Ever Wondered How to Get Star Ratings in Google Search Results?
Well it is Easier Than You Might Think. You Can Get Star Ratings in Google Search Results for Your Products, Services or You Personally if You Follow The Instructions Below.
Let me show you the simple steps I went through to get my star ratings at the top of the Google search results. But first ….
Why Do I Need Get Star Ratings in Google Search Results?
It isn’t essential but there are huge benefits if you can get stars on the search results pages.
- Your results stand out on the search pages … that means they are more likely to get clicked
- More clicks means you are likely to go up the search list
- Star ratings demonstrate that your customers think you are worth doing business with
- You are likely to attract more good customers that will give you great ratings.
Star Ratings on the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERPS) Demonstrated
Have you noticed that although most searches throw up a whole page of results that have no stars next to them .. just occasionally one of the results is starred with bright yellow or gold stars.
Results with stars draw the eye and are more likely to get clicked on .. so getting more web traffic .. because the stars create the right impression.
I’m not sure if the stars alone will take you further up the search page (some SEO experts make this claim but I’m more cautious). But in my experience my own results have improved since my stars started to be displayed. That might be because I’m getting more clicks .. but I’m not worried why it is provided I get better results.
How to get Five Star Ratings on Your Search Results
I was taught how to do this by one of my mastermind friends, Ian Brodie. He gave me full instructions and said it only took 20-30 minutes to do this. He’s far more clever than me because it took me several hours. But minutes or hours it doesn’t really matter as this is free and will give you results for years. It is well worth the effort. And if you don’t have the skills or patience to do it yourself get a good web designer to do it for you. It’s fiddly but not so hard that I couldn’t do it.
So here are the basics steps to get Five Star Ratings in Your Google Search Results.
I’m just giving the very simple steps here. I’ll provide details further down the page.
- Open an account on Google Maps.
- Get some good ratings … this was easier than I expected.
- Insert some code in your website footer that tells Google that you and the Google maps are linked.
- Wait a few days for Google to work it’s magic. If all is well your results should automatically appear in the search results after 4-6 days.
Getting Those Stars on the Google Search Pages .. The Detailed Explanation
Step one … Open Your Google My Business Account
Firstly I need to tell you that there are several ways to do this, but I’m going to show you how I did it. I used the Google My Business
I understand that other star rating methods such as Amazon book reviews, Trust Pilot, Yelp etc. also work; but I’ve not tried these yet .. though I might test my Amazon book reviews some time soon (because it has 30 good reviews).
But one reason I chose Google My Business was because I already had a star rating on it …. just one 5* rating from two years ago. But it was a start.
Another reason to go with this is that getting ratings on Google maps is worth doing in any case. This is especially true if you have a physical presence such as a shop, factory or restaurant; but it also works for consultants like myself. Anyone that goes to a Google map and searches for restaurant, hotel, cafe or whatever can find you if you are registered. And the more stars you have the more likely you are to get recognised as excellent.
The sort of information you need to register is your business name, business type, location, opening hours etc. Really simple stuff .. so it’s really quite quick to register. I’ll explain more about getting reviews in a minute.
There is something you do need to know before registering on Google My Business. To be able to do this you need a Google account such as Gmail (you just need to register this …not use it regularly).
Once you’ve registered on Google My Business the next step is getting those stars. We Brits tend not to ask for them so that’s why I only had one at the outset. But once I’d overcome my reticence I had 13 more in a few days.
Simple, I just asked for them. What made it easy was saying that I was experimenting on how to get stars on the search results and would share the results (which is exactly why I’m writing this post)
Here they are again in an ordinary Google search. In both cases the stars are apparent.
The great thing about being on Google Maps is that people can leave reviews there and help you build your profile. And where better for Google to check on what people think of you than on its own maps? (There is a method in my choosing Google My Business).
Step two …Getting Google 5* Reviews
The biggest issue I had with getting reviews wasn’t asking for them. It was making it easy for people to write the reviews. It isn’t always easy for them to find the review button on the maps .. so I made it really easy for them (and for you if you want to review me now).
