If you’re a savvy shopper like me, you probably scour the internet for reviews of products before you commit to buying them. In fact it seems to be a common trend among consumers to turn to the web for honest thoughts and opinions about their favorite brands.
Even Google displays reviews in search results now, via a nifty little thing called schema markup. This allows authors and site owners to output rich snippets of their content, containing information that users may find interesting.
In the case of reviews, the rich snippet usually includes a star rating that’s perfectly visible on the results page. This indicates to the reader that it’s most certainly a review post and provides them with a snapshot of how the author found the product. This in turn can help improve the visibility of your posts, since they’ll stand out from the others.
Best Rich Snippets & Schema Markup Plugins
So how about we take a look at some of the best plugins available, for adding the schema markup to your review posts.
1. WP Review Pro
WP Review Pro is a plugin by the team at MyThemeShop, that’s overflowing with useful features. Boasting a no-code approach to displaying stylish product reviews, it makes life that little bit easier for the seasoned blogger.
Including the all important Schema markup with Rich Snippets, reviews will be properly displayed in search results. User comment rating and reviews is also a nifty perk that adds more credibility to your content.
- Requires no coding. Forget about messing around with complex code. WP Review Pro can be used without having to touch a single piece of code. This makes it much easier to get your review posts looking just how you want them to.
- Multiple rating systems. Not sure how you want to rate a product or service? With multiple rating systems you can rate by number range, percentage or star rating.
- User comment rating and reviews. Why not let your users add their own thoughts too? With this feature your readers can submit reviews via their comments, adding more value to your post.
- Global rating type. For consistency across your website, you can activate this setting and have all of your review posts singing to the same tune (or rating type).
- Star rating on thumbnails. This is a useful feature for adding a little more interaction to your images.
- 100% mobile responsive. Naturally no plugin would be worth the effort if it wasn’t mobile responsive. Thankfully WP Review Pro is, so it will adapt to all common screen sizes.
For such a feature rich plugin, WP Review Pro is incredibly easy to use. Getting up and running with it takes far less than you would imagine. Further to this, the design is responsive, making it great for viewing on tablets and smartphones. Needless to say the support on offer is also excellent.
There have been some reports of the plugin not outputting the correct code for Google snippets. This is a big flaw, since many users will purchase it for that reason. My Theme Shop however have assured customers this will be fixed in an update, if it hasn’t already been resolved.
2. Author hReview
Author hReview is part of a collection of plugins designed to help you get the most out of your reviews on WordPress. With a simple, clean design that allows you to include a featured product image, readers will instantly be attracted to your ratings and overall opinions.
This is also another plugin that allows users to submit reviews via the comments section. Affiliate links can be hidden within a sleek info button, while editor ratings add more authority to the overall post.
- Include product image. Feature a main product image for your review to highlight what you’re writing about.
- Editor and user ratings. Add more credibility to your reviews by adding an overall Editor rating to compliment user ratings.
- Review details. Describe the main details of your review in a brief summary that’s easy for your readers to skim-read.
- Review criteria. Highlight the criteria by which you’ll be reviewing the product. This helps set a benchmark for readers to look back to when evaluating your review.
- Sleek buttons for affiliate links. Affiliate links can look messy. With sleek, attractive buttons you can hide your affiliate links and help increase click-throughs.
- Shortcodes. Display your review in posts or pages with handy shortcodes. This allows more freedom to place your review summary where you really want it.
One of the great benefits of this plugin, is the ability to use multiple rich snippet types. This allows for greater flexibility and provides a more tailored approach. The plugin is easy to use and has great support. You can also further expand upon the plugin by choosing from a range of addons that work perfectly in conjunction with it.
Unfortunately the power of multiple addons at your fingertips can become quite expensive. The more addons you purchase, the more it’s going to cost you. This however can be offset if you choose to buy yourself the Unlimited licence, which includes those addons for free as part of the package.
Price: Starts at $69
3. WP Product Review Pro Add On Bundle
The WP Product Review Pro Add On Bundle, takes all of the great features from its free version and then bundles them together with a new and improved offering. While the free version of the plugin only included the products widget, rich snippets, affiliate buttons, user reviews and pros/cons, the Pro Bundle adds a few more options to really make your reviews shine.
With the pro version bundle you don’t manually enter the pros/cons or features that need to be rated for each post, instead a simple and efficient tool has been built called the Pre-loader that lets you easily import the settings from other posts, in the same page using AJAX. Along with this, Pro users can make use of comparison tables, custom icons and shortcodes.
- Latest products widget. This handy widget comes bundled in with the package, enabling you to display your latest product reviews, without your readers having to hunt around for them.
- User reviews mean your users can submit their own reviews, adding a broader spectrum of opinions and thoughts on the product in question.
- Pros and Cons help to achieve a balanced and unbiased review.
- Affiliate button. Disguise ugly links and package them in a sleek and attractive button for your readers.
- Shortcodes. Display your review in posts or pages with handy shortcode, allowing more freedom to place your review summary where you really want it.
- Preloader lets you easily import the settings from other posts, in the same page using AJAX.
The benefit of the pre-loader it’s fairly easy to see. It saves you time with data input and looks great on the page. Shortcodes make it even easier to customize where you put your review box, while the plugin is easy to use too.
Some users may feel that the price doesn’t justify the small number of new features unlocked when purchasing. It’s certainly a lot to pay, when the free plugin provides most of the functionality.
Price: Starts at $59.99
This premium WordPress review plugin allows authors to review a product and add their favorite criteria by providing honest review of the product. Well integrated with WordPress Taqyeem has multiple features such as shortcodes, widget integration which can improve the interactivity and thus making the rating system much more appealing to the user end.
With the ability to add unlimited criteria items to the review table and to change the position of each criteria as you wish it’s easy to see why so many people enjoy using this plugin.
- Unlimited colors means you can coordinate your reviews with the style and branding of your website.
- Supports custom post types, allowing more flexibility in how your review posts are displayed.
- Typography options offers customization to the text of your reviews.
- 500+ Google web fonts is a relative goldmine of typographic styles. This means you no longer have to look like everyone else!
- Best, recent and random reviews widget offers more options for your readers on how they’d like to explore your reviews.
- Choose from 3 different review styles and make your review stand out more.
Taqyeem is an all in one plugin which is responsive, suitable for grid layout systems and for posts with 1/3rd or 1/2nd options. It has shortcodes and great SEO support for rich snippets with proper schema and microdata.
Unfortunately Taqyeem doesn’t provide a way to allow commentors to rate the criteria of the review, a feature which would be useful to many. There’s also no way you can make it so that it only appears on custom page templates and not all pages/posts.
It may be difficult to choose between the plugins on this list. Each has its own merits in their own way. While some are fit to bursting with options and features, others choose a simpler way to get the job.
Personally I tend to opt for the simple solutions, which is why my personal favorite is Author hReview. Despite its cool, sophisticated appearance, there’s a lot going on with this plugin that makes it one of the best, yet the end user doesn’t see this. Instead they see something professional, easy on the eye and effortless to navigate.