Success case - Google Ratings and Reviews for E-commerce
TL;DR: Displaying reviews and ratings on Google for our customer Lampehuset led to a dramatic increase in traffic. Learn how we did it.
- Date published
- Date modified
- Erik Bonsaksen
Implementation of ratings on our shopping ads and organic search results gave a significant boost to CTR and traffic volume. Through metamanager, implementation was quick, without the need for assistance from our developers.Anna SvärdE-commerce Manager at Lampehuset
Increase Organic Traffic
More products eligible to show Google stars
Google's search engine is the primary source for researching a product before any online (and offline) purchase.
Why? Because Google is a world leading user experience service to provide relevant information to e-commerce related queries. Their army of bots continuously visits all known webshops on the web to get a picture of what their products are all about, in order to show these product pages when a user is on a generous purchasing journey.
E-commerce websites have methods to highlight product information such as reviews and price directly in organic search result pages and in paid ads, which has a proven track record of boosting traffic and sales.
Lampehuset is a lighting store that tasked their marketing agency Fullstakk to make sure their products were showing as many reviews as possible on Google, in addition to price, availability and shipping details on organic search and paid advertising (primarily Shopping Ads).
Lipscore was already used to collect reviews, ratings and for displaying them on the website, so metamanager was selected as a solution by Fullstakk for distributing review data and product information to organic results and Google Merchant Center.
Why Care About Google Reviews and Ratings
While Google bots are able to fetch a lot of product information from webpages, it's sometimes necessary to provide them with additional data that they can't get themselves. And the most powerful supplement for e-commerce shops are reviews and ratings.
Google reviews for organic search can be provided through structured data. This enables "richer presentation" of website content on a search engine results page (SERP).
Image: Product page in SERP without review structured data
Image: Product page in SERP with Review structured data (star rating)
Image: Product page in SERP with Product structured data (merged with Review markup)
Reviews on shopping ads are submitted through a review feed that's added to a Merchant Center account (and managed through a Google Ads account), enabling an aggregated star rating to show on all shopping related placements (see all types here).
Image: Shopping Ad without Shopping stars
Image: Shopping Ad with Shopping stars
There's a lot of studies and statistics that support the claim that reviews can impact traffic and sales. Here's two examples:
- According to a report from (Trustpilot), approximately 88% of consumers check reviews before any online purchase.
- A study from (Labay) saw a correlation between the attention-grabbing effect star ratings have in SERP with a 35% uplift in click-through rates (CTR).
Safe to say, reviews and ratings play a pivotal role for many consumers before anything is bought nowadays, so leveraging this opportunity is often a must for webshops that operate in highly competitive markets.
Lampehuset uses Lipscore - a review management system, to collect reviews and ratings from their customers. A Lipscore widget was integrated directly into Lampehuset's product pages in order to show aggregated ratings and reviews per product from customers.
Image: Lipscore widget - Aggregated ratings
Image: Lipscore widget - Reviews
Multiple products that had eligible reviews were not showing star ratings on Google. In fact for organic results only 34.6% of qualified product pages showed the five star rating, and none of them were showing additional product price or availability.
For Shopping Ads there were a lot of reviews that were lacking a GTIN, a unique product identifier, that is required in a Merchant Center account before products can show Shopping stars.
Summed up, there was 3 challenges for Fullstakk to solve:
- Organic search: Get reviews rich snippets to show for all applicable product pages
- Organic search: Combine additional product information such as price, availability and shipping details together with reviews
- Paid search: Get star ratings on all applicable product pages in Shopping Ads
Image: Review rich snippet (and price, stock and shipping data) missing from product pages
Image: Google stars missing from products on Shopping Ads
Lampehuset had already implemented some Product and Review schema markups, but not on all pages or they were incomplete.
lack of GTIN associated with a review or rating
For Shopping it was a lack of GTIN associated with a review or rating. In order for Google to enable five star ratings on Shopping Ads, a product's unique GTIN number needs to be associated with its review. Lipscore is a best-in-class solution for collecting reviews and ratings, but sometimes it can be a challenge to get the particular GTIN of the product a customer is leaving a review for, as this is relying on user inputs.
Fullstakk decided on 3 different solutions: Ensure the website is sending all GTINs / SKUs that matches Lipscore data metamanager creates a Lipscore review-feed that matches Google Shopping feed products with reviews Create a Product schema markup that merge Review schema markup
They went for option 2 and 3.
metamanager is a third-party tool for managing HTML meta data and publishing structured data on a website. It has the ability to combine different data sources and use them to create all sorts of schema markups.
In this case, metamanager was used to automate Product schema markups for the webshop. This allowed Fullstakk to create structured data complete with all product attributes relevant, combine it with review data and ensure the markup was added specifically to every product page.
All the information was merged from Lampehuset's Shopping feed and Lipscore data. The same data was also used to create a review feed for Google Merchant Center.
Image: Schema Markup publishing and automating tool
This is often a job reserved for developers, but it's not necessary when you already have the available information at hand and there's an existing solution that can publish structured data in minutes, in accordance with Google's best practices.
Image: Data merge architecture for creating schema markup and a review feed
When all data is merged with the correct markup structure, it's important to validate the markup to ensure they'll show up in SERP.
When markup and review feed was submitted, they were able to get the full extent of available snippets for e-commerce.
What happened when Lipscore reviews were actively shown on all surfaces?
- +416% clicks from organic search
- +410% more products on first result page
- +540% more organic impressions
- …and way more products actually showing the five stars in the SERP
- 0.5% increase in average CTR per week, a relative increase of 135%
- 21% more products eligible to show Google stars on Shopping Ads
Image: Immediate CTR impact on Shopping Ad after reviews were deployed
metamanager is an automated and flexible system for combining data and using it for SEO and SEM purposes, which makes it possible to squeeze some extra juice out of your marketing efforts.
Reviews and ratings are one of the most powerful features an e-commerce shop can make use of. Leveraging their full extent can therefore ensure you're improving the metrics that really matter for your business.
"We're experts on ratings and reviews for e-commerce. Book a meeting and we'll explore together how you can get it."