You’re probably looking for information on getting more reviews for your dental practice because you’ve heard they’re important. You probably read reviews yourself, whether it’s for a restaurant, a movie, or the newest smartphone.
But do you know why reviews are so important?
If you said, “because they tell searchers my business is trustworthy,” you’re partially right. But there’s more to it.
In addition to sending trust signals, reviews are a form of “social proof.” Social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon in which people copy the actions of others to reflect what is considered “correct” behavior.
In layman’s terms, people see positive reviews and think, “they purchased this item so I should, too!”
But do people really trust a stranger’s online reviews? Yes! In fact, 91% of 18-34 year olds said they trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.
When it comes to choosing a new dentist, reviews are more important than ever. Understandably, people aren’t willing to gamble on their dentist or doctor the same way they might be willing to roll the dice with a restaurant. New patients want to be reassured that you’re a competent, caring dentist before they call to schedule their first appointment. Reviews provide that peace of mind.
In this post, we’ll teach you how to get more reviews for your dental practice.
But first, let’s talk about where these reviews live.
The Big 3 Review Sites
When it comes to online reviews for dental practices, there are three places people look: Google, Yelp, and Facebook.
Google is the most popular search engine in the world so it’s no surprise that Google reviews are a major player when it comes to online reviews. There are a few reasons they’re so important:
1. Reviews are displayed when your practice shows up in the Google three-pack, the links that are displayed with a map at the top of the search results. This allows searchers to see your rating and review count at a glance. This can influence someone’s decision to learn more about your practice.
2. Reviews matter when it comes to local SEO. That’s right, Google’s algorithm takes reviews into account when ranking sites. Reviews that contain the keyword people used in their search are especially great for boosting your search engine rankings. Look at the way reviews are displayed when we searched “root canal in Raleigh.”
An important thing to note is that users need to have a Google account to leave a Google review. This could be a gmail, Google Play, or YouTube account. If someone doesn’t have some kind of Google account, they will not be able to leave a Google review.
Patients can leave a review on Google by following these steps:
- Go to the business’s Google listing by Googling the business name.
- Click on the business’s reviews, as highlighted above.
- Click the blue “leave a review” button in the upper left corner of the window.
- The window to leave a review will then pop up. Here is where your patients will review you!
That’s a long process for patients to remember, especially if they’re not technologically inclined. Down below, we’ll show you a super easy shortcut that makes leaving reviews easier for your patients.
While most people think of Yelp for restaurants, your dental office can (and should!) claim your Yelp listing. In a 2018 survey, just over 45% of those surveyed said they read reviews on Yelp before making a decision. (63% of people check Google reviews, making Yelp the second most popular place to read reviews.)
If you’re getting reviews on Yelp, you’re more likely to show up in local dental-related searches on the site. But Yelp can also send traffic your way from Google.
More and more review sites like Yelp and Angie’s List are snagging top spots in the search results. When we searched “Dentists in Raleigh”, Yelp had the first two organic spots under the three-pack:
Unfortunately, this means that fewer dental websites are ranking for general terms like this. But if you’re receiving reviews on Yelp, you have a better chance of showing up in these “Best of” lists, which can boost your visibility and website traffic.
If you don’t have a Yelp profile, you can head over to the Yelp business center to create yours today.
Facebook Reviews & Recommendations
Reviews on a social media platform are the ultimate form of social proof! On Facebook, people can review your business in the form of a recommendation. Recommendations are displayed on your page so anyone who visits can see what others have written. Facebook is used by nearly 1.5 billion people daily so having recommendations on the platform opens your business up to a lot of people.
Note: Facebook used to call “Recommendations” “Ratings and Reviews.” They function the same way, just with a new name.
How to Get More Reviews for Your Dental Practice
If you’re ready to get more reviews, we have five tips to encourage patients to tell the world what a great dentist you are!
1. Make it Part of Your Dental Software
Many dental practice management programs give you the option to send a text or email to patients after an appointment. Make the most of this post-appointment message by asking for a review and including a link to your Google My Business listing so all patients have to do is click the link and type away!
If your practice management software doesn’t have this functionality, there are programs that you can use alongside your current software to get more reviews. Programs like Birdeye, Podium, and Doctible were created specifically for dentists and can help you send automated messages to ask for reviews. These programs can be used by themselves, but they may also integrate with your practice management software.
2. Create a Google Review Link
A Google review link is a succinct, easy to type URL that takes people directly to your Google listing, where they can leave a review. This way, even if someone has trouble finding your Google listing, they can use the handy URL to leave a review. Most people aren’t going to leave a review if they’re given instructions like, “Google our practice name, then look at the right side of the screen. You should see our Google listing. Click on our reviews and then click the blue “Write a Review” button in the upper left corner. Then you can write your review!”
People are going to forget those instructions the second they leave your office! Having a link that takes them directly to the “leave a review” screen takes the hard work out of the process (except for actually writing the review!) You can include this link
To get your custom Google review link:
- Head over to our review link generator.
- Type in your company name and choose your business from the options that appear.
- Your Google review link will automatically appear in the box beside the field that you typed your company name into.
That’s it! We recommend using this link in your review request emails, on printed receipts, and on the back of your business card (see our next tip!)
3. Put Your Review Link on Your Business Card
Most people don’t put anything on the back of their business card. That’s valuable real estate!
Put your review link on the back of your business card(s) so anyone who gets one can easily leave a review.
4. Use an Email Template
Whether you’re using your dental practice management software to automate post-appointment review emails or someone is sending them manually, a review email template can save a lot of time and streamline the process. An email asking for a review doesn’t have to be long or complicated.
For example, something like the following would get the job done:
Thank you for choosing [DENTAL PRACTICE NAME]! It’s a pleasure serving you and we look forward to seeing you again.
If you have a moment, would you leave a brief review on our Google Business page? Your feedback is important to us and we look forward to sharing it with the team.
You can leave a review at the following link: [INSERT LINK]
Once again, thank you for choosing [DENTAL PRACTICE NAME].
That’s all it takes! Just fill in the blanks and hit “send.”
If your dental management software automates sending review emails, it likely uses personalization tokens and the information from the customer’s file to automatically fill in the blanks in this email. Just make sure your review link is in your template and you’re set.
5. Verbally Ask for a Review
Sometimes people respond best to a face-to-face request for a review. When you’re winding up an appointment, don’t be afraid to ask for a review. You can even use the same approach the email template uses: thank them for being a patient and asking them to leave a review if they have a moment. Tell them about the review link (or give them a business card with the link on the back) so they know how easy it is to leave one.
Get More Reviews for Your Dental Practice
Positive reviews are critical to acquiring new dental patients. If your dental practice is looking to improve the impact of online reviews to gain new patients, contact TheeDigital.