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10 min read Tevya Washburn
Business | starfish.reviews | Apr. 22, 2020

Is Yelp Past Its Peak? Should You Invest in Yelp Review Marketing?

Lyn discusses the details of Yelp's rise and fall, including information about whether or not it's worth investing your time and energy into it as a platform.

Is Yelp Past Its Peak? Should You Invest in Yelp Review Marketing?

Business | starfish.reviews | Apr. 22, 2020

Yelp has had a rough few years, but 2018 was particularly ruthless. While the company’s Q4 2018 report showcased promising numbers, events that occurred in Q3 gave us a pretty good indicator of how things are going for the review platform. In this post, we wanted to examine this business’ shortcomings these past few years. Yelp is one of the largest review platforms on the web, and you’re probably tempted to invest a lot of time and money into it as a local business.
This is why we’re asking these two important questions: is Yelp past its peak, and more importantly, should you invest in Yelp review marketing?
Yelp’s Stock Plummets in Q3 of 2018
So, what exactly happened in the third quarter of 2018 that inspired a series of articles predicting Yelp’s eventual demise? Well, in an earnings call with investors, CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, along with a handful of executives, revealed Yelp’s revenue for the third quarter had fallen short of the company’s proposed outlook. He also stated the company expected to see the same results in the fourth quarter.
He explained the lack of revenue was caused by the company’s inability to acquire new customers

10 min read Tevya Washburn
Tutorials | starfish.reviews | 20 days ago

How to Get More Podcast Reviews on Apple Podcasts (Formerly iTunes)

Here's how you can get more reviews on Apple Podcasts for your podcast. More reviews = more listeners and increased awareness and audience.

How to Get More Podcast Reviews on Apple Podcasts (Formerly iTunes)

Tutorials | starfish.reviews | 20 days ago

Podcast reviews are important pieces of feedback you’ll receive on the platforms you choose to publish your show on, including Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes), Stitcher, and YouTube. They’re public forums listeners can use to rate and give their opinions on the shows they listen to. We’re going to cover a few different methods you can use to get more podcast reviews. First, let’s talk about why getting more reviews is important as well as what you can do to help your show succeed.
Why are Podcast Reviews Important?
Audience feedback has always controlled what gets noticed in pop culture. Record labels drop music artist’s albums that don’t sell. TV shows get cancelled if they don’t attract enough viewers. Digital forms of entertainment are no different.
You can cut out the gatekeepers, meaning radio stations and TV networks, that act as barriers on your road to success when you launch a podcast. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t change the fact that platforms like Apple Podcasts and Stitcher are controlled by algorithms similar to the ratings systems that control the TV shows, movies, songs, and books that make it into the mainstream.
Apple

5 min read Tevya Washburn
Plugins | starfish.reviews | Jan. 7, 2020

How Joe Casabona of the "How I Built It" Podcast Uses Starfish Reviews for One-Click Polling

Customer reviews are powerful tools for any podcaster or business owner - and getting feedback doesn't need to take up a lot of your time. Check out this brief explanation of how one podcaster uses the Starfish Reviews WordPress plugin to create one-click polling to get feedback from his listeners.

How Joe Casabona of the "How I Built It" Podcast Uses Starfish Reviews for One-Click Polling

Plugins | starfish.reviews | Jan. 7, 2020

We are always excited to hear from our customers about the creative ways they use Starfish Reviews to get feedback from their customers. Recently Tevya was on Joe Casabona’s podcast How I Built It talking about Starfish Reviews. During the podcast, Joe realized that Starfish had the perfect functionality for something he wanted to do to gather feedback from his podcast listeners. He ended up implementing it, and then made this awesome video explaining what he did. On Joe’s weekly How I Built It podcast, he features conversations with business owners and operators telling their stories. Normally he does 30-40 minute interviews, but recently tried a solo episode where he shared what he learned at a conference. Joe wanted to know whether or not his listeners liked the new format. He used Starfish Reviews to create a simple one click poll to get feedback from his listeners.
Simple Podcast Listener Polling & Feedback
Joe has listeners coming from Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher and other places. He wanted to make things as easy as possible for them to tell him whether or not they liked the new format. He put a simple question into the show notes – “Did you

