3 Ways to Make Online Reviews Work for Your Dental Practice

3 Ways to Make Online Reviews Work for Your Dental Practice
Online reviews are like “word of mouth” for the web. Many people will look for recommendations before choosing a restaurant, a hotel, or a dentist, and the web makes this research easy. One major difference between the traditional word of mouth scenario and online reviews is that people will actually seek guidance from strangers—and follow it if the reviews are compelling. Whether positive or negative, people look at online reviews to have certain questions answered: What are others saying about this business? What kind of star rating does it have? If they like what they read, there’s a better chance they’ll choose you. These reviews and stars help your business stand out in Google searches, which is key in attracting new patients. They can also help current patients realize they’ve made the right decision! Here are three ways to generate positive reviews that can help build your patient base:
  1. Create Awareness and Interest
When it comes to online reviews, a good dental experience isn’t necessarily as motivating for most people as a good meal at a restaurant or a pleasant stay at a hotel. That is, unless they were unhappy with it. People are more likely to ask to talk to the manager of a restaurant if they have bad service than they do if they like the service. The same principle applies to dentistry. So, getting a good review begins with providing an experience that patients will remember for the right reasons and then encouraging them to share their thoughts through Google Reviews, Yelp, Angie’s List, social media sites, and elsewhere. Let them know that others can benefit from your service the same way they have. 
  1. Ensure Visibility
Make it easy to review your dental practice! Place a link to Google Reviews on your website. Add review reminders to follow-up emails or texts you send to patients after their visits. Put a reminder sticker on your front door window (“Review Us on Yelp!,” etc.) and table tents in your reception area. Be sure to have your staff ask patients about their experience on the way out and request an online review. This personal encouragement can go a long way. Research has shown 90 percent of potential patients use online reviews to help them choose a dentist, but very few review their dentists after they become patients.
  1. Foster Frequency
Google is more likely to rank your site highly in local searches if new reviews are added regularly. That’s not to say that you should encourage one patient to post more than one review at a time, but that you should encourage as many patients as possible to share their thoughts online. With a heavy volume of reviews, you may receive some negative ones, but if you’re providing the experience people want and are making it easy for them to share it, the good should far outweigh the bad. Want expert guidance on creating a formal online review strategy? Our dental marketing and consulting firm can help you get more reviews, especially more authentic and trustworthy ones, using ethical best practices. We’re the demonstrated experts in helping dental professionals achieve greater success. Let us create a customized solution for you—call our practice growth specialists now at 727-286-6211.
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