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How to Get Star Ratings in Google Search Results (and Why You Need Them)

Dec 22, 2022

Startups and long-standing businesses alike can leverage the power of online reviews to grow. The first step is learning how to get star ratings in Google search results, to begin with. 

In an ever-changing digital landscape, Google star ratings remain relatively constant. While they’re only one component of a quality review, star ratings (like the Google rich snippets star rating) give consumers an at-a-glance view of your brand. 

So, let’s break down the star rating in more detail, explain how customers can leave star reviews and explore a few reasons why they’re such powerful growth tools for businesses. 

Table of Contents

Star Ratings: One Component of a Google Review

A typical Google review has three main components:

  • The star rating – A ranking out of five that users must complete in order to post a review
  • The text – Optional text justifying a star rating or describing a customer’s experience
  • The photo(s) – Optional, but often used to display products or an in-store experience

Star ratings from individual users are averaged to create an overall rating out of five stars. This is called the Google rich snippets star rating. You can see it in the “snippet” that appears under a business’s name in their Google business page listing in search results.

The rich snippet is important. It contains critical information that users evaluate when choosing a brand. And, they look a little different for every brand. To see some examples, search “tacos near me.” 

example of rich snippet

The rich snippets you see might include:

  • The rich snippet star rating (an average of all customer reviews)
  • The number of reviews the restaurant has (in parentheses)
  • The price point for the restaurant (ranging from $ to $$$$)
  • The style of cuisine (e.g., Mexican, Fusion, Tacos, Street Food)

The fact is, most customers trust star ratings highly. Searchers commonly filter businesses with a rich snippet star rating under four stars

Leaving a Star Rating for a Business

Leaving a star review for a business is simple. In fact, you can share these easy instructions with your customers when you request their feedback:

  1. Search for the business on Google and navigate to its Google business page.
  2. Click on the link next to the average star rating: “X Google Reviews.”
  3. At the top right, click the “Write a review” button.
  4. Fill out as many fields as you’d like (at minimum, a star rating), and click “Post.”

how to leave a business review on Google

how to leave a Google business review

While customers don’t have to have a Google account to leave a Google review, they will have to provide an email address (which won’t be posted publicly). 

How to Attract More Star Ratings

Your Google rich snippet star rating is critical. To get more reviews that appear in Google search results, all you have to do is ask your existing customers for feedback. Why not send them a message asking them to do just that?

You can do so by reaching out with a message of gratitude (and an invitation to rate your services) through channels such as:

  • Email
  • Text message
  • Social media

Or, try using signage with a QR code in your business’ lobby or waiting room.

Why Do Star Ratings Matter?

So, why is your star rating so important? Why should you learn how to get star ratings in Google search results in the first place? Let’s break down how star ratings can help your brand grow.

Consumers Trust Highly-Rated Businesses

We already mentioned that, according to ReviewTrackers, users frequently filter out brands with less than four stars. Why do star ratings and reviews carry so much weight?

  • Customers consider reviews to be authoritative – 91% of users in the 18 to 34 age group consider reviews as trustworthy as personal recommendations. 
  • Reviews are transparent – Businesses can’t delete Google reviews (but, they can flag spam reviews for deletion). Customers regard online reviews as transparent because simply put, they are. 
  • Reviews are impactful in both directions – According to Qualtrics, 92% of B2B customers are more likely to purchase a product or service after reading a positive review. But, 94% of consumers report that reading a negative review has convinced them to pass a business by. 

Building a review base can help you gain authority and transparency—attributes that consumers consider highly before making a purchase. 

Businesses with High Ratings Rank Higher in Search Results

A critical component of digital marketing is search engine optimization, or SEO (the process of making your business more organically visible in search engine results). One indicator of SEO success is a position in the “Map Pack,” or the three to four business pages that appear at the top of search results. 

Google reviews are a critical component of SEO. Additionally, businesses that make the Google Map Pack have (in order of importance):

  • High star ratings
  • Google reviews containing important keywords
  • A large number of reviews

If you’re ready to rank, it’s time to start gathering those star ratings. 

They Can Help You Make Positive Changes

By assessing your star rating (and the qualitative data provided in the review text), you can make improvements to your business to increase your rating:

  • If you have a high rating (4.5+ stars), you’re likely doing something right. But, dig deeper into the 4-and-under reviews to find potential areas for improvement. 
  • If you’re hovering in the middle (3.5 to 4.5 stars), you can probably find lots of quality information in your reviews. If, for instance, customers report long hold times for phone calls, implement solutions to mitigate that problem.
  • The same can be said for brands with below-average overall rankings (1 to 3.5 stars). Consider reaching out to the customers who left less-than-positive reviews and trying to resolve their issues. Users can edit their reviews (and star ratings), so you may be able to regain their trust. 

They’re Valuable for Marketing

Once you start racking up reviews and establishing a star rating, you can use that metric in other marketing materials:

  • Add your star rating to your other marketing materials, like print ads or social media bios
  • Ask customers’ permission to use their review in your website’s Testimonials section
  • Embed your Google reviews on your website to amp up transparency and advertise your positive reputation

You can also reward customers who leave feedback or ratings on Google. Sending a thank-you card or some free merch to clients who write reviews can make them feel like their voices matter. 

Request Customer Reviews via SMS with Textedly

Simply put, collecting more star ratings in Google can help your brand become more visible in the search results as you gain more stars and credibility. Not only will you increase your chances of entering a rich snippet, but you’ll also give customers more reasons to choose you. 

With Textedly, it’s never been easier to request customer reviews (or set appointments, confirm purchases or provide customer support). With our simple, powerful business texting platform, you can send mass texts, photo messages, reminders and more.

If you’re ready to build richer relationships with your customers, join the thousands of businesses using Textedly. Start sending texts for free today.

Start Texting Your Customers for Free With Textedly

Sources: 

Google Search Central. Introducing Rich Snippets. https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2009/05/introducing-rich-snippets 

Review Trackers. Online Reviews Statistics and Trends: A 2022 Report by ReviewTrackers. https://www.reviewtrackers.com/reports/online-reviews-survey/ 

Google Maps Help. Add, Edit, or Delete Google Maps Reviews & Ratings. https://support.google.com/maps/answer/6230175?hl=en&co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid 

Qualtrics. Online Reviews Statistics to Know in 2022. https://www.qualtrics.com/blog/online-review-stats/ 

Google Business Profile Help. How to Remove Reviews from Your Business Profile on Google. https://support.google.com/business/answer/4596773?hl=en&co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop 

Search Engine Journal. How Google Reviews Impact Map Pack & Organic Search Rankings. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-reviews-impact-rankings/429783/