How to get Star Ratings in your Google Adwords Ads

Get Seller Ratings Stars on Adwords

Have you ever wondered how to get those stars on your Google Adwords ads? Want to easily increase conversions? Google has now made it a lot more simple to get the stars. Before you had to do all kinds of integration into your Google Base or Google merchant account, but not anymore. Today what Google does is license out to independent 3rd party review companies. These companies are authorized by Google and the stars are normally the ones that you see in Google Shopping. They also show in your Google Adwords and now BingAds/Yahoo. BTW, BingAds controls Yahoo PPC. These seller rating stars will work for both service based companies and eCommerce websites.

Finding Companies that are authorized review sites by Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Let’s face it, there are many review sites out there. Maybe you even have one of them, but those reviews will not show as star ratings in Google Adwords, BingAds/Yahoo, nor Google Shopping if it’s not licensed by Google. What you can do is go to Google Shopping and look for reviews for particular stores. Often you will see the same companies there over and over. ResellerRatings, TrustPilot,Bizrate, & Shopper Approved are just some of them. You may also noticed that some of them are more geared to particular countries. TrustPilot is based in UK, but they just opened a location in New York a couple years ago.

Criteria

In order to get these stars you will need to be on the Search or the Display Network. The searcher must be on Google in USA, UK, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Japan, France, Netherlands, & Brazil. *Update 1/20/2017: Italy, Spain, Canada, India now added!*  Your business must have at least 150 reviews all from within the past 12 months. [SIDE NOTE: 150 reviews is a lot for a mom & pop company. You can send a special URL to all your past customers to get a jump start to reach the 150 mark]. In addition, the reviews must have a rating of at least 3.5 stars or higher. You don’t need a Google merchant account anymore to get the stars. Google says these ratings are free, but in my experience you pretty much have to pay the 3rd party review site so in my book yes it is free to have the stars appear on your Google Adwords ads. It’s is not free overall because you will be paying a monthly subscription.

Learn more about the seller ratings criteria here.

Lag time

As you start getting these reviews on the independent third-party websites, you will probably surpass the minimum of 150 reviews that Google requires. I noticed that when I hit the required amount of reviews, Google still had not indexed all those reviews. I had a client who had hit 84 reviews on Shopper Approved, but Google had only index maybe about 15. There is a lag time between the time you get the reviews and when Google indexes the reviews. I would say it’s about 3 to 4 weeks. And this has happened to me about 10 times already with 10 different clients. So don’t be getting frustrated like I did and start calling up your representative at Google AdWords asking, “Why am I not seeing my stars on my Google AdWords ads?” If you have set up your data feed from the independent third party review website, eventually Google will index the reviews. It’ll take time.

Want to see how many reviews Google has indexed for you? Change the overstock.com to your site. Do not put http or www in front. http://www.google.com/shopping/seller?q=overstock.com

Increase in conversions

You may be wondering why should you pay extra money a month to get the stars? Well the real answer is you may be making more money. This would be likely if you are in an industry where none of the competition is doing this. In addition, you should make an annotation in Google Analytics on the day you have started getting the stars on your ads and check to see if conversion rates have increased starting that day.

Choosing a review company

When you start talking to these companies, they are always going to say that their product is better than the competition. It all comes down to you getting the stars on your Adwords ads. Some will allow you to reach out to your past customers and ask them for reviews. Others will charge for that feature. For my clients it was imperative that we ask their past customers for reviews by sending them the link to the review survey. It gave my clients a jump start on the review campaigns.

I did some research on several third party review sites and found that some of them do contracts for 1 year. I would recommend going with one that is a monthly subscription with no contract.

For those of you who are on a smaller budget (like me), I would highly recommend looking into Shopper Approved versus the other review sites, because they only cost about $99 a month. UPDATE: Use our link below and it’s $79/mo (NO CONTRACTS). The other companies on this list cost between $400 and $599 per month. In addition, if someone leaves you a bad review on Shopper Approved, you can dispute it. I have done this a couple times where the customer left a one out of five star rating. It was an undeserved review so I disputed it. Now let me be upfront, you cannot fight all the negative reviews that will be coming through because the companies like Shopper Approved will not change the review for you if it is a legit negative review.

So to save you time here are the five companies I narrowed it down to.  Hopefully this will save you time.

Seller Ratings reviews are for the company as a whole like, “Good Customer Services” & “Fast Shipping. Product reviews are for the specific product like, “High Quality product” & “This works great”. In addition to Seller Ratings and Product Reviews, there are Google Maps reviews which we will talk about in another post.

