Ratings: They Boost Your Search Engine Listings Too!

by Hayley Silver •

Earlier this week, I had an opportunity to speak with Greg Goodson and Greg Davis, of Backcountry.com about how they’re using the BizRate Ratings & Customer Feedback Platform (we’re going to come up with a better name; if you’ve got any good ideas, let us know!).

As its website states, Backcountry.com is a pure online retailer focused on outdoor gear for the serious recreational athlete. Backcountry.com has been using the BizRate ratings platform for nine years, has collected over 100,000 points of customer feedback, is BizRate Customer Certified standing, and is a Circle of Excellence winner five years running! Their commitment to customer satisfaction is as genuine as their passion for the outdoors.

The primary purpose of our talk was to discuss how Backcountry.com used BizRate’s suite of customer insights & feedback tools. Their biggest application of our tools is in running monthly reports on trended views of customer satisfaction, and using the data to provide training and feedback to their Customer Service Representatives.

But, Greg Goodson expressed another really interesting benefit to using the BizRate Ratings platform: better ranking in Google Product Search. Backcountry.com, along with just about every other online retailer, uses Google Product Search to drive traffic to their site.

Google has done a great job of crawling, from various sources, customer-generated seller ratings. And, they seem to ascribe a decent amount of importance to seller ratings that are compiled from the BizRate platform. When shoppers search for products, the results also include a reference to those sellers’ ratings.

In Greg’s opinion (and he’s been at the traffic acquisition game for a couple of years), the seller ratings help boost the rank of a seller’s product search results, all things being equal. With an aggregate rating of 4.5 stars (out of 5) in Google Product Search, Backcountry.com seems to show up quite prominently. When I searched for a Kelty Villa Tent, they are in the third and fifth positions; and, when I filtered by stores with a rating of 4 stars or more, they occupy the first and third positions.

And, the Googlejuice didn’t seem to stop there. I search for Arc’Teryx, one of my favorite brands of ski apparel. For the term, Arc’Teryx Softshell Pant, Backcountry.com (and related properties) occupied positions 1 – 4 in Google Product Search.

In addition to helping boost positional rank in Google Product Search, both Gregs noted that their ratings also helped instill buyer confidence, which tends to result in better conversion rates.

So, if tapping into the voice of your customer and enabling a feedback loop isn’t reason enough to use BizRate Ratings & Customer Feedback Platform, perhaps getting a boost in Google Product Search and seeing better conversions on that traffic might appeal to you. In this economy, I’d say: Yes!

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