A great collection of plugins that can add simple review rich snippet markup to your blog or transform it into a fully featured review site. It also features a fantastic testimonials plugin.
The Author Hreview plugin pack makes it easy to upgrade your site, increasing search traffic with eye catching search engine results.
The plugin pack contains 3 plugins which each do something different-
- Author Hreview: A simple review plugin and is actually the plugin I have used since the launch of the blog to power the review boxes you sometimes see.
- WordPress Reviews: This is an advanced review plugin that transforms WordPress into a fully featured review site including user reviews, ratings & custom fields!
- Customer Testimonials: Makes it easy for you to collect and display user testimonials anywhere on your site (adding this to the blog soon).
So whether you want to add simple review boxes to your blog or transform it into a fully fledged reviews site these plugins are perfect!
They also include a bunch of widgets (you can see one in my sidebar) to display your latest/most popular/related reviews and so on.
Rich Snippet Markup
Each of these plugins also includes support for the review rich snippet markup. This is the magic stuff that allows you to dispay review ratings and stars directly in the search results like this-
Author Hreview Video Review!
I’ve been using these plugins since the blog launched 12 months ago. It takes minutes to setup and will instantly make your site more visible in the SERPS while increasing the click through rate of affiliate links.
Anyway check out my more detailed video tutorial & review-
Hi Guys Matthew Woodward here and today you’re going to learn how to upgrade your site to increase its visibility in the search results by adding review boxes to your posts like mine.
As well as transform WordPress into a fully featured reviews platform with user reviews and have the ability to collect and display testimonials from your readers.
For my blog I actually used AuthorHreview which includes 3 plugins, you get AuthorHreview which is the original plugin for adding review boxes and ratings and things like that along with some custom widgets.
You get WordPress Reviews which actually transforms WordPress into a complete review system allowing people to submit user reviews and custom fields you know. If you had a hosting website you could have different fields, or if you have a mobile phone reviews website you can have things like camera, display and things like that.
Again this allows users to submit their own reviews and display aggregated results, it works really really well.
The other plugin that you get as a bonus if the Customer Testimonials plugin which allows you to easily collect testimonials as well as display them in a really cool way pretty much anywhere on your blog.
So let’s take a look at each of the plugins you get in more detail.
So first of all let’s take a look at Author Hreview and this plugin adds this box here and makes it really easy to do. You have a bunch of options and things you can include; if we take a look at this one you can see this actually includes my name and some more date information and things like that.
And it also includes a couple of different widgets you can add a simple list like this or one that actually includes the images if you choose to include an image.
And I actually use Author Hreview on my blog here, you can see it I don’t actually use an image and you’ll see this box on a lot of the review posts and down here is the same widget.
And the nice thing about Author Hreview is it makes it really easy to add the review rich snippets in pretty much any post on your blog in a few seconds. This is what it looks like beforehand and this is what it looks like afterwards so you can see the rating there along with the data it has extracted.
If you also integrate authorship you will get results that look like this with your rating and also include your picture.
Setting up Author Hreview is pretty easy you get a dedicated menu here along with some default settings that you can come in and change. You can choose to actually hide that ratings box you’ve just seen but this will still include the rich snippet markup so Google will display the stars in search results.
But I actually quite like that review box and it helps increase clicks and conversions with the affiliate links.
You can also choose to hide the reviewed by and dates and I showed you those 2 different examples at the start. And you have some other options here like the width of the review box, how its aligned, there’s 3 different styles to choose from, the colour of the button along with the more details button.
And let’s take a look at actually adding a post with a review. So if we come to add new post and let’s just give it a dummy title and drop some dummy content and what we really want to pay attention to is this author review box here.
So we can just select a rating, say 3.5 stars – the name of the product SENuke. A quick review summary, a great tool to build links with but pretty expensive to run every month.
You have the option to choose if it’s a paid review that will also include a link to a disclaimer if you do paid reviews on your site. Other details you can include here, you can include the price, version information, type of product it is and the author name. I tend to only enter the price here, so what is SENuke these days – $147 a month?
Display options, there’s 3 different templates here – I quite like the default one. You can choose to hide the ratings box on individual pages rather than doing it globally in the main settings here.
And you can also manually place the ratings box if you want by dropping the shortcode. So if you didn’t want it to appear where it normally does you could just drop it into the last paragraph here for example or right at the end of the post.
