Your Definitive Guide To Review Links
The RateMe.link Team, 2021-10-28
A review link is a link that takes customers or users to a website where they can leave a rating, review, and feedback about their experience with a business, product, or service.
The linked webpage shows a form asking for a rating and comment. It might also collect specific information from the customer, such as their email address, username, or name.
You can use a review link whenever you want to provide an easy way to get customer feedback. A review link lets you continuously collect ratings, comments and gather reviews from your customers, visitors, patients, or guests.
- Your Definitive Guide To Review Links
- What is the purpose of a review link?
- What’s the problem with public review links of review platforms and marketplaces?
- What are the benefits of using a private review link?
- How does a review link work?
- What are the essential features of a review tool?
- How can you use a review link for your business?
- Which review tool will work best for you?
- 10+ quick tips: How to improve the effectiveness of your review link?
- Try RateMe.link – 14-day free
What is the purpose of a review link?
The primary purpose of a review link is to enable and encourage customers to conveniently leave feedback about their experience with a business, product, or service.
A review link lets you take care of your customer feedback and online reviews. It can make customer reviews work in your favor.
Customer feedback is helpful for various purposes such as measuring customer satisfaction, improving service and products, marketing, and guiding future business decisions.
Review links help you turn your customers’ feedback into public reviews and ratings on review platforms like Google, TripAdvisor, Yelp, and marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, etc.
What’s the problem with public review links of review platforms and marketplaces?
Many review sites and marketplaces offer proprietary links for your customers to leave feedback and reviews about your business right on their public websites. They encourage sending your customers to them and feeding their platforms with data about your business and your customers
There are three significant problems with only using the links from public review sites:
- You lose an opportunity to get feedback from your customer before they make their reviews public. When a customer is happy, there’s no problem. But it’s unfortunate when the first thing an unsatisfied customer does is post their complaint on social media or a review platform before even contacting you.
- On public review platforms, you give up control over the conversations with your customers. Instead of talking to your customers in private, you’ll be discussing in public and abiding by the rules and mechanisms the platform dictates.
- Public review sites primarily work for their purposes, not yours.
In the eyes of a review platform, you are just a place. Any public review, negative or positive, to them, is just content. The more content the platforms gain, the more data they collect, the more traffic they’ll get, and the more ads they can sell to you and your competitors.
That’s very different from what you want: get customers to talk to you, tell you what can be improved, and strengthen your relationship with them.
The sensible alternative to sending your customers to review platforms straight away is to use a dedicated review tool. That way, you first collect the feedback and then serve the review sites important to you.
What are the benefits of using a private review link?
A private review link lets you proactively initiate customer conversations about your business - which is much better than leaving it to chance, when, where and how customers talk about you.
A private review link has many more benefits:
- makes it easy to give you feedback, rather than customers needing to find out how to contact you
- shows that you care for feedback and are serious about what your customers have to say
- provides a standardized way to get the sort of feedback that’s most useful and usable to you
- gets opinions of real customers instead of random visitors who happen to browse across public pages coincidentally
- directs feedback into channels that you control
- decreases the risk of customers taking problems to review platforms or social media before having talked to you
- helps you find out about issues first instead of the public getting ahead of you
- gives you a starting point for great customer conversations and positive public reviews
- lets you own and use the comments and feedback instead of giving it up to the platforms
- gets more repeat customers on your website and gains extra business from new and existing customers
Actively asking for feedback and reviews can help you build a stronger brand, increase customer loyalty and lead to higher conversion rates.
If turned into public reviews, positive feedback enhances your search engine rankings, increases customer trust, and leads to more new visitors.
How does a review link work?
In its simplest form, a review link is an internet address - a URL - like
example.com/feedback that leads to a page with feedback elements. These feedback elements can range from a 5-star-rating form, “thumbs up, thumbs down” icons, a 1 - 10 “Net Promoter Score” (NPS) rating widget, to just text fields to submit a comment.
There are several ways to get users to visit your review link; we’ll get to that in a second.
When users visit your link, they are presented with a form or survey with fields to enter their rating, feedback, and comments.
Some review tools offer a 5-star-rating feature to allow for the most accessible and most convenient reaction. After giving their rating, users can then enter their comments and contact details, if needed. With some tools, you can redirect users to leave a review on a public review site, thus benefitting your public review profiles and ratings.
What are the essential features of a review tool?
