Online reviews are taking an even more prominent role in how new patients will find your dental practice in 2017. Survey results show that reviews must be recent and positive for consumers to respond — but also that it may not be as difficult as you think to obtain them.
The SEO experts at BrightLocal recently published their 2016 Local Consumer Review Survey, shedding more light on how online reviews affect the growth of small businesses. Since 2010, this survey has tracked the dramatic rise of the influence of online reviews on a company’s visibility and credibility.
There are a few new statistics in the study that we think are of particular interest for dental practices working to build their online presence and acquire new patients:
- 74 percent of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
- 73 percent say they think reviews older than three months are no longer relevant
- 7 out of 10 consumers say they will leave a review for a business if asked
What does this mean for your social media marketing efforts? Now more than ever, your dental practice needs recent, positive reviews — and lots of them. But also, the majority of your patients would be willing to write you a review if asked in the right way.
Take a moment to evaluate your practice’s current online reviews presence. Do you maintain full and complete Google, Facebook and Yelp business profiles? Was your most recent review on each service posted within the last three months? Are you setting team goals to obtain reviews from patients while they are still in the practice?
Whether you already have a strong base of reviews or none at all, a constant supply of substantial, positive reviews will help you stand out in local search results and attract new patients.
Here are 3 ways you can get more reviews and turn them into one of your dental practice’s most powerful marketing assets:
1. Make It Easy for People to Read and Write Reviews Where They Want
BrightLocal’s survey found that people researching local businesses are likely to use more than one online reviews service in their decision-making process. Start by creating profiles on the three most prominent online reviews services: Google My Business, Facebook and Yelp. Add your profile picture, address, hours, and other information that will make it easy for a patient to find you and leave a review, or for a potential patient to learn more and contact you.
2. Focus on the Patients Most Likely to Give You a Great Review
One of the quickest ways to burn out in your reviews effort is to tell your team “OK everyone, we need to get out there today and ask for lots of reviews!”
Instead, set your team up for success by pulling up the day’s schedule and reviewing who is coming in. Identify one or two of your patients who love your practice and you suspect would be happy to leave you a review. Make specific assignments on which team member will ask them for a review and have them report back on how it went.
3. Just Ask — and Be Transparent
You know how crucial honest feedback and reviews are for building your practice. Let patients know how much you rely on reviews to improve your service and find more great patients like them. Remember, if you’re not asking for reviews, chances are you’ll only get one when a patient is unhappy!
Building a Complete Online Reviews Strategy
These guidelines are just the tip of the iceberg. As more and more people turn to online reviews when deciding between local businesses (over 90 percent according to the survey), you need a comprehensive strategy to obtain positive reviews and put them in front of the people most likely to become new patients. My Social Practice can help! Learn more by downloading our free reviews ebook below, and contact us for a demo of our MSP Reviews service!