This post provides tips on how to get your Reviews Page to rank in Google and how to get the “Review Stars Count” to show using GatherUp.com
UPDATE FEBRUARY 23rd, 2016: Google announced to have set a new, higher bar for any given page to qualify to have the stars shown. This does not mean Google will not stop showing rich snippets all together.
Rich snippets are important in their own right and are critical for Google understanding page content. Reviews on your site, rich snippets or not, remain critical for customer conversions.
Google has, and will continue to, re-calibrate which pages show the stars. They will continue to show on pages that are well optimized both internally on the website and externally with in-bound links.
We would encourage all of our customers to continue gaining links to their review pages as part of their ongoing efforts in on line marketing.”
Screenshot #1: Actual GatherUp customer in Google Search Results
Screenshot #2: Customers review page with reviews being counted and shown as Stars
Prerequisite – Installing the GatherUp Reviews Widget:
- Make sure you have the GatherUp Reviews Widget installed on your website.
- Make sure to test your page with Google’s Rich Snippet testing tool.
How does GatherUp get reviews stars to show in organic search?
Only with GatherUp can you be assured that your 1st party reviews will be indexed as “original content” of your website. Each review is also wrapped in the Schema.org Review format – telling Google and other Search Engines that this is not only original content, but more specifically a “Review”. The Schema format for your review also includes your business address and your aggregated review score.
The reviews, address and aggregated scores are injected into your actual page. Simply click on “View Source” in your browser to see what search engines see when they crawl your page. You will notice that the reviews are shown as “part of your page’s HTML/PHP code”.
New reviews will automatically be added by GatherUp into your page. You do not need to re-embed the Reviews Widget code or change anything on your web page.
Why is my page not showing stars in Google?
In order for Google to show your Review Stars you need to have your page “Rank” and gain “Authority” with Google. Remember Google indexes “Pages” not “Websites”.
Pages with no authority and no page rank will likely not show the review stars in search results for the simple reason that Google does not trust the page enough!
Even for pages that already have ranking and trust built in, it may take a few weeks for the stars to show in search results. We recommend adding the Review Widget, Review Badge and Tag Review Widget to pages that already have strong page authority as they are the most likely to show the star rating in search results. Please note: Google will not apply a star rating to the homepage of a website.
Check your page Authority here: https://moz.com/researchtools/ose/
Tip 1) A brand new domain name and / or website takes several months to build “some” trust with Google. Even if your site is already older it does not necessarily mean that Google “trusts” the page enough to show review stars in organic search results. Follow Tip #2 – #5 to gain trust.
Tip 2) Add a sentence such as “Take a look at our reviews to see what our customers are saying” and link to the reviews page from the body content on the homepage. This is known as “cross-linking” within your own site.
Tip 3) Change the HTML Title of the Reviews page:
Bad Title Tag Example: Best Insurance Agency | Manhattan NY | 835-2227-3366 |
Good Title Tag Example : Reviews and Testimonials for Johnson Insurance in Manhattan, NY
Tip 4) Get external link(s) to the Reviews page. Having quality inbound links is still the best way to gain authority and trust of search engines. Research local directories, chamber of commerce and related websites to yours such as suppliers etc and actively seek contextual back links. Consider adding a Google+ post with a link to your Reviews page.
Tip 5) Content is King! Websites with a blog are shown to consistently outrank websites without a blog. Search Engines love sites that have fresh new content on a regular basis. Not sure what to blog about? How about you start with the 10 most common questions your customers ask you every day. Voila – you have content and ideas for 10 blog posts!