Replying to reviews on Google My Business acts as a signal to Google that you are keeping your listing active. Having an active listing is one of many factors which Google considers when placing your business above others. What happens if you don’t have any reviews to reply to? How do you keep your account active if you don’t have any more reviews to reply to?
I like to keep track of how often a client receives a review, then make a schedule for how many reviews I’ll reply to for that week or month. You don’t want to burn through all your reviews at once or you’ll run out of reviews.
Account Activity as a Ranking Factor
Having an active Google My Business listing, or even website, is favoured by Google. For a website, you’re proving to Google that you are still producing fresh content and updating existing content. This is a strong signal that this online property is still being actively managed. For Google My Business, this is no different. In fact, it is more important that ever.
When Google decides which businesses to show you in Google Maps, account activity is always taken into consideration. Anytime a user searches anything on Google, the query is put through a series of complex filters and algorithms. Each filter, or ranking factor, acts as a vote up or a vote down. One of these ranking factors looks at each business’s most recent activity date. Click here to read more about local ranking factors.
Pacing Your Replies Based on Review Frequency
Review frequency is how often you get new reviews. If you get 10 new reviews each month, your review frequency is 10. I like to monitor a client’s review frequency over several months to get a baseline for what their actual review frequency will be. It is uncommon for any business to have an extremely high review frequency, so you may end up having to pace yourself.
I like to have at least one review reply per month for an active business listing. You don’t want to go more than a few weeks without any kind of account activity. There is also a delicate balance for leaving reviews without a reply for too long. I’ll often leave reviews until it is time to reply to it, but if a review is starting to get really old (older than one month) then I’ll make sure it gets replied to immediately. This makes the account look inactive.
What to Do If You’ve Replied to All Reviews
Relax. Running out of reviews is common. All you need to remember is that you want to keep the account active. Review replies are only one way to keep the account active. You can keep your listing active by adding photos, writing a post, or update your business information. If you’re up for it, you can launch a campaign to earn more reviews for your business.
Here are just a few ways to keep your business listing active:
- Add a new photo
- Write a new post
- Add or update products you sell
- Add or update services you provide
- Add or update service areas
- Update your business description, categories, or attributes
- Update your GMB site
- Reply to reviews