How to Get Star Ratings & Reviews on Google in 2023

TL;DR: Star rating and Reviews on Google can really boost traffic and sales for your e-commerce shop. This is how you add it.

logo-short-whiteErik Bonsaksen
Date modified
How to Get Star Ratings & Reviews on Google in 2023

Google Ratings and Reviews

We mostly know them as ★★★★☆ - these familiar yellow star reviews in Google search that's suddenly important when you're about to pay up. This article look into how e-commerce shop can work with products and reviews, and how to show them on Google.

Google search result with Google star rating on product page

Why You Should Care

Did you know: 88% of consumers read online reviews before a purchase? (Oberlo) Or that 72% use Google to read reviews (findstack)?

Did you also know: A client of ours recently increased their traffic by 416% and conversion rate by 11% after adding reviews to their product pages?

Digital research has become the crux among shoppers worldwide, giving product reviews the power to make or break buying decisions. This also makes five star ratings crucial as they're the first line of information and attention-grabber during a purchase journey.

We distinguish between 3 different areas the stars can show on Google, where business owners can control them:

  • Organic search results
  • Google Shopping
  • Google Ads (PPC ads)

Each has different strategies on how to populate, which we'll delve into separately. However, on a general notion this is what you'll need to take care of:

  • Have a great product
  • Request reviews from your customers
  • Display them on your website
  • Showcase reviews on relevant marketing surfaces

How To Get Reviews on Google for E-commerce Shops

The initial step for utilizing ratings and reviews is to collect them.

Then you'll need to display them somewhere on the product page itself before Google can show anything anywhere.

The eye-catcher is product ratings - a 1 to 5 star scale you should place above the fold on a product page.

Image: Product page ratings

Product page ratings

The actual reviews written by customers themselves are usually accessible after some scrolling.

Image: Product page reviews

Product page reviews

(A customer can decide to only rate a product without leaving an actual review)

There's multiple ways to put them on view, just make them easy to find. They're a tool for providing guidance when the cosy purchase spirit arises within a potential buyer, so reduce the path of resistance.

When ratings and reviews are integrated on a product page (normally through a plugin), you can prepare to show them on organic search results and in paid ads (mainly through Shopping Ads and Google Ads).

Difference Usage of Reviews on Organic Search, Shopping Ads and Google Ads

Organic Search Reviews

To enable them for organic search, a webpage needs to rattle the SEO toolbox of schema markups and add review structured data. This is code where review data is “marked” up and added to the HTML source code for the product page in question. A quick and easy win that enables review rich results snippets in search result pages.

Image: Standard “Blue Link” Listings and Google Stars

Standard “Blue Link” Listings and Google Stars

(Here combined with price and availability product information)

It sounds complicated, but with the right tools and plugins you can publish this in an instant (yes, metamanager is one of them).

The good thing about Google rating in normal search is that it's free, earned placement. Pay per click (PPC) ads do show above organic results, but did I mention they're free? There's also so many different product related queries paid ads will never be able to cover.

Simply add it to leverage one of the most profitable forms of marketing for a webshop.

Image: Paid vs Organic results

Paid vs Organic results

Additional Content Types With Review Snippet

Worth mentioning is that it's not only e-commerce products that are valid for the stars. There's a wide range of schema markups that combine structured data for reviews:

  • Book
  • Course
  • CreativeWorkSeason
  • CreativeWorkSeries
  • Episode
  • Event
  • Game
  • HowTo
  • LocalBusiness
  • MediaObject
  • Movie
  • MusicPlaylist
  • MusicRecording
  • Organization
  • Product
  • Recipe
  • SoftwareApplication

Here's two powerful usages of them:

Image: Book schema markup reviews

Book schema markup reviews

Image: Recipe schema markup reviews

Recipe schema markup reviews

(Reviews for recipes are typically combined with cooking time, nutrients, etc.)

Summary: Add reviews schema markup to your product page, either by using a plugin or metamanager.

Paid Ads: hopping Ads

Reviews Ratings in Shopping Ads are called Shopping star or Google Stars. They're an automated extension for advertisers with high ratings. It typically shows both star rating and the total amount of votes/reviews in listings on Google Shopping.

In Google search they can appear on top of search results or on in the right-hand column.

