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Your complete guide to Google seller ratings

Published on 22 February, 2019

We get a lot of questions about seller ratings here at Feefo: what benefits do they bring, how can I get them and, most commonly, why aren’t they appearing?! With ranking at the very top of the search results becoming more important by the day, we thought we’d answer all the questions you have about Google seller ratings, so you can get started on your road to PPC success!

Here is our complete guide to Google seller ratings.

What are seller ratings?

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Google seller ratings are a common automated Google Ads extension that displays your business’s average star rating alongside your paid ads on both the Google Search Network and within Shopping ads.

Your seller rating is calculated based on your aggregate score collected from independent Google-trusted review providers, such as Feefo; and Google’s own customer review and survey platforms. Together they make up your overall seller rating. 

Seller ratings are one of the best ways to help people searching on Google find businesses they can trust to provide a quality service. The higher your seller rating, the more likely it is your ad will perform well and start generating quality leads for your business.

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The benefits of seller ratings

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Google claim, on average, seller ratings boost click-through rate (CTR) on ads by 10% compared to those without.

This is impressive, but it’s not the only benefit of having seller ratings. Those stars can work wonders for improving your ad performance in a whole manner of ways.

Build trust and reduce bounce-rate

First and foremost, having a positive seller rating attached to your ad tells potential customers that your business is trustworthy and has a good reputation for delivering a high-quality product or service. Seller ratings help to build trust in your brand before the user has even clicked through to your website, meaning they are less likely to navigate away.

Increase conversions

Using seller ratings on your ads to boost trust is the number one reason why more customers click-through to your website, but it also goes a long way towards converting them into paying customers once they get there. A visitor who’s clicked your ad is far more likely to buy from you as they already trust your business to provide the product or service they’re looking for based on the positive seller rating.  

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Lower your ad spend and improve average position

The better your ads perform, the higher your ad’s Quality Score. Your ad’s Quality Score is one of the key factors in determining how well your ad ranks on Google, with seller ratings playing a big part in determining how useful Google views your advert to potential shoppers. The higher the Quality Score, the better the ranking, and the lower your cost-per-click becomes. 

Your Quality Score is calculated based upon several factors, including:

  • The expected click-through rate
  • The ad text and keyword relevancy
  • The accompanying landing page experience

How to qualify for seller ratings on Google

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If you want to be eligible for seller ratings on your Google Ads, then you’ll need to meet the following criteria:

  • Running an existing Google Ads campaign
  • Collected a minimum of 100 unique and verified reviews per country, over the past 12 months
  • Achieved a combined rating of 3.5 or higher

Please note: Once you’ve met all the above requirements, you may have to wait up to eight weeks until seller ratings start appearing on your ads. Even then, it is at Google’s discretion to choose to show seller ratings in your ads or not, meaning that sometimes they may appear, and other times they may not, regardless of whether you’ve met the requirements.

This latest set of requirements from Google came into practice in October 2018  to allow searchers to only be able to read reviews specific to their location.

Google are constantly refining the way they generate seller ratings to improve the user experience, so make sure to check the latest requirements when trying to work out why your seller ratings aren’t appearing. 

How to add seller ratings to your search ads

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Seller ratings are an automated extension, which means once you’ve hit the eligibility requirements, there’s nothing else you need to do.

If you want to stop seller ratings from showing, follow these steps:

1)      Login to your Google Ads account, click ‘Ads & extension’ in the menu and then ‘Automated Extensions’

2)      On the right-hand side, click the 3-dot menu and select ‘Advanced options’

3)      Click ‘Turn off specific automated extensions’ and choose the seller rating extension

4)      Google will ask why you want to turn off the extension

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Why aren’t my seller ratings showing?

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Don’t panic! There may be several reasons why your seller ratings aren’t showing.

Check that you’re eligible

It seems obvious, but it’s a good idea to double-check you’ve hit all of Google’s requirements. Remember, you need at least 100 unique reviews (we recommend having more!) that have been written in the past 12 months and your overall star rating must be at least 3.5 out of 5.

What do we mean by ‘unique’ reviews? Google favours high quality content, so 100 five-star reviews with no content are unlikely to qualify for seller ratings. Make sure you’re collecting quality reviews, rather than just star ratings.

