Why you need to respond to Google Reviews

Responding to reviews is confirmed by Google to improve a business's local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and increase the likelihood of appearing in the local pack results.
Why you need to respond to Google Reviews

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Do you respond to Google Reviews?

Okay, so you’re CEO (Chief Everything Officer) of a local business. You already have enough on your plate and regularly work 60 hour weeks, and even when you’re sleeping you’re dreaming about your business. 

Business owner who will respond to Google Reviews.

Because of all your hard work, you’re getting good reviews on your Google Business Profile, but you want to find a simple way to nudge leads into becoming customers. 

You don’t have spare time to constantly be nurturing leads, but you also don’t want to throw your money away on ads. 

I’ve got you, fellow business owner! 

This is probably one of the lowest hanging fruits for sales & marketing and it is super easy. 

The answer. . . respond to Google reviews! You might think it doesn’t have an impact, but with a few small tricks your reviews responses will attract new customers, and tell Google that your business should show up higher in the Google Search Results.

I try to keep these articles simple and easy to understand. Sometimes, I do have to get into the weeds a bit, but I try! If you’re interested in marketing tips made simple, signup to our newsletter and be notified when we drop another banger article like this one!

Okay, let’s start with an analogy. 

Responding to a compliment – An analogy.

Google Business Profile example

Imagine you go out to a restaurant and you have an amazing experience. The food was good, the ambiance was quaint and the wait staff was friendly. 

So you ask your waiter if the owner of the restaurant is there because you’d like to express your happiness with your evening. 

The owner comes out and you tell them how wonderful everything was, how great the food tasted, and how their staff were so helpful and friendly . . . and the owner of the restaurant looks at you, turns around and walks away. 

How do you feel now? 

That would feel like a slap in the face wouldn’t it? 

Well that is essentially what happens when your customer takes the time to leave you a glowing review, and you don’t take 30 seconds to respond to it. 

It’s especially worse if you run email or SMS campaigns asking them for a review. They have finally found the time to leave you a good review, and then … radio silence. 

That’s not how social interactions work. And it’s not how digital interactions should work either. 

Google Review Responses are public

What makes the analogy even worse is that this interaction (or lack thereof) is public. 

When someone is searching for your services, you are lucky if they come across your Google Business Profile. There are many other businesses in your area that offer your services. 

So when you have the eye-balls of a potential customer … make the most of it. Respond to Google Reviews!

If that person scrolls through your profile, they will be impressed with your good reviews … but where’s the responses? 

Reasons why a review response matters

1. It shows your appreciation

A simple “thank you” for a positive review goes a long way. It shows customers you value their business and feedback. 

This positive interaction can keep them coming back for future service.

2. It shows that you care

When you respond to Google reviews, both positive and negative, it demonstrates that you care about your business and your customers’ experience.

Potential customers will see this interaction and know that you are a business owner who genuinely cares about their customers. This is a good signal if you ask me!

3. It shows that you are a real person running a real business

You are a local business. You will attract customers who want to work with local businesses. 

Therefore, one of your biggest strengths is the fact that you have real people who genuinely care about the business. 

A real person would be happy about a genuine compliment, just like a real business owner will be happy with a positive google review. Show that authenticity in your response. 

Sign your response either with your name or your initials to further show that you are a real person. 

4. Opportunity to Showcase Expertise

Responding to reviews allows you to demonstrate your expertise and professionalism. 

Remember that people tend to look for E.E.A.T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) when looking for service businesses. 

5. Opportunity to include keywords into review response

When you respond to Google reviews, you have an opportunity to include specific key words and phrases in your response. Having a list of key words and phrases is part of a larger business strategy.

Basically, strategic use of keywords in your responses can help others find your profile when they search for services that include those words. 

Include relevant keywords to your service area naturally within your response to help potential customers find you online.

6. Encourage new leads to leave reviews

When potential customers are looking for the services you offer, they will hopefully find your website and Google Business Profile. 

When they see that you have great reviews, and respond to those reviews, this might nudge them to choose your business. When those people become customers, they know that if they leave a good review, that you will respond with appreciation.

This can enable the customer to want to leave a review for your business. 

7. You can address negative reviews

So far we’ve only talked about positive reviews. But what about negative reviews? 

Negative reviews can be a chance to turn a bad experience into a positive one. A prompt and professional response that acknowledges the issue and outlines how you’ll resolve it, shows that you take customer feedback seriously and are committed to improvement.

I’ll elaborate more in the section below. 

8. More Brand Visibility

Every time you respond to Google reviews is essentially a mini-advertisement for your business.  

It’s just one more opportunity for someone to see your business name and logo. 

The more someone sees your brand, the more likely they are to recognize your company when they need your services. 

9. Google tells you to respond to Google Reviews!

In Google’s Help Center, they tell mention that responding to reviews helps build trust.

