Having an online presence is critical for companies and organizations to thrive, but doctors and dentists can also benefit from positive Google reviews. The internet plays an increasingly important role in helping practices gain more attention and new patients. Search Engine Optimization alongside social media marketing not only helps businesses, but also gives them a voice against large competitors.
One way your online reach can be increased is through Google reviews. Reviews in general are a good way for people to find out more about certain products and services, as they find that information from actual customers.
Research shows that 91% of people read online reviews and 84% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Learn how to start gathering positive Google reviews with the help of this video. In just a few minutes you can discover a faster way to increase reviews for your business. Take care of your brand reputation and learn the best strategies to build a solid online authority.
Google reviews in particular can help increase visibility, which leads to a better position in the search results. Appearing towards the top of Google results is a good way to make sure that potential customers are aware of your business.
In order for people to be interested in the services that you have to offer they first have to know that you exist. Google reviews help provide information to patients who are looking for a new healthcare provider or a new dentist, and having that knowledge from satisfied patients will help them make better decisions in regards to healthcare.
Review Sites to Consider
If we’re talking about Search Engine Optimization in general, Google reviews are not the only ones that can help increase the visibility of your practice. Other popular sites that can be used are Yelp, Healthgrades, or even Rate MD, due to the fact that Google is able to pull those reviews from popular sites which then factor in to your ranking in search results. Simply put, the more good reviews the better it is for your practice.
Yelp is an important player in this area. The site is specialized in providing reviews, which means that it’s not a place that should be overlooked. In many cases, pages on Yelp go unclaimed, which is a big mistake. By claiming your business page and promoting it, you can ensure that you won’t miss out on positive reviews from satisfied patients.
RateMDs is also a popular platform designed for patients to leave reviews for doctors. Reviews on Facebook play an important role as well, especially given the fact that the Facebook platform is huge online. With millions of visits every day, Facebook is a fantastic platform for reviews if you’re looking to shine a light on the positive aspects of your practice.
How Google Reviews Work
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” — Bill Gates
Not that long ago, in 2017, Google changed the threshold for reviews. While in the past businesses had to have at least five reviews before the star rating would appear, the threshold was lowered to a single review. That means that if a business has a single five-star review then the rating for said business will appear as five stars.
Why is that important? Having the threshold at five meant that if a business would only receive a couple of bad reviews then the star rating wouldn’t appear. The change in threshold is somewhat problematic due to the fact that a single review can determine the whole rating for a business.
What can be done? Whether we’re talking about doctors, dentists, or entrepreneurs, Google reviews cannot be controlled. Getting a disgruntled customer can result in some damage to the rating – especially if a business or practice doesn’t have a lot of reviews. In this case, the owner can do the following:
- Ask for reviews
- Send follow-up to patients or customers after the service was provided
- Acknowledge negative reviews and respond to them gracefully
Gaining More Reviews
Asking for reviews is the easiest way to get more reviews. A recent study points out that customers or patients are more inclined to post negative reviews if they had a bad experience, rather than post positive ones if everything went okay. According to several surveys, 95% of respondents have shared a bad experience, whereas only 87% have shared a good one.
Asking patients for reviews can be done either through an email newsletter or after their appointment. In case they might not be tech savvy, you can offer instructions on how they can submit a review – this is also a good thing to do even if the patient is good with computers, due to the fact that they might not be inclined to jump through hoops to submit a review. Making things easy helps.
Responding to bad reviews also plays an important role in clearing things up. Receiving negative feedback is never pleasant, but by acknowledging the review you can show that you appreciate their input. Responding to negative feedback allows you to highlight the fact that you will make the necessary adjustments to your practice in order to keep patients satisfied.
How Reviews Impact SEO
Google is a trusted entity, there is immense power in those reviews when it comes to the wellbeing of your organization. One survey noted that 88% of customers used reviews to determine the quality of a local business, while 72% of customers noted that positive reviews result in them trusting a local business more than they would have had otherwise.
In general, Google looks at reviews as a benchmark for ranking your business. They want to ensure that they are presenting users with a business that fulfills their needs. And one with a solid reputation definitely gets ranked higher.
Traditional SEO is still important, but Google reviews play an important role when it comes to local search. A part of Google’s search algorithm is driven by review signals which are focused around quantity, velocity, and also diversity. Having a well-balanced combination of review signals will result in your practice being placed towards the top of local search results. Paying attention to what people are saying about your practice online pays off.