BEWARE: Do NOT pay for things you’ll never use. If you don’t have an ecommerce site, then you probably don’t need product reviews. But you’ll most likely need Seller Reviews. If you need help picking a company, contact me on live chat or through my contact page. I have worked with all these companies.

Disclaimer: Shopper Approved asked us to partner with them. We have no problem recommending them because they are working for all of our clients. Use our partner link to get 60 days of free service instead of the typical 30 days.

Shopper Approved

Starts at $79/mo

https://www.shopperapproved.com/special/planetmarketing/78
Shopper Approved (Update 9/28/2016) – Starts at $79/mo “if” you use our link! If not, then it’s $99/mo (but you have to call them since their site says $199/mo to start) and you have to pay upfront $1188 for the entire year. Save $20.00/mo + get 60 days FREE trial! Shopper Approved is based out of Utah and seem like very humble people. Their rates are on a sliding scale which normally start at $199/mo (as shown below). The $79/mo plan is for small companies. If you have any problems, you can reach us through live chat. We will have remote access to your Shopper Approved dashboard. Once you sign up using the 60 day free trial, Cresta or Todd will contact you. They are great people.


Verified Reviews

Starts at $80/mo

https://www.planetmarketing.com/review-companies/verified-reviews
Verified-Reviews (Added to this list on 10/21/2016) – 15 day free trial + no credit card needed! It’s normally $99/mo, but once you sign up for the free trial, CALL Pierre and ask him about the 20% discount. This is a month-to-month (no contract) subscription. Most people don’t wait for the 15 day free trial to end because it’s a great option. Talk to Pierre if you need a demo and tell him you heard about the 20% discount on Planet Marketing. The discount is not advertised on his site! Again, no credit card needed.


Trust Pilot

Starts at $400+/mo

https://www.planetmarketing.com/review-companies/trust-pilot
Trust Pilot – (Update: Trust Pilot increased pricing on the smallest package from $400 to $599/mo somewhere around May 2016). Trust Pilot called me a long time ago and tried to sell me on their service. At that time, they didn’t show their prices on their site. Now they are displaying their smallest package which starts at $599/mo; HOWEVER, this has to be paid upfront for the whole year! $7188 USD upfront? OUCH! Anyway, one thing with Trust Pilot is you can price haggle them. Lesson: NEGOTIATE with TrustPilot and give them a low ball offer, especially since they require payment upfront for a whole year. TP is a great company if you have a good sized business. They have their own following too, but it’s stronger in UK.

If you want to try out TrustPilot for free and simply get reviews on your Adwords Ads, go to our TrustPilot partner link. Same thing applies, you’re going to get a hard core salesman so be prepared! Once that trial is up, you’ll need to pay whatever you negotiate.


Yotpo

Starts at $400/mo

https://www.yotpo.com/agencies-rad/?agency=planetmarketing
Yotpo – Yotpo (weird name 😛 ) is a newcomer. It looks promising, but still too new for me to vouch for [Update 9/30/2016: these guys look like they are here to stay]. Take a careful look at their features and talk to the company before subscribing. The owner’s name is John-David Klausner and he’s a cool guy. Yotpo’s pricing starts at around $400. Guess what? If you go to Yotpo’s pricing page you’ll notice there’s NO PRICE! https://www.yotpo.com/pricing/


Reseller Ratings

Pricing starts all over the place!

ResellerRatings – ResellerRatings is probably the biggest one of all the review sites. Their pricing is based off an “algorithm” which means your pricing is subject to change each month. Something funny though, it has the worse reviews too!


We would recommend the above 5 companies in this order: 1) Shopper Approved 2) Verified Reviews 3) Yotpo 4) Trustpilot 5) ResellerRatings. In addition to seller ratings, all five companies offer product reviews (Shopper Approved is the best value for month-to-month).

SIDE NOTE: These types of reviews are COMPLETELY different than the rich snippet schema.org reviews that show on organic results (normally called product reviews). Here is our blog post of How to Get Product Reviews on Google Search.

Francisco
Francisco
Francisco is the owner of Planet Marketing. He has many years of experience online marketing and web development. In his spare time he enjoys writing about internet marketing and web development. He loves coaching people and has a few students. Follow him on Google+ or on Twitter

54 Comments

  1. […] prospective customers who are comparing us to other companies.  We will use Shopper Approved to get star ratings on Google. We have achieved stars on our clients Adwords ads as shown below so this process is not […]

  2. […] party reviews. These reviews show up on your Adwords Ads as shown on the image below. Read more on how to get Google star ratings […]

  3. Foodie says:

    Thanks, useful information… When did companies like Trusted Pilot ask you to pay?

