8 out of 10 people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.*
According to the Local Consumer Review Survey 2013, the influence of online reviews is growing and more and more people are swayed by them when making online purchases. What if you could use your strongest, most compelling reviews within your text ads on search engine results pages? Well, now you can!
In June 2013, Google announced the review extensions beta. In October, these were rolled out to all AdWords accounts and can be found in the ad extensions tab. If you have a great online reputation, find a suitable review to support your AdWords ads and let everyone searching for your business know how good you are. Using this extension can even increase the number of people clicking your ads, driving a 10% increase in clickthrough rate during testing.
*Source: BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey 2013
What reviews can I use?
Suitable reviews include positive write-ups, awards and third party rankings from within the past 12 months. You can either use a direct quote or paraphrase so long as this doesn’t change the original meaning of the review. It should reflect your business as a whole rather than being specific to one product or service.
Unlike seller ratings which allow you to link customer reviews to your ads with a visible star rating, reviews for review extensions must come from reputable third party sources. The review must also be accessible online with a URL you can link to from the extension, but any clicks through to this URL will not be charged. Although this extension is available globally, there is currently only support for English language reviews.
What do they look like?
This is one of the few extensions that can be highly relevant for both B2B and B2C advertisers.
Direct quote B2B example courtesy of Everline
Paraphrased quote B2C example courtesy of Diet Chef
As shown in the example above, it is possible for review extensions to show alongside seller reviews to create a hard-hitting ad that’s doubly endorsed! In fact, these extensions are eligible to show alongside all other ad extensions.
And it even works for Google Grants accounts!
Google Grants example courtesy of SolarAid
How do I set them up?
Click on the “Ad extensions” tab and select “Review Extensions” from the dropdown menu.
Add a new extension with the “+ Extension” button, fill out the information in the form below and click Save. The review can include up to 67 characters including the source.
Reviews can be set at ad group, campaign or account level. Reviews set at ad group level with override those at campaign level, and campaign level will override those at account level.
The review will then be submitted for approval before being eligible to show in search results. As with text and image ad approvals, this can take a couple of working days.
What do I need to bear in mind?
If a review is disapproved, you will not be notified via email. Check in the ad extensions tab regularly to ensure your review is still showing or submit a new version that complies with the guidelines for approval.
Testing is key! Google’s help page states that only a single review will appear with your ads at one time even though it is possible to submit multiple reviews. If you want to test how key metrics such as clickthrough rate and conversion rate differ between reviews, you will need to add reviews one at a time or schedule one to end and another to start, then compare across the different date ranges.