How to Leverage Google Reviews to Improve Local SEO

Mar 7, 2024

Julian Lankstead

Have you ever received a brilliant review of your business on Google and didn't quite know what to do with it?

Or maybe it wasn't so good, and you ignored it, hoping that it would disappear? 

Stop ignoring the reviews!

98% of people read online reviews for local businesses, meaning they are not something to just brush under the carpet.

Responding and using your reviews correctly can improve your business's local rankings on Google, which will convert into more sales. 

Read on for simple tips on how to get more traffic, more clicks, more customers and improve your local SEO by leveraging your business's Google reviews.

How to Leverage Google Reviews To Improve Local SEO: Step-By-Step Guide

Google Reviews significantly boost local SEO by enhancing your business's visibility and credibility on Google search results.

Using Google Reviews the right way means that you have a plan to help your business do better in local searches and look good online. It's about being smart with feedback to improve how people see your business and finding ways to get more online reviews

Here's a seven-step guide on how to best use Google Reviews to enhance your local SEO:

Step 1: Claim and Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

To get started, make sure your business has a Google Business Profile. 

This platform is crucial for local SEO as it appears in the Google Search Map Pack and Google Maps when people search for your local services. Fill out your profile with up-to-date details such as your business name, location, services, contact number, website link, and hours of operation.

Accurately completing this information is essential, as it helps customers easily find your business and contributes to effective management of your Google Reviews.

This step ensures your business can be discovered by local customers searching for the products or services you offer.

Step 2: Implement a System for Soliciting Reviews

Create a simple way to ask your customers to leave reviews after they buy something or visit your business. 

You can do this by sending them emails, text messages, or even by asking them in person when they're about to leave. Make sure it's easy for them to leave a review. Making a shortened URL or a QR code helps with this.

The easier it is to leave a review, the more people share their thoughts. This is great for your business. Getting their opinions can help others learn about what you offer and decide to visit or buy from you as well.

Make sure to keep encouraging your customers to leave reviews and establish a continuous influx of recent reviews onto your GMB profile. 

Bonus Tip: Ask your customers to include photos and videos of your service/products in their Google reviews, as these significantly amplify the impact of their reviews.

Step 3: Respond to All Reviews Quickly

Make a rule to reply to every single review, whether it's good or bad, fast  — within a day or two.

When you write back, make it personal to show you really care about what they think. This makes your customers feel important and listened to. This is a huge factor in creating a positive experience with your brand. It tells everyone that you take their opinions and feelings seriously. It's a way to show good customer service and pay attention to what your customers have to say.

Pro Tip: Include the name of your service and business location in your review responses to help with rankings. 

Step 4: Address Negative Reviews Constructively

When you get a bad review, give a genuine apology and find a way to fix what went wrong.

You might ask the customer to talk more about it privately or find a way to improve their experience. Also, use negative reviews to improve your services or products. 

It makes a huge difference to customers when you show humility and willingness to take on their feedback. Showing you want to make things right changes a bad situation into a good one, potentially transforming a dissatisfied customer into one of your business ambassadors. 

Step 5: Highlight Positive Reviews

Showcase positive reviews from your customers by featuring them prominently on your website and across your social media channels. Doing so creates a powerful form of social proof that can significantly enhance your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness.

Also, make sure these reviews are easy to find — consider a dedicated 'Testimonials' page or a noticeable section on your homepage.

In addition, you can use a plugin or widget that automatically displays recent 5* testimonials directly on your site. This ensures that fresh, positive feedback is always front and center.

This strategy highlights your strengths and positively influences other potential customers to buy and existing customers to share their positive experiences with your company.  

Another great benefit of this strategy is that highlighting positive reviews on your website improves search engine rankings. Search engines value user-generated content and signals of trust and authority. By prominently featuring positive testimonials, you send strong signals to search engines about the quality and reliability of your services.

Step 6: Monitor Your Reviews Regularly

Make sure to either use specialized tools or ask a member of your team to keep checking your Google Reviews often. This can be done using Google Business Profile Manager. 

By doing this, you can quickly respond to what people are saying and notice any common themes or problems that come up.

It's a free and easy way to do market research and find out what customers want from your service. You can deal with feedback right away and keep making your business better.

It also shows customers that their comments won't go unnoticed, encouraging others to leave positive reviews if they had a good experience. 

Step 7: Increase Reviews For Improved Local SEO

The steps above set out a good system to increase reviews and positive ratings for your local business. 

When customers leave positive reviews, it shows Google that your business is trustworthy and offers value, which can increase your ranking in local search queries. 

The reviews also contain keywords related to your business, further optimizing your search relevance without needing dedicated SEO strategies. A higher volume of positive reviews can also increase traffic and click-through rates to your listing or website, as potential customers are likelier to choose a business with numerous positive reviews. 

Following these seven steps, you can effectively leverage Google Reviews to improve your local SEO, enhance your online reputation, and build stronger customer relationships. 


What is Local SEO? 

Local SEO is a strategy to improve the chances that your business appears online when people nearby search for it.

When someone looks for a place to eat, shop, or get a service near them, local SEO helps your business pop up in those search results. 

It's all about getting noticed by local customers when they're searching for something you provide.

What is Leveraging Google Reviews for Local SEO?

This SEO strategy involves actively managing and responding to customer reviews on your Google Business Profile to enhance your visibility and ranking in local search results.

It's a strategic approach to influence how your business is perceived online and improve visibility in local search results. 

Why You Need to Know How to Leverage Google Reviews To Improve Local SEO

Understanding how to leverage Google Reviews effectively is crucial for any local business aiming to enhance its online presence.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • Google Reviews shape first impressions, influencing potential customers. Positive feedback sways decisions, while negative reviews deter them.

  • Reviews contribute to visibility in local search and help push up businesses on Google Maps.

  • Responding to reviews shows commitment to customer feedback and shows potential local customers that there is a real person behind the business.

  • High positive review counts encourage further customer visits.

  • A feedback loop means that you can take on reviews and implement them into your business to improve your services or products for customers.

  • User-generated content from reviews boosts online presence.

  • Active review management differentiates businesses and attracts customers through a positive reputation.

Key Considerations For Successfully Leveraging Google Reviews

To further amplify the impact of Google Reviews on your local SEO, consider the following:

  • Authenticity Matters: Genuine, personalized responses build a stronger connection with your audience.

  • Negative Reviews are Opportunities: Constructively addressing negative feedback can turn dissatisfied customers into loyal ones.

  • Implementing a Review Solicitation Program: Regularly ask happy customers to share their experiences.

  • Monitoring and Analyzing Review Trends: Use insights from reviews to improve your business operations and customer service.

Alternatives to Leveraging Google Reviews

While Google Reviews are crucial, other platforms like Yelp and TripAdvisor also contribute to your online reputation.

Diversifying your reviews across different platforms can enhance your overall digital presence.


Google Reviews can really help your business shine online.

Remember, nearly everyone checks reviews before trying out a local business. So, when you get feedback, good or bad, don't ignore it use it to your advantage.

By following a few key steps, such as asking customers to leave reviews, responding quickly to all feedback, and showcasing your best reviews, you can easily enhance local SEO.

This means more people finding your business online, visiting your store, or buying your services. Embrace those reviews, engage with your customers, and watch your business grow.