Google just keeps on getting smarter and smarter, and as long as your site is well-optimized and thoroughly crawlable, they’ll be able to accurately determine what about 80% of your site is all about.
80% is pretty good, but it’s not perfect, so you can use certain tools called “schema markup” to provide Google with the other 20% in addition to providing searchers with more relevant information up front.
Schema markups are essentially snippets of code that you can add to your site to provide Google with certain information, which will then be passed along to people who are seeing your listing. When used correctly, they can help you make a big impact right off the bat.
Review schema is perhaps the most beneficial schema markup when it comes to online reputation, and in this post we’re going to show you exactly how to set it up to attract new customers and build trust right away.
What Are Review Schemas and Why do I Need Them?
Schema markups can do everything from improving site navigation from the search to offering rich product data.
Review schemas are an extremely simple concept. You add a snippet of code to your site to showcase the reviews that you’ve obtained from your customers. When users see your listing in the SERPs, they’ll also see a visual rating out of five stars that showcases your current reviews.
Since 92% of customers read reviews online and 84% trust reviews as much as recommendations from a friend, this creates an opportunity to not only stand out in the SERPs but also make a powerful first impression.
This can help drive clicks significantly. One case study found that a second ranking in the SERPs with review schema actually yielded 76% more clicks than the site that ranked in the first slot which wasn’t using review schemas.
When people click, they’ll go in on a good note, knowing that others have had favorable things to say about your business, products, or services. That can carry a lot of weight with online reputation management, so use it to your advantage.
How to Implement Review Schema
Implementing review schema can be a little technical, but the good news is that there are so many tools out there that will make the process easier. Just follow these three simple steps, and you’ll be in good shape to improve your online reputation in no time.
Set Up Review Software
Setting up review software on your site is an important first step, because it allows you to collect and encourage the creation of new, original reviews on your site.
Trustpilot is an excellent choice. They’re an official Google Review partner, software is reliable and easy to install on your site, and paid plans will send out emails to customers who have made recent purchases to ask them to leave reviews. You can display these reviews on your site, and then use them to create review schema.
Even better, Trustpilot and other options including Whitespark (which is more affordable, also great, and better suited to smaller businesses with tighter budgets) are coded in a way that they’re search engine friendly.
Generate the Review Schema
There are a number of different ways to generate review schema, but one of the easiest will be to just the JSON-LD Aggregate Rating Generator. There are a number of schema generators out there if you aren’t a fan of this one.
You can head to the schema generator and enter in the information that you want users to see in the search field. For this simple version, you just need a product name, the average rating, the number of ratings, and the number of written reviews.
Install the Review Schema
Copy the code that the schema generator provides you. Note that you may need to create different codes detailing the reviews for each different product. Go to the text editor of your site, and insert the code onto the page. This will be placed directly into the source code.
WordPress sites can use the Schema plugin to easily install schema markups onto the site, even without a lot of coding knowledge or experience. Shopify stores can use the Shema App Total Schema Markup, and other tools are available for other CMS systems.
Once you’ve installed your review schema, you want to test it. It’s easy for schema coding to go a little awry even if you’re using a tool to help.
Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool is a quick and easy way to ensure that your schema is in good standing and working well. Warnings might not be anything immediately concerning, but you should fix Error alerts immediately. All you need to do is enter in the URL of the pages you want to review and have Google evaluate it for you.
Review Schema Rules to Follow
Now that you know how to actually install review schemas onto your site, there are a few rules and guidelines you’ll want to ensure that you’re following. These rules are set out by Google, so it’s important to follow them, and include:
- Never using aggregateRating on your homepage; it should only be used for product or service pages.
- Reviews must come from actual reviews from real users, and they must all be visible on your website pages that are showing the review schema.
- Pages that have the review schema must be directly relevant to the reviews.
- Reviews should be unique to your site, and not pulled from your Google My Business listing, Facebook, Yelp, or other sites.
- You should have the reviewer’s permission to publish their statements.
- Users should be able to add new reviews to your site that would affect the rating.
Remember that you should never try to pull a fast one on either your customers or Google; they can be quick to catch on, and that positive reputation potential will go down the tubes too quickly.
Review schema can take some time to set up but are well worth the effort. They’ve been proven to not only drive clicks to your site but also to help you stand out in the best way possible. Seeing five stars on a search result is an excellent way to build your online reputation, and this outstanding visibility can even help protect you from other negative mentions that may pop up on other sites.
Need some assistance optimizing your site for SEO and a great first impression? Get in touch with us here and learn more about how we can help.
What do you think? Do you use review schema to improve your business’s online reputation? How has it impacted your online traffic? What other schema do you use? Share our thoughts and questions in the comments below!
- ReviewTrust is a leading review system for obtaining and displaying client reviews
- Rich snippets make your webpages appear more prominently in SERPs. This improved visibility has been shown to improve click-through rates
- According to a study by acmque, less than one-third of Google’s search results include a rich snippet with Schema.org markup
- Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper makes it super easy to tag your webpages (to use this tool, just select your item type, paste in the URL of the target page or the content you want to target, and then highlight the different elements so that you can tag them)