Any successful dentist would admit putting up a practice isn’t enough to kick back and wait for patients to come. There’s much-continuing work to be done, such as online reviews and reputation management for dentists. So, when was the last time you checked your dental patient reviews? And does your general or family dental practice have online reviews to begin with?
If your answer leans towards a no, then that might be why potential patients can’t discover you online. Even if your dental practice has everything it needs, from staff to equipment, you’ll likely fail to attract new dental patients without online reviews.
In this blog, we look at online reviews, their importance and benefits for dental practices, and how to ask patients for reviews.
Why Online Reviews Matter for General and Family Dental Practices
The rise of online ratings and reviews can either mean bad or good news to dental practices. Consumers have grown more eager to take extra caution by looking around online and comparing their options, so much so that 55 percent use search engines such as Google, and 33 percent specifically seek out online reviews (Statista). Hence, general and family dental practices run the risk of losing potential patients due to unmanaged online reviews and tarnished reputations — making plain the importance of online reviews and search engine optimization (SEO).
Benefits of Online Reviews for Your Dental Practice
Nine of 10 or 89 percent of consumers look at reviews before they land on a purchase decision (Trustpilot), signaling that reviews can address consumer concerns. Below are more benefits of online reviews.
- Online reviews help in local SEO for dentists. Search engines like Google can crawl and highlight reviews from your website if they are correctly formatted in HTML.
- Online reviews serve as a communication tool. Reviews let you engage with previous patients, so acknowledge every feedback and thank your patients for their time.
- Online reviews give you actionable insights. Recurring themes in your reviews, whether negative or positive, demand action. Watch out for frequently mentioned service or staff.
- Online reviews are solid social proof. Reviews are rich user-generated content (UGC) that you can display leverage in your website and social media profiles.
For instance, a medical practice with 15 physicians serving multiple locations across Merrimack Valley saw a drastic improvement in their review scores after enlisting Rize Review’s services. Our strategy was simple: ask for reviews and showcase them through a website review widget. As a result:
- 12 of 15 doctors improved their review scores.
- Two doctors received their first positive reviews.
- Over 120 reviews were received in less than a year.
If you want similar positive results and reap the benefits of online reviews for your dental practice, partner with online reputation management companies like Rize Reviews. But whether you decide to work with a reputation manager or not, you should know the websites you should claim your listing on.
Top Dental Patient Reviews Site You Should Consider
Before we go over the points on how to attract new patients to your dental practice, here are the top review sites to consider in your dental reputation management strategy.
Being the dominant social media platform for consumers and businesses, including dental practices, billions of people are on Facebook. If you operate a general or family dental practice locally, investing in your online presence on this platform enables numerous potential dental patients in your community to discover your practice. Additionally, it’s easy to ask for reviews and direct patients to the reviews section of your page.
“Google it,” a phrase many people have told others to acquire information about a person, thing, event, or place. With its features, Google makes online reputation management for dentists simple. As such, securing your dental practice’s Google Business Profile (GBP) on the platform guarantees your business information is correct when they appear in the search results or when new dental patients “Google it.”
A Yelp-recognized survey found 97 percent of its users spend money on a business they discovered on the platform within a week. So while restaurants would appear dominantly on the site, Yelp also serves as a dental reputation management tool that you should highly consider. More than your dental patient reviews, your presence alone on the platform is telling new dental patients your practice is reliable.
1-800 Dentist is the flagship product of the dental marketing company, Futuredontics. The platform helps local dental practices be discovered by new dental patients, providing accurate business information, from addresses to contact numbers and offered treatments. 1-800 Dentist claims to have matched 9 million patients to the perfect dentist, so if you want a solid online presence for your practice, consider this platform.
Much like the platform above, it helps potential dental patients discover your practice, providing complete information with a simple online search. In addition, Dentistry.com aims to be the trusted online consumer source for all things dental. Its partnership with Denteractive’s board-certified dentists allows Dentistry.com to provide virtual dental care to patients seeking answers or emergency help around the clock.
Healthgrades provides online information about medical practices and professionals, including dentists. The platform claims to be the leading online resource for comprehensive information on healthcare providers. Through ratings and reviews found on Healthgrades’ site, potential dental patients can quickly vet a dentist. In the platform, you can claim your free profile and have the option to advertise your practice.
Related article: The Most Important Local Citations You Should Claim
Note: Considering lawsuits and amassed complaints due to fraud and unethical practices surrounding them, be wary of websites such as Zocdoc and Caredash.
How To Ask Patients for Reviews
Most patients need a little nudge before they leave a review, so it’s for you to know the perfect time and place to ask. Here’s when and how to ask patients for reviews:
- Flash review requests if you have a display screen in the waiting area.
- Display logos of the review platforms you are on at the reception desk.
- Include a review request section in your booking confirmation email.
- Put up QR code signs across your clinic that lead to a feedback form.
- Send a post-appointment review email or text.
- Add a review widget on your website.
Likewise, you can ask for reviews as you wrap up the appointment or have your receptionist request a review when the patient settles the payment.
How To Attract New Patients to Your Dental Practice (Dental Marketing Strategy)
As with any marketing strategy, current and new data are foundational. But before anything else, take a step back and put in writing your marketing goals — they will direct the course of your dental marketing strategy.
Once you’ve identified your objectives, here’s how to attract new patients to your dental practice:
- Understand who your patients are. Considering the demographics, determine what makes your patient base. From here, you’ll better understand who your decision-makers are and how you can better reach and serve them. For instance, if your patient base comprises primarily young adults, you should double your efforts with social media marketing. But if you notice you mainly service older demographics, traditional marketing like print ads might be your best bet.
- Determine where your patients discover you. It’s essential to identify where your patients are coming from so you know all the touchpoints. For instance, patients may discover your dental practice through Google, online reviews, social media, insurance networks, or referrals. To do this, conduct a survey asking patients how they discovered you and include all possible touchpoints. If there are little to no patients coming from your traditional marketing efforts, you can redirect your funds to what works.
- Identify the top services that bring patients to your practice. By analyzing your reviews, determine what services generate the most revenue for your dental practice. With this, you’ll discover the “best sellers” you want to promote further. However, if the top services aren’t aligned with your marketing objectives, you should promote the service you want to be associated with as its top provider. For instance, if you want to be known for cosmetic dentistry in your local area, you should target those specific keywords tagged with your city for local SEO.
- Partner with online reputation management companies for dentists. Online dental patient reviews and local SEO can be intimidating for any healthcare provider to undertake since they are far from your specialization. As such, partnering with experts in dental reputation management can spare you time for marketing you could otherwise spend in your practice. In addition, ORM experts guarantee convenience and success in managing your online reputation.
For marketing agencies servicing clients in the dental industry, you can expand your services with white-label ORM.
Rize Reviews: Top Reputation Management for Dentists
If you’re ready to scale your dental practice with reputation management, Rize Reviews is here to lead the way. Rize Reviews is an ORM company that employs customized software handled by seasoned reputation managers — see our team in action with a free demo.