Are your Google ads performing like they should?

A smart PPC and search network ads strategy can be an effective way to expand your brand reach and visibility in Google. But if those ads don’t include your Google seller ratings, you may be missing a golden opportunity to minimize spend and maximize text ad performance across the board.

Here’s a closer look at Google seller ratings, why they’re so important to search ads performance, and how you can put these automated extensions to work for your business.

WHAT ARE GOOGLE SELLER RATINGS?

In a nutshell, Google seller ratings represent the quality or final score of your online review presence. An automatic Google ads extension, seller ratings are featured as between one and five stars just below the display URL in Google ads, providing a cumulative ranking of your seller reviews/ratings across all trusted review platforms, including GMB, Yelp, TrustPilot and others.

Each Google seller rating also includes the number of reviews used to calculate the score and, in some cases, a qualifier (average delivery time, return policy, etc.). Qualifiers are determined by Google and displayed solely at the search engine’s discretion.

As a non-clickable automated ad extension, seller ratings can be added to your Google ads campaigns and featured in ads at no additional cost. And while it tends to be most popular among ecommerce companies, the seller rating extension is available to any business with a digital footprint.

WHERE DO SELLER RATINGS SHOW UP?

When activated, seller ratings show up as a component of Google ads in mobile and desktop searches. Not only that, but they can also show up in Google Shopping ads, providing a snapshot of your ratings just below one or more of your products.

THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOGLE SELLER RATINGS

Seller ratings provide a powerful boost to your Google ads and your online credibility, improving ad campaign performance while providing customers instant proof that your brand is worth their business.

Enabling seller ratings in your Google merchant center account allows you to:

MAKE A POSITIVE IMPRESSION THAT INSTANTLY BUILDS TRUST IN YOUR BUSINESS

Inserting positive Google seller ratings into your search ads strategy shows customers people trust and buy from your business. For those shopping online, it also helps underline your focus on service and your commitment to providing a quality customer experience.

ATTRACT QUALIFIED LEADS AT A CRUCIAL POINT IN THE BUYER’S JOURNEY

Adding seller ratings to your highest-ranking ads (or any paid ads) provides a compelling feature into your ads that motivated buyers find hard to ignore.

With a quality score and high star ratings featured front-and-center across the Google search network, ready-to-buy searchers have an even more compelling reason to take the next step.

INCREASE YOUR AD CLICK-THROUGH RATE WHILE LOWERING YOUR CPC

Each time you display seller ratings across your PPC ad campaigns, you immediately supercharge ad performance. Text ads that include a seller rating not only stand out, they also tend to compel action among buyers.

According to Google led shopping research, Google seller ratings can provide the jolt you need to increase click through rates by up to 10%, boosting ad effectiveness while reducing your overall cost-per-click (CPC).

GENERATE MORE TRAFFIC FOR YOUR WEBSITE

Of course, a higher click through rate means more visitors to your company website. And the more shoppers you have visiting your homepage or service offering, the more prospects you can ultimately funnel closer to the point of purchase.

Including positive seller ratings in your ads isn’t a guaranteed method for getting more sales. But it can help drive the buyer traffic you need to kickstart the process.

IMPROVE AD VISIBILITY AND REACH ACROSS SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS PAGES

Getting more click-throughs doesn’t just translate into higher rates of traffic. They also send critical ranking signals to Google about your ad’s quality and relevance.

As those Google seller ratings generate more clicks and strengthen those signals, they also increase your ad’s relevance and produce a higher quality score, major factors in reducing ad cost and increasing ad rank in search.

And as your ad rank is pushed higher on results pages, the more impact and reach it has across your intended audience.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GOOGLE SELLER RATINGS?

As I’ve shown, turning on these specific automated extensions can have potentially enormous benefits for your Google ads strategy. These include:

  • Adding instant social proof that markets positive reviews and increases consumer trust in your brand
  • Creating a compelling Google ad feature that attracts more qualified leads
  • Providing a boost to clickthrough rates that reduces ad costs
  • Generating more traffic and potential conversions to your website
  • Improving ad rank across important search engines and results pages

And now that I’ve highlighted the advantages of this vital Google customer reviews program, it’s time to show just how easy it is to get Google seller ratings out of hiding and in front of your customers.

