PPC Insight: Google Customer Reviews
Have you ever noticed, when searching on Google, that some retailers have ratings next to their ads? When viewing an ad, it may be indicated that you are looking at a 4-star or 5-star retailer. So, how do these ratings come about?
Google’s Trusted Store program has been running for some years. The basic idea behind the scheme was fairly simple: any retailer could apply for certification via the scheme, as long as they met certain criteria. The most important elements here were that the retailer should deliver products in a safe and secure manner, while maintaining high standards of customer service. Google regularly reviewed performance and also offered to refund consumers, in certain situations where those consumers might feel let down by a Trusted Store. It was relatively difficult to gain accreditation and was aimed at giving confidence to consumers. This didn’t just mean confidence in retailers: it meant that confidence could be gained in the quality of Google’s listings.
There was some speculation when the program was launched that there might eventually be a situation when only Trusted Stores would make it into Google AdWords listings, or even into the organic search results. That speculation didn’t come to much, but Trusted Stores were allowed access to various advanced features, including use of the ratings system. This enabled them to stand out from the competition, increasing the likelihood of receiving clicks and, ultimately, sales.
That all sounds well and good, but might be wondering why we’re mentioning this long-standing program on a blog post that is being written in April 2017! The reason for doing so is that changes are afoot! Neither remains static for long, of course, in the world of Google.
Last week, it was announced that Trusted Stores would be replaced by something known as Google Customer Reviews. There would be an initial rollout to a select band of countries, notably including the UK. Google are suggesting that there are various advantages to Google Customer Reviews:
- Customise the opt-in on your site
- Customise use of the Google badge
- Collect business reviews free of charge
- Show seller ratings on: Google Shopping, Google AdWords text ads, your own website
- Boost click-through rates on your ads
If you’re interested in making use of Google Customer Reviews, then you can activate the functionality from within your Merchant Centre account. Full details, together with more guidance, are available at the Google Help Center.