Dental Reputation Management

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Dental Reputation Management

Service and contracting businesses have always, to a certain degree, lived off their reputation. Friends and family would recommend certain restaurants, lawyers or handymen to each other – whatever was needed. But traditional word-of-mouth traveled not only slowly but also unreliably.

Think about how often you have been to a restaurant, determined to tell a friend or family member about it – only to forget about it, even when asked. The internet has made remembering a place easier (for example, if you remember the location you can look up its name). But before we had these modern advantages, recommendations only lasted for a specific moment and they either stuck or they didn’t.

Thanks to the internet, word-of-mouth now travels not only instantly – a bad experience can result in a negative review only minutes later – but it also distributes uncontrollably. Everybody with a phone and mobile data can access reviews and feedback from complete strangers at any time. This reality affects all kinds of businesses, including dental practices.

The task at hand then is to shape the digital narrative that results from this uncontrollable spread of information and reviews. What can you do to ensure that online word-of-mouth is overwhelmingly positive? This is where online reputation management for dentists comes into play.

Online reputation management is a way to encourage happy patients in writing positive reviews, therefore controlling and shaping the online narrative of your business. While the concept may sound overwhelming (considering how BIG the internet is and how many platforms may have to be managed), the concept itself is actually pretty straightforward – and surprisingly hands-off!

If you wonder where to start and how to go about shaping your online reputation, we have got you covered. At MarketingBlendz, we specialize in online reputation management for dentists. Let’s get started!

dental reputation management

Why Do You Need Dental Online Reputation Management?

If a patient has a great experience in your dental office but they have nobody to tell about it, does it affect your business?

In past decades, the impact of said patient on your overall business would likely have been minimal. The patient would have retained your services. But if they had nobody to tell about the great experience they had at your office, or nobody asked them where to find a good dentist, that patient would have been a word-of-mouth cul-de-sac.

In today’s environment though, that same patient can still contribute to the overall impact on your business. The way they can do so is pretty easy: by leaving an online review. The impact of that review cannot be overstated because it can be seen by anybody worldwide.

Imagine this scenario: Joe from Toronto is on vacation in Thailand. He chips one of his front teeth while eating. Not knowing the language and hesitant about seeing a dentist in Thailand, he decides to look for a dentist back home. Naturally, he consults Google to find a dentist’s office close to home.

He comes across your dental office and checks your Google reviews. The latest review he sees is a recent negative one. That negative review is followed by a positive review from a few weeks back and a mixed review from a month prior to that.

By comparison, a competitor has three times as many reviews and most of them are positive. While your star ratings are comparable, Joe is more likely to choose your competitor – simply because he has more reviews.

The example may be far-fetched, but it illustrates a point. Think about this: at least 82% of people consider online reviews as a ‘very important or important’ factor in choosing a healthcare service. In other words: about 4 out of 5 patients will check your online reviews before even giving you a call!

But that is only part of the equation. In that same survey:

– 58% of people said that a high star rating influenced their decision, with 54% disregarding anything below 4 stars

– 75% said that a positive review influenced how they felt about a business, with 48% saying that the review had to be as recent as the prior month

These numbers tell an interesting story. It means that, while your average star rating matters to a majority, you also need to be able to back this rating up through recent positive reviews. In other words: there is no quick fix for online reputation management for dentists. It is an ongoing necessity. You have to be ahead of the curve and not only perform in terms of quality but also quantity.

Dental Reputation Management: Building a Positive Attitude Towards Your Dental Practice

The key part of online reputation management is ‘management’. This includes not only how to monitor and respond to negative reviews, but also how to encourage positive feedback and balance all three aspects. But before we get to that, there is one other question: how do you get reviews on an ongoing basis?

To find the answer, let us go back to our survey. The best way to ensure a review is to make sure that your patient’s experience is thoroughly positive. In the survey, 88% said they were ‘very likely’ or ‘likely’ to leave a review if the business went above and beyond to ensure their client or customer had an exceptional experience. 53% said that an email or text from the business would influence them positively in leaving a review.