Also, when you receive a review, Google sends you an email suggesting that you respond!

10. Technical SEO Benefits

Thinking WTF is SEO? Check out our SEO for Local Businesses Guide

The quick answer … SEO = Search Engine Optimization. It’s a whole art & science (and some voodoo magic) related to getting search engines, like Google, to know who you are and what you do. And then convincing that search engine that you belong in the top of the results for relevant searches.

Where you appear in search results is called your “rank.” You want to rank high on Google searches for relevant search terms. 

Example: Let’s say you are a landscaping company in Burlington. When someone goes to Google and searches for “Landscapers near me” where do you want to be in the search results? 

Well you want to be right at the top of the list right? 

But how many other landscapers are there in Burlington? Many, so SEO strategies help your business website and Business Profile appear at the top of the list.  

local search for landscaper local pack

Engagement SEO Benefits

Search engines like Google consider online engagement a factor in local search ranking. Responding to reviews shows your Google Business Profile is active and relevant. 

This can improve your search ranking and make your business more visible to potential customers searching for local services.

User generated content (UGC) for engagement

Positive reviews function as valuable user-generated content (UGC) that keeps your profile fresh and engaging.  Engaging content attracts potential customers and keeps your business at the forefront of their minds.

Search engines favor active profiles

Regular responses to reviews show your Google Business Profile is active and up-to-date. 

Search engines favor active profiles, giving you a ranking boost over competitors with stagnant profiles.

Rank Higher

By incorporating the above strategies into your review response routine, you can increase engagement, build trust, and improve your SEO. 

This combination can lead to a higher ranking in local search results, making your business more discoverable by potential customers.

Responding to Bad Reviews

man overwhelmed at laptop

First things first. A negative review isn’t always a bad thing. 

It can suck. It can hurt, but ultimately, it can lead to valuable feedback that can help you improve your business. So don’t respond in anger!

Now yes … there are people in this world who wake up bitter and seek revenge on the world. And sometimes this takes the form of a negative review. 

That happens. Regardless, take the opportunity to learn more about the issue. The best thing to do is to move the conversation offline if they are willing to discuss. 

Therefore, when you receive a negative response, I suggest a simple response like this: 

“We’re sorry you had a bad experience with our company. I would be interested in learning more about what happened and seeing if we can remedy the issue. Please email [email protected] and refer to this review. Thank you.”

Notice that you are sorry they had a bad experience. You aren’t necessarily admitting that there was wrong doing. You are acknowledging their displeasure and inviting them to tell you more. 

Will they actually take the time to tell you more? Well, if it’s a genuine issue, they likely will, and as a business owner, this is a good thing. You want to know about genuine issues.  

96% of customers specifically look for negative reviews. Now, if you have responded to each negative review with a genuine attempt to learn more and make things right, that negative review won’t look so bad.

In fact, most people know how harsh the internet can be. If you are professional, polite and authentically trying to remedy a situation, people will likely see the fault more in review poster than with your business. 

negative review

Tips for responding to reviews

So let’s summarize how you should respond to Google reviews.


  • Be genuine and authentic: Let your personality shine through in your responses.
  • Personalize your response: Go beyond a generic “thank you” and reference something specific from the review.
  • Respond with your name or initials: This adds a personal touch and shows you’re a real person behind the business.
  • Be appreciative and thankful: A simple “thank you” goes a long way in showing you value customer feedback.
  • Be short and sweet: People don’t want to read a novel in your response. Aim for a concise and impactful message.
  • Respond within 24 hours: This shows you’re engaged with your online presence and care about customer feedback.
  • Add specific words into your review response: Mention the service you provided to highlight your offerings and for SEO purposes.
  • Highlight local keywords: Naturally incorporate relevant keywords to your service area to improve local SEO.
  • End with a call to action: Encourage the reviewer to contact you for future needs or recommend your business to others.


  • Don’t Copy-and-paste the same replies: Every review is unique, so ditch the copy-and-paste responses. Take a moment to genuinely address what the customer shared.
  • Don’t share personal information: Respect customer privacy. Avoid mentioning names, addresses, or other identifying information in your response.
  • Don’t do a sales pitch: This isn’t the time for a hard sell. Focus on building relationships, thanking the customer, and addressing any concerns they raise.
  • Don’t get defensive: Negative reviews can be tough. Avoid getting into arguments or placing blame.
  • Don’t be the grammar police: Maintain a professional tone, but don’t get hung up on minor typos in a negative review.

Respond to Google Reviews

By taking the time to respond to reviews, both positive and negative, you can show your customers you care, improve your online presence, and ultimately attract more business.

Remember, responding to Google reviews is an ongoing process. Make it a habit to check your Google Business Profile regularly and address new reviews promptly.

I hope this article has been helpful! 

If you have any questions about online reputation management or local SEO, feel free to contact us.


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