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Do review websites work?

Written by Lily Houston on September 4th, 2023

When it comes to doing business online, trust is everything. Entire industries are dedicated to catching your attention and pushing certain products or services to the front of the queue – with plenty of unscrupulous sorts utilising shady tactics to do so.

We should know, after all – the scrupulous and non-shady sides of the digital marketing coin are all part of what we do.

So when just about anyone with the right strategy or enough money can shove their results to the top of Google, with the implied esteem that brings, how do we build that trust in real, concrete ways?

Here’s where reviews come in

Whether you’re looking to buy something online, visit a new restaurant, or booking a theatre trip, the first thing you’re probably going to do is read the reviews. Positive or negative feedback, 5* or 0 ratings, it’s always good to do your research and see what others think about a product or business. But which review sites can you trust, and how can reviews boost your business?

With the rise of bots and spam accounts on social media platforms, and TikTok celebs being paid every time they post a review about a cargo skort they got for free, it’s almost refreshing to read real peoples accounts of good service.

Review websites provide a specific platform for people to give feedback for experiences, products and even people. But how do review and rating sites work? The sites allow people to leave either a star rating or a written response to a product or service they received. The review sites then categorise the reviews from best to worst and give each one an overall score. The verification from a third party provides that all-important trust that the reviews haven’t been manipulated.

Popular review sites


Trustpilot is a review platform where you can search, read or leave reviews for a range of companies. Often retail shops and businesses will ask you after your purchase if you would like to leave a review on their Trustpilot, sometimes in exchange for points or entering competitions. With many scam sites popping up, Trustpilot is a good way to check if a company is legit and that you’re not about to be ripped off.


Check-A-Trade…Check-A-Trade-dot-com! You sang it in your head, you know you did. This platform with a catchy TV and radio ad allows you to rate and review local tradespeople and find the most reliable handymen, plumbers or builders in your area. They offer a free guarantee, but only if you book the tradesperson through their website and leave a review after your work has been carried out.


Tripadvisor is the largest travel platform, allowing over 463 million travellers each month to research and find new destinations to eat, stay and explore. The site has over 860 million reviews, allowing consumers to find the best rated places, and which discoveries are better left uncovered.

How do you use these on websites?

The best way to integrate review sites on WordPress is to simply embed the score badges they provide as widgets, letting users click through to investigate further.

You could use a review site WordPress plugin that pulls in the reviews themselves, but they can add bloat to a site – and even though they’re importing direct, anything on your own site rather than the external platform is more likely to be viewed by a user as biased.

Another downside to having your reviews for all to see is if you get a less then pleasant response from a customer. As long as it’s true and honest they’re within their rights to leave a negative review to a bad experience – you just don’t want this on the main landing page of your website.

Having the review score clearly visible as a trust marker while users learn about your services will support your claims, giving customers confidence and building brand trust.

And on the platform itself, not all negative responses are a bad thing – if you deal with them in the right way! Having a few bad reviews that you respond to in a polite manner can show transparency and that you have nothing to hide.

If you’re looking for a way to integrate your reviews into your website, get in touch with our Splitpixel team who are on hand to help.


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Written by Lily Houston on September 4th, 2023

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