The CTR impact of seller ratings

I think we’d all agree that positive reviews of a product or company increases the likelihood that we will purchase that particular product or from that particular company and vice versa for bad reviews. It follows logically then that we are more likely to click on a paid ad or organic listing in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) that contains positive reviews, a view that is often voiced with little to no data until this blog post…

Historically Google AdWords showed you precious little about whether having a seller rating (the ad extension that results in you having stars in your ad copy from 3rd party review sites such as Feefo) actually increases your Click Through Rate (CTR) as there was no report for it:

Seller Ratings

Recently (not quite as recently as I’d like to admit), Google AdWords updated their ad extensions report so that you can now see the Click Through Rate (CTR) from ads that have seller ratings in them, and although this report doesn’t provide you with the exact data we can do some pretty accurate before and after analysis to give us a good idea of the impact that seller ratings have on CTR with the additional caveats:

  • I have only used exact match keywords
  • I have used the same set of keywords
  • There has been no change to the ad copy
  • I have only used data from Google Search (no search partner network)
  • I have used the Top vs other segment to only filter clicks and impressions that are accrued about the organic search results
  • I have used 5 months of data before and 5 months of data afterwards to allow for data anomalies

The Results


As you can see from the table, we saw a pretty huge 28.72% increase in CTR when ads contained a star rating compared with when they didn’t. Even when allowing for a 20% discrepancy in the data we can safely say that an ad containing a star rating increases the CTR by at least 20%.

What are the implications?

A higher CTR has numerous benefits from an AdWords perspective:

  1. You get more traffic
  2. It improves your Quality Score
  3. A higher Quality Score means that you will pay less per click
  4. You can therefore get more traffic for the same budget

Also from a wider search perspective it highlights the potential CTR impact that rich snippets may have.

To conclude, seller ratings improve your CTR from SERPs and therefore are a recommended ad extension. Get in touch with us if you would like help getting stars into your paid or organic Google listings.

If you would like to read more on paid search, Google shopping and the like, follow my contributions to the blog. Or sign up for our email where you can receive all the latest blogs to your inbox.

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Category: Digital Trends

About the author: James Marshall

James is Head of Paid Media at ThoughtShift working in Paid Media since 2011, having previously worked at digital marketing agencies and as an in-house digital specialist. He has worked for household brands such as Panasonic, Saga, the AA and STA Travel.

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