Ever wondered what makes your competitors drive more business compared to yours? Ever thought how to make the best use of your happy & loyal customer base? Well, your questions have been answered by The Almighty (read: Google)!
About three years ago, in June 2010, Google introduced a refreshing new Ad Innovation as part of their Google AdWords platform. It’s called Seller Ratings Extensions. Since the introduction of this feature, advertisers who were quick enough to make use of it have experienced a significant increase in their overall Click-through Rate as well as conversions.
What’s it all about?
Seller Ratings Extensions show legitimate customer ratings & reviews about sellers as part of their AdWords ads. In simple terms, these reviews reflect how a customer rates a business.
This is how the Seller Ratings are displayed when an ad is eligible to show the ratings:
As you may notice in the above screen grab, two out of three advertisers are making use of Seller Ratings Extensions, clearly making their ads more noticeable as compared to one of the advertisers who is not showing any ratings, thus giving the other two advertisers an edge.
Moreover, the top ad has accrued over 10,000 reviews, which by far exceeds the number of reviews accrued by the second advertiser, thus making the first ad a more obvious choice to click on!
Let me tell you about one of our clients, who provides a service of transferring video tapes to high definition DVDs. The ads for this client always appeared within the top 3 positions, yet for some reason, they used to lose some of the traffic to their competitors who also appeared within the top 3.
One thing we noticed was that none of their competitors were making use of the Seller Ratings Extensions. We instantly grabbed this opportunity for our client and after doing a bit of research, we recommended them to sign up with one of the review sites, and start collecting reviews from their existing and future customers.
This is how their ads look now .
Since the introduction of Seller Ratings with their ads, the client’s CTR has gone through the roof and it has also doubled the orders coming through!
Needless to say, their ads stand out more prominently and garner attention as compared to their competitors’ ads.
How do I acquire these stars?
Seller Ratings are nothing but customer reviews which are collected from a wide variety of sources across the Internet. These sources include some of the prominent review sites such as Trustpilot, Review Centre, Caio and Shopzilla to name a few.
Some of these review sites have a monthly subscription fee and some offer this service for free. Once you have registered with any of these sites, you can start collecting reviews from your customers by sending a link of your Review page maybe after a couple of weeks of delivering the service/product.
You may also register with more than one review site as Google aggregates all the reviews for your website and shows the average ratings based on all these reviews.
Unlike before, Google has made the eligibility criteria a bit stricter. Although you do not physically need to make any changes or amendments in your AdWords account, you’ll still be automatically opted in to showing seller ratings once you have met the eligibility criteria.
The criteria in a nutshell are:
- Your AdWords campaign should be opted in to “Search & Display Networks” or “Search Network only.”
- The customer has to search on Google.co.uk, Google.com, Google.fr, Google.de or Google.nl.
- You have to be an advertiser that offers customers paid goods or services or a company that facilitates the trading of products or services via an online marketplace.
- Your business must have at least thirty unique reviews from the last year, and a composite ranking of 3.5 stars or more on Google Shopping.
- It is not necessary for you to be signed up to a Google Merchant Centre account for your ads to be eligible to be rated by sellers.
How much will this cost me?
Now, you as an advertiser may think this may be just another way for Google to charge you more for the AdWords clicks. Fortunately, that is not the case.
Google will charge you an identical amount for all the clicks, no matter whether the link that is clicked is in the ad text or in the seller rating. In fact, if customers choose to click through to see the reviews of your business, you won’t be charged for these clicks!
The only additional bit you may need to pay for is when you sign up for a paid service with a review site.
I do not sell a retail product. Am I still eligible for Seller Ratings?
You certainly are! Although the business reviews are collected on Google Shopping, seller ratings extensions also include reviews for non-product retailers which means that, if you are providing a specialised service, you may still be eligible for showing Seller Ratings with your ads.
How can I improve my seller ratings?
The simplest method of improving your business’ ratings & reviews is to continue delivering outstanding customer service.
Remember, if your customers are happy bunnies, they will happily rate your business well and also help in spreading the word, which will in turn make you a happy bunny!
Written by Dave Bhargav, one of our PPC specialists