I gave them a Review Link.
Go to the Google Review Link Generator page.
Add your name and post code, click the link and you’ll get something like this.
Click the Continue button and you’ll get three options to try. I used the Review Dialog option and that gave me this next page.
I’m going to post it to social media as well as this could be a source of really good reviews.
But rather than send such a long url you can shorten it to something like Review My Business.
Here’s an example
or you could try PleaseReviewMe
It looks like this …..
Step 3 … Using Code to Get Your Stars on Google’s Search Pages
So what we are going to do in this step is to insert some code in your website footer that tells Google that you and the Google maps are linked.
To do this we use some standard Internet code called “schema.org markup”.
It sounds complicated but isn’t as bad as it sounds. Basically it is just a way to label information so that Google recognises it and can use it to give you your stars. So rather than just type in a telephone number you use a label that confirms that it is a telephone number and not just any string of numbers.
The code I’m going to show you goes in the footer of your website. Get your Web designer to do it if you don’t know how to do this.
But is isn’t difficult. Just go to the page footer or if you use WordPress go to Dashboard/Appearance/Footer Widget Area as in the image below. The actual code is in the box on the right.
This is the box where I also put all the legals into plus links to things like T&Cs
Below is the code .. you’ll need to substitute a few things .. like my name and address! I’ll explain where to get the technical data in a moment. But first I suggest you copy the code and keep it elsewhere while you amend it …. I did mine in Word.
<div itemscope=”” itemtype=”https://schema.org/Marketing Consultant”>
<img itemprop=”image” src=” http://www.stefandrew.com/.a/6a011570391c4a970c019aff33d839970d-320wi” style=”display:none;”>
© Copyright 2005 – 2017 <span itemprop=”name”>Stefan Drew</span>
<div itemprop=”address” itemscope=”” itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress”>Business Address:<span itemprop=”streetAddress”>2 Manleys Lane</span>,<span itemprop=”addressLocality”>Dunkeswell</span>,<span itemprop=”addressRegion”>Devon</span>,<span itemprop=”postalCode”>EX144XQ</span>,<span itemprop=”addressCountry”>GB</span> |Tel: <span itemprop=”telephone”>01404 891920</span> |Email: <a href=”mailto:StefanDrew@gmail.com” itemprop=”email”>StefanDrew@gmail.com </a>.</div>
<span itemprop=”geo” itemscope=”” itemtype=”http://schema.org/GeoCoordinates”>
<meta itemprop=”latitude” content=” 50.862054 “>
<meta itemprop=”longitude” content=”-3.222851 “>
<span>Company No. 05655733</span> |VAT No.<span itemprop=”vatID”>145131739 </span> | Business hours are <time itemprop=”openingHours” datetime=”Mo,Tu,We,Th,Fr 09:00-17:00″>09.00 a.m. to 17.00 p.m. Monday to Friday</time>
OK, so don’t panic over things like itemprop and itemscope. I’ve no idea what they really mean but that didn’t stop this working for me.
Most of the info on here needs to be the same as what you put into your Google My Business page. So just transfer them from there into this code.
Some things like those market itemscope or itemtype can be found via the links below.
In the itemtype section, I have linked to “https://schema.org/Marketing Consultant” and this tells Google what I do.
The list of business related schema is here https://schema.org/LocalBusiness
For me this was the most complex part of the process as Google seemed to struggle to recognise my business schema. I suspect this was because it was trying to relate the schema I choose with my previous address and not the house I moved to two years ago .. but eventually it worked it all out. Hopefully you will not get the same problem.
If you can’t find your ideal business schema go for
The image itemprop is needed although it doesn’t show up most places .. I’ve only found it in my footer on some pages which seems inconsistent .. but if Google is happy I am as well. It is possible to stop it showing by using the following code display:none; where it asks for style.
To get the url for an image just right click on it on a webpage and use the copy image url tab .. the exact words will vary by browser but you get the idea.
