Have you ever wondered how to get the stars to appear under your adverts? In todays article I’m going to be showing you exactly how you can get your golden stars and help increase your CTR and conversion rates. The 5 golden stars that appear under ads in Google are know as Seller Rating Extensions.
Seller ratings are agregated by Google and can come from a veriety of thrid party review wesbite as well as Google checkout.
Reviews ratings are then disaplyed alongside your adwords adverts, which helps increase trust which is important as research shows that 61% of people online read reviews before making a purchasing decision.
Seller rating extensions were previously only available to ecommerce stores using Google checkout, however due Google now aggregating review from third party review sites, advertisers in other industries have been taking advantage of seller ratings to impove the performance of their campaigns.
Seller rating extensions help built trust because they are completely independent. Seller ratings are particually valuable if you don’t have much of a reputation yet online. Users are much more likely to click on your adverts if they see that previous customers have had a good expereience.
There is not charge for displaying seller ratings, you will be charged the normal CPC for clicks on your adverts. Searchers can click on seller rating extensions to verify the reviews and the advetiser will not be charged unless the ad headline is clicked.
Seller Ratings Case Studies
There have been several case studies conudcted into the effectiveness of seller ratings at improving the performance of Adwords accounts. Google themselve stated that adverts that disaplyed seller rating extensions got a 17% higher click-through rate on average.This means a 14.5% drop in CPC for exactly the same position.
When jellyfish implemented seller ratings for their client Ez landlord forms, they saw an increase in CTR of 8% over the following 2 weeks. When they also compated their data against the same time the previous year they also saw an increase in CTR when seller ratings were implemented.
When PPC Hero implemented seller ratings for their clients they saw an increase in click-through rate of 14% by comparing the data for their clickthrough rate from before and after seller ratings were implemented. They also noted that the higher the ratings the bigger the increase in click through rate.
trustpilot featured a case study of one of their clients rev.com who reported a 12% increase in conversion rate after implementing seller rating extensions. In this case they had over 2000 reviews with an average just under 5. They also noted an increase in conversion rate, however they did not state a figure for this increase.
Search star implemented seller rating extensions across their customer base and saw an increase in click-through rate for services of upto 30% and upto 20% for ecommece businesses. It does however make sense that service providers would get a greater increas in click throguh rate as seller rating extensions are generally underused and therefore make businesses stand out more.
Nancedmedia recently implemented review extensions in several of their clients accounts and saw an average increase in click-through rate of 14%. They also found that after seller rating extensions were added their conversion rate increased considerably by 25%. however they did state that there may have been other factors which could have increased their conversion rate.
How To Setup Seller Rating Extensions
To be eligble for you to show seller ratings you must meet the following criteria that is setout by Google.
- You must have at least 30 reviews wtihin the last 12 months. To see how many reviews you have search, google.com/shopping/seller?q=yoururl.com and replace yoururl.com with the name of your website
- For your seller ratings to show you must have a minimum rating of 3.5
- Seller ratings are only available on Google.com, Google.co.uk, Google.de, Google.fr and Google.nl and you must have at least 10 seller ratings in the users language
- Seller ratings are only eligble on the search network so your campaign type must be either “Search & Display Networks” or “Search Network only.
- You must be an advertsier that provides users with paid goods or services, or provided a marketplace that facilitates the sale of goods or services.
Once these criteria are met seller ratings will automatically be dispalyed alongside your adverts in google search.
Where do ratings come from?
There are 5 sources of seller ratings:
- Third party review websites. Examples of third party review websites that are approved by Google are feefo and Tustpilot. To view the full list of third party review websites that Google will aggregate reviews from to create their seller ratings ad extensions, please click here. There are currently 27 approved sites. This is the solution that we generally use with our clients.
