How to Get Star Ratings to Appear Next to Your Business on Google
Learn the four ways in which star ratings can appear next to your business’s name on Google, as well as how to get the reviews and rankings that this requires.
- Why Star Ratings?
- So, how do you get star ratings and how do you get them to show up on Google?
- How to Get Your Star Ratings to Show on Google Maps
- How to Get your Star Ratings to Show Up in a Regular Google Search
- How to Get Your Website Page Listings to Display Star Ratings on Google
- How to Get Star Ratings to Show Up Next to Your Google Ads
- 10 Tips for Getting Five-Star Ratings on Google
Why Star Ratings?
The experiences, opinions, and recommendations of others help online searchers to weed out and ultimately choose companies. Here are three benefits to be had by building a solid stream of Google reviews.
1. Star Ratings Require Ranking
Just because you are getting star ratings on various review sites does not necessarily mean that the stars will appear next to your listing on Google. Google will display those stars if it can recognize and trust the business. This means you need to work on your overall SEO. It’s only with high ranking and high domain authority that your star ratings will appear next to your name in search results. If you’re getting star ratings to appear, it means your SEO efforts are paying off.
2. Ratings Indicate Reputability
According to BrightLocal, 88% of online shoppers trust reviews posted to consumer websites over word of mouth. Who knew that the opinions of strangers would make such a difference in consumer behaviors? Having more positive reviews is one thing: it can help your business to rank higher in search results, increasing your exposure and domain authority. Having stars next to your name, on the other hand, can further increase your reputability to users searching for your products and services.
3. Ratings Increase Click Rate
According to another study by BrightLocal
• 56% of consumers choose a business if it shows up in Google’s local pack and has positive ratings.
• star ratings in the local pack earn higher click-through rate than organic search results
• a business with a 5-star rating gets 39% more clicks than if it has a 1-star rating.
So, how do you get star ratings and how do you get them to show up on Google?
There are many places where star ratings can appear next to your business on Google:
• Your Google Maps listing
• Your Knowledge Panel snippet
• In your review site profile page listings
• Next to your website page listings (for product pages only, less common)
• Next to your paid Google Ads
This post is going to cover what you can (and can’t) do to get stars to appear in each of these places, and then provide ten tips on how to get five-star reviews. After all, if your ratings are going to show, you’re going to want them to be great!
How to Get Your Star Ratings to Show on Google Maps
The star rating for a business can show up next to the business’s name in Google Maps for both branded and nonbranded searches. For example, Cocobeet’s star ratings appear when you perform a Google Maps search for “smoothies downtown boston” as well as for “Cocobeet Boston”. Note also that in the search results on the left, you can filter by review rating.
In order to get star ratings to appear on Google Maps, here’s what you need to do:
1. Add your location to Google Maps. This will enable customers to write reviews for your business. This will also give you a place that you can claim so that you can edit and optimize the listing to show up higher in results.
2. Claim your Maps listing by creating a Google My Business account and following the steps to verify your business on Google.
3. Once you have full ownership over your listing, respond to your Google reviews, which will encourage more positive reviews and can also help to turn a negative review into a positive one. Also, follow the recommended steps to rank higher via Google Maps and Google My Business. More reviews plus higher ranking will help to get the star rating to appear next to your business name in your Google Maps listing.
How to Get your Star Ratings to Show Up in a Regular Google Search
While you can get star ratings to appear next to your Google My Business listing on Google Maps, its harder to get them to show up next to your website page listings. as they appear on Google (there is a way, but we’ll get to it in the next section). One way around this, however, is through other review sites.
You’ll notice that a company’s profile page for popular directories shows star ratings. For example, using the same restaurant as in the above example, you’ll see that Cocobeet’s Yelp, Facebook, TripAdvisor, and GrubHub pages all show up on Google with star ratings. You’ll also notice that the star ratings show in the knowledge panel for branded searches.
This means that getting reviews in directories that have high domain authority can lead your profile page to show up on the first page of Google and display star ratings next to your name. There are a number of free business listing sites that will show your star ratings on Google, including:
• BetterBusiness Bureau
• Trip Advisor
Get listed in the most popular directories as well as in smaller directories that are specific to your niche, such as G2 Crowd for software or Angie’s List for service businesses.
How to Get Your Website Page Listings to Display Star Ratings on Google
As you can see in the example above, you cannot get star ratings to appear next to your homepage listing on Google. Star ratings will only appear for specific product pages, and from reviews that are specific to that product. This also does not happen automatically; you need to add certain code to the specific product page or use a plugin or widget. You’ll also need to make sure your structured data is set up properly and resubmit an XML sitemap to Google. So, getting star ratings for specific products to show up on Google is doable, but not the easiest of tasks.
