How to Respond to Google Reviews

How to Respond to Google Reviews

Good job, you have Google reviews! Now it’s time to respond to Google Reviews. This post shows you how to find the place to respond, and then how to deal with certain review types.

Finding your Google Reviews

There are a few way to get to the spot where you can post a review response:

Respond to reviews from the email:

Whenever you get a new review Google sends you an email with a link to the review. You can respond under the review.

Respond to reviews from your phone:

If you have Google Maps loaded on your mobile device, you should have a notification that you can click and respond from your phone.

Steps to respond to reviews from your computer:

  1. Go to google.com/business
  2. Click on your account which will take you into Google Maps
  3. Click the icon ‘read reviews’
  4. Using the top navigation in the ‘read review’ panel, ensure reviews are sorted ‘newest to oldest’. Click on the review you want to respond to, and then click the ‘Reply’ button.
  5. Write your reply and click the ‘Reply’ button in the lower right.

Why it is important to respond to Google Reviews

It matters how you respond to customer reviews, especially Google reviews; it helps your local SEO, shows customers you are involved and care. Here’s what do with good, bad, and even annoying ‘man cold’ reviews.

There’s an expression that businesses often use that goes, ‘if you liked our service, tell your friends. If you didn’t, tell us.’

When it comes to the internet, however, it’s not just friends your customers are telling, and it’s not just the good experiences they’re talking about. The good, bad and ugly parts of your business are being broadcast to the world, and they’re often being read by prospective customers before they even make it to your site!

One of the most popular platforms for this is Google Reviews. Customers can rate a business on a scale of one to five stars, as well as leave comments about their experience. A five star rating means you’re a rock star, a three star rating means your product or service was ‘meh’, and a one star rating means you have a very unhappy customer. But business owners can reply to these reviews, which gives them an opportunity to show the world how much they care about what their customers have to say—even the ones who aren’t happy.

Google Reviews is part of Google My Business. If you don’t have a Google My Business account, you should get one. It’s free, and it helps your business appear in searches, either by showing your location on the map alongside competitors, or by profiling your business information at the right side of the screen.

Why you Should Respond to Google Reviews

It is just as important how you respond to Google Reviews as it is that you respond. The reviews themselves are vital social proof to both Google and prospective customers alike that your business is worth engaging, plus it helps your SEO. The more reviews the better! Your responses also help with SEO, and they show your customers (and prospective customers) attractive characteristics about you and your business, mainly that you are listening to—and care about—them.

How to Respond to Good Reviews

This is easy; you just need to come up with different ways to say thank you, we’re glad we could help, etc. It shows everyone that you are reading all your reviews and paying attention to what your customers are saying.

Here are some examples where reviews left comments and others where they didn’t leave comments:

Respond to Reviews

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

When responding to Google reviews, remember your audience is future customers. Those future customers just want to see you are reasonable to work with. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Be brief
  • Avoid the detail of the reviewer – it just makes your response longer and can be perceived as ‘taking a shot at the customer’
  • Write your response to the Google review and leave it for 24 hours. Review it again
  • Avoid emotion.
  • Stick to the facts as you understand them
  • It’s alright to be firm without being defensive.
  • Try to respond to google reviews within 48 hours

There are different types of negative Google Reviews

Here are some common negative reviews you may see, and how examples how to respond to Google Reviews:

‘Man Cold’ Reviews

These are one- or two-star ratings with no comments. These reviews are unreasonable, because you have no idea what you did wrong. Like a ‘Man Cold,’ where lots of attention is required because ‘everything hurts,’ these reviews offer you nothing specific to fix.

How to Respond: Ask the customer what you could have done better. You could say something like, “Thank you for the feedback. We work hard to give our customers a wonderful experience. You gave us a (one or two) star rating but didn’t leave any comments. Please let us know what specifically we can do next time to improve your experience.”

Here are a couple of examples:

Negative review and response

Legitimate Negative Reviews

Try as we might to please all our customers, sometimes people will have legitimate complaints. These customers may leave a one or two star rating and provide a description of their negative experience for all to see.

Your Response: First, take a deep breath. Step away from your computer if you need to. Negative reviews happen, and it’s not the end of the world. Wait until you’re completely calm before you respond, and make sure your response isn’t angry or defensive, or it will only make matters worse.

Here are some examples:

Your side of the dispute matters to the complainant — and to prospective customers

There are two sides to every dispute, and everyone who sees the bad review is waiting for your side of the story. When you respond to reviews, be factual and unemotional as you describe what happened from your perspective, and why you acted the way you did.

