How To Get (Or Increase) A Google Star Rating

These days, with the search results becoming more cluttered with search features and ads, and users becoming increasingly picky about what they click on, it’s more important than ever to stand out in the search results. One of the best ways to do this is by increasing your Google Star rating, which we’ll cover in this post.

What is a Google Star rating?

A Google Star rating is a five star rating scale that ranks businesses based on customer reviews. Customers are given the opportunity to leave a business review after interacting with the business, which involves choosing from one star (poor) to five stars (excellent).

Why does it matter?

Although not every business has a business rating allocated to them in Google search, having a positive (3 stars plus) rating, along with positive reviews, has a number of key benefits:

  • Search visibility and clickthrough rates – listings with positive reviews can receive up to 29% more clicks, meaning more traffic for your site
  • Building brand trust – online reviews are one of the most important metrics for consumers when evaluating a business, with over 80% of consumers stating that they read online reviews and 86% would express hesitation about purchasing from a business that had poor reviews.
  • Although having no reviews or stars won’t damage your brand as such, you will be paying opportunity cost in terms of not being as visible to users, and needless to say negative stars and reviews will cost you a lot of potential visitors!

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Although not definitively proven, there are rumours that Google use business reputation signals in their search algorithm, and there is some empirical evidence that having a negative reputation (this includes online reviews, scam reports, site security/malware issues and so on) can also affect your visibility in Google search for the worse.

How do I get a Google Star Rating?

The most important requirements for getting reviews and stars in Google are as follows, according to Hitreach:

1) Getting reviews from Trusted review sites
2) Adding the correct Schema (code) markup
3) Site authority, in the form of other websites linking to yours and a strong overall brand

Recently, Google have lowered the requirements for gaining star ratings in search, meaning that you only need one verified review from a customer in order for star ratings to appear. Once you start getting reviews on your Google Business page, as well as third-party sites, you need tell Google about it.

Getting reviews

There a a few ways to collect reviews:

  1. Through your Google My business profile (users can write a review for you directly on Google maps, if they have a Google account)
  2. Through Trusted review sites – Google requires any reviews coming from 3rd-party sites to be on their list of review partners, which although mostly relating to ad extensions, also has weight for organic review stars. Sites such as Trustpilot and Feefo, which are both well known and respected, are suitable.

With both of the above, it’s critical to provide your users with a direct link to review you – you don’t want them to be ferreting around to find you on Google Maps! All major review platforms will do this for you when you set them up, and the Google My Business Dashboard has a ‘share profile’ option where you can share a link for your customers to find you.

Engaging with customers for reviews

Ecommerce companies have an obvious means of soliciting reviews; it’s perfectly acceptable to follow up transactions with a thank you email that includes a review link. Depending on the product or service, following up a few weeks or a month after the customer has transacted with the business may be best (this is what Amazon do, rather than bombarding the user with requests for reviews before they’ve had a chance to try the product out!).

For SaaS (software as a service) businesses, it will often be the case that customer support is a key part of the review process – efficient, helpful and effective support teams make an enormous difference to a customer’s perception of your service and business, particularly for software-only businesses where frequent customer queries will be common. Successfully dealing with queries could be a way of legitimately asking for positive reviews (for example if a user creates a support ticket and the ticket is closed successfully and fairly quickly, a link to a review platform would be acceptable).

For B2B entities, a more personal touch may be required, and it’s often a good idea to make sure your account teams are fully versed on the importance of online reviews and testimonials from customers. If there is an understanding of which of your customers have warm relationships with the business and have carried out transactions with you recently, then contacting them and politely asking for a review should have a high success rate.

Adding Schema code

Now, we need to add the code into our website to link up the reviews we’ve received with our website. This involves adding schema (structured data) code into the pages on your site where you want reviews to show, which will generally look like this (the below example is for product review stars, and code for individual reviews):

“@context”: “”,
“@type”: “Product”,
“aggregateRating”: {
“@type”: “AggregateRating”,
“ratingValue”: “3.5”,
“reviewCount”: “11”

“@type”: “Review”,
“author”: “Lucas”,
“datePublished”: “2011-03-25”,
“reviewBody”: “Great microwave for the price. It is small and fits in my apartment.”,
“name”: “Value purchase”,
“reviewRating”: {
“@type”: “Rating”,
“bestRating”: “5”,
“ratingValue”: “4”,
“worstRating”: “1”

You can potentially do this yourself through the Markup helper offered by Google, although in most circumstances we’d recommend hiring professional developers to do the heavy lifting for you!

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Site authority

The more of an authority and a recognised brand that your site is, the more likely it is that Google will recognise it as such and award star ratings accordingly (if the previous steps have been met). Although too large a topic to cover in this post, we have written on this previously on the blog, in this post:

Link Earning, Link Building And Offsite SEO – Foundations Of SEO Part 3

Improving your existing Google star rating

Getting more stars in Google search is, at face value, simply a question of getting more positive (4 and 5 star) reviews than negative ones. Although this mostly revolves around simply delivering as best a service and product as you can to your customers, there are a few other things you can do as well:

  • Engage with both positive and negative feedback – no one likes to see large numbers of negative reviews on a business with no feedback, as this makes it look like the business doesn’t care (and it can look even worse when negative reviews are ignored and only positive ones are engaged with!). Try to make an effort to reply constructively to as much feedback (good or bad) as is reasonable, as this paints a much more positive picture and makes it more likely you’ll attract better reviews as a result.
  • Actively seek out brand evangelists – among those who buy your products, follow your social media channels, and so on, there are bound to be some individuals who would happily give you a positive review. This could form part of an influencer marketing campaign. This could take the form of product reviews, building relationships with bloggers or social media users, and so on.


We hope this article has helped you move forward with developing your business – if you need any assistance with getting more traffic, customers, or revenue, please get in touch with our friendly team today and we’ll do our best to help you on your journey!

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