Q: I’ve noticed that Google Product Search shows reviews of my online store. Where do these come from and how can I get more of them?
A: Seller ratings on Google are an important part of your site’s presence on the search engine. Google pulls these ratings from a variety of sources, including the following:
- Google Checkout
Nothing speaks to a potential customer like a testimonial! In the physical world, a shopkeeper would probably feel comfortable approaching a satisfied customer to ask “would you be willing to recommend us to your friends?” But online store owners may not know how to pursue seller ratings.
To put it very simply: if you want reviews, you’re going to need to ask for them. Here are some simple steps to get you started:
- If you sell via Google Checkout, or any of the fee-based shopping comparison sites such as Shopping.com, you don’t need to take any extra steps to get a review. These services will pursue a review for your business after any transaction.
- If you do not use one of the above intermediaries for selling, sign up with Resellerratings or Rateitall.com (or both) for a free or low cost reviews page for your business. Make sure that your business name is an exact match in spelling and format (including “Inc.” or “.com”) to the name you use in your Google Product feed.
- After every transaction, send out an email request to the customer requesting a seller rating. Include a link to your business’s page on Resellerratings, rateitall, or your seller rating venue of choice, to make it easy for your customer to rate your business.
Keep in mind that merchant reviews on Google Product Search are not the same as Google Local (a.k.a. Google Maps or Google Places). In a future post, we’ll discuss customer reviews on Google Places.
Readers! Do you have any more tips on how to encourage seller ratings?