The purpose of this post is to highlight an important aspect local business marketing and how a dental practice can build their business by focusing on their online reputation. In 2014 a negative or small online reputation can put your business at risk. This is why you need more than just SEO. Dentists need reputation management. You probably know already that people are looking for reviews of your business before they come in for their first visit. If they hear about you from a friend, from an ad, or find you online, they still want to hear what complete strangers are saying about your practice. It’s the new point of sale. It may seem intimidating to try to control but it’s something that you can take measures to manage.
I will tell you that reputation management is not perfect, but it is a great strategy that can improve a business that has very little online visibility and help a business to control how they are perceived. The old rule on word of mouth is that if someone has a negative experience they are more likely to tell a friend or even a few friends. Someone that has a positive, but less than unforgettable experience, is a lot less likely to tell anyone. This social tendency is why it might be difficult to garner positive public feedback for a business. Reputation Management can help prompt more reviews and customer feedback to improve internally and learn about potential problems before they hit the web. From our perspective, its a lot less risky to take a proactive approach.
There a few things you can do. First of all, you need to go ahead and google yourself and look at your profiles on all of your directory sites like Yelp, Google Plus, Healthgrades, Vitals.com, RateMDs etc. and see what people are saying. If they aren’t saying anything, your risk lies in that people are now exposed to your competitors that might have lots of positive reviews. If they are saying less than stellar things about you then you have an even larger risk of losing business.
Next, you need to think or have your marketing manager come up with a way to start getting feedback from your patients. You also need to let it be known to the staff that this is an important thing to the office and that they need to start looking for “referable moments” for reviews. If you do find negative comments online there are some very specific things you should do and not do in order to qualm the situation and avoid a public PR catastrophe. Fill out your information in the form below and we will email you our best practices on responding to reviews.
In addition to the manual way, there are systems that people are using to capture more positive reviews and filter out reviews of unsatisfied patients before they decide to make their thoughts visible to the world. It’s even a larger challenge to drive people to more uncommon review sites like Healthgrades.com. This is also where reputation management services can come in handy. The below graphic is crude diagram of how we can use internal surveying to build your reviews in a proactive manner. When we integrate this strategy with a custom software application you get a custom portal for managing your online reputation.
The Customer Feedback Portal
Why are reviews good for SEO?
It’s fairly simple and I will delve deeper on this subject in a later blog. Positive reviews are notated by search engines like Google because Google likes to show high quality results. A business with a 4-5 star reputation will get much more visibility than a business with a 3 star reputation. Also search engines look for fresh content related to the business and reviews are a great notification for Google to know that your business is alive and well.