Google local reviews study

How do you react correctly to negative Google ratings?

A survey has shown that companies that respond to ratings make up to 49% more sales.

On almost all review pages, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to comment on the ratings given by their customers. 89% of consumers looking for a local business read not only reviews but also the business owners’ responses to them, this is especially true for the target group of 18-34 year olds (here it is 96%). The opportunity to respond to customer reviews gives entrepreneurs a great chance to influence the tone of the reviews. Here we would inevitably come back to the point of negative reviews. 44.6% of consumers say that they are more inclined to visit a local company if the company responds to negative reviews.

Customers write reviews on portals like Google, Tripadvisor or Facebook, also because of the possibility to get in contact with this company. Thus 53.3% of customers expect companies to react to a negative review within 7 days.

Beeinflussen Reaktionen des Besitzers auf negative Bewertungen Ihre Entscheidung eine Webseite zu besuchen?
Do owner reactions to negative reviews influence your decision to visit a website?
Aktualitaet von Bewertungen

The problem here is the discrepancy between customer requirements and reality. 2/3 of the consumers state that they have never received any feedback from the company on an evaluation. This assessment is also consistent with the results of the study, which showed that 75% of US companies do not respond to reviews.


Negative reviews are annoying but completely normal. On average, every fifth rating on the Internet is negative. An appropriate reaction even brings advantages!

Respond or respond to neagtive ratings. Otherwise you miss the chance:

  • …to correct any points of criticism or provide a context to the facts of the case.
  • …to show new customers that customer satisfaction or reputation is important to you.
  • …to win back a customer.

In the Reviewtrackers survey, 44.6% of consumers indicated that they are more inclined to visit a local business if the entrepreneur reacts to negative reviews. 89% of consumers are – depending on the company’s response – even willing to change their negative rating! (SOCi and LSA survey).

Negative reviews do not necessarily have to be bad. Nevertheless, there are some measures that can be taken to prevent it.


Interestingly, the most successful and highest rated companies on review sites are also the ones that respond most often to reviews. These companies are also usually able to retain customers and extend customer lifetime value, as they are seen by customers as more customer-friendly and trustworthy.



Customers see companies that react to (negative) ratings as more trustworthy and customer-oriented.

Customers explicitly want a reaction to their reviews, but entrepreneurs usually don’t respond – so they are clearly giving away sales: companies that respond to more than 25% of their reviews make 35% more sales per year than the average. In contrast, companies that leave their reviews unanswered generate 9% less sales than the average yearly turnover. The striking thing here is that just one answer to a single review is enough for the company to earn 4% more than the average.

Jahreseinkommen von Unternehmen in Relation zur Anzahl der beantworteten Bewertungen
Annual income of companies in relation to the number of responses


94% say that negative valuations have already discouraged you from buying
Companies that answer more than 25% of their ratings generate on average 35% more sales
Companies that do not respond to ratings generate on average 9% less turnover

As we have already stated, it is important to receive continuous evaluations. This does not mean that we cannot avoid receiving one or two negative ratings. It is important to react to the ratings: there are great opportunities to win old as well as new customers.


Companies that respond to ratings show that they care about their reputation, customer satisfaction and service quality. Google wants to show not only the most relevant companies to the consumer’s local search query, but also the most trusted companies to provide a good customer experience for the consumer. For the Google algorithm, the response to ratings is an indicator of a company’s trustworthiness. Google encourages companies to respond to ratings not only to build consumer confidence, but also to improve local SEO.

A survey of reviewers of negative reviews showed that 68% of reviewers received a response to their review – 18% of which became loyal customers who made further purchases based on the company’s feedback. 33% of reviewers who received a response changed their negative rating to a positive one and 34% deleted their negative rating.