Additionally, those 100 reviews must be from the same country as the ad campaign you’re trying to achieve seller ratings for. For example, if your business operates in the UK and France, you must have at least 100 reviews from each country to qualify for seller ratings in both countries. If you have 150 reviews in total, 100 from UK customers and 50 from French customers, you will only qualify for seller ratings within your UK ad campaigns.

Wait up to eight weeks

It can take up to eight weeks for Google to recognise that you’ve hit the 100-review mark, so don’t expect the stars to start showing as soon as you receive that 100th review. Keep collecting reviews and wait – they may not have been sent to Google yet.

Seller ratings might not always be the right extension for the search

Google shows seller ratings when it believes they are relevant to the user’s search. Seller ratings are only one type of extension, there are many others you may be eligible for, and while a combination of extensions can be shown as once, Google only displays the extensions which are predicted to improve your ad’s performance. If Google doesn’t think adding seller ratings will get your ad more clicks, it won’t show them.

Your ad’s position and Ad Rank aren’t high enough

The quality of your ad can impact your ability to appear for seller ratings (and other extensions). Your Ad Rank, which can be between 1 and 10, factors in the quality of your ad and its landing page and your bid. If your Ad Rank is low, you need to improve your ad's quality or increase your bid (or both!). Google doesn’t provide much information about how high your Ad Rank should be before seller ratings start to appear, but we recommend aiming for a 7 or above.

Your ad position, which is where your ad appears on the Google search results page, can also affect whether extensions will show as space is limited. Ads that appear higher up get the first chance to show extensions. Again, to improve your ad position, you may need to increase your bid, ad quality or both.

Why don’t my seller ratings appear every time I search the same search terms?

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You may notice that even though you’re searching for the same keyword(s) every time, seller ratings may not appear on your ad on every search. There could be several reasons for this:

  • Google only shows extensions a limited number of times. If you’re constantly conducting the same search, Google may change your results
  • Google might decide it's not be the best time to show to show seller ratings, based on the intent of the query
  • Your search recency and cached results are affecting your results

Searching for the same terms repeatedly is not the best way to test if you have seller ratings. Read on to find out more!

How can I check my seller ratings are showing?

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Checking to see if your seller ratings are appearing the search results is simple. 

All you need to do is enter this into your browser: https://www.google.com/shopping/seller?q=example.com, but change example.com to your website’s URL.   

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From here, you will be able to see your overall rating, a review summary, and the reviews that have been pulled through in full. If your business doesn’t meet the minimum threshold for seller ratings, this page may not load.

How to measure your seller rating's performance

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To find out how seller ratings are affecting your business, you’ll need to have a look at the change in click-through rate (CTR), cost-per-click (CPC), and the percentage of impressions impacted by seller ratings. All this can be reviewed from your Google Ads account, in your Automated extension report.

Here’s how you can view your data from your Ads account:

  • Select a campaign with seller rating extensions
  • Click ‘Ads and extensions’ in the menu, and ‘Automated extensions’ along the top of the page
  • Select ‘Columns’ and choose the metrics you wish to measure. We’ve ticked the ones we suggest measuring in the screenshot below

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What can I do to make my seller ratings show regularly?

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Although your seller ratings may not always appear regularly, there are some things you can do to give them the best possible chance to show. 

Firstly, Google recommend that you keep your business name and URL the same across any websites in which your reviews are held, so that they can identify and collect reviews from all the right sources and be sure that none are being ignored.  

Remember that you need to keep these points in mind:

  • You need to have recent reviews! For your seller ratings to show, your last 100 reviews must be from the last 12 months
  • Google require at least 100 verified reviews from the country you’re searching from for seller ratings to appear
  • Reviews need to be unique and deemed ‘good’ by Google. Make sure your reviews contain more than just a star rating and one-word comment. 
  • If your seller ratings aren’t appearing, it may be worth checking your campaign type. It will need to be either Search Network with Display Select with subtype All features, or Search Network only with subtype All features

To boost the chances of seller ratings showing in your results, it’s also important to keep those reviews coming in! Read more about encouraging your customers to review your business here.

Still got questions?

Hopefully we’ve answered most of your questions, but if you’re still feeling a bit puzzled by the world of PPC, our guide can help – click the banner below to download it now.

Alternatively, you can get it touch with our friendly team – we’re more than happy to help!

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