Showing up as a top result in a Google search is a major marketing win for your dental practice. And increasing the number of reviews you have is one of the quickest ways to get there.
In marketing lingo, reviews are known as “earned media”—you can’t just sign a check to Google; you have to work for it—and they’re a huge part of digital marketing for dentists. (Luckily, the right review-gathering tool can make the work required both easy and effective.)
Let’s take a look at why reviews matter, why a few negative reviews are okay, and how to go about getting more reviews.
Simple. Reviews determine whether or not someone will choose your practice for their dental work. People use reviews to inform all kinds of purchasing decisions, from retail to home services to healthcare. Here’s a jaw-dropping stat:
This BIA/Kelsey and ConStat report shows that 97 percent of people read reviews before giving someone their business. 90% of people who read online reviews before purchasing said that positive reviews impacted their decision.
It’s not enough to *have* reviews. Your overall review score needs to inspire confidence. According to SearchEngineLand, 87% of people won’t work with a business that has a 1 or 2-star rating. (If your score is in that range, don’t worry. There’s a way up.)
According to Harvard Business School, you can increase your revenue by 5-9% by adding a single star to your review score.
Your reviews reflect your reputation and impact your online discoverability. Make sure your happy patients are sharing their satisfaction with the world. Before we look at how to do this, let’s dispel a few myths.
This study by Spiegel Research Center shows that people are skeptical of full 5-star-ratings. Patients actually see dental practices who have a few negative reviews as more trustworthy (i.e. they’re not suppressing reviews or creating fake reviews).
Not only is a negative review or two a sign of authenticity, it’s a chance for you to show off your professionalism. According to research by Power Reviews, 82% of people will read your bad reviews, but 89% of those people will read your practice’s response, according to BrightLocal. When you show that you’ve heard and considered your patients’ feedback, prospective patients feel more inclined to trust you.
Sometimes patients leave bad reviews about insignificant things, and unfortunately there are cases where people use reviews to attack a business for personal (i.e. non-business-related) reasons. But most folks will see these reviews for what they are, especially if you respond to them in a brief, diplomatic, and level-headed way. More often, negative reviews are constructive—they’re a window into things your practice can improve.
The best strategy for negative reviews is to respond professionally and then bury them in an avalanche of positive reviews. Check out our 7-Step Guide on How To Handle Negative Reviews.
Want to see how easily Swell can help you manage your reviews, including the negative ones? Reach out to our team to get your free demo today.