How to Guide: Using Seller Ratings, Stars & Reviews to Improve Online Conversions

How to Guide:
Using Seller Ratings,
Stars & Reviews to Improve Online
Introduction to the different types of seller ratings, stars and reviews
Stars in organic listings (Schema)
Google reviews (Local listings)
PPC seller reviews and stars
3rd party seller rating services
Research - 3rd party review service by sector
Comparison of packages and costs
An Introduction to the
Different Types of
Seller Ratings, Stars
& Reviews
Ecommerce Product Ratings
(seller reviews)
Service Reviews & Ratings
Why are Stars & Reviews Important?
There are many benefits including;
• Improve click through rate (CTR)
65% of online consumers in Europe say that star reviews are
important when choosing a site. (Infas Survey, 2012)
• Improve 'trust' value
European respondents report the lowest levels of trust in all but one
advertising/messaging format—consumer opinions posted online,
which was among the lowest reported at 64 per cent. (Nielsen
Global Trust in Marketing Survey 2012)
• Improve conversion rate
Research shows that conversion rates increase by an average of
23.1% when shops display star reviews. (ECC Survey, 2012)
Nielsen study Reveals That
Consumers Trust Online Reviews
“Consumer Trust” by Media Type
USA, Europe & Global
Ratings in the Search Engine Results
Google Local
Bottom of page
PPC - Stars
3rd party
Comparison of the Different
Organic results –
star ratings
Google reviews & star
PPC ads –
star ratings
Your web page
Google+ Local page –
customer reviews
Third party review
How do you get
You use Schema
to mark-up of
your pages
Customers can add a
review of your business
(when logged into
automatically adds
the stars
(if you qualify)
Organic listing
(you control)
Map/local listings
Knowledge Graph
Local organic listing
PPC ads
Increase CTR
and traffic
Increase CTR and
Increase credibility
Increase SEO rankings
Increase CTR and
Increase Quality
Where does it
Main Benefit
Strategy to Increase Traffic Volume
Focus on attracting (primarily new) customers to your site.
Star ratings are known to help increase click through rate (CTR) therefore will
help increase traffic
Best techniques
Google reviews - If you are a local service then your Google reviews/stars
may show in:
– The Google + Local listings (associated with the map)
– The Knowledge Graph (panel on the right of the listings)
– Local organic results
Organic (schema) - Stars in SEO rankings (Schema) – you mark-up your
website and refer to 3rd party results or Google reviews
PPC - Google will automatically display stars in PPC ads once you qualify, so
invest in a 3rd party service to gain sufficient positive reviews
Strategy to Increase Customer
Focus on attracting loyal customers and building relationships
Increase trust and sales by customers choosing products/services with high
Best techniques
Google reviews on your Google+ Local pages. As this is the best way to
communicate with customers and hear their feedback – as well as using it as
an advertising platform.
3rd party reviews associated with your product or service pages - as this will
build trust and encourage engagement/sales
Stars in the Organic Listings
What is Schema & Why is it
What is Schema?
“Schema mark-up is simply a set of HTML tags known as “schemas” that you
can add to your web pages to give search engines a better idea of what the
page is presenting.” (
It is a protocol agreed by the 3 main search engines so that webmasters
could give additional information to the search engines - See
There are schemas for a variety of different things including books, movies,
recipes, TV series, images, songs, videos, events, & much more.
Schema is also known as “structured data” or “rich snippets”
Why is Schema important for your SEO?
Helps search engines by telling them what you offer your customers.
It is user-friendly and therefore encourages visitors to click through to your
Google includes user engagement criteria, such as click through rates and
bounce rates, in its search algorithm; so increased interaction from Schema
can indirectly help rankings
What ‘Types’ of
Schema Can You Use?
Creative works: CreativeWork, Book, Movie, MusicRecording, Recipe,
TVSeries (and lots more)
Embedded non-text objects: AudioObject, ImageObject,
Health and medical types: notes on the health and medical types
under MedicalEntity.
Place, LocalBusiness, Restaurant ...
Product, Offer, AggregateOffer
Review, AggregateRating
For examples see the next slide.
Examples of Schema
(in organic results)
Google Reviews
Google+ Local Pages
Setting up your Local Listing
Google offers businesses free “Local listings” normally associated with the map
These Listings have had various names over the years (e.g. Business or Places) but these are now
called Google + Local
Once you have set-up (or adopted a pre-existing) Local listing you can amend it by adding text,
photos and videos
Getting your reviews
You can also encourage your customers to add their reviews
This is an easy and free way to get star ratings (using a score out of 5 based on customer reviews)
It may also help drive customers to the store, as addresses are always displayed.
Local reviews are believed to help your SEO (if you have more than 5 reviews)
You do have the right to reply e.g. for unfair negative comments
Local listings and reviews in the search results
If you search in Google for a brand or store; the local store or office will dominant over the brand
or group results.
