The last platform upgrade was focused on delivering highly requested features such as the Slide-in Widget, automatically adding reviews as you get them, introduced the ReviewEmbed Help Section and cleaned up open issues ahead of a big upgrade.

That preparation paid off as today we're happy to introduce the first of many platform integrations after Facebook reviews. Yelp reviews can now be accessed and managed using your ReviewEmbed account simply by adding the link to your Yelp page when creating a brand.

Yelp Integration ๐Ÿš€

As of today, accessing Yelp reviews is as simple as editing your brand and adding the URL of your Yelp page to the brand. Don't forget to click Save.

This integration has been requested since the very first release of ReviewEmbed and we've been eager to rearchitect the application to enable us to finally expand the range of platforms ReviewEmbed integrates with.

Yelp opens up Review Marketing to millions of local businesses around the world and thousands of ReviewEmbed users having requested this feature over the last months.ย 

And Yelp is only the beginning; look out for additional platform announcements in the short term. If there's a particular website you want to access reviews from, don't hesitate to shoot us a message.ย 

Reviews Section ๐Ÿ‘€

You'll notice the sidebar contains a new item, "Reviews". While never originally intended to be part of the application, several members requested having a simple way to see all of their reviews from across Facebook and Yelp.

This page is equipped with powerful search to easily find reviews.

We decided to move forward with that change to simplify the process of looking and managing your reviews, and our plans to extend the functionality of the Reviews Section took us to a very interesting place that we think you'll be excited about. ๐Ÿ‘‡

Smart Tag Reviews ๐Ÿ”ฅ

Once in awhile, something incredibly exciting comes up during brainstorms. The Smart Tag Reviews is the epitome of that excitement: it's something totally new and radical and which just might set a new standard for how marketers use reviews to drive action and results during campaigns.

Many of you regularly rely on Google Analytics to decipher the success of your marketing campaigns; be it Google Adwords you purchased, link building, links you submitted on guest posts, and so forth -- all of these efforts are tracked thanks to the popular use of UTM Tags.

UTM Tags

What are UTM Tags, you say? A UTM tag is a simple code that you can attach to a custom URL in order to track a source, medium, and campaign name. This enables Google Analytics to tell you where searchers came from as well as what campaign directed them to you.

You've seen them all across the web at the end of URLs in your address bar. They look like this: ?utm_medium=cpc

Our friends at Buffer wrote a nifty guide about UTMs. It's a great read and very useful if you've never used them to your advantage yet.

So what's the big deal?

There are a variety of UTM tags used to describe links. Imagine about a Google Adwords campaign where the link promoted is www.carpentingco.com.ย 

It goes to reason that some of the UTM tags used for this particular link might include the utm_medium=cpc tags, indicating that the medium of the traffic is Cost per Click, as well as utm_channel=adwords which indicates the channel for this URL is Adwords.

These tags enable you to break down your traffic so it is easier to analyze your marketing efforts.

Similarly, the Adwords campaign may contain multiple ads. One ad might focus on Carpenting Co's quick service and use the utm_content=quick-service tags to indicate that this particular link was used for the ad focusing on quick service.

The basic idea of using UTM tags on your links is to track the performance of your marketing campaigns. Thus, it goes without saying that using UTM tags is an indirect indication of interest to increase performance in said marketing campaigns.ย 

And what better tool to boost marketing campaigns than to use the direct voice of yours customers? To let your testimonials do the talking, of course!

Smart Tags amplify your UTM Tags

We've married the two above concepts by adding Smart Tags. In the Reviews Section, you'll notice you can mark one or many tags on each review you've earned.

The purpose of using Smart Tags is to specifically tag keywords that are present in your UTM tags to directly influence which reviews are displayed on your ReviewEmbed widgets.

The result of doing this is the most sophisticated level of testimonial use you can ever achieve in digital marketing; to ensure that the perfect review is displayed based on which channel your visitor visited from, or based on which advertisement they found you, and so forth.

