Shoppers rely on ratings when deciding where and how to spend their money online. In fact, 88 percent of people 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 on shopping ads, and they are featured prominently. Listings without them look incomplete and less compelling when displayed beside listings with a rating.
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Product Ratings Vs. Seller Ratings
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 products ratings are specific to products.
Product Reviews help with SEO and with on-site conversion. Seller Reviews help with building credibility, trust and standing out from your competitors.
Why should you have Product Ratings?
Product Ratings make your listings in Google Shopping stand out but they also help you build trust with potential customers, improve your visibility in search, and increase on-site conversions.
And there is tons of research to back this up:
- 72 percent of people will only make a buying decision after they have they have read a positive product review and rating.
- Reevoo found that product reviews and ratings can increase sales by 18 percent.
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 so 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.
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 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, they help you win the click, and they help you increase sales.