I quite like it at the top of the post, above the fold it sums everything up nicely and makes it easy for people to click your link.
You can also upload an image which im going to do quickly if we just select this file and let that crunch it and hit insert into post, that will add the image for us. The image alignment you can change as well and you can also include a link so that is going to be, oop we need to include http.
You can change the button text if you want, so get the trial and also the button alignment and whether the link is dofollow or not.
So let’s just publish that page and take a look at how that actually looks. If we come to view post here and here you can see this is the review box that we have just put together.
You can also see the widgets have automatically updated and if we come across to the rich snippets tool and preview that new post you can see we’ve got the ratings.
So that is Author Hreview but what about if you want to build a more fully featured review site?
If you want to be a little bit more advanced than Author Hreview then you can also use the WP Review plugin. This replaces Author Hreview and pretty much does the same thing but with a lot more advanced features.
So here you can see the post with the WP Reviews plugin and you can see it makes quite an impact here. You can define different fields here and provide ratings for all of them and I’ll show you how to do all of that in a minute.
Along with the summary and start your trial button and everythning like that. What makes WP Review even better though is it integrates user reviews as you can see here and that allows people to submit a comment with their own reviews which gets added to the comment box – you can’t see it because I’m logged in at the minute.
Then people can submit them and it aggregates them here and also provides a user rating alongside the editor rating. You can also see this appear in the recent comments widget here when people have left ratings and you can see the recent reviews widget that we saw with Author Hreview.
One of the other things it adds is pros and cons which you can put at the end of posts and the rich snippet integration is pretty cool.
This is what it looks like if it’s just you have reviewed it and this is what it looks like if you’ve got ratings coming off users, so it’s an aggregated review and also displays a price directly in the search results.
You can also customise it so that it appears at end of posts like this rather than at the top which some people might prefer and it also comes with a bunch of shortcodes so you can display your reviews pretty much anywhere.
So this is the most recent review with an image and a summary. Here’s all the reviews without a summary and I’ve only got 2 setup on this test site here. You can have all reviews without a summary and I just put this in a div with a width of 200 pixels and you can see it wraps the text around nicely.
Or you can list related reviews based on tags so if you have a couple of posts reviewing 2 different link building services and they both have the tag link building you can actually list all the related link building reviews here.
Again you can choose whether to display the image or the summary or not easily with the shortcode.
Setting up the plugin is really easy, again you get the dedicated menu and there are some settings here. If you scroll through they are pretty self-explanatory. You’ve got the introduction of the currency option here for when you are displaying prices.
Again you have full control over everything, you don’t have to have the user ratings so people can submit their reviews if you don’t want you can just untick that.
Theres a couple of protection options here to stop people spamming your site up with reviews and all of the settings for the review box are here. Where to show it whether it’s below the content or at the top although you can change this on a post by post basis.
Whether to hide the rating box and the various other information along with the button colour and default button text which again you can change on a post by post value.
There are some other settings down here that most people won’t need to touch so you can ignore those. But once you’ve got the settings set up how you want if we come and add a new post.
Let’s show you how to set this up, so let’s do that, paste in dummy content and give it a quick category and down here let’s start filling out this box.
So give it a rating, the name, and a quick summary, ok. And if you want the user reviews snippets to be used as the rich snippet in Google that I showed you before you would tick this box and now we can move over to details, the price here is $147 a month. The version I’m not going to add, the criteria I’m going to set up here.
So I’m going to have ease of use, 70%. Cost, 75%, updates, 95% and if you want to list the pros and cons at the end of the review you can do that here and I’m going to use some bullets in here to make them a bit easier to read so let’s fill those out.
Powerful tool, well updated, cons – expensive to run, steep learning curve. Now we can move onto display and here you can choose where to show your ratings box either above or below the content or whether to hide the box entirely and again you can manually place it with the rating box shortcode if you wanted it in the middle for example.
Let’s add an image, I’ve already uploaded one here, choose full size and insert into post. The link here and the button text and you can also change the author name if you want to, so let’s publish that and take a look at how that looks.
Ok view post – and here you can see ok so that text doesn’t fit in very well so we can just come back and hit edit post, change that there, hit update. Come back into the post and that should be looking good now, there we go.
