Reviews.co.uk vs Google Reviews

Reviews.co.uk vs Google reviews

Reviews can make or break a business

Many of our customers use Reviews.co.uk. We use it ourselves.

Reviews.co.uk (part of Reviews.io) provides a robust platform for gathering independent reviews from customers whilst offering good feedback opportunities.

What’s more, its licensing agreement with Google means that ratings collected via Reviews.co.uk can appear both in Google search results and on your Google My Business panel.

But many customers ask why they should use it instead of a free service like Google reviews.

In most people’s minds, Google are clearly the leader in review collection race and the number of reviews on Google vastly outweighs those collected by most other services. One study suggests that 74% of all businesses have at least one Google review.

Split reviews across platforms

It’s now possible to use Reviews.co.uk to split reviews requests across multiple local review request websites including TrustPilot, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Houzz, Checkatrade and several others.

You set the percentage of how many reviews you want to collect via each service. Review requests will then be randomly split across these services in the proportion you choose.

This is a good way to automate the building of a review presence across multiple platforms.

What’s more Google reviews are free to use for both the customer and the business.

Google reviews might be free of charge but they offer a somewhat lower level of trust than other review services. For the business owner, Google reviews are the most visible online, but it is not quite as easy to control who is reviewing you.

Also, users find that using Google reviews is not always as easy as other services, despite the recent improvements Google have made to the review collection process.

Average ratings are lower on Google reviews

Above all there are significant differences in the average ratings between Google reviews and other independent review services.

We surveyed up to 100 different business who collect reviews both on Reviews.co.uk and on Google. We found that the average rating on Reviews.co.uk was 4.83 out of 5, whereas on Google it’s 4.37. That’s a difference of almost 10% in satisfaction levels between Reviews.co.uk and Google. We put this down to to the more open and anonymous style of Google reviews – everybody knows that most businesses have a My Business page that customers can leave reviews on.

There’s also a bias towards Reviews.co.uk in terms of the number of reviews collected. Businesses we looked at collected on average 259 reviews on Reviews.co.uk vs just 51 reviews on average on Google. Clearly those paying for review collection take it a bit more seriously!

So let’s look at the factors involved in making a decision between using the two services and see what the considerations are.

FactorNotesReviews.co.ukGoogle Reviews
Account needed?Is an account needed on the review service before leaving a review?NoYes, Google account required. Our research suggests that about 70% of UK web users have a Google account.
Anonymous?Can reviews be left anonymously? This tends to increase review collection review rate.YesPartially anonymous reviews allowed. All reviews are connected to the Google account which left them.
Review request processHow easy is it for the user to leave a review on the service?Easy – review request comes by email with clear call-to-action and easy-to-use form. Moderate. Can share link to the Google My Business page with the “Leave a Review” overlay showing. However, the link must be shared by email manually.
Automation of review requestsWhat is the process for automating review collection?Moderate. Complete automation is possible. Partial automation by logging into the Reviews.co.uk website and sending reviews in batches. Can be linked to e-commerce systems for full automation.Integration with internal systems is harder. However, it is possible to send an email with the link to your Google review page via an automated email.
Conversion rateWhat is the conversion rate between review requests and reviews?On average 5-12% - but conversions rates in excess of 26% are not unheard of.Unknown.
Visibility on SERPSHow visible on the Search Engine Results Pages are the reviews/gold stars?Possible to make visible through Rich Snippets. Gold stars are not usually shown for the site home page, only internal page, and then only a limited number. Gold stars are not shown for every website. Visible. Gold stars are not usually shown for the site home page, only internal pages. Google gold stars are given prominence over other ratings services on GMB panel.
Gold stars in Google AdsIs it possible to get reviews/gold stars alongside Google Ads? Yes. As a Google licensed review partner, company reviews collected with Reviews.co.uk which meet Google's threshold requirements are displayed as stars (Seller Ratings) in paid Google Ads.No. Google Reviews won't give you eligibility for stars (Seller Ratings) in paid Google Ads.
Visibility in local pack results/more placesHow visible are the reviews/gold stars on the local pack results/more places pages?Again, it's possible to make gold stars available via Rich Snippets. However, if any Google reviews are present, Google will favour these even if there are fewer reviews on Google Reviews.Gold stars from Google Reviews are favoured.
Visibility on Google My Business panelHow visible are the reviews on the Google My Business panel in brand searches?Visible but Google reviews are much more prominent. Google reviews are the most prominent.
PriceHow much does the review service cost?£35-45 per month + VATFree
EmbeddabilityHow easy is it to embed the reviews into the businesses’ website?Easy via Reviews.co.uk widgets or custom programming.Possible but not easy via custom programming.
SEOImpact on SEOModerate – gold stars tend to improve click-through rate from SERPS, which Google measures and tends to favour website with higher click-through rate. Same
Visibility on a search like “{brand name} reviews”How visible are the reviews in a brand/reviews search where a user search for the brand name plus the keyword "reviews"?Reviews from Reviews.co.uk often rank highly in search, but this is not guaranteed.Google shows the GMB panel where possible, and this gives prominence to Google reviews over other review services.
Average ratingsDoes the review service tend to generate positive or negative reviews?On average the rating of businesses on Reviews.co.uk is 4.83 out of 5. The average number of reviews collected is 259.On average the rating of businesses on Google is 4.37 our of 5. The average number of reviews collected is 50.
ModerationIs it possible to have fake or factually incorrect reviews removed?Yes, Reviews.co.uk will remove clearly fake or incorrect reviews. Human-moderated service.No. Reviews can be flagged as inappropriate but anecdotal evidence suggests that it is difficult to get Google to remove false or malicious reviews.
Competitor analysisCan you benchmark your business using yours and competitor review data?Yes. Competitor analysis and merchant metrics features enable you to use review data to make improvements.Harder - your own research will be needed.

Conclusion

On the face of it Google reviews seems to win hands-down. Their reviews are far more visible, easy for customers and widely known.

But there are differences for businesses in collecting reviews via Google. And most importantly Google reviews seem to attract more negative reviews than services such as Reviews.co.uk.

It might be worth spending a little bit more money to have more control over your review service, if your reputation is important to you.

Note: we are not affiliated with Reviews.co.uk nor are we part of any agency scheme with that company.

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