How To Respond To Online Reviews

Want to improve the public perception of your business and improve your rank in Google, all at once?

You need as many online reviews as you can get.

According to a 2018 study done by Moz, review signals account for 15.44% of your rank. And according to research done by Google, businesses that respond to reviews are seen as 1.7x more trustworthy

That means you’re going to need to learn how to respond to reviews properly. And you’re going to want to respond to each and every one. Here’s how:


Monitor for reviews constantly

Timely responses are absolutely essential. You can ensure your responses in two ways:

  • Set up notifications for every new review
  • Check your reviews on a daily basis


Which one of these techniques will work best for your business can vary. In most cases, a hybrid approach is appropriate. You might get reviews on Google My Business regularly, but see far fewer reviews from Yelp. In those circumstances, it may be best to check Google My Business daily, and set up review notifications for Yelp.

You can, of course, use notifications for everything, but that can get exhausting – we all get so many notifications a day, and if you’re getting 10+ reviews on a daily basis, it’s often better to simply do a daily check.

On the flip side, if you rarely get even one review a day, you’ll want notifications set up. You can, of course, change your system as your review velocity increases.


How to respond to positive reviews

Responding to positive reviews is incredibly simple. You should respond to every single one, and you can simply say “Thanks!” or “We appreciate the review! Hope to see you again soon”.

The process is so simple, in fact, that it wouldn’t be out of place to create a spreadsheet of positive review responses and simply copy-paste different responses to different reviews. This helps your reviews look more personalized, but saves you time and energy.

Whenever possible, try to include one of your targeted keywords in your response. This practice can help you rank for relevant terms. For example, an HVAC provider might respond to a review with, “Thank you for scheduling our air conditioning services! We appreciate your feedback.”


How to respond to negative reviews

Negative reviews, unlike their positive counterparts, take time and energy to respond to.

Your number one goal is going to be to take the conversation offline. You don’t want to fight with customers in the review section – that’s an incredibly bad look. Instead:

  • Investigate the customer’s complaints. Apologize if appropriate – but continue to empathize with them even if you did nothing wrong.
  • Tell them you’d like to speak with them more about their concerns by phone or email. Then contact the client directly.
  • Make it personal (but not in a bad way) – sign off with your name or initials, as well as your position with the company (where appropriate).


Once you’re offline, resolve your customer’s concerns to the best of your ability. You can ask them to modify their review once the problem is solved, but that’s up to your discretion. Hopefully a customer service expert or manager is handling the complaint.


In other words, once it’s offline, you know what to do. Now that you know how to properly respond to reviews, it’s simply a matter of getting as many reviews as you possibly can. We can help. Our SEO agency in Toronto will provide you with review management software that can increase the number of positive reviews you get quickly – all while helping you move negative reviews offline.


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The purpose of First Rank is to help businesses generate leads from their websites. We put a focus on SEO, because we believe it is one of the most cost effective and highest converting forms of traffic generation, however traffic alone is not enough on its own to grow your business. SEO should be combined with conversion optimization, email marketing and retargeting to maximize the ROI of your advertising dollars.