the following social networks:
At the same time, customers can share the reviews they write to their own social networks with one click as well.
Facebook Reviews Tab
Speaking of Facebook, Yotpo makes it easy to add a Reviews tab to your company’s Facebook page. This makes it easy for your Facebook followers to find the latest product reviews.
Every email that Yotpo sends out offers the reader an upsell. The service uses data science analysis to determine what it should promote to each recipient. This maximizes the chance that the recipient will return to your site and buy more products.
Product ratings and reviews build shopper confidence and trust, resulting in more sales. But where those customer review and ratings appear can make a big difference.
When your reviews and ratings appear on an independent review website, you have little or no control over them. Bad reviews, spam reviews, even malicious attacks by competitors can end up associated with your business. And if they do, you are totally dependent on the review site to deal with the problem.
When ratings and reviews show up on your site, you are in control of which reviews appear, and where they appear. Done well, this can boost conversions significantly. But figuring out what to display where, and when to display it, requires serious data gathering and analysis.
This is where Yotpo comes in. The service does all the hard work of figuring out which reviews to display, even where to display them on the page. The result is enhanced customer trust and increased conversions.
Yotpo uses various widgets to display various types of information related to your reviews and rankings. All the reviews include a Trust Badge, which shows potential customers that these are real reviews from verified buyers, reviewers, or merchants.
Detailed information about each reviewer is available within the widget as well. This makes it easy for visitors to decide which reviews are most relevant to them. But your widgets don’t have to look like everyone elses.
You can fully customize the widgets to match you branding. You can also insert custom questions about things like battery life and durability that buyers can respond to. These decision-making tools help potential customers become actual buyers.
So what kind of widgets are there? Here are some of the options for you:
- Reviews Tab. Visitors click the tab to pop out relevant reviews. You choose where on your site you want this to appear.
- Reviews Badge. This badge shows the number of certififed reviews your store has received, along with the average rating.
- Top 5 Widget. This widget can also appear anywhere on your site and displays your five most reviewed products.
You specify which widgets can appear on your site and where they can appear. After that, you can let Yotpo optimize your on-site conversions automatically, freeing you to work on other things.
Once you have customers, you want to keep them. Retaining customers is much less expensive than acquiring new ones. And past customers who remain engaged with your company are more likely to buy again, increasing their lifetime value to your company.
Yotpo offers three powerful tools for increasing your retention rate and maximizing the value of each customer: Commenting, Community Q&A, and Coupons.
Customers who were motivated enough to write a review are customers you definitely want to retain. One way to do this is by commenting on the reviews they write. Even something as simple as a “Thank you” for a positive review can keep a customer engaged and make them more likely to buy again.
Did you ever read a product review and wish you could ask the reviewer a question? With Community Q&A you can. Allowing prospective customers to ask questions of the reviewer, product experts, or members of your staff offers several benefits. It keeps the reviewer engaged, moves the person asking the question one step closer to making a purchase, and creates fresh, new, relevant content for the search engines.
We’ve discussed the uses of coupons elsewhere in this review. Looked at from the retention perspective, coupons encourage future purchases which keeps customers engaged with you. In addition, some people find that “winning” a coupon in exchange for writing a review turns the whole process into a game. That makes them more likely to buy more in the future and to write reviews of those purchases.
You will find the Resources section of the Yotpo website useful both when reviewing it and once you are using the service. The six parts of this section each contain valuable information. They are:
- Success Stories
At the time of this review, you could find 10 success stories here. Some of them are text only, while others include videos. Each success story describes the company, the challenge they were trying to address, and how Yotpo solved the problem. They also show the results that the company achieved as a result of using the Yotpo service.
The eBooks section includes downloadable eBooks that are useful references to UGC and eCommerce. At the time of this review, the eBooks that were available were:
- The State of eCommerce
- The Best Social Marketing Tool
- How to Get Traffic That Matters
- The Ultimate Guide to UGC
The Product link takes you to a small set of product demos and feature descriptions. You can watch the Product Demo included to get a concise description of what Yatpo is all about.
Here you will find recorded webinars you can view at your leisure.
The Newsroom contains links to both classic news like press releases, as well as articles about Yotpo or articles by Yotpo staff.
