In 2019, Google is still proudly holding the top position for the most popular UK search engine. Last year the search engine site held a humongous 89.1% market share against other popular search engines such as Bing and Yahoo. So considering your Google Reviews will show up every time someone searches Google for your business or target keywords, it's important to keep your reputation under control.

Not only do your reviews show up at the top of the search results, but a recent study shows that more than 88% of online shoppers incorporate reviews into their purchasing decision so, if you leave all of your bad reviews unresponded to, it can reflect badly on your company and customers may choose to shop elsewhere.

Good news if you're looking to improve your ranking position for your keywords (which all companies should be), it may interest you to know that Google has also recently confirmed that responding to reviews can improve your local SEO. Online reviews make up around 13% of what Google uses to decide how to rank your website. Google's goal is to recommend the most relevant and trustworthy businesses to its users, and a great indicator for this is ranking businesses that take the time to respond to both their positive and negative reviews.

How to Respond to Positive Google Reviews

Reply as soon as possible, both Google and customers like it when you are quick to reply, as it shows you care for their opinion. If you have left it a while to reply, ensure you apologise for the late response.

A good start is to, firstly, thank the customer, remembering that they took the time to leave the review which benefits you, not them.

Try to make the reply personal so that the customer feels acknowledged and knows how grateful you are. A general template message is usually sent out by many businesses, although efficient, this shows that the business hasn’t necessarily taken the time to read your review to respond personally.

End with asking if there are any improvements that they think you can make in the future to provide an even better service. Before posting your response, it is important that you draft your message first to check it for any spelling and grammar mistakes.

Once you're happy, post away!

How to Respond to Negative Google Reviews

You should always respond to your customers, even if the review is negative! Even though bad reviews are not ideal for promoting a business, with the right response they can become positive, as it shows you acknowledge customer feedback and are making the effort to make things right for them. In turn, this shows that your business is professional and cares about providing good customer service.

Respond to the bad review as soon as possible, a recent study shows that around 52% of customers who have left a bad review, expect to receive a response from your business within 7 days.
Below are a few of our top tips on how to go about responding to bad reviews:
Remember to always be polite, even if you feel as though the review is inappropriate, an unprofessional response will give a negative perception of your business.

Keep in mind that you can report reviews through Google if it breaches Google's policy.
If the review is a genuine review and you feel that you, as the business, were in the wrong, always apologise and inform the customer that you will work on the issue to provide better service/products in the future.
You can ask for contact details to talk privately and discuss how you can make it up to the customer, this way you have the chance to possibly change both your customers mind and their review. Potential customers reading your reviews and seeing this are then more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt.

If done correctly, responding to bad reviews can benefit your review rating and your customer loyalty. In a recent study tracking customers that posted negative reviews during the holiday shopping season, from the customers that received a response, 33% turned around and posted a positive review, and 34% deleted the original negative review.

If you are having trouble monitoring and keeping on top of responding to your customer reviews, we are more than happy to help. Give our team a call on 01452 729 953 or send us an email to hello@brace.co.uk and ask about our online reputation management service.