Image: Shopping Ads above search results

Shopping Ads above search results

Image: Shopping Ads in the right right-hand column

Shopping Ads right-hand column

They're also shown with more details on the shopping tab:

Image: Shopping Tab products

Shopping Tab products

Image: Shopping Tab details

Shopping Tab details

How to Get Reviews on Google

To populate Shopping Ads with reviews, you'll need the following:

  • Google Merchant Center account
  • Google Ads account
  • Google Customer Reviews or a third party review provider
  • Review feed (in XML format, following Google's acceptable feed structure for review data)

These criteria also needs to be fulfilled before anything is shown:

  • At least 50 reviews across all products
  • Minimum 3 reviews per product before they're shown
  • Feed must share all reviews with Google, including low ratings :(
  • Review feed updated and submitted to Merchant Center at least once a month

(Contrary to Google organic search, Shopping Ads can show reviews with less than 3.5)

To manage Google Shopping Ads you'll need a Google Ads account. Only reviews for individual products are used by Shopping Ads, which you get by using a third-party review service like Lipscore.

If you're selling the same type of products other stores are offering, you'll see an aggregate rating based on reviews from multiple e-commerce shops.

Summary: Create a review feed in accordance to Google specification, add it to a Merchant Center account and manage it through a Google Ads account (and add structured data).

Paid Ads - Google Ads Reviews

Star ratings for Google Ads are not individual product reviews, but rather “seller ratings” - an aggregated rating based on all reviews of your company/brand.

Image: Google Ads Seller Rating

Google Ads Seller Rating

(These ratings are the aggregated score from all reviews belonging to a business, or specifically a brand as shown in the screenshot above)

You'll need to pay a monthly fee and use a third-party review system to enable them in Google listings, and there's a few criteria that needs to be fulfilled:

  • At least 100 retailer reviews and ratings from unique users last past 12 months per domain and country
  • Minimum of 3.5 out of 5 stars for text ads
  • Google and/or its partners have completed a research evaluation

Summary: Create a review feed in accordance to Google specification, add it to a Merchant Center account and manage it through a Google Ads account.

Difference Between Product and Brand Reviews

An e-commerce business can show reviews in two ways:

  • Product reviews: The reviews for the products you're selling, showing in organic search results and Google Shopping for each individual product.
  • Brand reviews: All reviews for your company/brand used in Google Ads and knowledge panel.

It's important to differentiate product versus brand reviews when using third-party review systems, and actively take to heart the feedback they provide.

Page reviews are amassed from thousands of customers, which is hard to fix overnight.

If you take full control of the appearance of brand and product reviews, this is the areas they'll show:

  • Standard “Blue Link” Listings and Google Stars
  • Google Seller Ratings
  • Shopping Ads Ratings
    • Search result page (SERP)
    • Shopping tab
    • Right hand column
  • Local Pack Results and Google Stars
  • Rich Results, Like Recipes, and Google Stars
  • Third-Party Review Sites and Google Stars
  • App Store Results and Google Stars

Importance of Online Reviews and Ratings

Collecting reviews and show them where it's relevant can boost traffic and sales.

For example: An e-commerce customer of ours integrated Lipscore (a solution for gathering ratings and reviews) on their website, and metamanager were tasked to:

  • Use their review data and merge it with product price, availability and shipping information within a Product schema markup for organic search.
  • Build a review feed to show Google stars in Shopping Ads, and Google Seller Ratings in Google Ads.

The customer already had competitive pricing, free shipping and famous brands in their assortment, so we were eager to observe how reviews gave any additional impact.

According to PowerReviews, the top factors affecting online purchases are Ratings & Reviews. Interestingly, they more or less had the remaining USPs covered, so the effect would be easier to isolate.

Top factors behind purchases (PowerReviews):

  • Ratings & Reviews: 94%
  • Price of the product: 91%
  • Free shipping: 78%
  • Brand of the product: 65%
  • Recommendation from friends/family: 60%
  • Images from previous customers: 52% Imagery
  • Images from brand or retailer: 46%

First Lipscore gathered reviews until they reached Google's criteria threshold, then we deployed Product schema markup and review feed for Merchant Center. During a 2 month period, we saw the following development:

  • +416% clicks from organic search
  • +540% more organic impressions
  • +410% visible products on 1st page

A significant traffic uplift. As for sales we saw a conversion rate percentage increase of nearly 11% for pages with more than 3 reviews. Turned out to be pretty important indeed.

"We're experts on ratings and reviews for e-commerce. Book a meeting and we'll explore together how you can get it."