It’s been about a month since Google announced that it would be shutting down its staple rating system, Google Trusted Stores, and replacing it with Google Customer Reviews. And as of the start of April, that time has finally come. From now on, their Google Customer Reviews program will be taking over. Star ratings are great for click-through rates for Product Listing Ads (PLAs) as well as ratings markup leveraging schema for e-commerce SEO. Here’s a look at the new program.
Google Customer Reviews
This new review-based system is available to access through Google Merchant Center, and despite being a lighter program, it will be picking up the seller rating portion of the 6-year-old program while offering several new features. As the name implies, the system directly relies on voluntary involvement and reviews from customers in order to attain an accurate rating for each business. While Google Trusted Stores is gone, the new system is simple to get used to and provides new and helpful options for businesses and customers. Of these new features included with Google Customer Reviews there are four main components that we’ll take a quick look at.
One of the most talked about and important features of Google Customer Reviews is seller ratings. Seller ratings are a numeric score from 1-5 that represents the overall rating or evaluation that previous customers of yours have given your business. The seller rating is an aggregate score that fluctuates and grows more stable with time, so securing a high rating for your business from the first customer is imperative. Even more important with this addition of seller ratings is how Google will use them and display them to the public. Not only will your Google Customer Reviews Badge display your seller rating on your website, but it will also appear on Google Shopping and some of your advertisements.
Google Customer Reviews Opt-in:
This new feature increases your company’s chances of gaining more reviews. After checkout, each customer will receive an offer to opt-in, which will send an automated email to them encouraging them to rate their overall experience dealing with your business. In a market where 84% of shoppers trust certified online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, securing more positive reviews can make a big difference in gaining future shopper’s trust.
Google Customer Reviews Survey:
The survey that opt-in customers are sent is a short but extremely useful questionnaire. Answering a few questions lets customers rate their experience purchasing your product or using your service, building the reputation and authority of your business. The feedback they leave can help businesses improve their service as well as help Google improve Customer Reviews.
Google Customer Reviews Badge:
Google’s badge for trusted sellers hasn’t just gotten a name change, there have been a few other tweaks as well. The new Customer Reviews Badge shows off your seller rating score, providing more information to the customers. The medal can also be placed anywhere and on any page on your site, a needed feature that could help your on-site conversion.
Most sites will display this in the footer of each page which gives a nice boost to overall conversion rate:
“Hey these guys are verified by Google. Sounds good I’ll make my order now!”
Maybe it’s not that simple, but this badge of honor certainly does help as a differentiating factor.
If your store was part of Google’s Trusted Stores program, there’s nothing that you need to do to enroll—you’ve been automatically migrated to the new system.
If you’re newly registering a store, the process is simple.
1.) Navigate to Google’s Merchant Center
2.) Click the menu button on the top right of the dashboard.
3.) Click “Merchant Center Programs” and select the new option, “Google Customer Reviews”
After you agree to the terms & conditions, you’ll receive both the code for the opt-in survey along with the Customer Reviews Badge.
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