If you were wrong, say so and apologize. If you were right, explain your position, but remember to keep your anger, frustration, or personal thoughts of the person in check. Condescending statements about what the person ‘should have done’ or how they ‘should have behaved’ will only make you look bad.

The key to turning a bad review into something positive is sticking to the facts, describing what happened, and explaining why you acted the way you did. Most readers will appreciate that you took reasonable actions to address the customer’s complaint and having a professional manner about it can make you, and your business, look even better.

Review response summary

  • 1–3 Star Rating: Respond to the review with facts, keeping emotions in check. Address the customer’s issues honestly, without revealing any personal information.
  • 4–5 Star Rating: Thank the customer for taking the time to review.
  • 1–3 Star Rating Without Comments: Ask the customer if there was something specific they did not like about their experience with your business.
How to Show your Google Profile More Often

How to Show your Google Profile More Often

To show your Google Business Profile more often you need to give it some TLC. Here’s how

You’ve set up your Google Business Profile. So that’s it, right?

Sure, if you want your profile to show up infrequently. But if you want to show your Google Profile more often, you will need to update it frequently. Fortunately, it’s easy and quick.

Every week to ten days, you should be doing one at least of these items with your profile:

  • Answering reviews
  • Ensuring holiday hours are correct / up to date
  • Posting a picture
  • Writing a short post
  • Posting a (very short) video
  • Posting an event

These are all activities that keep your profile current, and that is what makes your Google profile to show more often. Google and users reward information that is current.

Google Business Profile on mobile maps app lets you do just about anything to your profile.

There is no need for you to near a computer to do any of the above activities. Download Google Maps to your mobile device and manage it from there.

Download the Google Maps application to your phone

Google Business Profile is Managed in Google Maps

Your business profile is managed from the Google Maps application. On a desktop, it’s best to use a Chrome browser and log in using the email address you use for your profile.

You don’t have to be chained to your desktop or laptop computer to maintain your profile. If you download the Google Maps App for Android or Google Maps or IOS, you can do everything from your phone, including respond to reviews, post pictures, update hours, etc.

How to optimize your Google Business Profile

An optimized Google Business Profile is more likely to be shown that one that has minimal information. Below are the actions you can take that really help get your Google Profile shown more often. They are listed with the most impactful actions first:

Reviews help show your Google profile more often

Reviews are real customers talking about their experiences with your business, and your potential customers are reading them—and your responses. Reviews are among the biggest influences for to get show your Google profile more often. The more reviews you have, the better. You should be encouraging customers to leave reviews on your profile. Here are review actions you should be taking regularly:

Encourage reviews from customers: Ask for reviews. Most customers just don’t think of it. Here are some ways you can encourage more customer reviews.

Respond to all Reviews: Responding to reviews shows potential customers and Google that you are paying attention, and your business is real. Check this post, How to respond to customer reviews on Google for ideas on how to respond to all types of reviews—The good, the bad, and the ‘man colds.’

Whenever you get a review, Google notifies you by email and on your phone.

Holiday Hours

Here’s an easy one. Mark all the statutory holidays on your profile: Are you open, closed, or do you have different operating hours on these days? It seems small, but it makes a big difference when you properly set everyone’s expectations.

Open your Google Maps and find the ‘Edit Profile’ icon. Once open, click hours and below your regular hours will be holiday hours. For more detailed instructions, see ‘How to Post Holiday Hours’.

Post a picture

This is a really fast way to help show your Google Profile more often. Snap a picture with your phone and post it directly to your account. Take lots of pictures: Your office, your sign, employees, shipments, you name it—use your imagination. Post the pictures straight from your phone.

Post a (really) short video

Short videos (one minute or less) can make great posts that help show your Google profile more often. Again, use your phone’s video feature and post directly to your Business Profile with the Maps Application.

Events, special offers, advice and more

If you are holding / hosting an event, your business profile is a great promotion tool. Have a special offer? Show it here. Have some advice for customers? Post it here.

In the Google Maps application, find the ‘Add Update’ icon and add your event, offer, or update.

Google Business Profile is Social Media

If you post to your Facebook business page, Twitter, Tik Tok, Instagram, or other social media, you should post it on your Google Business Profile as well. Posting really helps increase the amount your Google Profile is shown more often.  Remember, when people see your profile, it’s because they are looking for what you offer, and they are in the mood to learn about your products or services. Make sure they can find you easily by keeping your Google Business Profile updated.

How to Add Holidays to your Google Profile

How to Add Holidays to your Google Profile

When you add holidays to your Google Business Profile, it helps elevate your ranking and shows customers your status.