These are the crucial features and characteristics of a reliable review tool:
- works for all kinds of businesses and services, no matter if local or online
- your link must be easy to share, access, and conveniently to use for customers
- quick and easy to set up and put to work, even for unexperienced business owners with no IT department
- optimized in design and speed for all customer devices: desktop PCs, mobile phones, and tablets
- frictionless user experience to make it easy to rate, give feedback, and review
- friendly and easy interface to encourage more and better feedback
- offers branding and customization options
- privacy-friendly, collecting only data the customer is willing to provide
- immediate private feedback notifications by email
- provides a way to redirect customers to review platforms to collect public reviews
How can you use a review link for your business?
After you have set up your review link, it’s time to put it to work.
There are two critical factors for successfully getting customer feedback and winning reviews: the right timing and the way and channel to use.
The best time to ask for a review
Customer feedback can be helpful at several points in the customer relationship. But, most of the time, you’ll want to hear from the customer after you’ve provided your service or sold your product.
The best time to ask for feedback and reviews is after the customers have had a chance to evaluate what they’ve received. However, if you’re offering services on an ongoing basis, you can also ask for feedback at different times.
The right place and way to ask for a review
Apart from the right time, the right communication channel and how you ask are crucial when asking for feedback and customer reviews.
There are many options to get your review link in front of your customers. Choose one or more, depending on how you’ve been communicating when providing your goods or services:
- send it in an email, text, or chat message
- print the link as a QR code on receipts, invoices, and packing slips
- put a feedback card inside your product’s packaging
- include a feedback card in shopping bags
- in apps and software: use pop up messages to ask for feedback and reviews
- for local businesses: put your link’s QR code in your locations: use display stands and stickers near the cash register, stickers on your walls, and near the exit doors
- send a postcard with your review link as a QR code
Which review tool will work best for you?
There are quite some review tools, and they differ in many ways:
There are tools where the actual “review link” is just an afterthought or an addition to a complex survey solution.
Others do much more than collect feedback by offering features that make them less focused. You’ll also have to pay for these features, even if you don’t use them.
Here are some differentiating features you can look out for:
Review URL: private or public
A private, hard-to-guess link URL, such as
example.com/GHBUGJHJHGJH, ensures that only customers you invite can rate you and send you their feedback. These random URLs might be hard to remember, but this apparent drawback is the actual advantage.
Public URLs, like
example.com/yourbusiness, are easy to use and to guess. The downside is that search engines, random people (not all of whom are good-willed), and spambots can easily find them as well. As a result, public link URLs can lead to unwanted entries, useless comments, and extra work to filter out helpful feedback.
User interface: focused or detailed
Respecting your customers’ time is crucial. Therefore, a focused design is mandatory. Everyone is familiar with a “5-star” or “thumbs up, thumbs down” rating, so people prefer these over multi-step surveys or large text fields.
The 5-star rating system is the most common throughout the internet, used by huge companies such as Amazon, eBay, and Google. Customers are used to 5-star-ratings, and while simple, it still offers enough detail to make sense of the ratings.
With the first interaction with your feedback system being easy, people are more likely to provide more and better info than through complex, long forms.
Independent or tied to a website
Some tools work best when integrated into your website; others operate independently.
If your business primarily relies on its website, you have the choice of what kind of tool to use. Website integration is an option, given the provider makes it easy and you have the technical resources.
If you run a local business or sell through marketplaces, you need a website independent review link tool. These require no integration, run on the service provider’s premises, and need no maintenance from your side.
10+ quick tips: How to improve the effectiveness of your review link?
Review links are only as good as the amount and quality of feedback they can attract. However, there are some things you can do to gather more quality feedback and reviews:
- Declare it a business goal and set up processes to ask for feedback and reviews
- Make it clear that you value and welcome any customer feedback, so people don’t have to wonder how to contact you
- Don’t be afraid to ask each customer to rate and review you, but don’t be pushy and annoying
- Target the right customer at the best time: ask when the experience is fresh in their minds
- Have a clear goal in mind and don’t overcomplicate the process
- Don’t clutter your feedback pages and review forms with unneeded components. No headers, footers, sidebars, etc.
- Use precise language and short sentences
- Use clear “call to action” elements, make it obvious what the next step is
- Keep in mind: a little piece of feedback is still better than no feedback
- Try to get from rating to feedback to review in a step-by-step approach; that’s better than an intimidating one-off page. But don’t add too many steps; people are only attentive for so long.
- Keep an eye on your feedback and reviews, react to them quickly and in a professional manner
Try RateMe.link – 14-day free
RateMe.link is an affordable review link tool to automatically and continually collect feedback and generate more online reviews from your happy customers. RateMe.link offers a friendly, frictionless 1-click rating page, is easy to set up and use. In addition, RateMe.link supports all open review platforms and marketplaces.