The FAQ isn’t your usual mass of text listing questions and answers. Instead, it is a set of video responses to the most Frequently Asked Questions. The responses include transcripts from the videos and references to other resources related to the question or answer.
The Yotpo Blog provides information on the most important marketing trends. The blog is divided into four broad subject areas:
- Tips & Trends
- Data Insights
- Success Stories
- Yotpo News
Note that even though the names of some of these subject areas are similar to those in the Resources section of the site, they contain different content.
In addition to scrolling through each of these subject areas, the blog is cross-referenced by Topics:
- Marketing Trends & Tips
- Reviews & UGC Strategy
- eCommerce Inspiration
Clicking on one of these Topics on the right side of the page will surface a chronological list of all the articles related to that topic across the 4 subject areas. And of course you can also search the blog for specific words or phrases. So despite the fact that there is a large and growing pile of information available in the blog, Yotpo makes it easier than normal to find what you are looking for.
Clicking the Support link at the bottom of any page takes you to the Yotpo Help Center. The Help Center provides loads of information, as organized here:
- Yotpo Docs – Around 200 documents covering pretty much anything you might want to do with Yotpo.
- Yotpo Blog – Takes you to to Blog discussed previously.
- Video Tutorials – 4 videos on key topics. Social Features, Coupons, Site Reviews, MAP Customization.
- Community – Takes you to the Community section of the site where customers can post questions or ideas and other customers or your staff can respond to them.
Links at the bottom of this page take you directly to some of the most popular or relevant links, such as the video on MAP Customization.
And in a fine example of a company “eating its own dog food,” the Help Center uses the Yotpo Reviews Tab. Click this tab, which appears on the right side of Help Center pages, and it pops up a list of reviews of the Yotpo site itself.
If you are considering integrating Yotpo into your own services, you’ll want to set your developers loose on this page. Clicking the “API Docs” link at the bottom of a Yotpo webpage takes you to the Yotpo Developer Hub. The various links on this page take you to a range of developer resources, or you can click the big “Get Started” button in the middle of the page to dive right into the API documentation.
Yotpo wants their service to be available to any size company. To make this possible, they offer five levels of service:
This is great in that there is a Yotpo plan for any size company. But it complicates your decision-making process in that each higher plan offers more and better features than the previous.
The best way to understand what you get for your money at each level is to go to thePricing page and click on “Compare Our Plans.” This will give you a side-by-side comparison of each plan.
Yotpo Agency Edition
Do you run or work for an agency that would like to offer the kinds of services that Yotpo provides? If so, click the “Partners” link at the bottom of any webpage. This takes you to a page that introduces Yotpo Agency Edition. It offers a quick explanation of why you might want to consider this edition of the service, along with a contact form you can submit to find out more.
Customer-generated reviews (also known as User-Generated Content or UGC) can be one of your most powerful tools for growing your business. Used properly, these reviews can improve your site’s SEO, promote your business, increase the odds that visitors to your site will buy something, and even encourage past customers to become return buyers. The Yotpo service can do this for you, leaving your people free to concentrate on your products and services.
Yotpo uses heavy-duty data science and analytics to automate every aspect of this process. From encouraging customers to write and share reviews right down to deciding which product reviews should appear on a specific page for a specific customer and where those reviews should appear on the page. At the same time, you have the ability to customize important aspects of the process, such as how your branding appears within Yotpo or whether you should offer customers discount coupons through the service.
Based on the importance of customer reviews, and the strong results Yotpo displays throughout their site, this is clearly a service that can help many businesses. Even if a company is willing to dedicate signficant manpower to this particular field, it is highly unlikely that they could match the specialized calculations and algorithms that drive Yotpo. And because Yotpo offers so many different plans, there is one that is within the budget of virtually any company.
The question comes down to whether or not Yotpo is right for your company. Thsi review presented the broad overview of what Yotpo has to offer. Your next step should be to visit the Yotpo website and get the additional details that didn’t fit into this review. The Resources and Blog sections of the site should be particularly useful for this, as they show Yotpo in use in real situations.
Assuming everything continues to look good, you’ll want to schedule a demo and see Yotpo in action. You can do that by clicking the “Request A Demo” button that appears on the top right in Yotpo web pages. Or you can go there right now. Click here to Request a Yotpo Demo.
Read more about Yotpo on DiscoverCloud.