Trust and credibility are the core essentials of any ecommerce business. While most online stores are trustable and secure, we cannot ignore those ventures that practice fraudulent business practices.
Because of these companies, building trust and credibility is crucial than ever for ecommerce stores. Doing so will also enable these businesses to have a competitive advantage over their competitors.
Google Trusted Stores badge is one of the ways you can improve the credibility of your online business.
Google has shut its Trusted Stores Program back in 2017. Customers can now use Google Customer Reviews to leave valuable feedback on their shopping experiences.
The idea was to change the ‘customer protection’ feature and replace it with direct customer feedback and improved quality.
According to Google, “We’ve made this change to help us better focus our support on getting you quality reviews and seller ratings, the two major keys to driving more traffic to your site.”
What Is A Google Trusted Store?
Whether you call it Google Trusted Store or Google Customer Reviews, it means Google has verified your store to ensure the shopping experience you offer to your customers is within its set standards.
Google enables customers to submit their reviews on Google My Business listing. But those reviews are different from Google Customer Reviews.
Google Customer Reviews are for ecommerce stores only. Google verifies each review so that buyers can be assured that the testimonial was left by a real customer.
Similar to Google Customer Ratings, Google Trusted Store allows sellers to gather reviews, and showcase the trusted store's badge on their websites.
Here are a few things you need to do to qualify for this badge:
- Your website should offer customers protection through HTTPS:// pages when exchanging confidential information
- You must not cancel 2.5% of your total orders
- You must deliver 90% of your orders on time
- You must respond to 99% of your customer’s queries within 2- business days
Once you qualify, you’ll be able to display your Google Customer Reviews badge on your website. Fortunately, the process is not tough either. All you need to do is apply, and Google will review your website and see whether you qualify for the badge or not.
Having a Google Customer Reviews Badge means you have completed the first process.
How Does Google’s Customer Reviews Work?
As mentioned earlier, the purpose of the Google Customer Reviews program is to help ecommerce businesses collect genuine feedback from their buyers. Google helps to ensure the reviews are genuine and come from real buyers.
This assurance is beneficial for both your ecommerce store as well the customers. As an ecommerce store, it helps you ensure you get genuine feedback for your products and services. As buyers, you get to know the reviews available on the website are real and trustworthy.
Google Customer Reviews - Features
Google Customer Reviews - Opt-In
Customers who signed up for this feature will receive an email from Google upon checkout, asking them to rate their shopping experience with your brand.
Google Customers Review - Badge
Any ecommerce store with a Google Customer Review badge is identified with Google. This badge can be placed on any page of your website.
Google Customer Reviews - Survey
Any buyer who agrees will receive a brief questionnaire (survey form) that enables them to rate their experience with your brand.
Seller ratings are a cumulative score that appears on your ads, shopping posts, and Google Review Badges.
What’s So Great About Google Trusted Store?
Your Target Audience Will Find You Online
Research suggests that more than 86% of customers read reviews before they buy anything online.
Perform a little experiment. Type phrases like ‘best salons near me’ or ‘best dentists near me’, and you’ll see how other businesses rank on Google.
Once you get your business registered on the Google My Business listing, Google will display your relevant business details to your target audience.
Customers Know That Other Customers Are Also Admiring Your Brand
Businesses that have already used the Google Trusted Stores feature in the past know that the badge you’re getting from Google is an appreciation certificate by your customers.
That goes without saying that when customers see other link-minded individuals praising your products and services, they take less time to make a buying decision.
It Improves Your Local Search Rankings
Customer reviews are one of the biggest local search ranking factors. Interestingly, these reviews also act as a low-cost marketing strategy that helps improve your store traffic and conversions.
If your goal is to improve your store’s visibility in front of search engines, then you’re going to need many genuine reviews for your website.
Your Ecommerce Store Qualifies For Seller Ratings
Businesses looking to have more customers via Google have to get better seller ratings. Include your seller ratings on your ads and posts, and you’ll get more traffic and clicks on your website.
Builds Credibility And Trust
An average customer goes through at least 10-testimonials before trusting a brand. When you have more Google-verified reviews, your buyers will feel more confident investing in your products.
Here, the key is to get honest reviews only. Remember, Google is smart enough to catch any fraudulent activity and quickly identifies whether reviews on your website are real or fake.
Your Status Is Visible On Your Website And Ads
Your status is visible on ads and your website. With this badge, you can compete with other ecommerce giants and online stores.
How To Make Your Ecommerce Store A Google Trusted Store - 8 Step Guide
If your ecommerce store was part of the Google Trusted Store certification program, then you’ll be automatically migrated to the current program. Make sure you get in touch with the Google support team if you’re not seeing a Google Customer Review Badge on one of your website pages.