10 min read Tevya Washburn
Business | starfish.reviews | Oct. 2, 2019

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Many WordPress plugin and theme developers struggle with how to respond when they get negative reviews. Here's how you can effectively respond and create positivity for yourself and the frustrated customer, from negative reviews.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Business | starfish.reviews | Oct. 2, 2019

You’ve worked hard to get your business going. You’re working even harder now that you’ve added online marketing to your overall marketing strategy. That strategy includes online reviews. Now, you’re working hard to build your online reputation. That’s why it can feel like the end of the world when you receive a negative review or several. Fortunately, your business’ reputation doesn’t need to hang in the balance every time a poor response comes your way.
By being prepared beforehand, you can navigate your way through any storm your business endures, including negative online reviews. That’s what we’re going to cover in this post.
Before we start, make sure you also check out our guide on how to respond to positive reviews, another important pillar of managing your online reputation.
Why You Need to Pay Attention to Negative Reviews
You may think positive reviews are the most important aspect of your business’ online reputation, and you’d be right for the most part. What you may not be aware of is how much negative reviews can impact your business. I don’t just mean the amount of business they scare away, either.

11 min read Tevya Washburn
Plugins | starfish.reviews | Apr. 14, 2020

5 Cool Ways to Customize Starfish Reviews That You (Probably) Didn't Know About

I cover 5 features in Starfish Reviews that can be super helpful to users, but are not well known. They can help with everything from review marketing emails to managing clients WordPress sites that use your license key as part of your services.

5 Cool Ways to Customize Starfish Reviews That You (Probably) Didn't Know About

Plugins | starfish.reviews | Apr. 14, 2020

Starfish Reviews is a powerful WordPress plugin for review generation. It’s got a lot of excellent features baked right in, and lots more coming in the near future (exciting stuff coming ya’ll!). But there are a number of cool features it already has, that aren’t as obvious. We get asked about these things a lot, so I figured I’d write a post highlighting some of the most useful items from our documentation, that you can’t easily do right from the Starfish Reviews interface. Here’s the cool customizations & features we’ll be covering:
1. Change the Design of Funnels with Custom CSS
Most websites are highly customized to match the branding, color scheme, and overall feel of the business or individual they’re representing. Your funnels’ design should be customizable too, right? That way they can match the rest of your site, or the page/post they’re embedded in using the shortcode.
Starfish Reviews funnels are easy to customize using Custom CSS. Here’s a few quick examples of custom CSS you can add to make your funnels your own. The easiest way to do this is add the following CSS snippets in the Customizer under “Additional

7 min read Tevya Washburn
Community | starfish.reviews | Nov. 13, 2019

4 Mental Health Habits Remote Workers Can Use Right Now

Here are 4 simple habits remote workers and their teams can start right now to improve their mental health.

4 Mental Health Habits Remote Workers Can Use Right Now

Community | starfish.reviews | Nov. 13, 2019

Working remotely can seem like a dream gig to an outsider. You don’t have a commute. You can work in your pajamas. You can travel the world. You don’t have to deal with annoying coworkers. What is there to complain about? The reality is that a lot of us who work remotely often feel anxious or depressed. While we might have the freedom to create our own schedule and work from anywhere, it’s easy to feel isolated. The problem is compounded for many of us as the weather grows colder so we’re inclined to be indoors more, and as the days grow shorter, providing less vitamin D and serotonin, a chemical that helps stave off anxiety and depression and is triggered by sunlight.
If you’re feeling depressed or anxious, it is important to seek professional care and support. While it may not be financially viable to engage in weekly counseling, if you have thoughts of harming yourself or you are unable to even get out of bed, it’s critical you see a professional who can get you the care you need.
Almost equally important to outside help are the daily habits you can establish to support your own mental wellness. More commonly known now as “self-care,”

9 min read Tevya Washburn
Business | starfish.reviews | Feb. 4, 2020

The 5-Step Process for Growing Your Business with Online Reviews

Small business owners need every advantage they can get to maximize marketing dollars. More and more people are learning to do this by marketing their online reviews. Want to know how you can do it to? Here are 5 easy steps you can follow to grow your business through online reviews.

