How Google Customer Reviews Work
Google Customer Reviews is a free service available to retailers with a Google Merchants account. It offers five key features:
- Seller ratings: the row of yellow stars that appear under your name in search ads. These turn green in the Google Shopping tab to differentiate from product ratings. Note that you need a minimum of 100 reviews and an average of 3.5 stars or higher for your seller rating to show up.
- Product ratings: the row of yellow stars that show on your Google shopping ads. A product needs at least three reviews for these to show.
- Badges: a badge for your site showing you’re a verified seller. This badge displays your rating, so some choose to disable it until they have a good score.
- Opt-in emails: after a transaction, customers will get an email nudging them to rate their experience.
- Surveys: the questionnaires that the program collects from your happy customers. These make up the content of the written reviews on product listings.
It’s easy to use and integrate with your e-commerce platform, but why Google Customer Reviews?
They Boost Your Visibility
If you want to dominate search, you can’t go wrong with the search engine that holds over 70%
of the market share. Having your reviews on Google guarantees you’ll be ranking on the world’s leading results page. When people are trying to find your product or service, this is likely their first stop.
If your business has a physical location, another plus of Google Customers Reviews is they get bundled with Google Maps. When people are searching your restaurant, shop or escape room, they see a teaser of reviews right away.
They Increase Customer Trust
Online shopping can be a bit of a Wild West. You have to sift through plenty of repackaged goods, counterfeits, and exaggerations to find genuine items. Shoppers like any proof that your online business is legit, with real, caring humans behind it.
Customer reviews are proof positive that real people have interacted with your business. The star rating is an immediate visual cue of legitimacy, and the accompanying number is proof of longstanding interactions. Before even getting into the actual reviews, these features work to increase customer confidence.
What’s great about Google Customer Reviews is that you must make a purchase in order to leave a review. This ensures that an actual customer
is giving their input - unlike other review systems that can look like an anonymous comment section.
They Raise Click-Through Rates
This trustworthiness means a higher click-through rate.
One of your most important performance indicators is click-through rate or CTR. This is the rate at which users take the link back to your site. If the link doubles as a paid ad (e.g., Google AdWords), you’re paying each time someone clicks on it. By increasing your CTR you actually lower the cost per click!
A key part of online reputation management is fielding reviews. Reputation management refers to how you influence your business’s public perception. This becomes more necessary as brands are more accessible to consumers round-the-clock.
Reviews can sting, but you can use them as an opportunity to demonstrate your brand voice. Take time to respond swiftly and politely
to negative feedback and show your appreciation under glowing reviews.
More and more consumers are placing orders online, so they’re running into your ratings when doing business with you. If you’re not using Google Customer Reviews, you’re missing a big chance to direct the conversation around your product.
They Drive Customer to Action
When the customer takes a desired action on your site, this is called a conversion. Everything we’ve talked about in terms of influencing customer behavior comes back down to this, since it’s your bottom line. You want to make a sale (and ideally a returning, loyal customer).
Far too often customers fill their cart then click off of the page. People are in constant shopping and comparison mode. This means you’re not only fighting your competitors, but your customer’s own divided attention. You want to influence them at every stop on the customer journey.
Google Customer Reviews drive up your conversion rate for all the above reasons. People buying clothes, for instance, want to see proof that it will be true to color and size and come in good condition. (In fact, consumers are 31% more likely
to spend if you have good reviews.) A positive review can be the difference between someone hitting checkout or not.
We Give Google Customer Reviews Five Stars
Google Customer Reviews offer a great value and put a seal of authority on your business. Make your digital strategy work for you: take this opportunity to learn more about your customer - and yourself.