Does Responding to Google Reviews Help with SEO?

Denis F.
Denis F.
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Before we get to the details, the answer to the question is: Yes.

Responding to Google reviews can help with SEO. Even Google itself encourages businesses to respond.

How often have you turned to online reviews before making a purchase decision? If you're like most people today, it’s likely quite often. Google has become the go-to source for information and reviews about local businesses. As such, people take the time to leave reviews on Google, which can impact a business's online reputation and even SEO.

This article will explore how responding to Google reviews helps with SEO. We also provide you with the best practices for optimizing your responses.

How Does Responding to Reviews Help with SEO?

The relationship between review responses and SEO is not necessarily direct. Google does not give immediate ranking boosts for responding to reviews. However, crafting responses can indirectly improve SEO in a few ways.

Introduces Keywords

Responding to reviews adds new content to your Google Business Profile. Good or bad, this content will be indexed by Google.

When people leave reviews, they naturally use words and phrases that describe their experience. For example, a happy customer might write, "This is the best Italian restaurant in town. Everything on the menu is delicious and affordable."

By responding to this review and incorporating some of the same keywords, a business can enhance its visibility for relevant searches. If a person searches for "best affordable Italian food near me," there's now an increased chance this restaurant will appear.

Increases Relevance

The very basis of Google's business model is to show the most relevant results to users. As such, you better believe they care about relevance. The more people interact with your business listing, the more relevant Google sees it, boosting rankings. Responding shows customers and Google that your business is active in managing its presence.

The time searchers engage with your listing matters, too. If you have hundreds of reviews plus thoughtful responses, they will spend more time on your page. Longer time on the page signals relevance to Google.

Lastly, responding builds consumer trust. The more trust signals Google sees, the more search priority your business gets. Create credibility for Google, and Google gives you credibility. It's circular.

Improves Traffic

As more potential customers discover your reviews and responses, it increases the likelihood that they'll click over to your company's website to learn more. Each click sends another signal to Google that this is a popular destination relevant to what these searchers want. It can lead to improved click-through rates and more organic traffic.

The act of replying also signals that there's an active, engaged brand behind the scenes. Say Business A has 30 reviews from 2019 and no responses. Business B has 20 reviews from 2022 with thoughtful replies. A customer (and Google) may consider Business B more valuable for that search query.

Responding to Google Reviews: Best Practices

Crafting thoughtful responses to Google reviews provides multiple SEO benefits. Here are some best practices to optimize your strategy.

Add Keywords to Your Responses

It all starts with the keywords and phrases reviewers naturally use to describe your business. Look for words that capture the essence of what makes you unique and incorporate those into your replies.

Multiple people may praise your spa's relaxing atmosphere. Work from that to say something like "Thank you for the kind words about our peaceful ambiance. Our goal is to provide guests with a calm, rejuvenating escape from the stress of everyday life."

Likewise, you can mention the product in your response if you're a product-based business. For example, "We're thrilled to hear our organic skincare line has helped improve your complexion."

These simple responses hit keywords while emphasizing that relaxation is a specialty. Just be sure it flows as part of the conversation rather than awkwardly squeezing in keywords. Finding that balance takes finesse but pays dividends.

Respond on Different Platforms

While your Google Business Profile is certainly crucial, consider leaving responses on other review sites as well. Platforms like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and industry-specific directories also influence local SEO. The same principles around engagement and relevance apply.

More visibility on reputable third-party sites equals more opportunities for interested shoppers to find you and click on your website. Spreading your influence across the web by responding in all the places you've accumulated reviews positively impacts overall domain authority.

Respond to Negative Reviews

Ignoring bad reviews is tempting, but responding can build trust and rapport. Since you don't want to humiliate anybody, be careful when responding to negative reviews. For the majority of critical reviews, you can follow these simple steps to neutralize the situation:

  1. Thank the customer for taking the time to share feedback.
  2. Apologize for their poor experience and offer to make it right.
  3. Share steps you're taking to address any broader issues so problems won't repeat in the future.

This dialogue shows you genuinely care and are committed to improving. Some customers even update their original negative reviews after a response and see real change implemented. And just like Google watches for positive sentiment, it notes the context surrounding negative reviews. If responding can minimize the damage, by all means, do so.

Some negative reviews are also the result of misunderstandings or where the customer is simply in the wrong. Making this factually clear without being offensive can mitigate negative comments and also give readers more context to understand your side of the story.

Use Sentiment to Your Advantage

Speaking of sentiment, echo the emotion of positive reviews to double down on key phrases. When customers rave about receiving "the absolute best service anywhere," reciprocate the enthusiasm in your reply.


Remember to use positive words. The goal is to strengthen existing signals around what makes your business so great. Positive words (especially at the end of a longer response) can reassure customers, particularly when responding to negative reviews.


Does responding to Google reviews help SEO? Yes, by boosting relevance, authority, trust signals, click-through rate, and more. Interacting with customer reviews should be an integral piece of any local search strategy.

Interested in improving your SEO efforts further? According to our comprehensive research and testing, consider using one of the best all-in-one SEO software.

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Digital marketer with the conviction that properly deployed organic marketing delivers the best ROI in the long run. I'm deep into SEO but also enjoy sports, traveling, and absolutely love food.