How to reduce cost per click in Adwords – using Reviews

8 minute read

eCommerce businesses waste money each year on under-performing PPC campaigns. An ongoing goal for all advertisers should be to reduce cost per click in Adwords.

Businesses who do not collect reviews, and therefore do not display star ratings next to their PPC adverts or organic search results, are at a competitive disadvantage. Businesses who do not collect reviews will see their conversions rates as much as 28% lower than those who do. 61% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase[2]. Businesses who collect and manage reviews with a Google-licensed review partner will be eligible for Google Seller Ratings, and therefore can reduce cost per click in Adwords.

Introduction

PPC Advertisers on Google face many challenges in a very competitive online marketplace. Today’s consumer is tech-savvy, choosing to research using a wealth of online information before choosing which products to buy and from which brands or sellers.

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One challenge for sellers is to stand out from their competitors. Google offers a way for PPC advertisers to display star ratings for their company (‘Seller Rating Extensions’), and for their products (‘Product Ratings’), alongside paid advertising. Star ratings are also offered in organic search results as Rich Snippets, but only for companies actively collecting reviews.

Google state that click-through-rates are up to 17% higher[3] for paid adverts which display Seller Rating Extensions or Product Ratings. Nielsen’s research states that up to 70% of consumers completely or somewhat trust other consumer opinions posted online[4], and this is likely a contributing factor to Google’s stated CTR statistic.

Seller Ratings Extensions (Company Reviews)

“Seller ratings are an automated extensions type that showcases advertisers with high (review) ratings” [5]. Seller ratings take the form of stars, from 1 to 5, and are shown below any appropriate PPC campaign adverts in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Google collects seller ratings from third party sources such as Reviews.co.uk that aggregate business reviews. Seller ratings primarily reflect customer satisfaction with your business.

Product Ratings

Product ratings are separate from seller ratings and apply to the product level only. The same star rating from 1 to 5 exists and is displayed below Google Shopping adverts. A total review count is also displayed next to the star rating. Product ratings are not related to the overall experience of any one particular vendor, but to that individual product alone.

Product matching is used to match reviews to individual products, sourced from a range of information, the strongest of which being globally unique product identifiers.

Product ratings are representative of data from multiple sources including merchants, editorial sites, consumers and third party review platforms such as Reviews.co.uk.

Where product ratings are present, an increase in qualified shoppers being driven to your product page will be seen.

Issues faced by Google advertisers

Advertising on Google can be expensive, but it can also be highly effective, especially when offering products through Google Shopping (formerly Product Listing Ads).

Sellers and brands need to maximise the effectiveness of paid campaigns in order to increase ROI. Sellers who do not display star ratings from Seller Ratings or Product Ratings next to their PPC adverts are at a competitive disadvantage, as their click-through-rates on PPC campaigns are up to 17% lower.

Google Star Ratings are sourced from aggregated review collection data from a variety of sources, including both Google and third party review collection solutions. A threshold exists for the number of authentic reviews required before Google displays star ratings in PPC adverts.

83.2% of consumers state that the presence of reviews is most influential in their buying decision making process[6]. 64.4% of consumers value the opinion of other online consumers higher than any other source[7]. 69% of consumers take action based on consumer opinions posted online[8].

Google filters out reviews it considers to be untrustworthy or otherwise questionable at source.

Collecting authentic, verified reviews in sufficient numbers therefore has a direct impact on click-through-rates in Google PPC advertising.

A positive impact on click-through-rate will have a positive impact in conversion, revenue and your company’s bottom line. By failing to leverage reviews to increase conversions from paid advertising, your company could be missing out on a substantial increase in revenue.

Reviews.io solution overview

The current state of the review collection landscape is as follows. A range of platforms exist, broadly offering the same core features – the ability to request, collect and store customer reviews, the ability to publish these reviews to Google, and the ability to share the reviews on customer facing assets (the business owner’s eCommerce store website and as stars in Google PPC and organic results). The majority of the solutions on offer require signing lengthy contracts (usually with a minimum of 12 months), and require an annual, up-front payment.

While integrating your review collection solution with your eCommerce platform and offering extensive publishing solutions is of course required, the overall effectiveness (measured by review collection conversion rate) will be limited if the collection process is not simple, straightforward and easy for the consumer. Making review writing simple for the consumer is therefore the key to successful, and fast, review collection.

Reviews.co.uk’s platform has continually evolved with you, the ecommerce business owner, in mind. We make it straightforward to integrate our solution with any of the major eCommerce platforms on the market. The consumer review collection process is automated, simple, unobtrusive and elegant. We do not tie businesses into long contracts.

The platform simply enables review collection and publishing to Google, to enable the business owner to gain traction quickly and show stars next to their paid advertising efforts. It offers fair, cost-effective pricing and a rolling 30 days contract, meaning you can test whether the solution is right for your business without committing to a 12 month period with large up-front costs. Reviews.co.uk also offers a free trial of the platform.

How can businesses reduce cost per click in Adwords using reviews

To effectively reduce cost per click in Adwords and increase conversions, reaching the required number of reviews quickly for Google to display Google Seller Ratings is paramount to any advertiser who is not yet collecting reviews. Reviews.co.uk allows customised invitation templates, by email or SMS, and email A/B testing to maximise review request conversion rates. If your business is just getting started, the Reviews.co.uk platform also offers the facility to upload a list of previous customer orders which can be automatically converted into review collection requests.

The review writing process is simple, does not require your customer to log in, and is entirely mobile-friendly. Reviews.co.uk will only contact your customer once, to protect your brand reputation and reduce spam. You are given the flexibility to re-contact your customers if you deem it necessary.

