Customer reviews, good and bad, continue to increase click-through rates and sales across the board, and according to a 2013 study, 79 percent of consumers now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (up from 72 percent in 2012). Love it or hate it, customer reviews have a deep stake in today’s online marketing, and AdWords is poised to embrace them.
The PLA Product Rating Extension recently announced by AdWords allows merchants to showcase product reviews within PLAs on Google Search and Google Shopping, opening the gate directly to product reviews from the ad itself.
The objective of the product rating extension is to drive more qualified traffic to merchants and increase click-through rates. The extension gathers reviews aggregated from merchants, third-party sources, editorial sites and users to create each product rating. As seen below, the five-star rating system depicts an overall review of each product from several sources and the total number of reviews available to peruse.
Google reported that initial tests show product ratings helped increase click-through rates of Product Listing Ads, which follows suit with ecommerce reports boasting increased sales and conversions after adding easy access to consumer reviews on landing pages and sidebars. Way back in 2007, MarketingSherpa found that 58 percent of consumers prefer sites that offer reviews. No doubt customers are searching for those reviews.
Giving AdWords merchants the ability to incorporate customer reviews directly into PLAs makes this process more instant and accessible for Google consumers, feeding into the immediacy that today’s customers continue to crave.