Shoppers rely on ratings when deciding where and how to spend their money online. In fact, 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. And 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Why are they so important and what can you do to get them?
Product ratings appear on products listed in Google Shopping, and they are featured prominently. Listings without them look incomplete and less compelling when displayed beside listings with a rating.
A combination of Google merchant reviews and product ratings can boost your CTRs by 35% and 107% respectively. There's no denying that Google Product Ratings come with many benefits but getting them is just half the battle.
Take a closer look at our article and get through this maze with us! Since then, the Google Product Ratings will no longer be a puzzle for you.
Table of Contents
What Google Product Ratings Are and How They Work
What are Google Product Ratings
The star-ratings that appear under product listings in Google Shopping is as we all know called Google Product Ratings.
The rating range is 1 to 5 and gives a general overview of the product’s performance. Here, the reviews are related only to a product but not to the seller. Occasionally, they are also shown in organic search results.
Clicking on the Product Rating you are taken to a more in-depth product page. From this more insightful spot, you have access to full ratings and reviews.
What is more important, from there you can also check the list of merchants bidding on the item, along with information such as pricing, offers, and Seller Ratings.
Product Ratings Vs. Seller Ratings
Seller Ratings and Product ratings may look similar and they might even seem confusing. But they play very different and equally important roles.
- Product Ratings on Google Shopping work on a five-star rating system and apply to individual products.
- Google Shopping also displays seller ratings for qualifying merchants, but these are different from product ratings.
- Seller ratings apply to your business overall, while product ratings are specific to products.
- Google seller ratings give a score to a brand. They are based on customer reviews from Google and a range of other review platforms, like Trustpilot or PowerReviews.
- Seller rating appears as the result of organic search but also Google Ads search and Google Shopping listings.
- Product Reviews help with SEO and with the on-site conversion. Seller Reviews help with building credibility, trust and standing out from your competitors.
How do Product Ratings work
Reviews for the product are gathered and combined by algorithms from multiple retailers, marketplaces and third-party review sites. It happens because of globally used unique product identifiers. We talk here about GTINs, Brand, MPN or product URLs.
The result depends on a query. If it is more-specific, including brand, color or model the Product Ratings will be aggregated from reviews you and you only have collected for that product, be it through Google Customer Reviews, on your own site, or with a third-party review partner.
If a search is generic the list of results will be shown with ratings only where applicable. Merchants selling some particular models can be located by clicking on the individual listing.
One of the most important factors to consider when setting up product ratings on Google Shopping, and creating your feed, is product matching.
This is where Google matches the products in your feed to other products using industry-standard identifying information.
Including product identifying information will help improve your search results as well as matching product ratings.
This is because Google will have a better understanding of the exact products you sell and therefore will show them in relevant searches.
Google matches products via two methods:
- GTIN - GTIN stands for Global Trade Item Number. It is a unique number that is assigned to products so they can be matched up in various databases.
- The brand of the product plus its MPN - MPN stands for Manufacturer Part Number.
Ideally, you should include all three identifiers in your feed: GTIN, Brand, and MPN.
Benefits from Google Product Ratings
72 percent of people are willing to make a purchase decision relying on product reviews and ratings only. And a single business review can lift its conversions by 10%. This is the way to build trust between prospects and your business. You can improve your visibility in search, and increase on-site conversions.
However, the benefits of having product reviews on your own site a bit differ from the perks of Google Product Ratings.
- Product exposure and visibility
Opinions influence us all. We are more likely to look at a product with high ratings. A good product score will put your business first among the competitors. It is clear that if a listing has many positive reviews, it will be easier for you to sell cause it’s more visible and reliable for customers.
- On-site conversion
We can assume that shoppers visiting your site by clicking on Google Product Ratings are at the final stage of their buyer’s journey. So their intent to make a purchase is high intent when they arrive on your site.
Their intent is also strengthened by trust and confidence built by insightful reviews and high score gathered. This equation leads only to more sales and profits.
- Well informed shoppers
Reviews often contain valuable information that could make or break a sale.
Customers who know more about the product are also less likely to be disappointed. It's why 78% of buyers who read reviews are satisfied with their final purchase.
Customers with bigger knowledge are a straight way to trust in your product and increased conversions.
Maximizing the Benefits from Product Ratings
There are a number of things you should consider so you get as much benefit from Product Ratings on Google Shopping as possible.
- Encourage your customers to leave reviews.
You won’t qualify for Product Ratings if you don’t have enough reviews but there is an even more compelling reason for trying to get as many as possible – consumers trust ratings based on large numbers of reviews more than ratings based on small numbers of reviews.
- Don't aim for five stars reviews only.
52 percent of people trust products with some negative reviews and low ratings more than products that only have good reviews and high ratings.
Customers want ratings that appear genuine. A five-star rating can actually hurt your sales. The optimum rating is actually 4.7, i.e. products with a rating of 4.7 get more conversions than products with a rating of 5.
This is because consumers understand that five-star ratings are usually only found on products that have few ratings (often left by people connected to the company or product in some way). A rating of around 4.7, however, appears more genuine.
- Add Seller Ratings
As well, as it can boost the effectiveness of Product Ratings. The requirements for qualification are different, but Seller Ratings can improve the quality of your listings even further.
How to Add Product Ratings to Your Listing Ads?
Comply with requirements
Product ratings are eligible to show anywhere in the world where Google Shopping is currently available.
However, there are some country restrictions when it comes to displaying product ratings on Google Shopping ads and they only appear on ads in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
For ratings to show on the products you list on Google Shopping, you must have at least 50 reviews for all your products. Every product must have at least 3 reviews to show on Shopping Ads.
Website reviews vs third party review aggregators
You can decide whether you want to collect the reviews through your own online store or use a third party review aggregator service.
The advantage of using a third party review aggregators as opposed to collecting the reviews on your hosted platform is a higher authority level and the disadvantage is that it has an associated cost.
The official list of third party review aggregators includes:
- Trusted Shops
- Verified Reviews
Submit your product rating review feed
After gathering the reviews you need to complete a form to sign up for Product Ratings. Once accepted, you have to submit product reviews to Google Shopping.
If the review feed comes from your website you can upload it to your Google Merchant Center account. If you instead use a third party aggregator you don't need to upload it yourself, but Google will pull your feed directly.
Keep in mind that you have to submit a new feed at least once a month. If you don't, product ratings may stop appearing on your products.
It All Comes Down to Building Trust
One of the most important elements of successfully selling products online is winning the trust of consumers. You have to convince them your product and your business can deliver on their expectations.
Product Ratings on Google Shopping help you do this as without them, customers may not even visit your website, i.e. they will click on a link for one of your competitors that do have Product Ratings.
In other words, Product Ratings help you appear on Google Shopping searches and win the click to increase sales.