Here’s How to Get Those Patients

Your up-to-date presence on key review sites like Google, Yelp, Facebook, and others like Healthgrades and Vitals, is one of the most worthwhile services you can provide for prospective and current patients.

Consumers trust reviews.

Over 90 percent of consumers read reviews regularly, and say reviews influence their purchase decisions.

Your patients’ strong reviews on the high-traffic review sites can attract a steady flow of new patients to your practice.

When they become happy patients, their reviews reinforce their loyalty to your practice and turns them into advocates. This drives more referrals.

It’s essential for visitors to your review pages and website to see lots of excellent (4-star and 5-star) ratings and reviews. Just about everyone reads reviews, relies on them and shares them with friends.

Half of our colleagues are not yet on Yelp or Google.

On Yelp 51% of dentists have not yet claimed the business page that Yelp set up for them. If you’re one of the 51% your Yelp page is there in your name right now (and it’s free). And on Google 45% of dentists have unclaimed pages (also free).1

We say, “Claim your pages now!” Then call us. We’ll tell you what to do next, like how to attract plenty of excellent reviews with photos, graphics and new patient content that we set up to make your review pages stand out.

Of the dentists already on Yelp or Goggle almost two-thirds have ratings of 3 stars – not a good rating – or less.1 

This may sound grim. Nobody wants 2-star and 3-star reviews. At Smile Reports we quietly manage disappointed patients before they complain online for the world to see, and gently re-direct them to the practice for speedy resolution. 

It’s painful to see so many professionals pass up this new patient business opportunity because:

Every day, consumers seek dentists at review sites like Google, Yelp and Facebook. They pour over dentist reviews and evaluate their practices. They visit web sites. They say they firmly believe patients everywhere “just like me” trust online advice and make appointments.

Today’s patients are online right now looking for you on the review sites. It’s a good time to be there. Don’t miss out! 

Consumers Read and Trust Online Reviews

91% of consumers read online reviews.2

Though many patients are invited to leave a star rating and review, just 6% do.5   It is critical to reach out to your patients with a proven plan to get reviews.

84% of customers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family and consider them essential in purchase decisions.2

86% of consumers say they would pay more when they find a local business with consistently high star ratings and excellent reviews.3

Meet Consumers Where They Spend Time and Make Decisions

90% of consumers read as many as 10 reviews before they feel they can trust a business.2 Because customers read more reviews on more sites than ever before, for a practitioner to stand out we believe it’s important to have at least 18 highly positive reviews on Google, on Facebook and on Yelp. 59% shop around and likely look at three review sites.2

73% of consumers say reviews older than three months aren’t relevant.2  

54% of prospective patients will visit your practice website after reading positive reviews.2  Make it easy. Welcome them by putting a link to your website on your review site business pages.  We would add several colorful office and staff photos too.

Be certain your office hours and other pertinent information are consistent everywhere. 72% of dentists fail to do this right.1


How to Respond to Negative Reviews

A patient can rave about you or let everyone know they had a terrible experience.

Regardless of what patients say, prospects believe them. Prospects see patient-created content as authentic, and a true mirroring of another person’s actual experience.

Not responding professionally to an unhappy valid review makes you the bad guy. It’s worse than having no reviews at all. And thousands of people witness your neglect.

Better to respond online to let the patient and their readers know that their voice is heard and that their opinion matters. Your caring response today helps them and may ease the apprehensions of a future patient.   

Note: One or two brief 3-star reviews are okay. They add legitimacy to lots of 4-star and 5-star reviews.

Why You Need Yelp Reviews

26,380 reviews are posted on Yelp every minute. Yelp review writers say they write reviews to help others like themselves find local businesses.4

51% of dentists don’t have reviews on Yelp. Their listings are blank.1

58% of consumers say average star rating is the most important factor they look at when judging a local business, followed by content of review (called sentiment) at 47% and recency of review 41%.2


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

3.  ReviewInc.com, “STUDY: 86% of Consumers Willing to Pay More for a Service Provider with Higher Ratings and Reviews,” January 21, 2015

4.  RatingsMax. “The 900 lb. gorilla of review sites, 2015”
5.  Modern Comment Customer Feedback.