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how to respond to google reviews

Businesses need to learn how to respond to Google reviews to make the most out of their Google listings.

The ways reviews are managed can have a major impact on a listing because of Google’s popularity with customers. A survey showed that 63.6 percent of consumers are likely to check Google reviews before visiting a business.

That’s the highest percentage of consumers for any reviews site.

By knowing where to find reviews and the best practices for responding to feedback, any business can increase their online reputation and potentially bring in more customers.

Where Can You See Google Reviews?

Before you learn how to respond to Google Reviews, you need to know where they appear.

Public Listings and Google My Business

Google Reviews show up in two places: Search and Maps. Clicking on the listing’s total number of reviews allows you to directly respond to any customer review.

However, you need to log in to Google My Business (GMB) before you can respond. Speaking of which: the GMB dashboard also has a “Reviews” section, which features all of the reviews and ratings left by customers on Search and Maps.

You can click on the “Reply” button below each review to formulate a response. You can also edit your response if it has a typo or inaccurate information, but try to keep those mistakes to a minimum.

The section also lets you narrow down the collection with the tabs on top of the page to show all reviews, reviews with responses, or reviews that don’t have a response. You can also change the overall sorting so that you see the latest, highest-, or lowest-rated review.

Review Notifications

Most GMB users can get notifications whenever a new review appears on their listing. However, those notifications are automatically disabled for GMB accounts that have over 100 locations for a single business.

For these brands, there is review management software available that provides notifications for all new reviews and the ability to respond from a single dashboard.

Best Practices for Responding to Google Reviews

With all the reviews coming in it’s only inevitable that a negative review will pop up at some point. But don’t let it be discouraging. It’s what you do with it that will determine if a business can attract more customers.

Respond to Negative Feedback

A few statistics tell us that it’s in your best interest to respond to negative feedback. Consider this: 45 percent of consumers say they are most likely to visit a business if it responds to negative reviews. Responding also tells 80 percent of customers that a business cares about their feedback, regardless of the review sentiment.

However, the main reason for responding to reviews is that it puts businesses ahead of the competition.

Surprisingly, 63 percent of consumers say that a business never responded to their review. That’s a large percentage of customers that you could retain just by responding to feedback.

Learn from the Pros

However, you shouldn’t just reply to negative reviews. It’s also important to thank those who wrote positive feedback. In either case, it’s important that your response is natural and not something that was copied from a prescribed script.

You can check out our post that features real-world response examples to get an idea of how you can communicate with customers.

Every Response is an Opportunity

Google reviews are more than just a customer’s thoughts on a product or service. They’re a barometer of the business’ performance.

Overwhelming positive reviews and ratings mean that the current workflow is optimal while negative reviews can reveal major pain points.

Responding to both review types shows that a business cares deeply about each person’s opinion of the customer experience. Treat each response with equal weight, and you can get better customer engagement and brand awareness.

Rexly Penaflorida II

Rexly is a Content Writer for ReviewTrackers. Prior to creating content that helps businesses, he was a tech and video games journalist for three years. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri's School of Journalism.


  1. Will Temple

    I wonder if the ratings will change soon to reflect Google reviews only. The “reviews from around the web” used to effect your overall rating. For example, I have a client that has all 5 star reviews but some of these other reviews brought their score to 4.8.

    • Brian Sparker

      Interesting theory Will, I could totally see this happening as Google pushes their way into the customer feedback space. I have a working theory that they will also attempt to buy Yelp, but who really knows?

      • SpamEater

        Or maybe they’re already tried and Yelp didn’t go for it. Perhaps that’s why all of their recent actions seem to be undermining them?

  2. Andrew Says So

    Google’s really trying to leverage their success with Google Maps to get a foot-hold among review sites. They’re making a lot of changes to direct viewers to use their services instead of more popular sites. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

  3. Go Harry Go

    Didn’t they just cut Yelp reviews out last week?

    • Mark Dee

      The removed the ‘More Reviews’ tab from their site. It wasn’t just directed at Yelp but they’ll certainly be affected by it.