  4. Pradeep says:

    For Indians niche is they any website same like shoppers approved? Currently we are using TestimonialsFor

  5. Lisa Milton says:

    We are an online store for the Mexican market. Do you have any idea which of the sites you mentioned might work for google.mx? We have had difficulty getting our stars on for this market. Thanks!!! And thanks for your great article as well.

    • Francisco says:

      I don’t think Mexico is part of this. You may need to contact the 3rd party companies. Try contacting them through Twitter. It’ll probably be way faster.
      You can also try to get organic star ratings by implementing schema.org ratings. Let me know if you need more help.

  6. Jim says:

    Very informative article. TrustPilot has been very persistent in getting us to sign on with them. Your article provides valuable insight that I hadn’t found elsewhere online. I will likely contact Shopper Approved. I agree with your “negotiate” assessment.

    • francisco says:

      Jim, the guys at Shopper Approved are awesome at costumer service. I don’t think you can negotitate with Shopper Approved, but with expensive TrustPilot, you probably still can. You know what the TrustPilot rep told me when I said we were looking at Shopper Approved? He said, “You get what you pay for.” Poor guy. I don’t care about Trustpilot’s community. I care about my clients’ star ratings.

      Good luck Jim.

  7. Mike says:

    Thanks Francisco. Do Google+ reviews show on Google AdWords and if they do, are the rules the same as for the other platforms like Truspilot etc? Or do they just show in local searches?

    • admin says:

      No, I don’t think G+ review show up in Adwords. They do show up in Google Shopping though. The stars from Shopper Approved and Trust Pilot are only for PAID search, not the Google Maps area. That’s considered non-paid

  8. […] This is not just about a Shopper Approved review, it’s a post about how you can use Shopper Approved for other things besides Adwords star ratings. […]

  9. Jason says:

    Great stuff here, I’ve been spending hours searching for a service to do this after realizing Yotpo charges $500 per month. What service do you recommend for product reviews on Google Shopping ads…same ones?

    • admin says:

      Hey Jason, Francisco here. I wrote the post. $500/mo!? Tell the to get lost. It’s only stars. 🙂
      Go with Shopper Approved. They have the individual product review feature too. Go ahead and sign up to the 60-day free trial. If you need help, let me know. Go to my partner link and you’ll only pay the $29.95. They may have raised their price though.

  10. Dan says:

    Thank you for the explanation
    Our online law school can definitely use those

  11. […] wrote an article regarding Google Seller Ratings a while back. It seems like a lot of people actually liked the post and got the 3rd party review […]

  12. […] great eye catcher would be if mineraltiles.com had organic stars (see image 1) in addition to their Adwords star ratings. The credibility starts before a visitor gets to your site. Getting product reviews for […]

  13. Varun tyagi says:

    Superb post on how to get star ratings with google. Followed your instructions and made a small tutorial in case-
    https://youtu.be/HkiZk-Jji-Y

  14. ginbee says:

    nice i wonder to if i need this one on http://www.make.lt

    • admin says:

      Go for it! You need to convince your prospects that you have taken care of your clients. Check out all the softwares. If you’re a small company like us, most likely Shopper Approved or Yotpo will work.

  15. Kelly H. says:

    How is payment done with Shoppers approved, trust pilot and Reseller ratings? Do they have a secure site? We are interested to get a third party service.

    • admin says:

      All three have a secure site. You pay via SA, TP, or RR, not through us. Get the 3rd party review software and increase your Adwords/Bing Ads CTR. You can also embed your reviews onto your own site.

  16. Carson says:

    I just signed up with Trust Pilot today. I’m based in Australia. I thought that if I could use their free version for the 14 day trial period and get 30 reviews in that time. The only problem is that I’m going to have to pay eventually so that I can keep adding more reviews.

    Thanks for the point about negotiating the price with them – how low do you think they will go? The annual pricing is ridiculous.

  17. Richard says:

    Really useful article. Does anyone have a view of Feefo? They seem to be a significant player in this space and have a small business deal that looks pretty competitive. From a UK perspective, Feefo and Trustpilot are the 2 brands that I’d recognise and trust.

    • admin says:

      I don’t know if Feefo will get stars on Adwords Ads or on Bing Ads. I have heard of Feefo several times. It looks more like a customer feedback system, not too much of a review system that puts seller ratings stars on Google Adwords. Maybe I’m wrong.

