Improve SEO and PPC with Google Star Ratings

People trust Google Star Ratings. Seen as objective and credible, Google Star Ratings help people understand the likely experience they’ll receive from the product or service. Which is why whether your rating is high or low or whether you have a rating or not can impact click-through rates and ultimately conversions and sales.

Here are some stat’s compiled by Bright Local about online reviews for you to think about:

How Does Google Determine Star Ratings?

The star rating is compiled by Google from ‘trusted’ resources, that is, whichever review sites Google deems to be trustworthy based on criteria set by Google. What that criteria is—is unknown. Google keeps its algorithm under tight wrap. However, it likely comes from reviews on sites like Yelp, Google My Business and so on.

How Are Google Star Ratings Displayed?

There are basically two ways Google displays its star ratings and that’s through their organic search results and through advertising.

Star Ratings and SEO

Google Star Ratings are displayed through rich snippets within the SERP:

Or on knowledge panels in the SERPs:

Of course, Google just doesn’t add the star rating to your rich snippets, you have to tell Google to add a star rating. Recently, Google announced a change in their review schema, which limits the types of reviews that are given, for example, books, courses and events as well as removing “self-serving” reviews. In this case, what they mean by “self-serving” is if you’re a local business or organization and your review is about you and it’s appearing on your website, they will not display the results (notice though in the image above that the reviews of Search Warrant Online Marketing, which were collected through our Google My Business profile, are still being taking into account for our Google Star Rating on the knowledge panel). Google will simply ignore reviews that it deems as self-serving, but this also doesn’t mean you should take down the reviews on your website. These reviews on your website can still impact conversions and sales.

Star Ratings and PPC

As mentioned in the beginning of this blog post, people trust star ratings. So, we highly recommend that for Google Ads, you enable the Seller Ratings Ad Extension and let Google Star Ratings appear on your ad (of course, only if your star rating is 4 out of 5 stars or better).

We’ve used these whenever possible because we’ve found they’ve had a positive impact on our click-through rates. For someone who is in-market for a product or service, the addition of this extension could be the difference between you or your next best competitor gaining a new customer.

We think you might also enjoy reading Why Invest in Getting Online Reviews? and How to Use Online Reviews for Paid Search.

Google is always changing their search algorithm. It’s a lot to keep up with, which is why we’re here for you. Contact Us.