So that’s how easy it is to add a review box to your posts along with the user reviews and you can see you don’t need any technical knowledge whatsoever but let’s take a quick look at how we can use the shortcode within this post.
So there are 2 types of shortcode that you can use with different options. And you can say either recent reviews which pulls them in chronological order and you can say I want to display the 5 most recent reviews with images and summaries.
And there is related reviews and you could say I just want to display 5 related reviews or 2 related reviews and if you want to include the images you would just write images=yes and if you wanted to include the summary summary=yes or if you didn’t want the images but wanted the summary, you could have that.
If you wanted to just display the most recent review, you could have recent_review num=1 to only return 1. Along with the summary but without the image and that will split them up for you.
So if we take a look at how they look, let’s just break them up a little bit. Recent reviews 5 image summary, related reviews 2 summary and then most recent review and the related review pulls in related reviews based on tag. So let me add the review tag to this post, click add and update and let’s take a look at what this shortcode actually produces for us.
And here you can see the recent reviews, there isn’t 5 there are only 3 at the moment but here is what it pulls in for us. The related reviews without the image but including the summary and the most recent review without the image but including the summary and that is how you use the shortcode.
So you can display reviews pretty much anywhere you want on your site. Whether that’s in a post, in the sidebar here, at the start of posts and at the end of posts.
The other plugin that is included in the pack is the testimonials plugin and its actually pretty cool you can output the various testimonials you’ve got really easily in different ways and you can have them look like this, or as a tool tip like this or with a sort of speech bubble type view.
It also includes some nice widgets so you can choose where to display them in the sidebar and how many and what information and things like that and the really impressive part is the submission of the testimonials themselves.
You get a little bit of shortcode that outputs this form so people can just fill it out and automatically get sent it for your approval. You can also use it to take your rich snippets and add an aggregated review of your testimonials to the home page.
So everyone that submitted a testimonial, you can see here there are 2 on my test site here with an average rating of 4.5 and the sites free. You can add that as well and thats a really genuine way of valuing your site in the SERPS with actual testimonials from real people.
But let’s take a look at how we set it up. If you come to the testimonials menu in the back end here you can view all of the current testimonials and if we just jump in and have a look at what they look like. So here is a quick summary, the actual testimonial itself – the rating, name, website details and it actually pulls the image in automatically from gravatar based on their email address which is pretty cool.
And you can also add new testimonials so if you’ve already got some you’ve collected elsewhere and I’ve actually got a bunch in Evernote that I’ve collected from all over the web as things have gone on you can just add them in here.
You can also setup different categories for testimonials so if you have different types of services that you offer you can have testimonials for each specific service and there are a few settings in the backend here. Here is where you add the FrontPage snippets to your homepage based on aggregated review and you can tell it to use the real data here.
And you also have a few other settings here including some SEO settings but you can leave those unticked.
Let’s quickly take a look at how you display the actual testimonials once you’ve got some added into the plugin. If you come and edit this page and you can see what they look like here. So you’ve got the testimonials simple, testimonials tooltips and testimonials bubble and it really is as simple as that.
And if you wanted to change how many are displayed you could just add num=1 and that will only have 1 displayed here and 2 displayed on these other tooltips and testimonials.
There we go so now you can see there is only 1 displayed and you can also do the same thing as with the review plugins if you choose to include the image or not include the image and everything like that.
The actual submit testimonial page again this is really easy, just create a new page in WordPress and I’ve called it submit testimonial, added a line of text and this shortcode here and what that produces is the page to come and submit a testimonial to.
So you may decide to ask people for a testimonial after they’ve bought your product, after they subscribed to your email list maybe after you’ve formed a relationship with them or something like that.
So that is the testimonial plugin, I actually think that’s really sweet I’m going to add it to my main blog as I have been thinking of putting all of the testimonials I have collected to good use and this looks like a really nice way.
So to wrap it up the plugin pack gives you 3 great plugins. If you want a simple way to display reviews just use author hreview.
If you want to transform WordPress into a full blown review platform use the WordPress Reviews plugin and don’t forget the customer testimonials plugin which is great for showing off your achievements.
The plugins will also add the required review rich snippet code so the review stars and your name display in the search results. That’s how I do it folks, see ya!
Resources In The Video
Author Hreview – Add reviews, user reviews, review rich snippets & testimonials to your WordPress blog!