Demonstrating your customer satisfaction by displaying your aggregate review star rating in search is one of the best ways to stand out in the organic search results on Google. The star rating is one form of possible ‘rich snippets’ – an additional line of information that appears near a Google search result.
Research has shown that websites that use rich snippets have regularly seen large increases in both organic ranking and click-through rates. Luckily, prepping your star-rating snippet is a relatively straightforward task requiring minimum developer support. Let’s explore the route to getting these set up.
First of all, to display your reviews, you need…reviews! Aggregate review snippets can take your reviews from a range of review platforms as well as your ratings on Google My Business and Facebook. You can also manually upload the reviews that you have stored offline. To create a credibility-worthy rating, we recommend starting with at least 10-15 reviews, but the more, the merrier.
If you’re starting from scratch with no reviews, there are a few ways to encourage your previous and current customers to leave a good review.
Start by making it easy! The easier it is to leave a review, the more likely your users are to take action – a simple star rating and optional comment box is often one of the simplest ways to gather reviews.
For more in-depth product reviews and feedback, start by asking your customers to leave reviews with an email campaign, or by adding a review box to your email signatures. You can make this more impactful by letting your customers know that you hope they enjoyed their previous purchase, and how it would help you as a business if they left you a quick review.
Many brands also use prize draws to incentivise customers to leave reviews. Consider creating a monthly prize draw for customers who leave reviews with additional entries for each one given – but be sure, again, to keep the process simple. You can also set up automated review requests for customers using customer review tools, where you can send 1-3 review reminders to the customers at regular intervals once they’ve bought from you.
Don’t forget to also use additional forms of feedback that may not have come in a traditional review form. Nice comments in an email or over the phone about your product or service can also be used when manually adding reviews to your website, and can be added anonymously if you don’t have permission to print your happy customer’s name.
The set-up process
The next step is to add schema markup to the relevant pages. Google (at the time of writing) doesn’t support star ratings on homepages or root domains, so be sure to add the relevant reviews to the relevant product or services pages on your website.
There are a few methods for adding schema markup, and this is where you’ll need some developer support. For WordPress users, there are several schema and review plugins to choose from that prep the schema markup for you. If you want to take a more manual approach or you’re not a WordPress user, Google Developer Tools has several guides on the steps to take with example code, and has created a helpful Structured Data Testing Tool so you can check whether it’s been implemented correctly.
Once your schema markup has been added and tested, you’ll then need to wait for the search engine to re-crawl your website. Without a prompt, Google may take up to six weeks to crawl your website, so if you’re in a hurry you can put in a manual request for them to re-crawl or re-index your website via your Google Search Console account. You can also resubmit your site map on Search Console to encourage them to index your website sooner.
Once you know it’s been indexed, start to search for your brand name, products and services – and you should start to see your rich snippets appear in the search
Now you’ve got the hang of review rich snippets, why not take a look at the other forms of rich snippets you can add to your website? This helpful infographic from Moz outlines the benefits of using this function to highlight locations, authors, events, products, video content, recipes, phone numbers and more!