- Seller ratings can come from Google certified shops which is a free program which is offered by Google which allows you to instill trust in visitors by promoting yourself as a google trusted website. Through this same system, users will be able to rate your online store after having purchased from you
- Seller ratings can come from Stellaservice which is an independent company that rates the customer service performance of compaines, however this is only avaibilable in the US at the moment. They have the option to provide users with quick and easy to fill surveys where they can rate your service.
- Seller ratings can come from Google customer surveys on your website, which is a platform that Google use to collect data for domains and businesses. By answering questions and rating your service you can get more feedback on your business.
- Shopping reviews for your shop domain
The one that we generally use for our customers here at Clicteq is reviews.co.uk as it is very afforable and has all of the basic tools that you need to generate new reviews, such as being able to send out bulk emails to previous customers and automated follow up emails after people have purchased your product or signed up for your service to ask for a review.
When you are getting started with independent reviews sites you will notice that there is some lag time between your reviews being your reviews being approved on a third party review website and Google indexing them. We have found that on average the lag time between the reviews being approved and them being indexed is around 3-4 weeks. So don’t get fustrated if they are not being shown immediatley just give it a few weeks for them to be filtered through.
How To Get At Least 30 Reviews
1. Ask current and previous customers to review you
One of the easiest ways to get your first few reviews is to ask your current and previous customers to write a review for you. Most good third party review sites will allow you to create a review form for your existing customers, you can then send out emails to cutomers to ask them to fill in your form.
Image source: Soluable fiber
If having to manually send out hundreds of emails sounds like too much hard work then there I would suggest either using mailing software such as mailchip who offer a free trial for lists of up to 2000 people.
You can just import your list of customers into there in csv format and let the software take care of the sending. Alternativly you can use the built in mailing software that your third party review provider has, if they have it.
If you are going to do this then I would suggest that you make sure that you remove any customers that you have had a bad expereince with from your list as you need to get as many 5 start reviews as possible.
To help you do this here is the email template that we use here at Clicteq for our clients. It works brilliantly and has helped us attract several hundred reviews for our clients.
Subject line – [insert name of customer here], your opinion matters to us.
Email copy –
Hi [insert name of customer here],
what did you think of our service? would you be willing to share your opinion with others?
Did we help? was our service what you were looking for or what you thought it would be? help other people just like you make the best decision by offering your own experience.
Simply click here to share your experience –> [link to review form to fill out]
[insert your name here]
If you you often speak with your clients one to one then it may be better calling them up and then asking them to write a review for you. This is a more personal approach and you are much more likely to get a response over the phone than you would if you just send out an email.
2. Setup automated emails to ask for reviews.
sending out emails to your exsting customers is a great way to get started, but you have to remember you need to have 30 reviews within the last 12 months, so you will need to maintain a steady stream of reviews to maintain the critera for your seller rating extensions to be shown.
A great way to do this is to send out automated emails to ask for reviews when people take certain actions such as purchasing a product on your website or signing up for your services. If you are going to use automated emails though you need to think about delaying them so that people have had time to expereience your product or services before submitting a review.
You could also look to add a short survey on your order confermation page and ask buyers to review their experence of making a purchase from you. As the customer has just make a purchase from you they are likely to give you a good review.
3. provide great customer service
Its no secret that providing great customer services is a must for getting lots of 5 star reviews and keeping your customers happy. Make sure that you always go above and beyond what is expected of you and you will be rewarded with great reviews.
The number one thing that you should definatley not do is post fake reviews. Not only is this unethical and bad business practice but Google is well equipt for spotting fake reviews
In conclusion seller rating extensions are a very effective way to quickly and easier increase both your conversion rate and CTR. In many sectors they are underused and by adding these 5 stars to your ads you will instantly stand out from your competitors.
Although there are 5 sources of reviews we generally use third party review platforms with out clients and the use the 3 strategies for generating more reviews to attract 30 reviews as quickly as possible. We have generally found that emailing is the most time effective method, however if you really want to boost your customer to review rate nothing beats getting on the telephone and asking for a review that way.