With firms taking the digital route, search engine optimisation becomes crucial in establishing the online visibility of the brand. A very obvious yet ignored factor as a part of this SEO is the listing of the brand in organic search results. More often than not, the first interaction that potential customers tend to have with your brand is when they come across your business listing through search results organically. The listing acts as the face of your business and hence, should be made to look aesthetically appealing so as to urge the potential customers to click on the listing and ultimately visit your website. One way to do so is by acquiring star ratings on you business listings.
Organic star ratings for local listings
For geo-located search queries, Google returns a list of top 3 map results. The star ratings are only shown in those 3 results and customers are more likely to click at a local listing with star rating as opposed to without.
Getting your business listed there is crucial. But, what’s equally important is to sustain your position there. Star ratings is a good way to optimise your local listing. These ratings lend aesthetic appeal and more importantly credibility to the firm. Google picks up these stars from its own review service known as Google Reviews. Since star ratings are a result of the average of all the customer reviews, it becomes important to ensure that your business has a minimum of 5 reviews for your star rating to become visible in searches. An above average star rating makes it easy to stand out. Getting relevant content on your website, providing premium quality products and services and ultimately gaining a satisfied consumer is the key to getting a good review.
Organic star ratings for regular search results
People who’ve dealt with PPC campaigns previously would be well aware that seller ratings (stars ratings that are visible on paid results) work as referrals and boost Click Through Rate on paid advertisements. Star ratings in organic search results work similarly. They encourage and enhance clicks on your regular search results by painting a more holistic picture and lending reliability and integrity to the brand.
Factors that help obtain star ratings
1. Trusted Review Sites
Each company putting up a review needs to do so from a review site that is trusted by Google to hold only authentic reviews from genuine customers. Consumer reviews provide reassurance in the prospective customers which might eventually convert into sales leads.
Incentivising such reviews or extremely positive reviews don’t go down too well with Google so try and gain honest feedback from your customers through these reviews.
2. Schema Markup
Use of rich snippets helps display additional useful information including ratings along with the organic search results. But for the ratings to be identified in the search engine, a schema markup code is used. This code helps notify Google identify and display reviews.
This further boosts the chances of CTR and reduces the chances of bounce rate since prospective users tend to view a quite a bit of information before clicking on the link.
3. Site Authority
A positive correlation seems to exist between the site authority and the chances of getting a higher organic star rating. Relevant content creation, link generation & link diversity, along with strong social media (especially Google Plus) and local seo services helps boost site authority.
Ensure that you sign up for a review site that is trusted by Google and then stimulate customers to write reviews for the products and services offered by you. Furthermore, add a schema markup to your website to draw Google’s attention. All of the above mentioned alone do not guarantee a star rating to your business. You need to up your site authority a notch by creating relevant content and placing it on appropriate collaterals wherever applicable.