Many factors play into a dental practice’s online marketing strategy, and online reviews are becoming increasingly important. Search engine optimization (also known as SEO) is no longer a simple process of backlinks and metatags; today, Google, Bing and Yahoo have algorithms that take into account the practice’s overall online presence, including its website, blog and social media profiles, in addition to online reviews on third-party websites.
Google reports that 97% of consumers research local businesses online, so these patient review websites are a critical opportunity for patients to learn about a dentist before they call to make their first appointment. And in 2013, 1-800-DENTIST conducted a survey and found that 70% of patients feel that online dentist reviews are just as important as a dentist’s professional credentials. This goes to show the impact that online patient reviews can have on patients during their decision-making process.
Publishing patient reviews or video testimonials on the dental practice’s own website is a popular way of sharing positive patient sentiments; however, prospective patients may feel that reviews on the website are inherently solicited, curated and edited to the dentist’s satisfaction. That is why it is also important to build a cache of testimonials on influential third-party consumer review sites. Having a number of positive patient testimonials spread across multiple sites helps cultivate social proof for the dentist, so that prospective patients get a good impression of the practice – no matter what site they may visit, value or trust.
Online review sites like Yelp, Google My Business and Healthgrades.com represent the new reality of word of mouth marketing. Now one patient’s positive comment can help influence an exponential number of prospective patients, helping dentists increase their new patient flow. Dentists who commit to building a strong online presence now, with the help of positive patient reviews, can feel confident that their practices will reap the rewards in the future.
Managing a complete online presence can be incredibly time consuming for dentists, on top of all of the responsibilities that come with treating patients and running a practice. Hiring a vendor, such as Sesame Communications can help dentists keep their online reputations updated and moving forward. From creating & maintaining the practice’s website to facilitating e-communication…from setting up & managing social media profiles to conducting SEO…and from garnering patient feedback through post-appointment surveys to translating that data directly into online reviews via a Healthgrades.com premium profile, Sesame is your one-stop marketing vendor!
by Naomi Cooper – President, Minoa Marketing & Chief Marketing Consultant, Pride Institute
Naomi Cooper is President & Founder of Minoa Marketing and Chief Marketing Consultant for Pride Institute. She is a respected dental marketing strategist, consultant, author, speaker and industry opinion leader. Naomi teaches Pride’s groundbreaking marketing courses and works with individual dentists to craft and implement a customized modern marketing plan. She also consults for leading companies across the dental industry, developing a cohesive marketing approach and creating momentum for their marketing efforts aimed at the dental profession and the dental consumer. Naomi holds a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA and a Certificate in Business Management. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she blogs regularly at www.minoamarketing.com. For regular updates from Naomi, including dental marketing & social media tips & tricks, follow her on Twitter (@naomi_cooper) or “Like” Naomi Cooper – Minoa Marketing on Facebook at www.fb.com/minoamarketing.