How to Get Star Ratings to Show Up Next to Your Google Ads
Unlike with website pages, there isn’t any code you can use to get stars next to your paid Google listings. The stars that appear there come from third party data Google pulls, such as from Trust Pilot, Feefo, Reevoo, and Bizrate. You also need a certain quantity and quality of ratings in order for Google to display your stars.
10 Tips for Getting Five-Star Ratings on Google
Of course, to get star ratings to appear on Google, you’ve got to get more reviews in the first place. But also keep in mind that if your rating is going to show up on the world’s most popular search engine, you’ll want those to be as close to five stars as possible. Here are ten tips for getting five-star reviews on Google and elsewhere on the web.
1. Create a Five-Star First Impression
Even if it’s just a prospective customer, a person’s first interaction with your business sets the stage for their perception of your business and their future interactions. If they have the wrong impression, they might act differently which can, in turn, cause you to act differently, which can put a damper on the relationship. While it may not result in a poor relationship or a negative interaction, it may very well put a damper on any chances of a five-star review.
2. Shoot for the Stars
Make reviews a priority. Strive for as many five-star reviews as possible. Remember, online customer reviews are very influential when first-time customers are considering doing business with you. So, get off on the right foot with stellar feedback from loyal customers!
3. Ask for Five Stars
Don’t be shy. It’s okay to ask for reviews, and it’s even okay to ask specifically for 5-star reviews. In fact, the more honest and transparent you are about it, the more receptive and understanding people will be. After all, you are running a business and this is an important aspect of your growth.
4. Start Simple
Ask customers you know have had pleasant experiences with you to leave a five-star rating on any site of your choice to build a strong foundation and online reputation. It might be easier to start with your longtime, loyal customers who have the most familiarity with and trust in you.
5. Take the Right Approach
When asking for five-star reviews,
• Let them know that leaving their high opinion will help others in search of the same things they were able to find through you and your business.
• Include links to your review profiles in customer correspondence like receipts, email signatures, marketing materials, and on your website.
• Be specific about which platform to leave the review. The more guidance you give, the more likely the action will be performed.
6. Provide Unforgettable Service
For those brand new customers, you need to wow them with impeccable service to incite a positive response and inspire them to take a moment to review your business. Make it memorable. For example:
• If you’re an online business, make the process from the moment they hit the purchase button down to opening their packages at home as unique as your company.
• Create handwritten notes to first-time customers thanking them for supporting your business and provide links to review sites.
• For in-store customer interactions, have branded pens attached to a note to them with the review site info.
There are endless ways to make this a fun experience on the customer’s side.
7. Maintain High Standards
Treat each of your customers with a high level of respect and let them feel how important their business is to you by:
• Answering any and all customer inquiries with patience
• Being attentive to customer needs and suggesting solutions
• Remaining flexible enough to meet all customer expectations
• Provide fast, thorough and pleasant communication
These suggestions are basic service standards that make a huge difference in your customer’s experience and the happier they are with your service the more likely they are to leave you a five-star review and become repeat customers.
8. Treat Customers as Individuals
While it’s important to provide a high service level to every customer, try not to be too robotic in your delivery. People want to feel like they’re connecting with you and your staff on a personal level. Listen to your customer and tailor your suggestions to their specific desires. Remembering people’s names on second and third visits or their order gives customers the warm and fuzzies and can help set you apart from your competitors. Make a sincere effort to get to know the people keeping your business afloat.
9. Ask for Feedback
Sending out periodic polls or feedback surveys helps you to get five-star reviews in a few different ways:
• It helps you to identify gaps and make improvements that may lead to such a review.
• If a customer fills out a survey and realizes they are very happy with your business, they just might be inclined to click on the link to write a review that you stuck at the end of the survey.
• Satisfaction surveys indicate to customers that you care. That customer might experience a few drawbacks about your business, but your sincere efforts to maintain great service may be what is most important to them.
10. Resolve Issues
Once you’re on your way to collecting online reviews, keep an eye on them and if one or two not-so-positive comments slip in, respond to the jilted patron immediately. Let them know that you’ve heard their complaint and will make adjustments to ensure it won’t happen again. Don’t do this in vain. Invite the disgruntled customer back in for a second shot and in return, if you’ve met their expectations, ask that they either amend their original review or at least post a positive one to balance it out.
To get five-star reviews you don’t have to be flawless and mistake-free. What’s most important is to be honest, sincere, and attentive to your customer. Be committed to providing the best possible experience for them from the start, and to constantly improving that experience through feedback and adjustments.