How to Get Star Ratings in Google Search Results

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A star rating is one of the best examples of rich snippets, that helps any website stand out among search results. In this article we are going to have a closer look at the review snippet, choose the best type of it for your website and see increasing CTR.

Why does it matter to have a star rating?

Star snippet is a special Google search result which includes additional information stored as structured data. It looks like stars just under the page title and tells users that this website is trustworthy.

star rating snippet example

Review rich snippets are eye-catching and help any site stand out from the crowd. They provide people with additional information about product and the whole website. A sense of confidence is invoked in shoppers when they see how other users rate items and services, they are more likely to make a purchase.

Furthermore, google review rating enhances traffic to the website, boosts people’s engagement. Depending on the average starting position, it may increase CTR by up to 30%. You may see results of Elfsight inner research about review snippets below:

DeviceCTR without star snippets (weekly)CTR with star snippets (weekly)Growth
Desktop4,04%4.49%+10%
Mobile3,4%4,9%+31%

The effect is great, and you’ll be impressed by how easily it can be achieved after implementing reviews snippet in Google. Let’s start with choosing your own variant of star rating.

Types of Google Review Snippets

There are different kinds of star rating snippets depending on what type of content is being reviewed. Below, you’ll see who needs them and how they can be added to the snippet.

Snippet 1: Local Business

To stand out from the competitors, business should give stunning ratings in Google results. Add information about working hours, location and contacts in snippet, and people will surely choose you among other organizations.

local business review google snippet example

With such detailed information it is incredibly easy to make your business remarkable.

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Snippet 2: Product

After you’ve added product structured markup, Google would show detailed information about the item in results. Besides star rating users would see pictures, price, and availability.

product review snippet example

You may use rich product markup in the following cases:

  • On a page that describes a single item.
  • On a shopping aggregator page, where a single product is presented along with information about different sellers of it.
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Snippet 3: Recipe

Recipes are also rated in Google search results. The content in snippet is well structured, users are provided with information about cooking and preparation time, and about nutrition.

recipe review snippet example

Apply Google review schema to your recipe snippet, and people will more likely visit the website when they see it on Google.

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Other types

To show star rating in any other situation, use aggregateRating property for google review schema markup. This is what the code looks like after you’ve added it.

 <div itemprop="aggregateRating"
   itemscope itemtype="schema/AggregateRating">
   Rated <span itemprop="ratingValue">3.5</span>/5
   based on <span itemprop="reviewCount">11</span> customer reviews
 </div>

There are many more cases, when people can rate the materials. Here are all the types of content that support rating markup: games, music playlists, movies, software apps, courses, brand, creative works, events, offers, organizations, places, products, services, articles – with the help of aggregateRating property.

review snippet example

Sometimes official schema.org documentation doesn’t coincide with Google’s guide for placing reviews. There is a likelihood that stars will not appear in snippets or Google will hit manual actions towards the website because of review markup spam.

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How to get a Google rating in search results?

There are few ways to make a review snippet for a website. In the majority of cases it is a necessary to code, but by means of certain tools you’ll be able to show reviews without having to program.

Way 1. Make a custom widget

If you utilize pre-made solutions, such as Elfsight Reviews widget, you shouldn’t waste hours on learning Google review schema and programming. The plugin collects and aggregates testimonials automatically, its installation requires no programming skills.

Tip: By using Elfsight Reviews you may display testimonials from Google, Facebook, Trustpilot, Amazon, AirBnb, Yelp, Booking, TripAdvisor, Apple App Store.

star rating snippet generator
Elfsight tools practically guarantee a star rating to appear in search results.

Way 2. Add schema markup to HTML code

Open HTML of one web page or template and directorily insert schema markup into it. Find the needed strings and add several fragments into them. You see the way how code appears in the absence of schema.org markup:

<a href="example-url/dell-30.html">
  Save A Lot Monitors - $1250</a>
<a href="example-url/dell-30.html">
  Jon Doe's Gadgets - $1350</a>

It looks like this right after you have inserted google review schema:

<div itemprop="aggregateRating"
    itemscope itemtype="schema/AggregateRating">
    <span itemprop="ratingValue">87</span>
    out of <span itemprop="bestRating">100</span>
    based on <span itemprop="ratingCount">24</span> user ratings
  </div>

This method requires the capacity to code and understand the program.

Way 3. Add a fragment of JSON code

JSON is a lightweight format for transferring and classifying information. It’s more convenient to implement than the schema markup. You should place it just after the title of the page into HTML. Below, you can see an instance of JSON code with reviews.

