Are online reviews really necessary?

For today’s patients, online reviews matter more than ever. Positive 4-star and 5-star reviews attract new business.

It’s essential for your reviews to appear on big “sticky” websites like Google, Yelp and Facebook. These are trusted sites where prospective patients go to find you. They visit these sites again and again. Competition is there, too, so your business page on each site must stand out.

Getting started, how much of my time will this take — is it really turnkey?

The short answer is about 20 minutes a week. We take it from there.
For the long answer, see our blog, or ask Jay at 203.403.3079 or write to jay@smilereports.com.

What are the top review sites for dentistry?

Google as you might imagine, ranks first. Your presence there is essential. The more positive reviews a dentist has on Google the more likely they will be on the first page of local search results.

Yelp is next with 140 million readers and reviewers, followed by Facebook where patient reviews reach friends. Next are Healthgrades, Vitals, Dr. Oogle, Zocdoc, RealSelf and Yellow Pages. We measure new patient success and direct your patients’ reviews to the sites most productive for you.

How are dentists rated on review sites?

Dental practitioners are rated from 1 to 5 stars. The higher the star rating and the more positive the accompanying reviews the higher the dentist ranks in search engine results and, of course, in the minds of consumers. Reviews are solely the opinions expressed by patients.

You have my attention. How long before I start to see more 4-star and 5-star ratings and reviews?

Depending on your Internet presence, please allow 2-3 months for us to significantly increase your positive ratings and reviews on the top sites. In this timeframe, you can expect new patients to begin to see you across the Internet and call for appointments.

I want to make a great first impression on the online review sites. What can you do for me that’s special?

In addition to adding dozens of patient reviews, we can add your photos, videos, dental tips, content on your practice and enhance office information, always keeping a watchful eye so it’s 100% accurate.

Seventy-two percent of practices have incorrect office information. This confuses patients who, unable to reach the practice, often go elsewhere. 1

How many reviews do I need?

We want prospective patients to see at least 18 reviews on each site. And they’ll visit at least three sites to help them decide.2 They look for patients “just like me” who mention the specifics they are looking for, like dental cleaning, or veneers, or “gentle care.” Ask your patients to talk about your services in their reviews.

What about negative reviews (3 stars or less)?

These reviews often reflect patient disappointment. We can usually detect these before they go online. We then encourage the patient to write what’s on their mind in a private message that goes directly to your practice for speedy resolution. It is so important to the patient. When the practice listens to them, it can save the relationship.

Do negative reviews mean trouble?

An occasional 2-star or 3-star review is not horrible. Rather, it’s helpful, because this actually adds authenticity to a dentist’s review portfolio. Patients, always skeptical, don’t buy into a dentist with 25 5-star reviews.

How reliable are patient reviews?

Reviews are personal opinions. Every site carefully monitors and filters their reviewers and reviews. Any business discovered buying or making up reviews is flagged to alert visitors that this is a problem business. A problem business can also be deleted and banned from the site.

1. RockinTechnology, “2016 Dental Marketing Results”
2. BrightLocal, “Local Consumer Review Survey 2016”