      • Hi Francisco,

        Great article and lots of useful tips here.

        I’m the Product Specialist at Feefo, so thought I could jump in on Richards query and confirm that we can indeed get stars on Adwords and Bing Ads.

        In essence, we are a review platform that functions much in the same way as the companies you have mentioned. Our main difference (from many review providers) is that we are an invite-only platform, so every review is tied to a direct purchase in order to prevent fake reviews. In the UK space, I would consider companies like Bazaarvoice, TP, Yotpo and TrustedShops to be a few of our main competitors. There are quite a few companies in this space now but we are certainly a major player in the UK market.

        If you want an update on where we are or an overview of Feefo then I’d happily provide you some info for future reference.

  18. Teri says:

    We’ve been using Shopper Approved for the past year and have collected over 600 reviews. We just implemented Google Trusted Store with the anticipation of using it in place of Shopper Approved, but I don’t want to lose the reviews from Shopper Approved. If we use Google Trusted Store, do we have to start all over with reviews? Does anyone have experience making this switch?

    • admin says:

      Those are two completely different platforms. I don’t think you can import your SA reviews into Google Trusted Stores.

  19. raj says:

    nice information about google ratings

  20. Andres says:

    I use Verified Reviews I find them way more cost effective and compare to shopper approved they are cheaper on a yearly basis with no contract. I recommend those guys for small to medium businesses. Pretty straight forward solution.

    • admin says:

      Thanks Andres,
      I see Verified-Reviews.com now has a license from Google. Their price point is $99/mo compared to Shopper Approved’s $39/mo. Most people who read this blog post only want stars to show on their Adwords ads and the ability to embed reviews onto their sites. https://www.verified-reviews.com/index.php?page=mod_tarifs

      If people are looking for product reviews (not seller reviews which this post is about), then Verified Reviews’ price is around what Shopper Approved charges. But BOTH are cheaper than Trust Pilot and Yotpo.

  21. HikingMike says:

    I don’t think it’s easier since Google just changed the requirement from 30 reviews to 150 reviews within the last 12 months to qualify for showing the star rating in AdWords ads. That is a massive change for small companies. And Google had already aggregated reviews from certain 3rd party review sites for their ratings – I don’t see how that has changed.

    • admin says:

      Hi HikingMike,
      yes there are a lot of small companies affected by this change. Even us at planetmarketing.com have been affected, but now we ask everybody to leave us a review. Most people we help though live chat are glad to leave a review even though they aren’t a customer. To me a genuine review is a genuine review, whether you helped someone for free or whether they paid.

  22. Harry says:

    Hi,

    My clients are in Australia. Can they use Shopper Approved please ?

  23. David says:

    Thanks Francisco!
    Really nice job with review companies list. Just need a review service for our client and this post save me lots of time, Shopper approved seems worth trying!

    • admin says:

      Yeah, go ahead and try them out. They are a good company. I work with a lot of companies, but Shopper Approved is a good fit for many small and mid-sized companies.

  24. Vaughn says:

    With ShopperApproved they say 900 accumulated reviews. it looks like after 900 accumulated reviews you must upgrade?

  25. Ben Martin says:

    Very helpful article! Do you or your clients have any experience with eKomi?

    http://www.ekomi-us.com/us/

    • admin says:

      Most of our clients are based in USA. eKomi has a strong presence in Europe. I know it’s a HUGE company, but we don’t have experience with them.

  26. Thore says:

    “In most cases, seller ratings only show when a business has 150 unique reviews and a composite rating of 3.5 stars or higher.” (https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2375474?hl=en)

    did they remove the “within 12 months” from the requirement?

  27. Angela says:

    Here’s a question – Can you point to me to where Google outlines in which countries seller ratings could appear in ads? Am struggling to find the official source on that! Thanks 🙂

  28. interesting article on a topic that seems to be lacking in information online. My question is from the other side of things. Our site, http://www.socialsurvey.com/ is focused on reviews for real estate agents and loan originators. We have a client that wants to use the reviews she has collected for her 100+ agents in Google PPC ads and asked us if we are “licensed” by Google. I think she is asking me if Google recognizes our site as an “independent source” of reviews.

    Do you know how we become such a site?

    • admin says:

      Great question. But there are only around 30-40 companies that are licensed by Google to feed reviews into their Adwords system. I know a couple companies that have tried, but they said it’s a super long wait. If you want, I can put you client in touch with the owners of the review companies.

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