Written by Caroline Cox on Mar 17 , 2020

This ad extension could be the key to boosting your CTR & more

Here, you’ll find:

  • Why ratings and reviews matter 
  • How to garner more reviews for your brand
  • Steps to add reviews to your paid search ads
  • Common missteps to avoid

Across industries, it seems like new brands and products crop up every day. Because of this, ratings and reviews have quickly become one of the top ways customers determine which offering might be right for them.

Data from the Content Marketing Institute and SmartBrief show that one-to-one peer recommendations, original research, and product reviews are the most influential content in affecting purchase decisions. 

Looking to amp up your paid search performance? Adding reviews and ratings to your ads might be just the ticket.

Using reviews and rating in ads can help your business gain trust and credibility with your target audience.

Using reviews and rating in ads can help your business gain trust and credibility with your target audience. (Image via Unsplash)

What are the benefits of using reviews and rating in ads?

Using reviews and ratings in your ads can be a highly effective way to make your brand stand out from competitors. Think about it: You’re searching for a particular product or service. There are ads that explain what each brand offers, then there’s an ad with 5 out of 5 stars and a glowing customer testimonial. Which one is likely to catch your eye?

Another benefit of using reviews and rating in ads is how it can help your business gain trust and credibility with your target audience. Nearly 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase, according to Spiegel Research Center. They also report that displaying reviews can increase your conversion rates by a whopping 270%. 

Pro tip: Ads with extensions are charged just like normal ads clicks, so don’t worry about paying extra.

How do I add seller reviews and ratings to ads?

Google allows you to collect feedback from customers who have purchased a product or service from your site through their free Google Customer Reviews service. Alternatively, Google explains seller ratings as an automated extension type showcasing advertisers with high ratings.

While the Google Customer Reviews service takes reviews customers leave on Google, they work with other reputable review sites like Trustpilot and G2 to aggregate those reviews for inclusion as well. And, since different sites use different metrics, Google rescales the ratings on a scale of 1-5 to compare reviews from different sources more easily, according to Trustpilot.

HawkSEM: Using Ratings & Reviews in Google Ads

Pro tip: You don’t need to have a Google Merchant Center account or Google Shopping ads running to use seller ratings extensions on Google’s Search Network. And if you no longer want seller ratings to show with your ads? Simply remove the extension.

Since this service is automated, you don’t need to do anything special to set it up after activating the extension. You do, however, need to meet certain qualifications before your reviews will show up, which brings us to…

What are the guidelines when it comes to reviews and rating in ads?

For ratings to show up in your Google Ads text ads, you must have an average composite rating of at least 3.5 (though Google Shopping can show seller ratings of less than that). Also, the ad’s visible URL domain must match the domain connected to the respective ratings. 

For seller ratings to show up in paid search ads on Google, they must meet one of these Google requirements in each country the ad is to be shown in:

  • At least 100 unique reviews for the country submitted within the last 12 months via Google Customer Reviews or a third party review partner
  • Google or one of its partners has completed a research evaluation of your site
  • Google has evaluated of your site via Google Consumer Surveys

Things that could keep your seller ratings from being visible, along with there being no guarantee your ads show at all, include not meeting the minimum seller requirements, not having enough information for your business online, and having invalid or incorrect URLs as they relate to your reviews.

How do I get more ratings and reviews for my business?

It’s no secret that more reviews can result in increased sales, better rankings, and more revenue for your business. The trick is getting them! 

There are a handful of different ways you can attract more ratings and reviews for your brand online. For starters, you can look into creating an email campaign. This campaign can be sent out to all of your clients, or can be segmented by those who meet a certain requirement, like a high average Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is a management tool that helps companies gauge the loyalty and happiness of a customer.

Request for these recipients to leave you a rating on Google or the review site of your choice. You can also bake these requests into your phone calls with customers, or include the ask in your email signature. Just make sure you link to the actual place for the person to leave the review to increase the likelihood that they’ll actually follow through.

Pro tip: While asking for reviews is perfectly acceptable, make sure not to fall into “bribery” territory by asking for or offering an incentive in exchange for a positive review. You can, of course, engage with those who leave bad reviews and request they update them once their issue (if there is one) has been solved. Just don’t badger, demean, or attempt to bribe them to do so.

HawkSEM: Using Ratings & Reviews in Google Ads

Experiment with creative ad copy, consistent testing, and other relevant extensions like those for location, price, and promotion. (Image via Unsplash)

When should I not use ratings and reviews in ads?

Reviews and ratings can be a great way to stand out against your competitors — unless theirs are higher. If you’re hovering around 3.75 stars while your competition is displaying 5 out of 5, you might want to remove the extension until you’ve increased your score.

This doesn’t mean your ads won’t stand a chance. While you aim to amp up your reviews, you can still work on beating out or similar brands in other ways. For instance, experiment with things like creative ad copy, consistent testing, and other relevant extensions like those for location, price, and promotion.

Pro tip: You can check out your company’s seller rating profile (if applicable) by going to: https://www.google.com/shopping/ratings/account/lookup?q={yourwebsite}.

The takeaway

Including your company’s ratings and reviews in your PPC ads can be just the boost you need to up your clickthrough rate (CTR) and performance. It’s a simple way to make your paid search ads eye-catching, while showing your target audience that your brand is credible and trustworthy.

By meeting the proper requirements, staying on top of customer service, and ensuring your offering is high quality, you’ll garner reviews worthy of showing off.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

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