HOW TO ENABLE THE GOOGLE SELLER RATING IN YOUR GOOGLE ADS ACCOUNT

Activating the Google customer reviews extension is fast and easy, allowing you to take advantage of this free program and advertise your seller rating and reviews in no time.

To start:

  1. Visit your Google ads account and select the correct ad campaign
  2. Find and click the “Ads & Extensions” tab in the left-side menu
  3. Click the “Automated Extensions” tab on the right
  4. Locate “Seller ratings” in the table below
  5. Enable the ratings feature

By now, the seller ratings automated extension should be on and ready to go.

MY GOOGLE SELLER RATINGS AREN’T SHOWING UP. WHY?

If you’ve enabled seller ratings, but they’re not appearing in ads, it’s most likely because you haven’t met Google’s rating requirements. Google displays seller ratings only after you’ve met the following criteria:

  • You’ve received more than 100 reviews (on Google-trusted review sites) in a specific country over the past year. This means all 100 reviews must be from shoppers within one given country.
  • Your reviews add up to a cumulative average score of 3.5 stars or higher for text search ads. Google Shopping has no such minimum.
  • Google or a trusted partner has performed a research evaluation of your company website.
  • Your display domain URL (likely your homepage URL) matches the domain Google has collected your seller ratings from.
  • Your website has been evaluated using the Google Consumer Surveys platform.

I’VE MET THE REQUIREMENTS, BUT I’M STILL NOT SEEING MY SELLER RATINGS

If you believe you meet Google’s seller ratings rules, but your reviews still aren’t showing up, it could be for one of the following:

GOOGLE NEEDS MORE TIME 

It can sometimes take the search engine up to six weeks to authenticate unique reviews and add them to your score. If you’ve just received reviews in just the past few days or months, it’s crucial to give Google a little more time.

YOUR REVIEWS ARE FROM MORE THAN ONE COUNTRY

A closer analysis of your customer feedback may show you don’t actually have enough reviews from the same national destination. When that’s the case, it may be time to ramp up your review management and refocus your efforts to collect seller ratings.

YOU NEED MORE RECENT REVIEWS

Google collects and calculates seller ratings that fall within a strict 12-month timeline. If a minimum of 100 reviews weren’t posted during the past 12-months, you may need to evaluate and reenergize how your business collects post purchase comments.

YOUR REVIEWS AREN’T RELEVANT TO YOUR ADS

It’s possible that some or even many of your reviews are irrelevant to what you’re advertising.

YOU CHOSE THE WRONG CAMPAIGN TYPE

Choosing the right ad display option (i.e., Search & Display Networks, Search Network with Display Select, Search Network Only) is key to ensuring Google shows seller ratings appear in your ads. Review your selection to make sure you’re taking the right approach.

YOUR AD RANKS TOO LOW

For whatever reason, Google will sometimes hesitate to show seller ratings in click ads that don’t rank high enough, even with the automated extension enabled.

YOUR REVIEW PRESENCE NEEDS IMPROVEMENT

Negative reviews from past customers may not be dominating your online review footprint, But there may be just enough to affect your Google ratings and push you below Google’s 3.5-star threshold. When that happens, your seller ratings will likely remain under wraps.

HOW DO I IMPROVE SELLER RATINGS?

The best way to improve Google seller ratings is to generate more positive customer insights across your online review footprint. Doing so provides Google positive feedback to factor into its overall ratings composite. In turn, this helps lift your ratings above the 3.5 minimum.

Whether it’s a global content marketing manager or a full team overseeing the process, there are a few simple things they can do to optimize review generation and put your ratings over the top.

HAVE A PROCESS FOR REQUESTING REVIEWS

Many customers aren’t always motivated to review their experience, even if it happened to take their breath away. Having a built-in process for requesting reviews from each customer can be a great way to encourage and generate feedback.

FOLLOW UP WITH BUYERS

A polite follow-up email immediately or shortly after the service is complete may be the nudge a customer needs to review your business. When doing so, be sure to make the reviewing process as hassle-free as possible.

SHARE AND PROMOTE POSITIVE REVIEWS WHENEVER POSSIBLE

Sharing positive user generated content and feedback across the web can motivate existing customers to leave their own. It also provides an excellent opportunity to link to company review portals and facilitate the review process.

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