You may have seen seller ratings appear in Google Ads – or perhaps in organic search where they are being tested.
It’s the one to five star ratings that are sometimes shown in search and shopping ads.
You may have wondered if these ratings are something you can (or should) add to your Google Ads campaigns.
Unfortunately, not every advertiser is eligible to use seller ratings.
And while seller reviews technically don’t cost extra, the reality isn’t quite so simple.
Let’s take a closer look at Google Ads seller ratings so you can decide if they’re a good addition to your paid search marketing campaigns.
What do seller ratings look like?
Let’s start by explaining exactly what we mean Seller ratings.
Here’s an example of a Shopping ad with it (the ratings are circled in red):
Here’s an example from a text search ad (ratings are circled in red):
As you can see, sellers are rated on a scale from one to five stars. Google compiles these ratings from various sources that collect business reviews, such as Google itself and other organizations, such as Trustpilot.
The rating also includes the number of reviews a business or product has received.
Seller ratings are an automated extension
Seller ratings are an automated add-on, so you can’t control when and how often Google will include them with your ads.
However, you can decide not to apply it or not Remove them completelyif you choose.
Based on our experience, seller ratings tend to show ads about a third of the time (although this can vary widely from industry to industry).
Normally, you need to accumulate a minimum of 100 seller ratings in the last 12 months from one country before this extension will ever appear.
Once you hit the 100 ratings mark, you should start showing up. Get ready to track performance so you can see if they’re having any impact.
Usually, we see these extensions appear very quickly once all requirements are met, but others suggest that the process can take up to six weeks.
As a precaution, the Seller Ratings extension will not appear if your rating falls below 3.5 stars.
So if an issue comes up causing your ratings to drop, you don’t have to worry about 1- or 2-star ratings appearing with your ads.
How much do seller ratings cost?
Here is where things get a little confusing.
According to Google, there is no additional fee for using this extension. You only get charged when people click on your ad, as usual.
But there is more to the story.
It is difficult for some advertisers to meet the requirement to accumulate at least 100 reviews in the past 12 months.
Google will include its Google customer reviews in its account, of course, but these may not be enough in number.
Thus, most advertisers will have to work with a third-party vendor to collect customer reviews in order to reach those thresholds.
Companies like Trustpilot and Yotpo specialize in providing these types of services. Naturally, they charge a monthly fee for their services, which can add up.
Fees can vary based on the application and provider, so it’s worth shopping around to find a competitive rate. (You can find a list with Sellers Seller rating here.)
Take promises of results with a grain of salt
If you decide to look for a third party ratings vendor to work with, enjoy their hype.
Some sellers claim that including seller ratings extensions will increase ad rank, improve quality score, and increase traffic by up to 10%.
It seems unlikely that one simple ad add-on can do all of this – especially if you’re already doing a good job with ad rank, quality score, etc.
Usually, getting such results requires a comprehensive approach to advertising that includes every tool in your arsenal, from ad formats to messages to keywords.
Yes, additional ad information for seller rating may play an important role.
But don’t expect them to do all this on their own.
Should You Test Seller Rating Extensions?
Given everything we’ve covered, when should you enable and test seller rating extensions?
The answer is, it depends.
As we noted above, we’ve never been able to draw a direct line from seller rating stretches to a higher CTR. The effect has never been so clear or obvious.
However, this does not mean that seller ratings are not a good idea for some advertisers.
Here are some situations where it might make sense to test seller rating extensions:
All of your competitors use it
In some retail markets, almost every advertiser includes seller ratings in their ads.
The lack of this extension may raise red flags with potential buyers, so you better join.
None of your competitors use them.
If none of your competitors use seller rating extensions, you may be able to use them as a way to stand out from the crowd.
It might be worth a try.
You are competing with Big Box brands
If you’re trying to stand up to big retail brands like Home Depot, Costco, or IKEA, seller ratings can be a good way to direct some attention away from them and toward you.
In short, if you feel like seller ratings might give your ads a little boost, give them a try.
If you don’t see any noticeable increase from it, you can consider turning it off until things change and you’re ready to test it again.
Seller Ratings: Another tool in your marketing arsenal
Every business and advertiser is different, so only you can decide if seller ratings are worth testing in your Google Ads accounts.
Unfortunately, the test becomes more complicated due to the need for minimal revisions.
However, don’t let that extra burden keep you away.
If you have a hunch that seller ratings might be right for you and your business, give them a try!
- A guide to Google star ratings and how they work
- Google tests seller ratings in organic search
- Ecommerce Marketing: The Ultimate Guide
Featured image: Victoria Korbas/Shutterstock