<script type="application/ld+json">
    {
      "@context": "schema",
      "@type": "Review",
      "itemReviewed": {
        "@type": "Restaurant",
        "image": "example-url/seafood-restaurant.jpg",
        "name": "Legal Seafood",
                }
      },
      "reviewRating": {
        "@type": "Rating",
        "ratingValue": "4"
      },
      "name": "A good seafood place.",
      "author": {
        "@type": "Person",
        "name": "Bob Smith"
      },
      "reviewBody": "The seafood is great.",
      "publisher": {
        "@type": "Organization",
        "name": "Washington Times"
      }
    }
    </script>

This process demands the ability to program because you will have to comprehend the code and rewrite some lines in accordance with your needs.

Way 4. Apply Google Tag Manager without rewriting the code

This tool permits programmers to make the needed fragment of code without knowing how to program. This tool is a JSON generator which facilitates to make a fragment of JSON markup without the assistance of professional programmers.

google tag manager for star rating

The interface of GTM is pretty simple, but you are required to know the code of a page to embed it. Although it’s not very hard to understand, this approach still demands developer’s capacity.

Way 5. Use Google Structured Data Markup Helper

It is a tool which helps programmers and non-professionals easily implement structured data on their websites. It’s quite easy to use. All you need is to embed the code and use the editor to get ready JSON or HTML markup for a particular page.

Google Structured Data Markup Helper

As in the previous example, you are to know the structure of a webpage to add it. It’s not very complicated, but still this method demands programming skills.

How to examine if the review snippets are executing appropriately

Before posting the website with added schema.org markup, verify everything. There are two main ways to do it.

Rich Results test

Rich Results test is a rapid and simple tool to facilitate you check performance of the schema markup. See if your website can produce rich results. The test will show which rich result types can be discovered on the web page, along with warnings or recommendations for your structured information. 

rich results test for reviews

Google Search Console

This instrument is going to support you to discover all the warnings occurring in your schema markup. Only open the report in the navbar of the Search Console. Bear in mind that you’ll see a report merely if you have code for review snippet on the website.

google search console for review snippets

Tip: Schema is recognized by Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and Yandex. It’s not apparent if other search engines are using this markup.

My review snippets don’t show up in Google. What went wrong?

1. Google Search Engine hasn’t indexed your website yet.

Request indexing by providing your recent URL to Google. Bots will look through your page after that. If nothing has happened, check out the site for other possible errors.

2. The structured data is configured incorrectly

Before posting the website with star ratings, try to carry out a Rich Result test; it will clearly stress errors and warnings.

3. You are following the structured data guidelines incorrectly

Look through the full list of structured data guidelines and make sure you have done everything according to it.

4. Google isn’t showing star rating for your kind of content

In 2019 Google announced that it displays review stars for particular content types. Check the full list and monitor if your content belongs to one of the categories.

5. You used several markup languages

Utilize only one of the methods of realizing the schema markup: RDFa, Microdata or JSON-LD – and don’t mix them because it can lead to invalid displaying of review snippets.

6. And a couple more

There are several more reasons why rich snippets aren’t performing appropriately.

  • Google search engine doesn’t see your site as worth trust – you should prove its authenticity.
  • You’re utilizing organizational markup – itemscope. Remember that it rarely appears.
  • Your website consists of too few pages, or not all the pages have structured data. Check it out.
  • It isn’t guaranteed that proper implementation of the schema markup will help review snippets to appear.

In some cases, all you have to do is wait – Google doesn’t detect marked up content right away.

Google’s manual actions for review markup spam

Attempting to manipulate Google instructions can lead to manual actions during the assessors’ inspection.

For example:

  • If you mark up the ratings which are hidden to users
  • If you make up the irrelevant and untrustworthy content

To remove a hit with manual action from your website, look through Google’s technical guidelines on implementing the markup. Check code and make sure it is configured accurately for the review markup content. As soon as you’ve set all the lines that are violating Google’s guidance, forward a request to check the website once more. It will be approved in about a week or less.

Conclusion

The use of review snippets has become a standard of SEO-optimisation. Star ratings make your website outstanding and let it distinguish itself from the majority not using it. If you don’t use this instrument, you’re losing traffic now.

Tell us, do you implement review snippets on a website? What other rich snippets do you want to use? What interesting and peculiar examples of them have you ever noticed in search results?

Almost every website needs star rating to boost CTR and improve entire SEO. With ready-made solutions by Elfsight it’s super-easy to start using them. Try the widget below right now.

BONUS: widget for creating a star rating out of your reviews!

Create your own Google Reviews widget without any need to code.