The 5-Step Process for Growing Your Business with Online Reviews

Business | starfish.reviews | Feb. 4, 2020

Growing your business with online reviews is an important marketing strategy that should not be overlooked. Content marketing and advertisements are essential, but review marketing allows you to utilize the power of social proof to raise brand awareness and attract more customers to your business. In this post, we’re going to go over the five-step process you can use to grow your business with online reviews. It involves the following:
Step 1: Perfect Your Product and Service
This is where marketing for online reviews needs to begin. If you don’t have a good product or don’t offer fantastic customer service, you’ve got nothing. Customers won’t want to leave reviews, and the ones you do receive will be negative.
You’ll waste resources rebuilding your reputation all while spending more time and money figuring out how to fix your product and retrain your staff. If you put in that effort now, you’ll be rewarded with customers who become raving fans. These are the most valuable types of customers you can have as they’ll promote your business without being prompted.
Start by perfecting your product. If you start with customer service, you’ll

4 min read Tevya Washburn
Tutorials | starfish.reviews | Jul. 17, 2019

How to Get the Perfect Link to Ask for Google Reviews

Reviews are becoming a vital part of any online marketing strategy. Now Google has made it super simple to get the right link to use when asking your clients or followers for a review on Google My Business.

How to Get the Perfect Link to Ask for Google Reviews

Tutorials | starfish.reviews | Jul. 17, 2019

I’ve been going to write this post for a while now. I needed to take the time to put together a link generator to use in Starfish Reviews, or when otherwise asking for a Google My Business (and Google Maps) review. It was going to be like the one we have for Facebook reviews, making it much easier to get the URL correct. But it was an even more complicated process to get the exact, right URL, than with Facebook. In this (rare) instance, my procrastination paid off. Google just released a much easier way to get your Google My Business review link! Plus you’ll get a short-URL to use to link to your Google My Business listing for other purposes as well.
1. Get Your GMB Profile “Short Name”
This step is super easy. Just login to Google My Business, then click on your business listing. It will take you to the “Home” page for that listing. On this page, scroll down and look for the “Complete your listing” section on the page.
Next, click the “Add profile short name” link in that section to get started with getting your short URL. That will take you to the Info page and pop up the modal to get a new short name for your listing. We

10 min read Tevya Washburn
Business | starfish.reviews | Apr. 12, 2019

4 Ways to Turn Negative Reviews into Positive Marketing

Negative reviews don't have to be all bad. Lyn shares 4 ways you can turn those 1-star lemons into lemonade.

4 Ways to Turn Negative Reviews into Positive Marketing

Business | starfish.reviews | Apr. 12, 2019

Many businesses go out of their way to avoid receiving negative reviews. Some even have a poor approach when it comes to responding to such reviews. They’ll deliver canned responses, shift the blame to customers, and avoid correcting their own mistakes. Still, it’s perfectly okay for you to fret over negative reviews. After all, numerous studies have revealed data proving the importance of positive reviews and the influence they have on consumers. It’s only natural for a business to want to minimize the number of negative responses they receive.
It may surprise you, but negative reviews don’t need to be scary. It all boils down to the way you approach them.
In this post, we’re going to cover a few different ways you can turn negative reviews into positive marketing opportunities. First, let’s review why you shouldn’t sweat negative responses.
Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Negative Reviews
The world of business is a tumultuous battlefield that can be difficult to navigate without getting hit. It’s easy to become pessimistic about it all, especially negative reviews. Nevertheless, these types of reviews don’t need to lead to

10 min read Tevya Washburn
Business | starfish.reviews | May. 7, 2019

How to Create Your Online Review Marketing Strategy

Lyn explores the pillars of a solid review marketing strategy and what it takes to formulate one that's a strong asset to your business.

