Have you ever heard friends or colleagues speak highly of a local restaurant, and thought to yourself, I must try that? Or maybe a new gadget, or attire? Like word of mouth, online recommendations in the form of reviews fuel customer buying decisions.
Review ratings, or organic stars as they are also commonly referred to as act as a powerful form of social proof, which you can leverage for your business.
What are review rich snippets?
The term ‘review rich snippets’ is a reference to the structured data that once added to a website will signal to search engines such as Google, in this instance that reviews are available to be included in SERP.
In short, they are stars which appear and accompany search results in Google (SERP).
Why do you need organic stars on Google?
Unsurprisingly review rich snippets stand out in SERP. Of course, they also signal to potential customers that your business can be trusted, hence, a higher click-through-rate (CTR) should be expected, which should, in turn, lead to more conversions for your business.
How to get organic stars on Google?
There are two main ways of achieving this, the first would be to do so manually via a developer, more on this covered by Google’s guide on review snippets.
The second, way to achieve this would be via a review platform such as TrustPilot, however, you can achieve the same results with many other popular review platforms.
If for instance, you were using TrustPilot, then you could achieve this using their TrustBoxes whereby you simply copy and embed some code on your website.
If you are using other popular review sites such as Yelp, or Trip Advisor, then I’d recommend looking at Repuso, which at the time of writing offers one widget for free, to enable you to do this. Typically, such widgets can be easily customised to appear how you desire.
It’s worth noting that if you have a WordPress website, then you’ll be pleased to know that the Schema – All In One Schema Rich Snippets plugin is a good option when it comes to easy implementation of the schema markup for reviews.
Can implementing the review rich snippet improve my rankings?
Debatable. Many SEOs have an opinion on this, and to this day, there is very little research to support either. However, we do know that Matt Cutts suggested that including the schema markup doesn’t mean that a particular website is better or more relevant than any other.
This leads to another question in my mind, is CTR a ranking factor? At this time it’s generally considered not to be.
I don’t want to digress too much, although, if you are interested, Google has stated in the past that they’ve undertaken many A/B tests, whereby they have rearranged results based on click data. The issue? Well, there may be a number of factors as to why some results would lead no clicks, or a lower CTR, the data may, therefore, be misleading.
Even if it is seemingly unlikely that your website will benefit from a boost in rankings by deploying the tactics outlined here, regardless, would you and your business benefit from a higher CTR and more traffic? The answer I’m sure would be a resounding yes!