Reviews or testimonials are mostly said to work on the basis of social proof. Social proof is a psychological process in which people copy the behavior of others, in an attempt to reflect correct behavior.
A testimonial tells you that someone you can identify with has bought a product and loved it. That really means the product is just the right thing for you as well. However, ratings and reviews are not just valuable for your customers alone: Google uses them in various ways too, as I’ll explain in this post. Moreover, I’ll show how you can help Google show ratings and reviews in the search results, with the right markup.


Ratings for your website or online shop can be categorised into two:

  • For your entire business
  • For a specific product (This is not available in Nigeria at the moment)

Business ratings

Ratings for your brand or shop will most probably be given on a website like Google My Business. Google will see these ratings and will even add Google My Business ratings to their Knowledge Graph information. The time that Google added stars to search result pages for any website that added these ratings in is over. Google was simply flooded with ratings, and it made less sense to add them to all the results anymore. That doesn’t mean they are entirely gone, as the opinion of your visitor or customer is still equally valuable to Google. So where it makes sense, like for a Spare part, Google will still show that rating. Google also tends to show map location ratings in their Google Map results, like this way with NGspareparts:

NGSpareparts - Buy spare parts in Nigeria

To add reviews to your Business Location(s), follow these steps below;

  1. Register a google account HERE, it’s best to do it with your corporate email e.g.
  2. Use it to create a Google Business Location
  3. Verify your Business Location by adding your correct business address (i.e. the physical location of your business) and requesting a mail to the address. Please, note that this might take up to a month.

After these, you can start requesting for reviews by sharing your reviews link on the About section of your Google Business listing.

Watch the video below for step-by-step guidelines.

Product ratings – Note that this is not available in Nigeria at the moment. If you want to know how this works, read through.

Product ratings are a bit of a different from business ratings, although they work pretty much the same. Have people rate a product on your website, and add an Aggregate rating on a nice spot on your product page. Next to Google picking up on that rating and showing it in, for instance, the Google Shopping result, it increases trust in a product.

As you can see, product ratings have a different color in Google Shopping results.

Besides, in their Shopping results, you can also find product reviews from major websites in the search result pages, like this one from CNET:

CNET is a trusted source for Google, so they feel comfortable showing that rating and link these reviews on page one in the search result pages.

Obviously, it’s key to monitor these ratings and act if a product is just getting negative reviews. Either contact the reseller and ask them to fix the issues or stop selling that specific product.


Most of the times the ratings we discussed earlier are just half of a package deal. Ratings are great, and awesome ratings even greater. But if that rating is accompanied by a detailed review as well, people will be able to relate better to the experience another customer has had; even if it’s for a product or an entire website. These reviews influence the decision-making process of your visitor. If they come to your website and see only negative reviews, written by real people that speak from experience, they will think twice, thrice, even ten times and might not end up buying your products/services. If these reviews are all raving about the product, people will just need a split second to click the buy button.

Reviews influence local ranking

Especially for local rankings, or local products, reviews are important. They tell Google the public perception of a brand or website. Google can process these reviews and take them into account for rankings if needed. Websites like Yalwa, Business List, VConnect, NGEX and Foursquare help people from all over the world to find the right restuarant or bakery. Sites like, Jumia Travel, and Hotels NG, tell people where to stay and allow people to share their experiences afterward. If you have sufficient reviews, Google shows these ratings and allows you to pick right from their search result pages already. If you search for a specific restaurant in Nigeria .e.g. Jevinik Restaurant on Google, you’ll find even more reviews in the search result pages:SEO in Nigeria - Jevinik restaurant reviewt="699" alt="SEO in Nigeria - Jevinik restaurant reviews" class="wp-image-170 alignnone size-full" />

The image shows that you shouldn’t rule out Facebook in this as well. Maintain an active page and allow for reviews. Again, monitor these. All this positive ‘word of mouth’ combined will contribute to Google liking and ranking your online shop even better.

It’s up to you which source you trust more. But I think you can’t go wrong with the restaurant above, right? Believe me, I’ve tried their food, I couldn’t even finish the bush meat;

Digital Marketer in Nigeria -22 width="640" height="640" alt="Digital Marketer in Nigeria - Eating at Jevinik, ikeja" class="wp-image-171 alignnone size-full" />


Ratings, reviews, and

Google uses structured data to include extra information in the search results. The markup for structured data is taken from a vocabulary called A combined effort of Yahoo, Microsoft, Google and Yandex, this open data format’s goal is to offer structured data that search engines can consistently use to present rich results. This could be product information, ratings, and reviews, or information about your local business.

To implement structured data, you need to offer search engines the correct markup. There are a couple of ways of doing that: Microdata, RDFa, and JSON-LD. According to Google, the latter is the easiest way of adding metadata to sites these days. JSON-LD is a lightweight data-format that’s easy to read for both humans and machines. You can test your code in Google’s Structured Data Test Tool.

Reviews and ratings

By adding certain elements to your code, it’s possible for Google to add reviews and ratings to your search results. You need to tell which parts are about the review and what that element represents. In a rating is the aggregate value a product gets. A review is a rating, with an explanation in text.

[blockquote]Most times, you’ll note be able to do this yourself, that’s why I’m here for you 😉[fancy_link title=”Request to get your done today” link=”” target=”” style=”3″ class=”” download=””] [/blockquote]

In the example below, you see a typical review in JSON-LD format. A couple of highlights:

  • type: The type (a review)
    • itemReviewed: What you are reviewing
    • type: The thing (a thing)
  • reviewRating: Is it a review or a rating?
    • type: It’s a rating
    • ratingValue: The number of stars (1-5)
  • name: The title of the review
  • author: Who wrote it?
    • type: It’s a person, of course
    • name: Name of the author
  • reviewBody: Where was the review published
    • publisher: The actual publisher
    • type: Most of the time it’s an organization
    • name: Name of the organization
<script type=“application/ld+json”>
 “@context”: ““,
 “@type”: “Review”,
  “itemReviewed”: {
  “@type”: “Thing”,
  “image”: “”,
  “name”: “Tope Digiworks”
 “reviewRating”: {
  “@type”: “Rating”,
  “ratingValue”: “5”
 “name”: “Awesome Brand developer in Nigeria!”,
  “author”: {
  “@type”: “Person”,
  “name”: “Damilola Robert”
“Tope Digiworks is the best Brand developer I've ever worked with in Nigeria!”, “publisher”: { 
“@type”: “Organization”,
“name”: “Damilola Robert” 


The same can be done for product listings. If you use the right markup, Google can pick up the data and show it in the results. You can add specifications, price, availability, reviews and ratings, and more to your listings. The code to use is comparable to the one above. In a future post, we’ll be elaborating on that a bit more.

Local businesses

Reviews are a godsend for local businesses. That’s why it’s rather important to add them to your listings. Using and, for instance, JSON-LD, you give Google the opportunity to add your ratings to the search results. Potential customers will get a good idea of the quality of your business, right in the search engine.

Keep an eye on my site, because I will be diving deeper into for products, ratings and reviews, and what it all means for local businesses and SEO.