How to Get Product Reviews in Google Search and on Google Shopping

Online reviews are really important. They legitimize your brand and your product. Around 95% of consumers read reviews before they buy anything. 72% of customers say they use Google reviews to find businesses [source]. How do you get these catchy yellow star reviews to populate on Google’s search results just like your competitors?

I’m going to teach you the ins and outs of product and brand reviews on Google. This includes getting your reviews to populate in the organic search results, Google Shopping and PPC ads. Surprisingly, there’s a different strategy for getting reviews to populate in these different places.

My background in eCommerce is unique. I own a digital agency in The Media Captain that works with hundreds of brands. We have extensive experience helping our clients generate more revenue in eCommerce. Reviews are a big reason why site visitors turn into customers. Additionally, my sister and I started our own eCommerce brand, DermWarehouse. We have over 250,000 customers and are one of the highest rated beauty sites on TrustPilot, with 4.9/5 stars and over 5,000 reviews. I’m going to help you better understand Google reviews and pick a route that best fits your business. 

Need Help with your eCommerce strategy? Contact The Media Captain! 

Importance of Online Reviews 

For our clients and our in-house eCommerce brand, we see a lift in conversion rate percentage of nearly 10% when there are more than 10 reviews and above a 4.5 star rating on a product page. Before prospective customers spend their money, they want to make sure the site is trustworthy and the product they are purchasing is reliable. 

Difference Between Shopping, PPC and Organic 

Many people don’t realize there’s a different review strategy for shopping vs. PPC vs. organic. I included examples below to show you the difference between each. 

Shopping 

    • The product images at the very top are called Google Shopping Ads. In order to get your products on Google Shopping, you must have a Google Merchant Center account. The Google Shopping Ads are then managed through your Google Ads account. The reviews that pull in for Google Shopping are for individual products on your site. Oftentimes for Google Shopping reviews, you need to sign-up for a third party review system, like TrustPilot or YotPo (we do a deeper dive on this further into the blog). Also, if you sell a product that other eCommerce stores are selling, you could see an aggregate rating for the rating based on the overall review average from multiple sellers.

Related Blog: How to Optimize Your eCommerce Product Page for SEO

PPC 

These are text based advertisements. The reviews that show in PPC ads are not individual product reviews, they are company reviews. Similar to Shopping Ads, in order to get these reviews to populate, you need to have a certain number of reviews and pay a monthly fee plus sign-up for a third party review system.

Organic 

Organic (also known as SEO) are the results on Google that come below the paid ads. You don’t have to pay per click for organic, it’s earned placement, making it one of the most profitable forms of marketing. For reviews to populate on organic results, you don’t need a third party review system on individual product pages. You can do this directly through plugins/add-ons on your eCommerce platform like Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce and others through schema markup.

Difference Between Product and Brand Reviews 

There are two different types of reviews you can get for your eCommerce business. There’s product reviews, which are reviews for the actual products that you’re selling. These are the reviews that pull in for Google Shopping and Organic that are associated with individual products. There’s also brand reviews, which are reviews for your brand, which would pull in for PPC.

Let’s continue using DermWarehouse as an example. Below would be the difference between a brand review and product review. 

Brand Review Example: “I loved DermWarehouse! The customer service was exceptional and the shipping was very fast. I’d refer them to a friend!”

Product Review Example: The results I’m seeing from Park Perfection Instant Eye Lift are amazing! Within two minutes, I’m seeing results that last for hours.” 

When you send reviews through a third party review system like TrustPilot or YotPo, you must be strategic in how you stagger out the product versus the brand reviews. It’s important that you focus on getting both of these review types.

Pay To Play For Third Party Review Systems 

In order to get reviews to populate on your paid advertisements (Shopping and PPC) you need to be connected with one of the third party review companies below. There’s a monthly fee associated with all of these review systems, which comes as a surprise to many. Additionally, you need at least 50 total reviews amongst all of your products before the reviews start to populate in your Google Shopping Ads. You then need three reviews associated with each individual product. 

My Issue with The High Expense 

My issue with the third party review systems is they cost a lot of money each month. For our in-house eCommerce brand, DermWarehouse, we pay TrustPilot $685 per month. It’s worth it for us since we have over 250,000 customers and our reviews help increase our conversion rate percentage on our PPC and Shopping Ads. 

For many smaller eCommerce brands just starting out, paying several hundred dollars per month is a challenge. It’s tough to acquire new customers when you don’t have any product or brand reviews. What we recommend to our clients is relying on friends, family and connections to try your product (even at a discount) to get legitimate reviews and feedback on your site before you start paying the large monthly fee. When we first launched DermWarehouse, TrustPilot was one of the first services that we purchased. We knew that in order to get new customers, we needed the legitimacy that comes with the reviews. Even though the cost was steep, getting reviews on our site was a huge turning point for us.

The Free Option For Paid Ads – Google Customer Reviews 

If you don’t want to use one of the third party services referenced above, you can use Google Customer Reviews. This is Google’s own review gathering platform. The issue with Google Customer Reviews is you don’t control the experience and it’s somewhat clunky. Customers will need to opt-in before making their purchase in order to be sent a review request email. Additionally, the survey from Google can’t be customized. 

Google Customer Reviews is a great place to start if you don’t want to absorb the high monthly fee yet. 

Schema Markup for Organic Listings 

For your reviews to populate in the organic results, you don’t need to sign-up for a third party software. It’s more simple. In the example below, you can see the rating, number of reviews and pricing all populate in the organic result. This is done through schema markup for reviews.

Related Blog: How to get schema markup added on your site

According to Search Engine Land, the rich snippets associated with schema make your web pages appear more prominently in SERPs. This improved visibility has been shown to improve click-through rates. This makes sense as you would be more likely to click on a product that has reviews versus one that doesn’t. 

Schema sounds complex. Don’t worry. You can utilize plugins for WooCommerce for Schema and add-ons for Shopify to easily get schema added to your sites so your reviews start to populate in the organic results without the assistance of a developer. 

In Closing

Reviews are important for any eCommerce business. It’s important to understand how reviews work on Google so you can incorporate this into your overall eCommerce strategy. You should now know the difference between organic reviews, Google Shopping reviews and PPC reviews.

Once more reviews start to populate on Google, this will drive down your cost per acquisition and should make your business more profitable.

After learning more about how to get product reviews on Google, you should be able to make the right decision based on where your business is currently situated to succeed with reviews.

If you need any eCommerce support with advertising, development or reviews, Contact The Media Captain!

Jason Parks

Jason Parks started The Media Captain in 2010. He’s grown TMC into one of the largest digital agency’s in Ohio over the past decade.The Media Captain has worked with hundreds of small, medium and enterprise clients on digital marketing and development projects.The Columbus Based Digital Marketing Agency has received numerous accolades. TMC was named a Top 1% Agency in the U.S. by UpCity in 2019 and 2020. They also won the “Best PPC Campaign,” which was a national award from DashThis. They were also the recipient of the Top 10 Social Media Marketing Agencies in Ohio.

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