There are some great AdWords extensions available these days but seller rating extensions are easily one of our favourites. There’s nothing like having star ratings show on your ads for searches with commercial intent – and Google data shows they can increase your click-through rates by up to 10%.
The only problem is Google recently upped the number of reviews you need to qualify for seller rating extensions to 150 – up from a comparatively modest 30. Unsurprisingly, this upset a lot of retailers who worked hard to reach the previous target. So today we’ve got some advice on how to maximise your customer reviews and reach the new 150 benchmark.
First, get involved with Google Customer Reviews
Google is retiring its Trusted Stores program in favour of a new system called Google Customer Reviews. There are a number of differences between the new system and its predecessor but customer reviews will contribute to your seller rating in the same way Trusted Stores has been doing until now.
The point is you don’t want to be missing out on this contribution – so make sure your Trusted Stores data is successfully migrated over to Google Customer Reviews. This involves signing up to Merchant Center and opting into the program.
If you’re neither on the Trusted Stores program or signed up for its replacement, get yourself set up with Google Customer Reviews as soon as possible. This is will be vital to getting the maximum number of customer reviews and qualifying for seller rating extensions.
Advice from Reviews.co.uk
Google taps into customer feedback left on third-party review websites like Trustpilot and Reviews.co.uk, which also contribute to your seller rating. Aside from Google Customer Reviews, this will be your main source of feedback that helps you get on the seller rating system. So we reached out to the team over at Reviews.co.uk for some advice on how to build a strong profile of positive feedback.
Send emails asking for feedback
One feature we love about Reviews.co.uk is it allows you to upload your customers’ details and send automated requests for feedback.
“Our emails have the highest response/conversion rates in the industry. It’s fully customisable, or you can choose from one of ours.” – Simon Waters, Marketing Manager at Reviews.co.uk
A lot of this response rate comes down to the personalisation put into your emails. All you have to to is upload an .csv file containing your customers’ details into the Reviews dashboard and it will create personalised email requests based on the information you provide.
Ask for reviews at the right time
Reviews CEO Callum Mckeefery says timing is everything when it comes to approaching customers for feedback.
“Many companies make the mistake of inviting their customers to leave a review too early, when in fact, customers are much more likely to leave a review once they feel that they have an informed position from which they can publish their opinions about a product or service.” – Callum Mckeefery, Reviews CEO
Your customers need time to form an opinion about your services and/or products before they’ll be comfortable with leaving a review. Even if you’re selling items on the behalf of other brands, your customers will want to know they arrive on time and in good condition before they commit to reviewing your services.
Make it easy to leave reviews
The other trap many retailers fall into, according to Callum Mckeefery, is making it too difficult for customers to leave reviews. He suggests giving your customers convenient, private place to leave feedback so they don’t feel like their comments are going to be broadcast to the entire world.
“The majority of customers who have had positive shopping experiences with a company don’t express their feedback publicly; they are so-called ‘silent advocates,’” he says.
Make sure your services are worthy of positive feedback
Reviews Director Nikki Albano says you can’t expect positive feedback if your services aren’t up to scratch to begin with. It’s normal for some customers to experience problems with a transaction, product or service, but how you deal with these issues can make the difference between another happy customer and bad PR.
Nikki has the following advice on how to avoid negative reviews:
- Be easy to contact across multiple channels (phone, social media, email, etc.)
- Be quick to respond
- Make your customers feel valued
- Give them the option to leave public feedback
- Listen to the feedback they provide
It takes time and effort to earn positive reviews and negative feedback can be a real setback to building your online profile. So, aside from having an exceptional standard of service, make sure your customer care policies are equally as impressive for those times when things don’t go exactly according to plan.
Don’t be put off by needing 150 yearly reviews to qualify for seller rating extensions, even if that seems like a large number at this stage. Reviews.co.uk is one of Google’s trusted sources, meaning every review you collect via the platform contributes to your seller rating and gets you closer to qualifying for seller rating extensions in your text ads.
Google’s new review system is also designed to help you get more positive reviews from customers so you’ll find the positive feedback soon piles up if you give your customers the right incentive.