If you’re doing it for the first time, you can walk through the following steps to get your Google Customer Review badge to improve the credibility of your business in front of your customers and search engines.
Step 1 - Sign Up Or Select A Program On Google Merchant Center
The first step is to open up the Google Merchant Center. Log in to your Google Merchant Center account if you have one (you may need to create one if you don’t have an account).
Make sure you spend some time getting yourself familiarized with the tools available on the dashboard. Click on the button containing 3-dots on the upper right-hand side of the screen.
Upon clicking, you’ll see a drop-down menu. Select the Merchant Center Programs option.
Step 2 - Choose Customer Reviews
Don’t forget to check out other available programs on Google Merchant Center, including Shopping Ads, Dynamic Remarketing, Product reviews, etc. All of these programs are beneficial for ecommerce store owners and we encourage you to explore all of these.
For the tutorial, you’ll have to click the ‘Enable’ button listed under the Customer Reviews section.
Step 3 - Read & Agree
Before you move forward, you’ll see a Customer Reviews agreement on your screen. Make sure you reach this agreement carefully as it includes several important clauses that need your attention.
Click ‘I have read and agree to this agreement’ to enter your consent. Click Save & Continue to proceed further.
Step 4 - Paste A Survey On Your Site
You’ll then be provided with a code that you have to insert on your site. You’ll also get constant guidance from Google to get through this step. The purpose of this code is to display a survey reminding your customers to drop their genuine feedback about your products and services.
As discussed previously, this feedback will be cumulative and used by Google to see whether your website qualifies for the Customer Review program.
Step 5 - Display Your Badge
A few years back, the final evaluation process took around 2 to 3 months (the number of days depends on the type of website and merchant as well).
Be patient if you qualify for the criteria as you’ll eventually receive an email confirming that your request has been acknowledged.
The email also includes a Customer Review Badge for successful merchants. All you need to do now is to embed this badge on your website.
Step 6 - Getting More Google Reviews
Getting more reviews on a website isn’t a piece of cake. Research suggests that 85% of customers are willing to leave feedback on a website. But sadly, only a few will do it.
Here are a few things you should consider for better Google Reviews:
- Customers pay attention to the most recent reviews first
- The more reviews you have, the better your business credibility will be
- Don’t expect a perfect 5-star rating all the time
- Buyers only trust legitimate reviews and feedback
- Your potential customers carefully monitor the tone of your current reviews
Step 7 - Claim Your Google My Business Listing (You Can Skip This Step If You’ve Already Done This!)
Google My Business Listing is one of the essentials of the entire Google Customer Review process. Before you start asking for customer feedback, just ensure your Google My Business listing is in place.
What Google My Business listing does is enables you to control how your ecommerce store will appear in search results. With this listing in place, you’d be able to control and tweak the search appearances of your business for different platforms.
To create your list, you have to add information about your products, services, location, contact details, and more.
When this information is visible to your buyers, It will be much easier for them to find your business online.
Google enables you to follow a step-by-step process to verify your business. Below are some of the best practices you can follow to control your business visibility in search results.
Include Relevant Business Details:
Include as much information as possible about your business. This includes your contact details, location, email address, and more. The idea is to provide your customers with options through which they can contact you whenever they want.
Update Your Hours Of Operation:
Make sure you update your hours of operation to keep your potential customers informed of your business hours.
According to Google research, listings that include images get 42% more requests on Google Maps than listings that do not involve images or any other type of visuals.
Make sure you include high-definition images so that your buyers can have a better sense of your products and offers.
Optimize Your Listing With The Right Keywords:
It is a good idea to include keywords in your listing. However, you must not overstuff your listing with keywords as it may result in getting your business penalized by Google.
Read our guide on "Keyword Research: A Definitive Guide For Ecommerce Websites" to learn more about keyword research and the use of the right keywords.
Step 8 - Create A Link To Google Customer Reviews Using The Place ID Tool
Once you have successfully created Google My Business listing, it’s time to create a direct link to Google Customer Reviews using the Google Place ID tool.
It’s a unique code that distinguishes your business from others in Google Maps. You can find this id on the Google Maps Developers Page. Simply type the name of your business in the ‘Enter a Location’ field. Click on the right match listed in the drop-down list. The 25-character blend of characters and numbers is your Google Place ID.
Copy/paste your ID at the end of this link. You can use a link shortener to make this link look more concise and appealing.
Pro tip: You can get a negative review removed from Google Customer Review if you feel it’s fake or nasty. Google will take some time to process your request. Also, you’ll have to explain to the support team why you want the review removed.