Why Holiday Hours Matter

One of the top things people are looking for on your Google Business Profile is your opening hours, especially when it comes to statutory holidays. Posting your holiday hours is one of the simplest and most effective optimization actions you can take.

Whether you’re open, closed, or operating with modified hours on holidays, keeping your Google Business Profile updated not only lets your customers know when they can buy from you, it also helps Google rank your business in search results.

So before you put your feet up for that long, holiday weekend, log into your business profile and update your hours. Your holiday hours will override the standard hours listed on your profile.

How to Add Holidays to Your Google Profile Account:

Before you begin to add holidays to your Google Profile, open a Chrome browser and log in with the email address you use for your Google Business Profile.

  1. Go to Google Maps (your business profile is managed in Google Maps).
  2. Do a search for your business, and then click ‘Manage Your Business Profile.’
  3. Click the ‘Edit Profile’ icon.
  4. Click ‘hours’ in the Profile menu. Beneath your standard hours will be holiday hours.
  5. Click the pencil icon.
  6. Follow the prompts for holidays.
  7. Save it!

2023 Canadian and US Holidays

Here’s a list of major holidays for the remainder of 2023. You’ll likely have irregular hours to input to your Google Business Profile account:

Date Canada USA
Monday, July 1 Canada Day
Tuesday, July 4 Independence Day
Monday, August 7 Civic Holiday (AB, BC, SK, On, NB, NU)
Monday, September 4 Labour Day Labor Day
Monday, October 9 Thanksgiving Columbus Day
Wednesday, November 13 Remembrance Day (observed) Veteran’s Day
Thursday November, 26 Thanksgiving Day (Are you open Black Friday?)
Monday, December 25 Christmas Day Christmas Day
Tuesday, December 26 Boxing Day (open / closed?)
Days Hours open between Christmas and New Years?

Learn how to set up a Google Business Profile.


How to Get Customer Reviews

How to Get Customer Reviews

Get customer reviewsCustomer Reviews are more than just a huge compliment. They offer social proof to potential customers that your product or service is worth the purchase, and they help with your Google rankings.

I’ve seen several of my customers move from internet obscurity to the top of search results because of positive customer reviews on their Google Maps listing.

Customers See Success After Asking for Reviews

One of my customers gets more than 75 reviews a year (actually in six months, it’s a seasonal business) and has a 4.8 star rating out of five. She runs a bike tour and rental company in downtown Ottawa, and at the end of each tour, she asks her customers to review her business if they enjoyed the tour.

Another customer gets close to 150 reviews a year and maintains a 4.7 star rating out of five. When their customers receive a follow-up text on their phones for their next appointment, it is accompanied by a request for a review, and a link to where that review can be written and submitted.

Both customers consistently appear in the ‘map pack’ on Google’s search results, and both receive more than 40% of their sales leads from their Google Business Profile listing.

Suggestions to Get Customer Reviews – Ask

I’m often asked, ‘How do I get more customer reviews?’ The simple answer is: Ask for a review.

No, really. When you know your customer is happy with your product or service, just ask them to leave a positive review. Here are some examples of how this can be done:

Face to Face or On the Phone: How to ask for a Google Review

‘Would you mind giving my business a review on Google’?

‘Would you mind sharing your experience in a Google Review?’

Follow up with an email

If the customer has not posted a review within a couple of days, send a follow up email that includes the link to your reviews (see below).

Hi Customer Name; that was a great meeting / phone call on X day. If you have time, could you please give a review of your experience?


Your name.


Ask for a Google Review in an Email

You may choose to send an automated ‘ask for a review’ email to your customers. If you are a high-volume transactional business, this kind of system may work well for you.

Here are some email messages that have worked well:

If you’ve been working with the customer for a few months or more:

Subject Line: A Favour

Hi First Name;

I hope you are doing well. Last X Month, we worked together on your Google Analytics and Google My Business accounts. I wanted to check in to see if you had questions or need anything explained. Please let me know.

Also, I wanted to know if you would be interested in leaving a review of my work on Google. It helps others know what they are getting into when/if they hire me. If you wish to leave a review, here’s the link: [Insert your Google link – see ‘Do Not Forget Your Review Link’ section below]

As ask as part of a general email

The following review request was at the bottom of a mass email I received from a company I do business with (I do not know how well it worked):

‘If you feel we have earned it, please leave us a positive Google review (they should have added their link), like our Facebook page or follow us on Instagram. Your recommendation and referrals are the greatest compliment we can ever receive. Thank you!’

