A Business Owner’s Guide to Google Ratings and Reviews
There is no escaping the fact that 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations.
Google reviews aren’t just a major SEO ranking factor or even help you highlight great customer experience. These reviews’ crowning jewel is their instant ability to make your business more credible and add a ton of trustworthiness to your brand.
It all sounds great. But, how exactly does google ratings and reviews work?
Keep on reading for the full google reviews breakdown on what they are, how they work, and even how to determine your eligibility.
Google Ratings and Reviews 101
Let’s define what google ratings and reviews are exactly before we take the plunge into learning how they work.
Basically, Google’s customer reviews is a free service that Google provides to businesses. It gives businesses the power to collect feedback online on their site from paying customers who bought a product or a service from them.
After these reviews have been posted, Google aggregate and display these results on their search engine as part of your star rating.
How Do Google Reviews Work?
Think about it as a three-step process.
The first step starts with google asking your customers about whether they’d like to opt-in to receive a survey about their experiences right after checking your website.
The second step has Google sending out the survey around the product or service delivery date to your customers. This way your customers can fill in the survey after going through the whole shopping experience.
The survey itself consists of a regular star rating (from 1-5), with an additional section for any comments your customers would like to add. Later down the line, extra coding can be added to the survey, which can customize it according to the product the customers have bought, or the service they’ve got.
As for the third step, Google will aggregate all of your rates to form your total star ratings for your business. This rating will be public and displayed in both organic and paid search results.
On your end, you’ll get to see all the collected feedback by going to your Merchant Center and checking out all the details of your ranking.
What Are the Benefits of Google Reviews?
As with any customer feedback, it’s always an advantage to collect concrete data on how your business is performing in terms of customer satisfaction.
In the case of Google review, the traditional benefits are tied heavily to your business’ online reputation.
Let’s go through the Google reviews-specific benefits and what they entail.
The Service Is Free
If you’re new to the game, you’ll find out that having Google Customer Reviews is the only legitimately cost-free way to get Google seller ratings.
Your other option would be paying a Google Licensed Review Partner to take on that task. It’s a great benefit for small businesses because it allows them to showcase their star rating in their ads for free.
Google Seller Ratings
As we mentioned earlier, all your customers’ feedback when collected through Google Customer Reviews, it all counts towards your Google Seller Ratings.
Google Seller Ratings are the stars that show up below your business in Google Ads. Traditionally, you’d have to pay for this rating to show up. But, with Google reviews in place, you wouldn’t have to do so.
Now you might be wondering, what’s all this excitement about Google seller ratings?
We’re glad you asked. Google Seller Ratings can give you a humongous boost in your conversion rates.
As customers will immediately be able to identify that you’re trustworthy, you’ll automatically be seen as the superior choice when comparing against your competitors.
Yet, there’s a caveat here to keep in mind. In order to qualify for Google Seller Ratings, you’ll have to collect a minimum of 100 reviews per country, within a 12-month period. In addition, you must have an average star rating of at least 3.5.
Google Product Ratings
There are other Google goodies that you can take advantage of, once you have Google customer reviews set up.
By setting up your Google customer reviews to ask your customers for feedback on specific products, you’ll find that this type of feedback will be collected and counted towards your product ratings.
However, you’ll have to be careful and keep a close eye on a bad review or fake reviews. Make sure to remove bad review from google whenever one pops up.
Google Product Ratings will also show up in both organic and paid results, including your Google Shopping.
Google Customer Reviews Website Badge
One of the cool things you can add to your website is the Google customer reviews badge.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to fully display your customer feedback on your site. Therefore, having a badge to embed is a great way to highlight (and showcase) your overall score.
Of course, as with the majority of Google products, having a ‘Google Rating’ can provide you with a great authority boost for both your actual Domain Authority numbers, which directly affects your SEO, as well as general trustworthiness.
What Are the Eligibility Requirements for Google Customer Reviews?
The fact that the service is free doesn’t mean that it’s available for everyone to use.
They have a couple of eligibility requirements that need to be in place before granting your access to their service.
First, you’ll need a checkout process on your website.
This is the tricky part. If you don’t have a checkout process on your site, there is nowhere for the survey opt-in to be ‘installed.’
In addition to the checkout page, you’ll need to have a separate ‘Order Confirmation Page.’ The confirmation page is where your customers will be able to see (and fill) your survey.
Your Reviews Are Your Business’ Reputation
Learning how to utilize Google ratings and reviews to your advantage can turbo-boost your business growth and revenue.
After all, there is a reason why Yelp is so popular, and that’s because we all love to pre-shop online and get to know what other people think about a business before using their services or buying their products.
Now that you have our guide on hand, you’re ready to make a well-educated decision on whether to get a Google reviews account set up or not.