The Ask Phase: The Missing Link in Your Funnels

How to optimize a funnel phase everyone forgets and no one talks about: the Ask phase.

Marketing Partner


Business Partner


Business Partner


The article you're reading is edition No. 6 of our Growthletter, the newsletter where we publish advanced ecommerce strategies every week


In today’s article, I want to discuss the missing link in your funnels.

Indeed, there’s a funnel phase everyone forgets and no one talks about: the Ask phase.

I often see marketers planning strategies based on the classic funnel models.

Remember, a funnel is only a framework.

A framework is an attempt to simply represent a very complex reality.

A framework is an attempt to simply represent a very complex reality.

This is a phrase that those working in digital should firmly remember.

When we use a framework, we are simplifying and losing pieces.

This isn’t necessarily bad.

But only if we evolve our frameworks as reality evolves.

In 2022, people’s behaviors aren’t linear but involve numerous touchpoints.

One of the most important touchpoints nowadays is the Ask phase.

But let me explain better…

Imagine you’re getting to know a new brand.

You visit the website… the products seem very interesting and right for you.

However, before making a purchase, you ask yourself questions, usually:

  • “Is this brand reliable?”
  • “Are the promises written here actually true?”
  • “How did other people who purchased feel about it?”

The answers to these questions are the missing link between the consideration phase—where you evaluate the product—and the purchase phase.

Providing positive answers to these questions is what makes the difference between a sale or a lost user.

WARNING: Reviews on an ecommerce site aren’t enough to answer these questions.

In various usability tests we’ve conducted, as well as in several research studies (including one by Baymard), it has emerged that users are aware that reviews on an ecommerce can be edited and/or omitted to only show positive ones.

So, users don’t rely solely on our site’s reviews to answer their questions.

So, what do people do when they have a question?

Obviously: they go to Google!

They usually search for “ECOMMERCE NAME reviews” or “Is ECOMMERCE NAME reliable?”

What appears on the search results page will likely determine whether the user trusts you or not.

The reason is simple: in the eyes of the average user, these are third-party results, so they’re more truthful than reviews on your ecommerce.

What they don’t know is that there are various strategies to manipulate this results page.

In today’s email, I’ll explain 6 strategies we use with our partners to optimize the Ask phase and convert most undecided users.

Buckle up, let’s get started.


Create a “Reviews” page on your site and work with SEO to rank it for keywords like “NAME reviews”, “Is NAME reliable?”, “NAME opinions”…

If you do a good job, this page will probably rank in the first position.

So, it can attract most people in the Ask phase.

Therefore, it must be optimized to be as effective as possible.


I recommend applying these three strategies:

1) Show video reviews first, then those with photos, and finally those that are text-only.

2) Display as much information as possible about the reviewer (name, surname, photo, age, job title, etc.)

3) Also show negative reviews and use a widget to highlight them.


Users find reviews more reliable when there’s a mix of positive and negative reviews (Google says the same).

That’s why you should proudly show your negative reviews, so it doesn’t give the perception that everything is fabricated.

(of course, in the right proportions compared to positive ones)

In the image below, we can see two ways of showing reviews:

The method above is the solution most often seen but can create the “fake reviews” effect.

The method below can work much better because it clearly showcases all reviews, including negative ones.


At first glance, a user can see how the reviews are distributed and get the impression they are impartial.

If desired, they can even click to see all the “1-star” reviews to understand the negative aspects.


Negative reviews are never easy to digest…

But seeing them in this light also helps to stress less when receiving them, in addition to making social proof more real.


BONUS TIP: always respond to negative reviews showing regret and readiness to solve any issue that may have arisen.

It’s an additional plus in the eyes of users.



Create a Google Ads ad for keywords like “NAME reviews”, “Is NAME reliable?”, “NAME opinions”…

Users generally stop at the first 2-3 results…

Owning the first result, even if paid, is an excellent strategy to direct a good portion of users where we want them.

You can direct people to the Reviews page we talked about in Strategy 1.

Or you can directly sponsor the page of review sites like Trustpilot or Feedaty.

For some of our partners, where we have many excellent reviews, we send directly to Trustpilot.

Being an external platform, it generates more trust when viewed by the e user.



Insert video testimonials of your brand/product on YouTube.

Google now also shows video ads in the SERP, as it’s a format many users prefer.

Showing video testimonials is truly one of the best strategies.

Some tips to optimize this strategy:

– Use different YouTube channels. Don’t use your ecommerce’s YouTube channel but create different external profiles. Remember: if the opinion is from a third party, users who see it will trust it much more.

– Optimize video titles for SEO. Use titles like

ECOMMERCE NAME: my review.

Is ECOMMERCE NAME reliable? Sharing my experience

ECOMMERCE NAME review. 5 stars all around!

– Create collaborations with YouTubers who review products. It will help make your product seem even more valuable.



Collect reviews on portals like,,,,, …

Start by analyzing the ads that appear when people search for reviews of your ecommerce.

If you have an established brand and/or an ecommerce active for some time, likely, over the years, various reviews will have been collected on these portals.

In portals where the average review is below 4 stars, I recommend you intervene.

In this case, you should direct some of your users to leave positive reviews on these portals.

So you can raise the average score.

If your ecommerce is not yet present, I recommend working right away on Trustpilot.

Indeed, Trustpilot is the brand with the best trust in the user’s eyes and is also the site that usually ranks highest in search results.



Also collect reviews on your Facebook page.

Reviews on the Facebook profile can also appear in search results.

You can consider starting to collect reviews here too.

If you have a decent number of reviews, it can rank in search results, besides being an excellent touchpoint with people visiting your page.


Create a PR and Advertorial strategy.

Finally, you should create a Digital PR strategy to position your brand on industry magazines, blogs, and websites.

A positive opinion from an authoritative source is an excellent touchpoint.

You can also invest in Advertorials.

An advertorial is a commissioned (thus paid) article on a specific journalistic outlet or industry blog.

Now that we’ve seen the 6 strategies for optimizing the Ask phase of your ecommerce, I want to give you two successful examples.

Here’s the work done with Be Your Bag:

What you see above is the result for the search “Be Your Bag Reviews”.


Let’s analyze point by point what the user sees:

1) Our indexed reviews page.

2) Reviews on Facebook.

3) 3 videos between YouTube and Facebook

4) An external article that talks about us in-depth.

5) The Pinterest board with various UGC photos.

Any user entering the Ask phase on Google will find only confirmations of what they’ve seen on the site, many reviews, and the brand’s authority.

Let’s analyze another very interesting example, that of Magic Spoon.

Here too, we can notice several interesting things:

1) A NY Times article ranked in the first position, speaking very highly of it (likely an advertorial).

2) Common questions about the product. Here too, in most cases, blog articles and journalistic outlets that speak well of the product appear.

3) Amazon reviews. Another very interesting channel to cultivate if you also sell there.

4) Reviews of the Facebook page.

5) As many as 3 video reviews by YouTubers talking about the product.

6) And in 6th position, the reviews page on their ecommerce.

You can see from these results that Magic Spoon has done an excellent job with Digital PR.

You can learn a lot simply by analyzing these pages.

An exercise I recommend is to search for “BRAND NAME + reviews” and see the results that appear.

You can find many useful ideas for your Ask phase.


Congratulations on making it to the end.

Now you have all the tools to work on the missing link in your funnel 💪


Wishing you good growth,


we wave, you grow

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