How to Respond to Google Reviews for SMBs

how to respond to google reviews

How to Respond to Google Reviews for SMBs

According to StatCounter, Google commands 92% of internet traffic and searches. Equally, a considerable percentage of shoppers start their search online. In addition, customers use Google reviews to find out the perspective of past shoppers. 

A customer that received excellent customer service is likely to offer a 5-star rating and a compliment. When a business accumulates positive reviews, it implies the brand is trustworthy, offers quality service or products, and treats customers well. 

On the contrary, negative reviews indicate poor service, substandard products, and unpleasant experiences. Google reviews can therefore make or break your business. It’s therefore essential to respond to reviews to maintain a positive brand image. 

Benefits of Replying to Google Business Reviews 

Replying to reviews is an intelligent way to contribute to the discussions that are likely to affect your brand’s reputation. Responding can, for instance, prevent a negative review from turning viral. It can also shape the dialogue to the desired direction.  

Some of the benefits include: 

Improved SEO Qualities 

A response contains valuable content which can help rank the brand better, drive volume to the website, and increase engagement. All these factors contribute to a better rank in search engine results. Here’s a breakdown of how a response can boost SEO (Search Engine Optimization) qualities. 

Keywords: Keyword density and volume are a few factors that contribute to a superior SEO profile. A review allows the moderator to respond. In the response, the moderator can include essential keywords to boost density and volume.   

Fresh Content: A moderator can include new solutions, innovations, or pricing while managing negative reviews. Google registers replies and continuous updates as a positive signal to the SEO value. 

Better Rating: Google rewards businesses with superior ratings by ranking them higher in search engine results. Responding to reviews increases a brand’s rating by about 10%. The increment can help reach the ideal target of between 4 – 4.5%. 


Replying to reviews frequently and promptly indicates that there’s always someone watching what’s happening online. As a result, it creates a supervisory feature that deters users who are likely to leave trivial negative reviews. 

Fosters Trust and Healthy Relationship with Customers 

Responding to a review may require a simple compliment that goes a long way to affirm your trust. But, equally, brands that ignore negative reviews may break down the existing relationship with clients.   

Typically, retaining existing clients is simple and cheaper than acquiring new customers. It’s therefore critical to continuously respond to reviews which is a method of fostering open and continuous communication. 

How to Respond to Google Reviews

The busy schedule of people in business may not accord them time to consistently check on new Google reviews. It’s therefore essential to set notifications on Google My Business to get an alert whenever a customer reviews your business. The procedure of replying to reviews depends on the type of device. Here’s a breakdown of the two methods. 

How To Respond to a Google Review From a Desktop 

Step 1: Type, then sign in to Google My Business. Click on the three horizontal bars next to Google My Business icon and click ”All locations”. You’ll then select the preferred business you intend to manage reviews and click manage reviews.   

Step 2: Locate the review you intend to reply to and click “View and reply”. 

Step 3: After that, a message box will open where you can reply to the review. 

How to Respond to Google Reviews From a Mobile Device 

Step 1: Click the Google My Business App to open. 

Step 2: Click on the menu icon. 

Step 3: Click ”Respond Now” to reply to users that left a review. 

Responding to Positive Reviews 

Most brands focus their energy on replying to negative reviews because of the potential impact they have. However, responding to positive reviews is an opportunity to build your brand, improve your relationship with customers and win new business.   

Here are a few hints while responding to a positive response: 

  • Prompt Reply: Users of Google My Business can receive instant alerts whenever a customer posts a review. You can take advantage of that by acknowledging the reply immediately. The gesture not only delights clients but creates an opportunity for a live chat. 
  • Provide Additional Feedback: Fundamentally, a business must go the extra mile to delight customers. So, besides a “Thankyou” note, it’s crucial to include information about new products, links to additional resources, and current offers. 
  • Customizing: People love to be addressed using their names. As a moderator, ensure you mention the reviewer by their name to capture their attention. 

Responding to Negative Reviews 

The natural reaction to negative reviews is to hide from the unpleasant reality that a customer did not like your product or service. There’s also the fear of a possible confrontation with customers. However, it should be an opportunity to improve your customer service and brand perception. 

Here’s how you can turn negative reviews into a win:

  • Calm Down To Investigate The Comment: Instead of quickly replying to the negative comment, take time to understand the client. Customers have massive power over brands and can quickly turn a situation chaotic. 
  • Probe Unclear Reviews: You may encounter a customer service issue disguised as a negative review. Probe the client to understand the problem and try to offer a solution. 
  • Handle the Mistakes Decently: As your business grows, the employees are likely to make mistakes. In addition, customers react differently to issues, which calls for a neutral approach. As such, it’s prudent to avoid being defensive when customers leave negative reviews. Moreover, customers are likely to view your brand as transparent if you handle reviews professionally. 

General Tips For Handling Reviews 

  • Provide customized answers. Address the reviewer by name and take time to provide a personalized answer. It’s also prudent to demonstrate what you’re doing to solve the complaint.    
  • Readily admit mistakes and apologize. 
  • Ensure there’s an actionable plan to resolve the issue. 

Manage Your Online Reputation 

The way a business manages its Google reviews shapes how customers perceive their brand. Thoughtful and timely replies can improve SEO qualities and foster better relationships with customers. 

That said, it’s vital to monitor your online reputation and brand perception continuously. Ranksey Digital Marketing is here to help you. We have a professional and qualified team that offers excellent digital marketing services. Get a free consultation!