How to Create Your Online Review Marketing Strategy

Business | starfish.reviews | May. 7, 2019

What does your current approach to reviews look like? Do you simply provide great products and services and hope it’ll be enough to persuade customers to take action when they’re satisfied? What about negative reviews? Do you incorporate them into your customer service strategy, or do you go on the defense whenever you receive one? You may not realize it, but every aspect of marketing can be strategized. That includes review marketing. That’s why in this post, we’re going to cover everything you need to know to create your own review marketing strategy.
The Five Pillars of Online Reviews
Consumers are more connected now than ever. At any moment, a local customer can whip out their phone, input a search term related to your industry in Google, and find out everything they need to know about your business without ever visiting your website (at least that’s how they see it).
One thing customers have instant access to are reviews, especially your average rating. This is just one example of the importance of online reviews and how they can make or break your business. In fact, according to BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey for 2018, 86% of consumers

6 min read Tevya Washburn
Business | starfish.reviews | Dec. 3, 2019

How Local Business Ratings on Google Maps Increase Traffic and Sales

We all know online reviews affect our business. But do you know how positive reviews drive traffic to your business? This brief article explains how.

How Local Business Ratings on Google Maps Increase Traffic and Sales

Business | starfish.reviews | Dec. 3, 2019

As a local business owner you’ve surely heard about how important online reviews are for your business. You know online reviews influence consumer decision making. Of course, the importance of reviews didn’t start with the Internet. “Word of mouth marketing” has always been important—whether getting restaurant recommendations from family or tips on a great salon or dentist from a friend, we all lean heavily on others’ opinions when choosing where to take our business. This is called “social proof.” The Internet exponentially expanded word of mouth marketing. In the past, the information you could gather on a business was limited to the people you knew. Now, thanks to online reviews, customers can access social proof in the form of dozens or even hundreds of opinions about your business. And they are making decisions based on what they read.
A recent survey by Bright Local showed that 68% say a positive review makes it more likely they will choose a business and 40% say a negative review makes it more likely they will not want to use a business.
So What? Does Review Marketing Really Matter?
A local business owner may wonder “So what?

12 min read Tevya Washburn
Plugins | starfish.reviews | Sep. 13, 2018

The Best Premium WordPress Plugins to Display Your Business Reviews

Lyn reviews WP Business Reviews and WP Review Slider premium plugins for displaying reviews on your WordPress website. See how they stack up against each other.

The Best Premium WordPress Plugins to Display Your Business Reviews

Plugins | starfish.reviews | Sep. 13, 2018

Running a business is one of the most tedious feats you can attempt to accomplish in life. First, you need a product or service to sell and someone to sell it to, which can mean countless hours of building, product testing, and getting a website or brick-and-mortar store set up. Then, after all that, you need to worry about marketing your business so you can actually attract customers and start earning revenue. Unfortunately, marketing is a multi-step process that can be expensive and cumbersome to set up. It’s easy to overlook, but reviews actually play an important role in a business’ marketing strategy. In this post, we’re going to take a look at two WordPress review plugins that allow you to import reviews you’ve received from various platforms and showcase them on your WordPress site. We’ll be taking a look at the features they offer, how easy they are to use, their pricing structures and more.
EDITOR’S NOTE: we were originally going to include a set of three premium plugins from Rich Plugins (that combined provide similar functionality to the ones below) in this review. However, after initially saying they’d provide us with their plugins

9 min read Tevya Washburn
Security | starfish.reviews | Oct. 10, 2019

Rich Reviews Plugin is Now Secure & Part of the Starfish Family

Rich Reviews was the subject of lots of press recently as a known-vulnerability was being actively exploited to infect WordPress sites with malware. Starfish Reviews decided to adopt the plugin and issue a security update, as the original developers had ended all development over a year prior and had not fixed the known vulnerabilities.

Rich Reviews Plugin is Now Secure & Part of the Starfish Family

Security | starfish.reviews | Oct. 10, 2019

Starfish Reviews has adopted the Rich Reviews plugin and released version 1.8 with security fixes. This article will cover the timeline of events as to how that all unfolded and the current state of Rich Reviews. It is not intended as a comprehensive security explanation. The articles linked to cover that in detail. Highlights: Security Vulnerabilities were originally discovered and disclosed in 2017. Some minor ones were resolved at the time. A Major vulnerability remained.
Remaining major vulnerabilities were actively exploited to infect WordPress websites with malware, Sept 2019.
Starfish Reviews adopted the plugin 2 weeks ago.
Today Rich Reviews 1.8 was released! It is fully patched, partially re-written, and secured. Security is the #1 focus of this release.
All sites with Rich Reviews installed should update to version 1.8 or above.
Conception & Early Days
The Rich Reviews plugin was originally released in January 2013. It was conceived by Nuanced Media but developed by the seemingly now defunct Foxy Technology. They actively developed and maintained the plugin over the years, including adding new features. At some point Foxy stopped being involved in development of the plugin.

