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How to get seller ratings in Google Ads

Categories: PPC

A guide to seller ratings, including how they appear, what the minimum requirements are and what to do if yours aren’t showing.

Seller ratings make your ads more visible in Google Search and show a review score for users to help them pick a reputable company. They also give you an opportunity to make your brand stand out with high review scores.

Used correctly, seller ratings increase CTRs and reduce consumer anxiety, making users more likely to convert before they’ve even landed on your website. So, yes, you want seller ratings showing on your ads. This article explains precisely how to get them.

What are seller ratings in Google Ads?

Seller ratings are an ad extension in Google Ads available for text ads and Shopping ads in Google Search. This is an automated extension type that you can opt-in to use and then Google will generate your seller ratings if you meet the right criteria.

We’ll cover the criteria you need to meet in the next section but first, let’s clarify what seller ratings look like in Google Ads.

Example of a seller ad

Above, you can see the official Google illustration of what seller ratings look like in a text ad. The extension places a rating out of five stars with the number of reviews this score is comprised of in brackets. Finally, a qualifier is shown to the right of your rating to highlight the key reason you achieve your rating (e.g. average delivery time) if such data is available.

In the wild, this is what seller ratings can look like in text ads.

Example of how seller ratings appear in the search results

If you’re running Shopping ads, you may also see your seller rating referenced in green, as below. This is not to be confused with Product Ratings that show as a score out of five stars and a label stating the number of “product reviews” this score is sourced from.

samsung ad showing 96% positive seller rating

Seller ratings are designed to help users choose quality retailers to buy from while Product Ratings are there to help them choose the best individual product. You can find a more in-depth explanation in our Google Shopping: Seller vs product ratings article.

What are the requirements for seller ratings?

Seller ratings only show in Search Network campaigns on a country-by-country basis. So, if you’re running ads across the EU, for example, your seller ratings will be different for each country and they might not show at all for certain nations.

It all comes down to the reviews you’ve received as a retailer in each country.

With that in mind, the requirements for seller ratings start to make a lot more sense:

  • First, you need to have 100+ unique reviews within the past 12 months from any given country, across Google Customer Reviews and third-party review partners (you’ll find a list here).
  • You also need an average rating of 3.5 or more stars for seller ratings to show in your text ads (seller ratings lower than 3.5 can currently show in Google Shopping campaigns).
  • Your ad’s visible URL domain must match the domain linked to your ratings.
  • Google and/or its partners need to evaluate and approve your website.

So the key to getting seller ratings in Google Ads is to have more than 100+ reviews within the past 12 months and an average score of 3.5 stars or more – for each country, at any given time.

You can also check to see if you have a seller rating for any specific country by typing the following URL into any browser:

https://www.google.com/shopping/ratings/account/lookup?q={yourwebsite}

Simply replace {yourwebsite} with your homepage URL and you’ll be able to view information about your store, including your seller rating if your website meets Google’s requirements. There’s also a country selector that allows you to view this information on a per-country basis.

What if my seller rating doesn’t show?

Google has changed its requirements for seller ratings multiple times in recent years and some businesses have seen their ratings disappear as a result. Some have even seen them reappear again in 2018 after Google reduced the number of reviews required down to 100 from 150 in the past 12 months.

If you’re not seeing seller ratings, you need to determine how many reviews you’re currently getting on a yearly basis from Google Customer Reviews and third-party partners like Trustpilot.

In 2016, Reviews.io calculated that a small business would need to complete 2,000+ transactions per year, in a given country, to achieve the 150 annual review requirement at the time. So this gives you an idea of what to aim for given the threshold has now dropped down to 100+ reviews over a 12-month period.

How to generate more reviews

If you’re not getting enough reviews, there are three key steps to follow:

  1. Check review sites for unclaimed feedback
  2. Ask customers to leave reviews
  3. Respond to reviews

Start by checking third-party review sites to see if you have any unclaimed profiles that are generating consistent feedback. If you find any unclaimed profiles that could boost your annual totals, you might want to consider claiming them (keep in mind, you often have to pay for the privilege).

After a sale, ask customers to leave reviews after transactions are complete. And make sure that you respond to customer reviews on the same platforms on which they originally leave them. Don’t automate generic responses or ask reviewers to contact support. Be conversational and try to resolve any issues transparently because this is what future potential customers are going to see when they check out your profile of reviews.

Related reading: How to get more Google reviews?

Increasing your review scores

Finally, you need to make sure your average score is hitting that 3.5-star minimum average and this one all comes down to keeping those customers happy. Remember, it’s not the product that seller ratings are there to score, it’s the quality of your service as a business/retailer. The customer experience counts for a lot. How does your business operate after people have handed over their money compared to anything you do before the purchase was made?

Improving average review scores can take time, but the improvements you need to make in order to achieve this will benefit your business across the board.

Seller ratings are a powerful tool for retailers but they can be a little elusive for smaller businesses that can’t always generate the required number of reviews on an annual basis. Thankfully, Google reduced the threshold in 2018, which makes seller ratings accessible to a much larger range of business, but many companies that only needed 30+ reviews pre-2016 have never recovered.

The good news is there are steps you can take to increase the number of reviews your business generates and the review scores you end up with too.

Need help with your eCommerce PPC campaigns?

Find out more about our eCommerce PPC services or call us on 02392 830281 if you’d like to chat to one of our experts.

James is Head of PPC at Vertical Leap.

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