Imagine a scenario where potential patients are looking for your dental services online and come across this review - "https://www.saffronedge.com/social-media-marketing-services/"
What do you think will be their reaction? Obviously, they’ll be impressed but will it be enough to get some foot traffic? Absolutely! Online reviews are the 21st century equivalent of word-of-mouth and they can serve as a powerful catalyst in driving patients towards (or away) from your practice. Seems like an exaggeration? Answer me this… when was the last time you went to or ordered from a new restaurant without checking its reviews online?
I bet you do that everytime! And everyone else does it too. Don’t think people look for reviews only when it comes to restaurants, they do it for all things imaginable and dental practices are sure one of them, so it becomes all the more important for you to handle online reviews with care. According to a BrightLocal study, as much as 93% of consumers read online reviews to decide if a business is worth their time or not, which is huge!... and should be a clear-cut sign that you need to take your review game up a notch if you want some more exposure for your dental practice. Here are some more reasons why you absolutely must embrace online reviews -
1. Helps propel your marketing efforts
Almost every dental practice of today is engaged in some online marketing efforts, be it Social Media Marketing or Content Marketing or any other outreach efforts. And I am sure you do it as well in one form or the other. So, you’d know how difficult it is to market your dental practice online and the amount of insane efforts it takes to do it well. Do you want all those efforts to go down the drain? They will if there are a plethora of bad reviews about your practice scattered online. Bad reviews can also be the reason your dental practice is not able to take-off despite consistent marketing efforts, doesn’t matter how amazing they are. On the other hand, if there are glorious reviews about you and the way you run your dental practice, they can prove to be the last push a potential patient needs to come to your doorsteps and make your marketing efforts an absolute success.
2. Helps in ranking on search engines
According to a Moz study, cumulative reviews can have a 13% effect on your search engine rankings and quite evidently, it’s a lot!
Source - Moz
Major search engines like Google gives a lot of importance to user-generated reviews. The more you have it, greater are your chances to reach the top. From there, it becomes a self-feeding review generating cycle. As businesses with more reviews gain more visibility through search engines, it results in more foot traffic which in-turn leads to even more user-generated reviews. The main task is to figure out how to get that cycle started (which we will talk about in the next section)
3. Builds customer trust
Which practice will a potential patient trust more - a dental practice with a ton of happy user generated reviews or a practice with many 1-star ratings? The answer is quite obvious ain’t it. When you read a bunch of good reviews about a dental practice or any other business, it builds your trust with the brand. You’ll be sure that they’ll take great care of you and will provide you with the best of services. And when a potential customer starts to trust your brand even before availing your services, that’s where the magic happens. Prove to them that you are worthy of your reviews and bam!... you have a customer that’ll stick with you no matter what. Only a thing like reviews can make that happen.
Where to begin?
Unless you provide a service so good that customers start posting marvellous reviews for your business themselves, to kickstart your review cycle, you’ll have to ask for it explicitly. Most dental practices lack that. Just simply ask for a review and show them the easiest way to do so or the platform you’d want them to specifically review on. Or you can include asking for reviews in your email marketing efforts. Doesn’t matter how you ask them, but you’ll have to take the first step.
Okay, these three platforms are the most accessible, biggest and baddest user-generated review platforms out there and you need to target just them to get the ball rolling.
You’ll have to claim listings for your dental practice first (and create a Facebook Business Page for Facebook Reviews) on these websites to allow users to submit their reviews. With a monthly traffic of more than 160 million, Yelp is THE platform to focus on for dentists as 30% of the searches made on the platform is related to the healthcare industry. So, if you haven’t yet claimed your business on Yelp, now is the perfect time to do so! And don’t forget Google My business, which can help your dental practice with localization (a topic we’ll be covering soon) as well.
Unlike popular belief, online reviews are an important part of your digital footprint, make sure you are giving them the attention they deserve and witness all your marketing efforts leave a mark. On which platform do you receive the most patient reviews and feedback? Let us know in the comments.
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