Can manually posted customer reviews and ratings be used in structured data without annoying Google?
 by Kristi Hagen

Can manually posted customer reviews and ratings be used in structured data without annoying Google?

  • In the last SEN Masters Training Course you said that we could take reviews sent to us (via Word, email, survey or whatever other means) and add them to our pages for use in structured data.

    I have a moving company client who has a formalized process for engaging clients after a service. We then add some of the customer comments to the website as testimonials.

    My question, based on the comments in the Masters Course is: if we create a star rating within our formalized feedback and comment system, can we use this star rating along with the comments for use in structured data?

Answer: The short answer is; Yes, you can do this. However, we advise that you to keep the reviews on file as proof that they're real just in case anyone asks. We've never seen Google actually comment on manually submitted reviews but we know that they have to be real AND factual or you're begging for trouble long term. And, you have to have a way for customers to submit a review on the review page of your site. That can simply be a form that gets emailed to you or it can be a automated review system — both will work fine.

A while back we were working with a heating and air-conditioning company that was having trouble getting reviews. So, we created a postcard questionnaire that we sent to customers to fill out after they had their work done. We asked for name, email, how did you like our service, ratings, do we have your permission to use this review in our advertising, and so on.

Then we just manually posted their ratings and comments on the site. It worked great. And, surprisingly, once we started this process and after having a few dozen reviews on the site, THEN people started posting reviews on their own – including bad ones (which can happen too!).

So, yes, you can do this and we highly encourage it!SEN article end


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