Does online reputation matter?
Here’s a scenario: You’re planning to get a routine exam and cleaning, but you’re not quite sure where to go. Like everyone else, you start typing down keywords in a search engine site hoping you’d find a good dentist nearby.
Finally, you come across a name of a clinic. Before booking an appointment, you think you should at least try to get to know the dentist a bit more. So, you dig deeper into your research and learn about the services they offer and what people are saying about them.
To your horror, you discover nothing but negative feedback from previous customers.
Would you click on the book appointment button? We don’t think so.
Then you proceed to the next on the list. The website seems polished and carefully optimized, but as you pore over the details, you can’t seem to find reviews, whether good or bad, there’s nada.
Would you book an appointment with this dentist? Probably yes, but most people would say no and move on to the next.
Here’s the thing, if you’re a dentist, you know the sacrifices you’ve made to get to where you are. Long nights burning the midnight oil studying, practicing, and honing your skills just to become successful in your profession.
And now that you’re finally ready to focus on your practice, you failed to invest in one important thing – online reputation management.
In today’s digital world, online reputation matters a great deal because that’s how people gauge how great you are.
If your online reputation isn’t managed well, it’s going to be challenging for you to reach out to customers. Dentists are stressing over negative reviews and the lack of positive reviews online.
Online reviews matter because it’s one of the factors new patients consider before they visit your clinic.
The more good reviews they read, the more likely they’ll call you for an appointment. If your name is tainted online because of bad reviews, trust us, no one would want to be under your care.
According to surveys, 91% of people read online reviews, 84% trust online reviews, and 68% come up with an opinion after reading at least one to six online reviews.
Obviously, if new patients read something about you online, they will believe in these reviews even if you were recommended by a friend or family.
To get an insight, we suggest you ask a new patient how they came to select you as their dentist. Part of your marketing plan is to gather as many positive reviews and feedback as you can.
The more positive reviews you have online, the better the chances of attracting new customers.
Another reason to focus on online reviews is that it makes your website more visible on search engine sites like Google. Patients are also drawn to listings with 5-star ratings.
Therefore, if your site gets a lot of good reviews, your organic traffic will increase because of clicks. If you concentrate on acquiring positive reviews, you’ll get a faster ROI with very minimal effort.
Do you know that online reviews influence your ranking on local searches?
Search engine sites like Google will acknowledge your patient’s online reviews as social signals giving relevance to your practice.
Simply put, the more positive online reviews you have about your practice, the higher you’ll rack in Google both in local and organic results. The constant influx of reviews will also help your rankings.
Usually, new patients look at recent reviews that were posted within three months. Google also favors websites that have updated content and may even reward sites that receive a constant stream of online reviews.
In other words, if you want to make your dental practice discoverable in Google, you need new patients to find you online and click on your site. Establishing an online review management strategy is a good way to get more five-star reviews.
What’s ironic is that despite the fact that 95% of patients trust the credibility of online reviews when choosing a dental health professional, very few make the effort of leaving reviews even when they are satisfied with the service.
According to studies, only two percent of consumers publish online reviews and when they do leave reviews, they are usually for entertainment, dining, and travel. It’s very rare for patients to talk about their dental experience because let’s face it, being in the dental chair isn’t the most exciting part of your week.
Usually, dental patients who leave reviews are those who have negative things to say or complain about and they want to get payback by bashing your practice online. How then can you encourage your patients to leave good reviews about you?
When you go above and beyond with your services, there’s not a doubt that your patients will be impressed. It will give them something to write about.
The plan is to satisfy them and to encourage them to write about their experience. Patients who are impressed don’t need to lie for you. Authentic reviews resonate more with patients.
After their dental appointment, ask your patients about their experience. Knowing what they feel will help improve your practice because it will give you an idea of what to improve on.
Asking them for feedback will also inspire them to leave a review after the appointment.
Additionally, it helps to be observant. Identifying disgruntled patients is important so you can talk to them and address the problem before they start complaining online.
It can feel awkward to ask your patients for reviews, but there’s absolutely no harm in trying.
You don’t necessarily have to use it as an ice breaker, you can simply squeeze it in your conversations, especially if you ask your patients how they felt after the treatment and they start sharing compliments. Once they do that, invite them to share how they felt online to help you reach more customers.
Remember the stats, nine out of ten people who surf the Internet use online reviews as their basis in selecting a dentist. Therefore, make it a point to increase your online reviews so you can reach more people to check out your website and book an appointment with you.
Need help with managing your online reputation? We got you! Contact us today to know how our team of reputation management experts can boost your online reputation and get you the leads you need to start growing your dental clinic.