Customer Review request delivered with the product

This Customer reviews request came with a USB hub that I ordered from Sabrent:

Review Request example

Do Not Forget Your Review Link

Google makes it easy for you to ask for customer reviews. You can get a link from your Maps page homepage. Here’s how:open a Chrome browser and be logged in with the email address you use for your Google Business Profile.


  1. Open a Chrome browser and make sure you are logged in with the gmail your created your Google Business Profile
  2. Go to Google Maps (your business profile is managed in Google Maps)
  3. Do a search for your business and then click ‘Manage Your Business Profile’
  4. Find and click the icon ‘Ask for Reviews’
  5. copy the link and paste it into your email.

When your customer clicks the link, it goes directly to your review page. They don’t have to look for where to place their review. Here’s what your customer sees – all they have to do is write the review:

Respond to Customer Reviews

When the reviews start pouring in, don’t forget to respond to each one: The good, the bad, and even the man cold reviews!

Warning: Do not Compensate Customers or offer discounts and Get Fake Reviews

Google is on the lookout for fake reviews, good and bad. It’s not unheard of for Google to penalize companies that engage in fake reviews or get caught compensating for reviews. I highly recommend you not do this!

Review Requests That Have Worked for You

If you have review requests that have worked for you, please share them in the comments below.

How to Get Your Business on Google Maps

How to Get Your Business on Google Maps

To get your business on Google Maps, you need to set up a Google Business Profile. It only takes a few minutes. This post shows you how.

It’s Free and Easy to Set up

Have you ever wondered how all those businesses show up on the Google Map in search results, and get a profile box to the right of the search results page? It’s their Google Business profile, a free listing provided by Google that can show when people search for what your business offers!

Getting your Google Business Profile set up is quick and easy. Below are step by step instructions for creating and setting up your profile. It only takes a few minutes.

What you’ll need to set up your Google Business Profile

Setting up your Google Business Profile is much quicker if you already have these items in place:

Gmail account (paid or free)

Google Business Profile requires a Gmail address. You can use a paid or free Gmail account. You can set up a free Gmail account here: https://accounts.google.com/ and follow the ‘sign up’ links.

A physical address

Google Business Profile will not accept a P.O. Box address, so you must provide a physical address. This business verification requirement reduces the number of ‘fake’ Google Business Profile accounts.

Businesses that deliver services or sell products from a store or office will want to show their physical address.

Google only shows your address if you want it shown.

There are many businesses that have home or private locations they do not wish to be public. As you go through the setup, there will be an option to display or not display your address publicly.

One or two pictures and your business logo helps your business on google maps

As you reach the end of the setup process, you will be asked if you want to load pictures. It’s a good idea to have at least one or two pictures relating to your business, as well as your logo, because your Google Business Profile is a visual media.

Creating your Google Business Profile – The Bare Minimum

This is a short, simple process. Go to www.google.com/business and follow the setup links. You will be asked for:

  1. Your business name
  2. Your business category. Choose the category that most closely reflects your business. This is one of the primary drivers for showing your business profile in search results. You can always change it later.
  3. Show or not show your address.
  4. Serving area. These are locations you target – cities, provinces (states), country. You can input up to 20 different locations.
  5. Contact information. Input your phone number, email address, and website address.
  6. Address information. Regardless of whether you choose to display your address publicly, Google will need a physical address so it can verify that your business is real.
  7. Verify your business. This may happen instantly with a text message to your phone number, or Google may choose to mail you a post card with a code.

If you’ve only done the minimum, your profile probably won’t be widely shown…..

Your Google Business Profile is now available, but without more information about you and your business, Google won’t know when to display your information in search results. And since Google likely has dozens of other business profiles in your category, your profile will show less often. It’s kind of like you have ‘paid the ante’ in a poker game, but if you don’t place a bet, you’re not really in the game.

If you want your business to be displayed on user searches, fill in the rest of your profile. This includes hours of operation, description, products (including pictures) and services.

Getting Google Business Profile Working for You

There is a lot of information you can add to your profile. The more you provide, the better your profile will perform. It’s strongly recommended you complete all of the following:

Your hours of operation

Google will show your hours and if you are open / closed at the time of the user’s search.

Your business description

Be succinct but clear about what you do and why people should buy from you.


Google Business Profile has an instant messaging feature. Careful, this can be a blessing or a curse.

Turn on Messaging if you can consistently answer messages within 60 minutes of receipt. If you cannot answer messages within 60 minutes of receipt, leave it off. You can be ‘penalized’ or considered unreliable if you are slow to answer.

Products and Services

There is lots of space to show products and services. Google displays them to users. Show a picture and include a brief description of your product or service.

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