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Patient reviews on Google are great for your dental practice, as long as you are getting them – and as long as they’re good.
If you don’t have dozens of recent reviews and don’t average close to five stars, what is that telling your prospects? That existing patients aren’t overwhelmed by their positive experiences.
But the truth is they probably are!
If you don’t have patients who are willing to give you a glowing review, no amount of marketing can help you. But just by the fact that you are reading this, we believe you are a top-notch professional who just needs help getting the word out. 5-star patient reviews should definitely be part of your dental patient attraction marketing.
The Benefits Of Good Reviews
If your practice already has dozens of recent reviews and averages close to five (out of five) stars, you already know the benefits.
The biggest is that you show up higher in Google searches. Google uses reviews as a factor when deciding how high to place your practice on search engine review pages. Higher placement generally translates into more of your prospects finding your practice online.
So good reviews are part of good dental search engine optimization (SEO). Google does not disclose exactly how much the reviews through Google and aggregators influence the local search rankings, but they play a major role.
The second benefit of good reviews is that your prospects are more likely to trust what current patients say about you than what you say about yourself. After all, an existing patient has nothing to gain by giving a false review. Potential patients know they can trust you because current patients from the same area say so. And dentistry done right is a trust-based business. That’s why online reviews are a crucial component of your local dental marketing efforts.
The third benefit is that overwhelmingly positive reviews help differentiate you from other dentists in your market. Dentists today are assumed to be competent. With that assumption, prospects tend to choose a dentist on the basis of price, availability, and insurance acceptance – unless your website and your happy patients’ reviews give them reasons to choose you.
The Key Is AUTHENTIC Dental Patient Reviews
You are probably asking yourself, “How hard can it be to get patient reviews? Can’t you just give them a little incentive to do so?”
The first question is easy to answer. If it were that simple, you’d already be doing it. But you haven’t focused on this area already because you devote your time to satisfying your patients, managing your staff and business, and trying to have a life outside work.
The second part can have dire consequences if you don’t follow the rules. For instance, you might want to offer a free or reduced service to patients in exchange for writing a glowing review online. Seems like a common-sense approach, right? Wrong. The Federal Trade Commission has truth-in-advertising guidelines against doing so.
OK, so you won’t give a quid pro quo for good reviews. Maybe you’ll hire a firm (or just a bunch of folks sitting at a bank of computers) to generate positive reviews. We do not offer that kind of service and recommend you not do business with anyone who does. Investigators in New York already snared dentists and other businesses in the state using “reputation-enhancement” firms to write phony reviews. Those businesses paid $350,000 in penalties, according to the New York Times. Some have been forced to close shop.
So you won’t take it that far. Maybe you and your staff will go online and give the practice good ratings. Wrong again. All of the main search engines have policies against “review stuffing.” Search engines can sniff out fake reviews with 90 percent accuracy. Every review has to be unique, or Google will remove the similar reviews from your listing – even if the duplicate review is on your website!
And that’s not all. Google can not only block customer reviews from appearing with your practice’s name in search results – it can also send your practice to the bottom of the search page. What’s worse, your website could be removed from Google and Yelp altogether!
How To Get Reviews
One way is to follow up on any dental appointment with an email that has an embedded link. Ask the patient directly for some feedback and give them a direct link to reach the appropriate page. We often buy a domain name, such as “www.ReviewDrYourName.com” and set it to forward directly to your Google Places review page.
Our industry-leading Patient Attraction System™ includes additional ways to encourage your patients to sing your praises online. We also provide dental review monitoring & review solicitation services so that you and your staff can focus on doing what makes you money – seeing patients and solving their dental problems.
What is your take on a business with nine positive reviews and one negative review? If you’re like most people, you’re glad to do business with them! We are willing to overlook a few negative comments when we see a lot of favorable responses from reviewers.
For this reason, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS ask your patients to leave you reviews. That way, if some day you do get a negative one, it will be “flooded out” by all the positives you have accumulated.
Negative reviews can happen, sometimes for the strangest of reasons. How you or your staff respond to those negative reviews is crucial to continuing to attract the patients you want. The one thing to remember is to avoid entering into a public argument or dialogue with that one negative reviewer.
It’s OK to respond in a dignified way, thanking them or apologizing for their dissatisfaction, but do not engage in a fight! Encourage them to contact you directly and you will resolve the problem to THEIR satisfaction!
If you’re ready to flood the internet with authentic positive reviews that will help you attract the patients YOU want, contact us at (502) 509-1413 or click here. Otherwise, feel free to look around the site at the topics that interest you most, or click here to see the results we’ve achieved for hundreds of dentists across the country.