June 24, 2014
Ever wonder how to get those star ratings to show up under your ads in Google? Those star ratings are called Seller Ratings Extensions and in a digital shopping world where consumer feedback and ratings are king, seller ratings can help increase conversions, click through rate and conversion rates.
Below we will explore how seller ratings work, how to get started, performance trends and tips for improving performance.
How Seller Rating Extensions Work
Seller ratings are a form of a passive ad extension that shows consumer ratings and reviews for a particular business on the Google Search network and Search Partners. Google will automatically start showing the seller ratings once you’ve met the specified criteria. The ratings are matched up with the domain in the ad’s display URL with the domain from the review source. Since Google automatically enters qualified advertisers into seller ratings, there is no set up in AdWords and the only fee is the cost per click when someone clicks on the headline of your ad. Google does give you the option to opt out of the program by filling out this exclusion form.
Where Do These Ratings Come From?
Google currently gathers review data from Google Shopping, Google Trusted Stores and a list of independent review sites. These sites include Viewpoints, Shopper Approved, Reseller Ratings, Price Grabber, Trust Pilot and many more. Click here for a full list of independent review companies.
Even though Google Shopping is a review source, you do not have to have a merchant center account to become eligible for the program. Searchers can click on the seller ratings to verify the reviews and advertisers won’t be charged unless the ad headline is clicked. Seller Ratings can help increase the quality of conversions and conversion rate because the consumer is hopefully feeling more confident about purchasing your product.
How to Get Started
Seller Ratings are currently only available when searching on Google.com, Google.co.uk, Google.de, Google.fr, or Google.nl. Below are the items that must be met to earn the star ratings.
- Company needs at least 30 unique reviews in the past 12 months
- Have an average rating of at least 3.5 stars.
To check and see if your ads are eligible, enter your website name in the portion of the link that says “yoururl.com”
Once you’ve met the criteria, there can be a lag time of 2-3 days before they start showing.
Do Seller Ratings Work?
Tracking exact stats for seller ratings can be a bit challenging since there is no area in AdWords to view seller rating extension data. By monitoring before and after CTRs for a few of our clients, we’ve seen an immediate increase in CTR once seller ratings extensions have become eligible. Across these clients the average lift was 14%, with higher ratings leading to stronger improvements.
Along with improvements in CTR, we also saw conversions and conversion rates climb. For one e-commerce client, we saw conversion rates increase by 25% and conversions increase by 50% once seller ratings became eligible. While it is difficult to tell if Seller Ratings alone were the driving the factor for the spike in conversions, it’s clear that they did have a significant impact on performance.
Tips For Seller Ratings
Since we still have very little control over the Seller Ratings, there aren’t a lot of day-to-day optimizations that can be done. However, below are a few tips and best practices to help improve your seller ratings and help boost CTRs and CVRs.
- Keep your name and website consistent
- Use 3rd party companies listed above to help boost your reviews. Keep in mind these 3rd parties may charge monthly fees.
- Engage with your clients and be responsive.
- Encourage repeat consumers to review your business
Let us know how Seller Ratings worked for you and if you have any tips to share. Thanks for reading!