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3 ways to make star ratings show up in Google search results

dinsdag 4 mei 2021
importance of reviews and Google for ecommerce

In a world filled with choices and decisions to make, reviews and ratings help shoppers make smarter choices — and help businesses stand out from the pack to convert more site visitors.

Online reviews are shoppers’ trusted guide when it comes to purchase decisions big and small. Today, 89% of global consumers check online reviews when considering a purchase, and 49% consider positive reviews to be among their top 3 influences on what they purchase.

It’s safe to say that having reviews that speak to the quality of your products and services is a necessity in its own right for eCommerce brands in 2023. But with 46% of shopping journeys beginning with a Google search, making sure your star ratings show up in Google search results is mission critical.   

In this article, we'll go over three ways to get there.

First things first —

Understanding the different types of Google ratings 

These days, there’s no shortage of ways your businesses can get ratings and reviews to show up in Google search results — from standard blue link listings, Google Shopping, to ads, to rich results like recipe cards, as well as local results. 

All of these ratings are powered by customer reviews from trusted third-party providers and from Google itself, and fed through an algorithm to determine the average star rating that shows up in search results.

But whether or not each type of rating you might see on Google will be relevant to you is another story. The star ratings eCommerce brands should focus on are Review Snippets, Google Seller Ratings, and Google Product Ratings.

Collecting reviews on a Google-approved platform

No matter which type of star rating on Google is most important to you, the first step is collecting product and service reviews with one of Google’s supported review partners

Even though eligibility requirements and thresholds for each type of Google rating varies, the bottom line is that they all require merchants to have a critical mass of reviews under their belt in order to confidently calculate their average. 

But fear not — whether you have 10 reviews about your brand or 10,000, gathering enough customer feedback to boost your visibility in search is easy with a Google-approved review platform like Trustpilot. 

If you have existing reviews, they can be imported into your Trustpilot profile to count towards your Google ratings. And if you don’t have any reviews yet, Trustpilot makes it easy to bulk upload a contact list of past customers to invite to leave a review — and even configure automatic review invitations to go out to all of your future customers.

How to make your star ratings show up in Google search

Now you know that a critical mass of reviews and a qualifying average star rating are required to get those shiny gold stars in search. But there’s one final piece of the puzzle: your reviews have to be added to your website as structured data

If you’re not a developer, no need to run for the hills — Trustpilot’s review widgets are easy to embed on your website and come with the built-in structured data you need to get your reviews flowing into Google.

All of that said, we’re ready to get into the specifics for each type of Google rating. 

Review Snippets

Review Snippets are those eye-catching star ratings that sometimes show up in organic search results. They tend to appeal to everyone — even those who don’t click on ads — which can generate up to 35% more clicks to your site.

The requirements and guidelines for Review Snippets have changed over the years in the interest of making Google’s rich results more helpful, so it’s a good idea to bookmark Google’s official documentation for future reference.

While it’s previously been possible to earn Review Snippets for any kind of organic listing, they’re currently only available for product pages. 

google stars

Beyond collecting reviews with a reputable provider, the main requirement for earning Review Snippets on your product pages is having valid aggregateRating markup in your structured data. 

Once you’re sure that your structured data is valid, it’s time to visit Google Search Console and ask Google to re-crawl your product pages. Once Google has re-indexed your pages, your Review Snippets should begin to display in search results. 

If you don’t see them, Google’s URL Inspection Tool is a great way to troubleshoot.

Google Seller Ratings

Google Seller Ratings are similar to Review Snippets, but with broader applications — and a few more requirements for eligibility.

google entry - updated article

According to Google, they can help merchants improve the performance of ads, free Google Shopping listings, and organic results alike.

To qualify for Google Seller Ratings in organic results and free Google Shopping listings, businesses need to have enough unique reviews within the last 12 months for Google to calculate an accurate seller rating score. The required number of reviews can vary by merchant, but most are able to earn a Google Seller Rating after collecting at least 100 eligible reviews — like verified or post-purchase reviews.

For Google Seller Ratings to show up in your Google Ads, there’s one additional requirement: An average composite rating of 3.5 or more stars.

If you meet all of the requirements but aren’t sure if your Google Seller Rating is showing up in search, you can visit ​​{yourwebsite} and replace “{yourwebsite}” with your homepage URL.

Google Product Ratings

Google Product Ratings are the stars that show up on specific products on free and paid listings within Google Shopping. They may sound a lot like Google Seller Ratings, but they’re more focused on product qualities and attributes than the merchant’s customer service and reputation. 

Anything shoppers write about the quality, benefits, or issues with a given product, gets factored into the Google Product Rating and corresponding insights shown in search results — think: “true to size” for shoes, or “easy to assemble” for furniture. 

Like the other types of ratings, these can be sourced from merchants, Google users, and third-party review platforms — as long as the reviews are legitimate.

That’s where Trustpilot’s verified reviews come in. Any feedback that’s collected through automated post-purchase emails count towards the Google Product Rating — and can even count towards the business’ Seller Rating, depending on the nature of the review.

Beyond that, merchants must have at least 50 verified post-purchase product reviews before they’re eligible for Google Product Ratings. 

Shoot for the stars, and beyond…

You can’t underestimate the marketing value of consistently being the search result that stands out in the world’s largest search engine.

Earning or improving your Google ratings — whether via Review Snippets, Google Seller Ratings, or Google Product Ratings — can move the needle for businesses where it matters most: more site traffic, more conversions, and more browsers turned into buyers. 

But shooting for the stars is about more than the metrics — a thoughtful approach to reviews can help you keep those new customers for life by showing them that you’re listening, and that you care. 

Need to know more about how Trustpilot can help you get your star ratings to show up on Google? Request a free demo below.


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