9 min read Tevya Washburn
Business | starfish.reviews | Sep. 25, 2019

The 5 Most Important Strategies for Marketing with Online Reviews

Here's some of the most valuable ways you can use online reviews for marketing your WordPress business or business website that runs on WP.

The 5 Most Important Strategies for Marketing with Online Reviews

Business | starfish.reviews | Sep. 25, 2019

Online reviews have become one of the most effective ways to market a business online, especially local businesses. Even so, they’re one of the most arduous aspects of business due to their overpowering ability to make or break your success. However, once you’ve worked hard enough to earn plenty of positive reviews, you can start using them to market your business and build a strong reputation for your brand.
In this post, we’re going to cover five different ways you can market your business using online reviews. First, let’s go over how online reviews help your brand in today’s marketing environment.
How Do Online Reviews Help Your Brand?
According to the Pew Research Center, 82% of adults in the United States read online reviews before buying new products. Furthermore, according to BrightLocal, 86% of consumers in 2018 read online reviews for local businesses, including 95% of people aged 18-34. This survey also found that 91% of consumers aged 18-34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
These stats demonstrate the importance of social proof and how it can affect your business. Social proof is the tendency we have to change our behavior

9 min read Tevya Washburn
Plugins | starfish.reviews | Jan. 21, 2020

Starfish Reviews' 2019 Year in Review

2019 was the best year yet for Starfish Reviews and we have a lot in store for 2020! Check out some of our highlights, lowlights, and our goals to continue as the best review generation plugin on WordPress.

Starfish Reviews' 2019 Year in Review

Plugins | starfish.reviews | Jan. 21, 2020

As we move into the New Year, it’s good to take a moment and look back at the road that got us here. 2019 was the best year for Starfish Reviews so far, and we wanted to share some of the highlights with you. It was a year of growth, new customers, lessons learned, and finding more ways to add value for our users and their businesses. Growth: Revenue & New Users
Total revenue for 2019 was $16,874. This is approximately a 380% increase over 2018. It’s approximate, because we switched from WooCommerce to Freemius early in 2018, so our numbers may be missing some revenue at the beginning of that year.
The number of active sites using our plugin grew by more than 118% in 2019. Thank you! More and more small business owners, podcasters, authors, and online marketers are discovering the power of reviews and using Starfish Reviews to help them do it.
Check out our case-study on how Spray ‘n Coat leveraged happy customers to generate more reviews and more satisfied employees. Let us know how you use Starfish Reviews – we’d love to feature you on our blog.
Hosting & Partnering with Kinsta
After a year of record growth we knew we needed a hosting service

4 min read Tevya Washburn
Business | starfish.reviews | Aug. 7, 2018

How to Create the Perfect Link to Ask for Facebook Reviews

Linking to the reviews tab of your Facebook page doesn't work as you might expect. I wrote this guide to get the perfect URL for asking for reviews on Facebook.

How to Create the Perfect Link to Ask for Facebook Reviews

Business | starfish.reviews | Aug. 7, 2018

So you want to get more Facebook reviews, huh? Whether you’re sending a message on Facebook messenger, posting on Facebook, or sending out an email to all your clients or subscribers, it’s simple, right? You just send them to the reviews tab like this: https://www.facebook.com/StarfishWP/reviews/, right? Facebook’s Review Linking Problem
Not so fast! Whether using our plugin or sending people directly to your Facebook page, you want to make it as simple and easy as possible for them to leave a review, right? Well, if you send them a link like the example above, users who are logged-out of Facebook won’t arrive at the right place! Check our what they’re going to see:
It’s confusing, right? Not only that, using either of those options will not take them back to your reviews page after they login. Another Facebook failure…. Here’s where they will be taken:
If they use the normal, top-right login (#1), they’ll just end up on their normal feed, with nothing to do with your page at all!
If they use the “Log In” button at the bottom (#2), they’ll be taken to your page, but not the Reviews section, where you want them