This is due to the “Google Venice update”, which favours local results over national ones (even
when you do not type in the location into the search phrase)
Local listings are normally shown at the top of the page, so good star reviews may mean greater
clicks than competitors (in the other Local listings and also the organic listings, which are often
further down)
You may also show the rating in your organic results and if you have the “Knowledge Graph”
Local Search Results for
Google+ Local Review Link
Knowledge Graph
Local search results dominate
the brand or group results ,
even though the location was
not typed in (this is due to the
Venice update, which favours
local results).
Google automatically uses
local results in the organic
You need good ratings to see
the star in the organic results
The stars make your listing
stand out, it conveys trust and
encourages click throughs.
Brands need to ensure that
each store has a local listing
with good reviews.
Separate Google+ Page
You can set-up a Google + page in addition to your Google Local
This is Google’s social media platform (with elements that are similar
to Facebook and Twitter).
You can encourage customers to follow you.
You can post updates which followers will see – they can comment
and share these.
This includes text, photos and videos posts.
It’s a great way to build business-customer relationships
Helps with SEO as links on Google Plus pages are [follow] links and
these page can build up their own authority
You are more likely to have a “Knowledge Graph” for your
brand/company name if you have an active Google + account
Google+ Page
PPC Seller Reviews (Stars)
PPC Seller Reviews & Stars
• These stars and online seller reviews are given to your products by your
• This allows prospective and returning customers to see at a glance the
impartial 'rating' of a product.
• Google automatically ads these to your PPC ads using the collated data
from the 3rd party review sites .
• You only get stars shown under specific circumstances (see below).
• Stars can help increase the click through rate (CTR) on your ad increasing
traffic and your AdWords Quality Score.
AdWords Review Link – Collated Data
From a Number of Review Sites
When Will Google Show PPC Stars?
The reviews are from independent or third party services
Google collates these reviews (based on customer reviews collected
from one or more of these services)
You must have at least 30 unique reviews, from the past 12 months
A composite rating of 3.5 stars or higher
At least 10 reviews must be in the customer’s Google interface
New AdWords Review Extensions
This is a new feature which Google will be introducing in the near future.
Use positive reviews to help increase click through rates.
Must provide a direct quote or key point summary.
Review must be about the company, not a product.
Recent review – no older than 12 months.
Need permission from reference source.
67 character limit.
Party Seller Rating
What are Third Party Review Service
Third party seller rating services actively contact your customers on
your behalf to collect their feedback regarding the different
products and services they have received.
This feedback is posted online and can be displayed alongside your
product or service.
The information is also used by Google to collate reviews
Research - 3rd Party Review
Service by Sector
Research methodology
To help you decide which 3rd party review service you should consider,
we have done a little bit of research to help you with the decisionmaking process.
We began by searching for ten different keywords per category.
These categories were computer & consumer goods, travel & tourism,
autos and health & beauty.
We did this to identify if the industry has a bearing as to what review
source they used.
We then took the top two review sources, based on the number of
The results were then collated by identifying the average number of
reviews per review source and site.
This allowed us to determine:
– the most popular with businesses in that sector
– the highest number of reviews (approximately).
Computer & Consumer Goods
Travel & Tourism
Health & Beauty
The Results
What Does This Tell Us?
From the results we can see that;
Trustpilot is the most popular review service provider.
Feefo is not as popular but delivers a high number of reviews.
Reevoo delivers a high number of reviews but is not very popular. is popular but doesn’t deliver a high volume of
Shopzilla (uses Bitzrate) delivers an average number of reviews and is
generally quite popular.
Comparison of Packages &
Service Overview
Ciao UK3
Number of
Reviews a
Up to 300
a month
Up to
200 a
Key Notes:
1- Reevoo is one of the most expensive review service providers and this accounts for
the lack of popularity.
2 - is independent and does not offer merchant support.
3 - Ciao is part of the LeGuide Group and is better suited to those looking for
international reviews. You get access to Ciao, Dooyoo, Webmerchand and Choozen.
4 - Depends on the number of transactions
Premium Package - Feefo
Recommended ‘All-Round’
Package: TRUSTPILOT Lite
Recommended Lower Cost Option:
Summary & Recommendations
Define your objectives, then you can determine the best strategy to achieve
those goals.
Two main routes to obtain stars and reviews
Where the stars or reviews might be displayed
Google Local Page plus; local listings associated with the map, Knowledge Graph, local organic
On your website
In your organic listings (Schema)
PPC ads (automatically or using review extension)
Find mechanisms to encourage customers to leave Google reviews (consider
incentives, request reviews etc.)
Use third party services to increase engagement on your site and to get
“automatic stars” in the PPC ads
Recommended 3rd party services
Google reviews
3rd party service
Low budget
Medium budget/most popular = Trustpilot
Consider industry specific sites such as Tripadvisor
Google reviews offers the right to reply – if you have negative feedback, deal
with the issue, apologise and explain what you have done to avoid it
happening again.