Where it asks for a name you can either your business name or your own name. It depends if you want the stars for you or your business!
Your address, email and phone number are self explanatory except for the country code. Those of us in the UK might be tempted to insert UK and we’d be wrong. It is GB. You can get Country Codes here .. its about half way down the page.
The other part that takes a moment to think through is your geo location .. this needs a longitude and latitude. Ian recommended going to NASA for this and I figure if they can get to the moon they are worth using.
Here’s an example of what you’ll see .. it’s my local pub again. Note some figures are negative .. ensure you copy this in where required.
There’s nothing to stop you adding more schema markup than I have I you want to .. but the basic requirement is in my code.
Step 3A .. adding the Star Ratings to Your Footer
This is much easier than the last bit of code and it sits in your footer just the same. In my case I drop it in below the previous code snippet but there are no rules on the order. You decide what you prefer.
Here is my code. Once again you will need to substitute your data for mine.
<span class=”rating-desc” itemscope=”” itemtype=”http://schema.org/Product”>
<span itemprop=”name”>Stefan Drew</span>
<span itemprop=”aggregateRating” itemscope=”” itemtype=”http://schema.org/AggregateRating”> Rated <span itemprop=”ratingValue”>4.9</span> / 5 based on <span itemprop=”reviewCount”>14</span> reviews. | <a class=”ratings” href=”http://tinyurl.com/Stefan-Drew-Review”>Review Me</a> </span>
As you can see most of the substitutions are fairly obvious.
In the name section I’ve put my own name but you may choose your name or your business name depending what you are getting rated.
The rated values section you get from the place where you are rated. In my case Google My Business has 14 reviews with an aggregated score of 4.9 out of 5.
An interesting point here. I’m actually delighted to get 4.9 out of 5 as it actually sounds more believable than 5 out of 5. People are sceptical these days and tend not to believe in perfection!
Don’t worry too much if these figures don’t exactly mirror the figures on Google My Business, you can’t be expected to change them every time someone adds a new rating. There seems no way to automate this and my only advice is not to claim 100 5* ratings when you only have one as someone just might suss that and add some poor ratings to reflect your alternative truth.
So now you have the snippets of code on your site you can publish them. The question is will they work. Well, Google provides a short cut here and provides a tool for this. Go to the Google Structured Data Testing Tool
Add your url in the box and click on RUN TEST.
If you aren’t sure about your code for any reason, you have an alternative method, and that is to add it as a code snippet .. it gives the same results but saves you fiddling with putting the code on your site first.
What you next get is something like the report below. As you can see I have an error in mine … for some reason Google doesn’t recognise the term Marketing Consultant (it is included in the schema).
Fortunately the source code on the left is marked where the “error” occurs so it is easy to cross reference this and start troubleshooting. The fact the error is marked is good as it is hidden right down in line 668 on my site.
In my case Google also refuses to recognise the term ProfessionalService (note there is no space in this term but leading caps are used.)
Various people that use the tool report various issues in this section. Most are non critical and can be ignored e.g. PriceRange.
My best advice here is don’t panic. The most likely error is a typo. Just keep amending until you get no errors. You can also get warnings which Google seems to regard as less serious.
Irregardless of the error my stars are now showing up in Google search results for a quite a few of my keywords and I guess over time it will improve. Ironically the search that is failing to show the stars (at the time I write this) is when I’m searched for by name !
Step 4 ..Wait a few days for Google to work it’s magic
The last step is to have patience. You could see results on the search page within minutes or it could be weeks. It really depends on how quickly Google takes a look at your site and indexes a new page.
In my case it took 4-5 days but I now realise that you could prompt Google to be a bit quicker by posting new posts and plastering them all over social media. That is almost bound to get Google to check your pages but of course doesn’t guarantee it will check your footer. Updating your site map might help here but I’ve not tried it so can’t guarantee it.
Please Review Stefan Drew here
PS. If you check out the right hand column you’ll see many of my star rated reviews are listed. This is work in progress and I’ll explain how this is done in a future post.