Online reviews are as important now as they have ever been before. Let me put it this way, when was the last time you searched for a product or service online and DID NOT look at any user reviews, or purposefully avoided the reviews before making a purchase decision? Very rarely correct? People generally understand that their peers and neighbors are a good source of honest feedback about a product, service, or business that they had an experience with. Now with the rise of “fake news” and misinformation, potential customers and patients rely more on reviews from previous customers before considering what the business or dental practice has to say about their products and services.
Reviews are still a relevant and important factor in search engine algorithms as well. Google still mentions reviews as being a prominent ranking factor in their help documents. Read along to learn more about how focusing on generating new reviews for your practice benefits your SEO strategy, online reputation, and more.
1. Organically Increase Online Visibility
Generating online reviews is a relatively free way to promote your dental practice or business. Your strategy can be as simple as verbally asking your customer or patient to leave honest feedback after they have received your service or bought your product. Every new review that is added to your online listing(s) increases your online footprint and improves the chances that you are found in your local arena.
It used to be about who has the most reviews, but this is usually not the case anymore. Reviews that include details about a customers experience that go beyond the basic “great business, highly recommend” comments are more likely to be displayed more prominently on review sites. Providing a personable touch to your customer service and making your customers’ experience memorable goes a long way. These experiences help customers build a more intricate template to base their review on, and easily generate a more detailed review.
2. Build Trust with Potential Customers & Dental Patients
Reviews create an opportunity for you to connect directly with potential patients and customers before even talking to them! Some review sites allow for the business to reply to reviews. This is a great opportunity to thank your customer for their kind 5-star review, and show potential customers that you are actively listening to all points of view. It is also an opportunity to let everyone know that a negative review is an opportunity for improvement for your business and customer service, and that you are open to discussing and rectifying issues offline that arise. This goes a long way with potential patients reading the review and your reply.
3. Online Word-of-mouth
When a satisfied customer or dental patient leaves a genuine positive review, without being asked, everybody wins! Reviews are considered online word-of-mouth for the reasons mentioned above and much more. If you provide excellent customer service and a memorable experience, your customers are more likely to want to contribute to your online presence with a review that details that experience. Positive word-of-mouth reviews can spread your great reputation very easily by building that trust in patients and customers with little-to-no effort on your part.
4. Communicate Expertise, Authority, and Trust to Search Engines
Google Trusts Reviews; as do other review sites. Sophisticated algorithms work to determine expertise, authority, and trust (EAT) in part, by reading reviews. The more detailed the review is (like the example above), the better the algorithm is at determining your dental practices’ EAT metrics. These metrics are used and taken into consideration when search engines rank your site in search engine results pages (SERPs). Naturally, your online visibility will very likely improve if you have more detailed reviews with genuine experiences versus having a ton of reviews with little-to-no context.
Get your dental patients or customers to value your practice and their experience enough to write detailed reviews. They will communicate their trust in your business or dental practice within the review, and in turn you can communicate your expertise in each reply (also, let me know when you have perfected your method; I would love to hear about it!).
5. Crowd-sourced Content for your Website and Social Media
When done correctly, you can use new reviews as an opportunity to showcase what real people think about your products, services, customer service, and business. Adding reviews to your website and posting about them on social media is a great way to build your online reputation and authority in your industry, increase conversion rates, add credibility to your services and more. “Why take my word for it, hear what customers have to say” testimonials have long been a tried-and-true method in traditional marketing before the internet, so why not use it on social media? Just be careful about how often you do this and don’t be too selective about which reviews you choose to use. The overuse of testimonials can lead to distrust and questions about legitimacy…
Take Action, Review your Favorite Business Today
Having a constant and steady stream of reviews will add many benefits to your dental practice or business. Year-after-year they are still heavily relied upon by search engines and businesses alike. Keeping these 5 great ways online reviews benefit your search engine visibility in mind will position you above your competition, improve your service offerings, and more. You can start with providing excellent customer service that someone is willing to write about.
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