If you review products or services on your WordPress site then using a plugin to handle the scores which outputs rich snippets for the search engines can greatly enhance your SEO and click through rates in the search results. With rich snippets, your Google result looks like this :
As you can see, having the yellow stars next to your search listing makes it stand out and undoubtedly increases click-throughs to your site over a listing without one. If you would like to add product reviews with ratings to your WordPress website, there is a free plugin called WP Product Review which will do exactly that. The plugin comes with a free version and also a pro version for $19.99 which includes extra functionality.
Install The Plugin
Once you upload and activate the plugin, you will see a new menu item named "Product Review" which is where you can being configuring the plugin.
Within the options, you can choose "Rating Colors" - by default it is red for a weak rating, yellow for not bad, blue for good and green for very good - you can change this if you wish, its probably to keep the colors but tweak them to match your theme.
The "Typography" section you edit the font colors, "Pros" and "Cons" text color, "Pros" and "Cons" text, so you could change this to something like "Good Points" and "Bad Points" and you can change the review box border color and width.
Next up is the "Buy Button" options which lets you choose a color for the button, background and border color, whether to add a shopping cart icon and hover states.
The "General Settings" tab is where you can activate user reviews, choose an icon for the ratings, set your content width and choose whether the box appears before or after your content.
The final tab is "Upgrade to Pro" where you can purchase the $19.99 upgrade for pro features, it also gives you the option to use the preloader functionality if you display a "powered by link" on your review pages which links to the plugin.
Save all your options and you then move on to add your first review.
Adding a Review
To add a review post, create a normal blog post as usual entering the title and post content and then underneath tick the "Is This a Review Post" box and then rating options will then appear.
The first set of information to fill in is related to the product being review - you can enter the title, upload an image ( if none is uploaded it will use the featured image), affiliate button text, affiliate link and button text.
You can then give the product ratings between 0 - 100 in what ever areas you choose, once you have saved the first review and you are either using the pro version of have decided to include the link back to the plugin you can preload these options for your next reviews.
Finally you can enter the "Pros" and "Cons" for the product:
When you publish your review, this is how the rating box looks :
Free Version vs Pro version
The free version is completely usable as it is and will allow you to add reviews to your WordPress site with rich snippets, if you decide to upgrade to the pro version you get a few more features such as preloading pros and cons and product options, although you can enable these by displaying a link back to the creator's website. For $19.99 though the plugin is good value and will support the developer who plans to add more functionality such as direct Amazon integration.
This is a great plugin to add review functionality to your posts - I use a similar plugin on WPLift for theme ratings in our directory and the search results just look better with the star ratings next to them. The plugin is easy to setup and has good customization so you will be able to match it to most themes without any problems - I also liked the ability to use different icons for ratings. The actual review box that the plugin outputs on your posts is really well-designed and will be clear to your readers to get an overview of the review before they dive in and read the full article.
I highly recommend you check this plugin out if you already review products or are thinking of adding reviews to your sites - it should help your readers and increase search engine traffic.