Word of mouth has always been one of the most potent forms of advertising. Ever since businesses have been around, what customers thought of the service or product affected other people’s decisions. That’s never been more true than in today’s digital world. It’s been estimated that 88% of people now seek out online reviews when making a purchasing decision, and that they trust those reviews with the same confidence as they would the recommendation of a close friend.
It’s an undeniable trend, and it’s important for you as a business to capitalize on it. That’s why Google jumped on board a few years ago and started allowing for the inclusion of third-party reviews in ads placed with their Google AdWords system. These reviews, which can only come from what Google calls “reputable sources,” can either be a direct quote or an overall summary of a review. Of course, you will need direct permission from the source to include their review in your ad. The only caveat here is that reviews from sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor aren’t considered a “reliable” because anyone can post them at any time. To use a review in an extension like this, it must be from an established magazine, newspaper or website.
One of the most trusted business review organizations around is Better Business Bureau, so it makes sense that they are one of the leading partners in this program with Google. With the BBB rating extension, you can incorporate your verified rating directly into your Google ad. The extension adds text such as “A+ Accredited Business with Better Business Bureau,” letting potential customers know that you’re a reputable organization.
These review extensions give an advertisement a much higher click-through rate for several reasons. For one, they let the customer know they’ve found a business they can trust. In addition, a review-enabled ad gets better placement in online search because it simply contains more information. In fact, it’s guaranteed to be one of the top three spots.
Here’s how to set up your Google AdWords account to highlight your BBB Accreditation.
- Find the review you want to use. Google does consider a BBB rating a “reputable” site, so it’s a great place to start.
- Enable the option on your Google AdWords account. To do this, click on the “ad extension tab” that can be found at the top of the specific campaign you’re working on, and then click on “review extension option.” A box will pop up that contains reviews you already have, or a blank box with the option to add text.
- When you click on the blank box, you’ll have the choice of whether this is an exact quote or a summary of a review. You have a little less than 70 characters to use to describe your accreditation and the source.
- Fill out the “source URL” portion so Google can check the validity of the review. At this point, you can also choose what specific times (if any) you’d like your ad to be shown.
If you do decide to add this extension, here a few tips:
- Don’t waste valuable space repeating your business name. That information is already just a line or two above.
- Make sure you include an appropriate follow-through link to your rating so people can find even more positive reviews.
- Don’t include specific years in your ad, as these can quickly look outdated.
- Stay on top of your rating frequently. There are actually things you can do to improve your rating, such as providing BBB with your business’ background information and responding promptly to any complaints.
As a business owner, you know that online perception is important to the success of your business. You can try to tell people how great your business is, but it just sounds more believable when that information is coming from a third party. Adding your BBB Accreditation status and rating provides one more layer of trust and confidence—and gives the customer one more reason to click on your ad.