Google Customer Reviews: get feedback; earn ratings


Google has rebranded its Trusted Stores programme, replacing it with a new Customer Reviews programme. It’s a free service, with minimal setup, and is available for retailers in New Zealand.

You know our stand on this — we’ve written before about how including consumer reviews on your website can increase conversions. And more than once, as it happens.

Before you get started, you do need to have set up a Merchant Center account, which you’ll already have anyway if you are running shopping or Product Listing ads. You’ll also need to add some website code to trigger an opt-in survey once a consumer completes checkout.

Reviews go towards Seller Ratings (the stars shown in AdWords and Shopping ads, which can also be shown on sellers’ websites).

Why should you care?

Easy does it.

Before you rush to start using Google Customer Reviews, there are some caveats for cautious merchants.

First, you’ll need to have received at least 150 reviews over the past 12 months in order for seller ratings stars to be shown in your ads. This applies to all review platforms, of course, but whereas third party customer review platforms follow up with an email invitation to every confirmed purchaser, Google Customer Reviews are opt-in only, with no customisation options.

Second, if you’re using an e-commerce platform like Shopify or Magento, you’re plum out of luck. Google Customer Reviews requires that the basket pages be hosted on your own web server.

Third, and while there are other considerations this one’s probably most important: merchants cannot respond to feedback. Unlike Google Customer Reviews, you can find some third party platforms that allow a grace period where you can attempt to resolve any issues before bad reviews and poor ratings go public.

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About the Author Jeremy Templer

Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in the development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End. At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he is the head of Paid Search Advertising and oversees the delivery of AdWords and other PPC campaigns. He also helps clients make sense of their website data.