On Tuesday of this week, Google released a new feature that adds ratings to Product Listing Ads for both Google.com searches and Google.com/shopping searches. These ratings compile reviews from around the web to create a single rating on a 5 point scale for each particular product.
If you search for “candles,” for example, in Google Shopping you’ll see the following.
This Darice Unscented 12 Hour Votive candle has a five-star rating with four product reviews. It also happens to be the number one Google Shopping result and the only one that has a rating.
Searching for “blenders” provides another example. When we search for “blenders” in Google, the following comes up.
These sponsored shopping results show one blender with a four-star rating from 15 different reviews.
When we click into the Google Shopping results, we see something different. We see multiple products with reviews and two that are rated #1 and #2 for the term “blenders.”
As you can see, having ratings is a great way to stick out and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Google is also using these reviews to help customers make better choices as buyers. Here’s their official statement (which you can read in more detail here).
Product reviews provide critical information to shoppers making purchase decisions. To help shoppers easily find this information when searching for products, we’re introducing product ratings on Product Listing Ads.
Shoppers in the United States will see product ratings appear in the form of stars and review counts on Product Listing Ads across google.com and google.com/shopping. This 5-star rating system represents aggregated rating and review data for the product, compiled from multiple sources including merchants, third party aggregators, editorial sites and users.
We believe these ratings will help differentiate products across google.com and google.com/shopping and will help merchants drive more qualified traffic through Product Listing Ads. In initial tests, product ratings also helped increase click-through-rates of Product Listing Ads.
So how can you employ these product ratings to help your Product Listing Ads stand out and to get better click-through-rates. Let’s talk about that now.
How to Set Up Ratings for Your Campaigns
First, ratings for PLAs are only available to advertisers targeting the U.S. These reviews come from companies directly and from approved third party sources. Those sources include:
In order to get the ball rolling, you need to fill out this Product Ratings form for your business. Google also has the following grace-period policy in place which you should be aware of:
In order to give merchants time to share their review content, we’re offering a grace
period from late July through October, 2014. During this grace period, we’ll allow product ratings to be shown across all Product Listing Ads where we have product review data available. After the grace period, we’ll only show ratings for products from merchants who choose to share their reviews with us.
If you run PLA listing ads for your business, this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on. Go ahead and fill out the form so you can benefit from this new feature and so your products will stand out from everyone else’s.
You should also keep in mind that the stakes for offering great customer service and selling the best products just got higher. It doesn’t do any good to have product ratings listed if they’re poor, so beef up your customer service and social media support to make sure each and every customer has a great experience. If you eventually become the only five-star review in your industry, that will become the best differentiator of all.