Our plan is to extend this functionality so tags work even without UTM Tags, which means that a Bakery will soon be able to show only cake-related reviews on webpages like www.bakery.com/cakes.ย 

Getting started using Smart Tags is simple:

  1. Tag your reviews with the tags you plan on using (i.e. "easy")
  2. Use the word "easy" in your UTM tags (i.e. "utm_content=easy")ย 
  3. Ensure a widget is installed on your page

That's it! Whenever a visitor hits your page with the UTM tag you defined present in their URL, they will see the reviews you tagged with that keyword. ๐ŸŽฏ

Schema.org Implementation ๐ŸŒŸ

This is a fairly technical upgrade but it comes with significant benefits for our users. Schema.org is a recognized standard enabling Google to display important bits of information about your business or content on your website directly on search results pages.ย 

What this means for us in the Reviews world is that when people find you on search engines, you'll benefit from the increased exposure reviews provide to your listing on Google.ย 

Those 5 stars are worth far more than just brownie points you can brag about; they are tangible assets you can leverage to bring more qualified traffic to your website. Here's an example.

Our friends at Mexicali Taco & Co benefit from an excitingly high rating of 4.6 on Facebook -- and it shows when people search for their brand. However, you'll notice this is only true of their Facebook page -- only it shows the reviews but Mexicali's website do not.

Today's upgrade remedies that. From today on, the reviews you win on Facebook and Yelp will be used to display those stars for your website's listing on Google, enabling you to let your customers do the talking across any kind of search query people find you from.ย 

In the short testing phase offered to Pro members, several reported an immediate uptick in organic traffic, telling us the above is quite true additional to the possibility that adhering to the Schema.org standard may increase your favour in the eyes of Google. A great upgrade to pick up and we're glad to be delivering it!

New Template: Reviews Landing Page ๐Ÿ†

In the many months working on ReviewEmbed, a resounding piece of feedback we received indicated some level of technical difficulty adding ReviewEmbed widgets to website sections.

While dropping a line of code is certainly the most granular level that can be achieved, we've endeavoured to think through the problem and look for solutions that our existing customers could use immediately; a solution that still leverages those precious reviews in a manner that any brand could use on any website.

To that end, we decided the next Widget wouldn't be a widget -- it would be something different; something totally separate which would not require you to ever touch your website -- should you choose to do so -- and still benefit from the reviews you've worked so hard to get.

And that's why we're introducing the Reviews Landing Page.

It's a brand new way to show off all of your reviews in a single place.ย 

Every single brand on ReviewEmbed now comes equipped with a non-deletable Reviews Landing Page which is hosted right on the ReviewEmbed domain.ย 

That means it doesn't slow down your website either -- you can simply link to your Landing Page and let the reviews do the rest.ย 

We're planning additional upgrades moving forward, but this is a great start to this incredibly powerful new tool which you can even leverage in advertising campaigns, given the fact that you can modify the call to action anytime you like!

Customize Your Review Widgets ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŽจ

The best part? The Reviews Landing Page is, just like all other ReviewEmbed widgets, entirely customizable. You can now modify widgets to better suit your website and brand. Here are the current customization options for all widgets:

  • Background color
  • Text color
  • Review star color
  • Facebook/Yelp logo color
  • Font used (more added every day!)
  • Font size
  • Widget Widthย 
  • Call to action text (Landing Page only)
  • Call to action button text (Landing Page only)
  • Call to action button URL (Landing Page only)

Request Help if you need it ๐Ÿ™

We've added a handy link on the application's sidebar for easy access to the ReviewEmbed Help Desk section, the content of which you are reading right now!

Widget names are now readable ๐Ÿ™Š

For some reason, we had the bright idea of using totally random words to describe the name of your widgets. The default widget names have now been updated to indicate which template you are using.

Significant speed upgrades โšก๏ธ

We've sped up the whole of ReviewEmbed. You should be feeling a notable difference. If not, definitely hit us on the fingers -- this is an area we are actively trying to rectify.

New Pricing ๐Ÿ’ธ

With the slew of upgrades, the introduction of new platforms like Yelp and the additional hosting and data refreshing costs associated, the Pro account pricing will increase from $9 to $19 per month for each brand hosted by ReviewEmbed.

All existing Pro customers on the $9 plan will be grandfathered forever as of January 21s, 2018. Basic account members are welcome to upgrade before that date to secure the grandfathered pricing. Please note that your account will be grandfathered on the current brands created on your account as pricing is shifting to a per-brand model.

We'll be sending a few email reminders in case you don't have a chance to review platform upgrade notes.

Note that the Platform Upgrade and New Pricing will be going live together, slated for January 20 to January 21, 2018.ย 

Please shoot us a message if you have any questions, we're on-call to answer any concerns you may have regarding the new pricing.

That wraps up the platform upgrade for January 20, 2018. Until next time, let's keep helping you build up and leverage the reviews your business needs to grow!

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