Your customers are already pre-qualified and verified before the review invitation is sent. This means all reviews published as a result of your review invitation are genuine, honest and authentic, and can be immediately published to your Google reviews feed.

Reviews.co.uk’s complex data-driven algorithms are constantly evolving to ensure review invitations are sent at the perfect time to increase response rates. The review collection page is customisable by you to keep a smooth branding experience for the customer.

Reviews can be collected either for your company (seller ratings), your product (product reviews) or as a combined approach. Customers can be invited to leave a photo of their product in their review, and the platform allows an easy upload of photos from customers’ smartphones.

To further incentivise review response rates and repeat business, you may offer voucher codes to your customers in exchange for leaving a review. This is not conditional on your customer leaving a good review.

Responding to reviews, forwarding reviews to the appropriate department for action and moderating reviews are all possible from an easy-to-navigate user dashboard, alongside review verification for invitations sent outside of email or SMS.

Making it easy for your customer to respond to a compelling request for a review, coupled with the simple review-writing process, ensures the maximum response rate and a fast collection rate.

By pre-qualifying reviews and ensuring maximum review conversion rates, you can ensure that your reviews will appear in a more timely manner in your PPC campaigns, and you will see the benefits of increased click-through-rates, you can reduce cost per click in Adwords, and you can increase sales.

Business Benefits

Business owners engaged in eCommerce could be using any number of off-the-shelf eCommerce platforms, or a bespoke platform to sell online.

The Reviews.co.uk platform integrates seamlessly with any platform. Available are a range of eCommerce platform apps or modules for the most popular (including Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, OpenCart, Prestashop, BigCommerce, WordPress, Volusion and more), and a simple to implement email-based solution for users of custom eCommerce platforms.

Fully automating the review collection process means that once Reviews.co.uk is integrated into your business, you’ll see the benefits immediately.

You’ll be able to set up and customise the review collection emails which are sent to your customers, in a very simple and easy to use email template creator.

You’ll have access to your Reviews.co.uk dashboard where you can manage your entire review collection strategy. You can get a 360 degree view of reviews from multiple sources, not just Reviews.co.uk, and this feature is unique to our platform. See reviews from Google Local, Facebook, Amazon, Trustpilot and more, all in one place.

Once you have collected reviews, you are able to clearly publish them in a variety of places so that your customers and prospective customers can see them. Reviews.co.uk offers a wide range of website widgets, which dynamically populate with company, product or photo reviews, and can be displayed around your website.

Add an overall company review rating to your home page for an at-a-glance indication of customer trust. Include product review widgets on your individual product pages and you’ll see an increase in on-page conversion for those products – especially useful for Google Shopping landing pages as it will result in a far better ROI from your paid advertising.

Turn your reviews into Facebook or Google retargeting adverts and export them directly into your Ad Manager or AdWords dashboards. Marketers see an up to 50% increase in CTR when using user generated contact on Facebook.

You may also choose to share automatically any 4 and 5 star reviews to your Twitter and Facebook feeds as you receive them.

By showing your reviews in multiple places on your site and across the web, your brand and products will receive more interest from paid advertising. The presence of Google Stars in your paid advertising will improve your click-through-rates, while the presence of our Product Review Widget on your individual product pages will improve on-page conversion.

Summary

Businesses engaged in PPC, either in AdWords text ads or PLA Google Shopping ads are at risk of wasting valuable advertising spend on under-performing adverts. Businesses who do not display customer reviews on their product pages in their eCommerce platform will see up to a 28% decrease in on-page conversion.

82.3% of consumers state that the presence of reviews is important when choosing a product, service or company. 64% of consumers state that reviews influence their buying decision more than friends of family. Only 9% of consumers will purchase based on brand alone.

Google displays review stars in organic results (Rich Snippets) and in Paid Search (including shopping) only when a certain threshold of review collection is achieved.

Reviews.co.uk’s review collection and publication platform allows businesses to quickly collect the required minimum threshold of Google reviews by providing a simple user experience. It integrates easily with all major eCommerce platforms through apps and modules, meaning a business can start collecting reviews fast.

Reviews.co.uk publishes all verified reviews to Google automatically and allows business owners control over publication, moderation and responses to reviews.

Businesses can display reviews on their website, their product pages and in PPC ads with minimal effort, by using pre-configured website widgets or by accessing the Reviews.co.uk API.

Reviews can be collected for a company, for a specific product, or both, and reviewers may upload photos directly into their reviews. Conversion rates can be 9.6% higher when shopper interact with customer photos, with up to 200% increase in time on site.

The collection and publication of reviews in PPC ads and on product landing pages will lead to increased click-through-rates on PPC ads, and increased conversion to sales of up to 28% on product landing pages.

By using Reviews.co.uk’s review collection and publishing service, you will reduce cost per click in Adwords, increase your quality score, increase your conversion rates, and increase revenue. These savings will very quickly translate to more than adequately cover the cost of the Reviews.io platform.

References:-
[1] http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2013/global-trust-in-advertising-and-brand-messages.html
[2] https://www.reviews.co.uk/downloads/whitepapers/influence-of-reviews-2016
[3] https://adwords.googleblog.com/2011/04/5-simple-ways-to-improve-your-adwords.html
[4] http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2013/global-trust-in-advertising-and-brand-messages.html
[5] https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2375474?hl=en-GB
[6] https://www.reviews.co.uk/downloads/whitepapers/influence-of-reviews-2016
[7] https://www.reviews.co.uk/downloads/whitepapers/influence-of-reviews-2016
[8] https://www.reviews.co.uk/downloads/whitepapers/influence-of-reviews-2016

To get started with Reviews, sign up to your free trial by clicking this button.

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