Online reviews can make or break a business in the current scenario. You might be shocked to know this, but close to 92% of the buyers today check online reviews before making their decision to purchase. This figure alone shows how important it is to have positive online reviews.
Now, have you noticed that when you Google for something, in the search results you can see Google review stars adjacent to some search results. Right?
Today, we will discuss whether these review stars help in boosting the click-through rate for a business or not. We are going to incorporate the basic facts and results obtained as a result of the CXL Institute Study.
Google stars lead to a 35% boost in click-through rate!
Getting straight to the point, we would like to put forward the results from this study. Yes, you are reading it correctly – Google review stars made a huge impact on the click-through rate raising it by 35% for businesses.
But how does it work? This is indeed a million dollar question.
A brief about the study
As part of the study to know how Google star ratings impact the buyer’s clicking decision, a group of users was encouraged to view search engine results in Google and click on any link keeping the following things in mind:
- Why did you click on that particular link?
- Which brands have you previously used for the service?
- What’s the most important factor you consider when making that particular choice?
Based on all this information, results were evaluated and it was found that Google stars lead to a 35% boost in click-through rate!
Now that we know about Google stars playing an important role in increasing user-engagement, let us have a look at how Google stars work. But before that here’s a peep at the basics about Google stars, when it came into the picture and how does it work?
In order to understand this, let’s get back to 2010 when Google first started the concept of Star Ratings. It all began with Google asking companies to pay for ad space on top of the search results as part of their Google Shopping project.
Soon after, Google took this concept to the organic results as well. Today, these reviews are not just something for which businesses pay Google to get their name on top, but an average of the trusted reviews that Google collects from various third-party reviews sites trusted by the search engine giant.
How does it work?
Now that you know the basics about Google review stars, the next step is to figure out how these stars work and how they can make such a huge impact on your online business performance.
It makes a great first impression!
That’s just about the perfect answer to the question – how Google review stars work. As the saying goes, the first impression is the last impression, and this is the theory that works here.
Google ratings let the person, searching for something, know that your site has good feedback from people, and hence it must be worth a try. This first impression leads to an increased click-through rate. Good Google rating stars have been shown to create a snowball effect for businesses many a time, leading to great results for your business!
The ultimate question that arises after getting to know all this is: how can a business get great Google reviews? In order to get an answer to this question, here are a few things you need to know.
Encourage the customer
As per the latest guidelines, Google requires you to showcase your positive reviews on your web-page, and not only on the third-party website.
In order to achieve this, you must find a way to encourage the users to post reviews on your website.
The easiest way to do this is to take screenshots from third-party websites and post them on your web-page.
Another smart way to achieve this is to encourage users to post reviews of your work. You can invest in plugins or maybe run some script on your website that makes it easy for the users to post reviews and stars.
You can even run email campaigns to ask people to share their feedback and display the answers on your website.
Let Google find you!
Creating structured data on your website is the best way to encourage Google to not just find the positive words your consumers said about your business, but also to understand what they are saying.
Based on how you have built your website, you can choose different ways.
For instance, there is this Free Structured Data Schema Plugin that helps you achieve this without breaking a sweat.
If you are using the WordPress platform then I would recommend WP SEO Structured Data Schema plugin; easy and free to use.
WordPress SEO Structured Data Schema plugin enables web designers and business owners a super-easy way to add a schema for:
- Local businesses
- News articles
- Blog postings
- Aggregate ratings
Now, the next thing you need to know is Rich Snippets.
What are rich snippets?
A rich snippet shows extra information between the URL and the description. A rich snippet looks like this:
Difference between Snippet and Rich Snippet:
A snippet is a result Google shows to the user in the search results. A normal snippet usually looks like this:
Rich snippets are the extra information that you often see right in the search results, such as:
- Star ratings
- Events and event times
- Embedded site search box
How to set up Google reviews
In order to get started with Google reviews set-up, you need to have a Google Merchant Account that you can easily set up using your Google account. Once you have established the Merchant Account, you need to:
- Select Merchant Center Programs by clicking the three dots you see on the right-hand corner of your screen.
- Go to the Google Customer Reviews Card
- Click Enable
- Add survey opt-in code to the website
And, that’s about it!
An optional way to add the badge code to your site
Before adding the code, you’ll be prompted to read and sign the Google Customer Reviews agreement.
Customer Reviews should appear as a program in your Merchant Center, once you successfully agreed and signed up.
What Google policy says: As of now, Google Customer Reviews is available in 23 countries, including the United States, Germany, The United Kingdom, Canada, and China.
Google Customer Reviews Dashboard:
With the help of Google Customer Reviews Dashboard system we can gauge insight into seller analytics as well as contains information collected by Google.
Metrics you’ll be able to monitor are:
- Opt-ins received: the number of customers in a given week that opted-in to the survey
- Surveys sent: the number of surveys emailed to customers in a given week
- Responses received: the number of survey responses customers have submitted in a given week
- Seller rating: shows your seller rating during the time period shown
By tracking these valuable metrics, you can better understand customers’ interaction with your products and process.
Make the first move
So, you can see it quite lucidly that getting good reviews on Google is the first step to improving your click-through rates, engagement and profits. After all, more visitors would automatically boost the chances of higher conversions.
This is the reason that without wasting any time further, you must begin with the application of all the points mentioned here. Now that you know about the various things you need to do in order to get stars for your business, go ahead with the practical implementation, and see how things turn out.
After all, it’s all in the stars – statistics show this as well.
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