Adding Rich Snippet Product Review Ratings to BigCommerce
In this article I will demonstrate how to display your products' review ratings in Google search results.
When you search Google for a product, do you ever think about what compels you to click on a particular website's listing instead of the one above or below it?
Today I'm focusing on the additional elements that you can use to make your website's listings in search engine results stand out amongst your competitors. These are called Rich Snippets.
Rich snippets do not affect your position in the search engine results, but they will impact on the click through rate of your website listings in the search results - which can have an impact on how high you appear in Google.
Review Rating Rich Snippets
In the screenshot of a Google search for 'clothes rail' above, you can see how the listings with star ratings stand out much more than those without.
Applying review ratings rich snippets to BigCommerce
1. In your BigCommerce store admin, click Design (near the top right of the screen).
2. Click the Edit HTML/CSS button (roughly in the centre of the screen). The Design Mode editor will open in a new window/tab.
3. In the Design Mode editor window, find the ProductDetails.html file in the list on the left of the screen and click on it to open it.
4. Scroll to the bottom of the code for this page and copy & paste this code:
<div itemprop="aggregateRating" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/AggregateRating"> <meta itemprop="worstRating" content="1"> <meta itemprop="bestRating" content="5"> <meta itemprop="ratingValue" content="%%GLOBAL_Rating%%"> <meta itemprop="reviewCount" content="%%GLOBAL_ProductNumReviews%%"> </div>
5. Click Save at the top left of the screen.
6. Test that this has worked by visiting a product page on your BigCommerce site that has product reviews. Copy the URL of this page from the browser address bar.
7. Go to www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets, paste the URL and click the Preview button. You should see an example Google search listing for your product webpage with the review rating stars.
Don't check the actual Google search results too quickly as it may take a bit of time for Google to show your new review rating stars.
It is also worth mentioning that it was previously possible to show review star ratings for category pages in Google, but they have recently been 'simplifying' the look of search results to keep listing clean and consistent.
Rich snippets such as stock and price
You may have noticed that the Homebase listing in the screenshot of Google search results above, the price of the product is displayed. This and the ability to show "in stock" or "out of stock" is possible with rich snippets.
However, I do not recommend doing this in most situations.
1. Because if the product on your website is displaying on Google that the product is £100 but the same or a similar product on a competitor's website is displaying as £90, your website is less likely to be clicked on. It is far better to display the price once the customer has landed on your website.
Even if the visitor realises that you are more expensive than your competitor, at least they are now on your website, which could mean that they search for other products, see that you have a USP that is better than your competitor, or that your website looks far more professional and trustworthy than the competitor.
The exception to this is if low pricing is part of your unique proposition and you know that you are cheaper than your competitors. If you know this (and check regularly) then displaying the product price in the search results is of benefit to you.
2. If you choose to display the stock availability of your products in the search results then you run the risk of displaying "out of stock". You can guarantee that no one is going to click on your website listing if they already know the product is out of stock on your website.
You may think that if the product is out of stock, there is no point in them visiting your website anyway. There may be some truth to this, but your visitor may find something else they want to buy when they visit your website, or at least they will have experienced your website so they may remember your brand for a future purchase.
The exception to this is if you have your products always set to 'in stock'. The problem with this is that you may get lots of orders for products that are not actually in stock, and then you have to a) disappoint customers, and b) waste time contacting customers and arranging refunds.