The combination of both then seems to be the answer: providing great service (as you already do) and reminding your patients to relay the great experience(s) they have had with your practice. The sooner you do so after their appointment, the better.

So much for positive reviews. But what about the negative ones?

The good news is that you don’t need to worry about how to get those negative reviews. Much like death and taxes, they are basically inevitable. While it never feels good to be on the receiving end of a negative review, you mustn’t panic. You can’t win ‘em all.

Instead, consider negative reviews somewhat of a necessity. In fact, they are not necessarily all that bad when it comes to online reputation management. You can even embrace an occasional negative review! This may sound odd but there is a logic behind it.

A lack of negative reviews can lead to the impression that your reviews are largely fake or spam. (The same holds true for a lack of middle-of-the-road reviews). As a result, your page may be flagged and suffer in terms of search rankings and SEO For Dentists.

If negative reviews are not all that bad, the real question then is how you react to negative reviews. This is where your true opportunity lies. Neglecting negative reviews can seem arrogant and dismissive. At the same time, you want to avoid getting sucked into a back-and-forth with the reviewer. The best reputation management services help you in navigating the waters of negative reviews and find that healthy middle-of-the-road approach in close coordination with you. Eventually, you can change that unfavorable review into a positive one.

More Positive Dentist Reviews Drive More New Patients

What is the bottom line? What can dentist reputation management do for your practice? Here are three concrete benefits the best reputation management services can offer your business.

Improves Conversion Rates

As we said: the internet is word-of-mouth on steroids. With over 80% of people looking at online reviews before even considering a practice, the quality and quantity of those reviews matter. Every single one of those is a potential patient. The better your online reputation, the more people will seriously consider your practice – and eventually sign up as patients.  

Affects Search Rankings and SEO

There are so many things that affect search rankings that it is pointless (if not impossible) to list them all. One of them, though, is online reviews. Why? Plainly speaking, search engines favour sites that seem trustworthy and knowledgeable. While knowledge is indicated, for example, by frequent use of certain keywords, trustworthiness is assigned by customers or patients. One way to signify trustworthiness is through positive online reviews. It makes sense, too. The happier people are with your expertise, the more reliable you appear to search engines.

Connects With Patients

The entire concept of reputation management for dentists as laid out here is based on your relationship with your patients. It begins with your extraordinary service. This service makes your patients happy. In return, they leave a positive review online. These positive reviews are then generating more leads (read: patients). Both parties benefit: the better your service, the happier your patients. The happier your patients, the more reviews you get. The more reviews you get, the more patients you get.

All three points are interconnected. A good connection with your patients leads to more (positive) reviews. More positive reviews lead to higher SEO rankings. The eventual goal of all three points though is the same: bringing in more new patients.

Have Your Satisfied Clients Promote Your Marketing For You

When it comes to word-of-mouth promotion, the internet is your megaphone.

With an increasingly long list of online review sites and number of users, the importance of the internet cannot be overstated. From Yelp to Google Maps to Healthgrades: most of your online reputation consists of reviews and patient feedback. The image your patients paint on each of these sites has the power to influence your business and supply you with new patients.

In essence, reputation management therefore can be viewed as free marketing provided by your happy patients. The first question then is how to motivate your patients to conduct this Dental Marketing Service. As mentioned above, most patients will act on their own if they felt you went ‘above and beyond’ and a majority will also react to communication (texts, email, etc) asking them for feedback.

This shows the importance of following up with satisfied patients directly after their appointment. The majority of patients will be glad to assist you. After all: the longer your practice is around, the longer they will be able to get treated by you. In case you are still having a hard time accumulating online reviews you can also incentivize your patients posting online (we all know the “A Chance to Win XYZ” contests).

Once these positive reviews are online, it is then part of a good reputation management campaign to consolidate those reviews and highlight the positive reviews across a variety of sites and platforms, for example, testimonials on your website.

If you are looking for help in managing your online reputation and attracting new patients, we can help you out! MarketingBlendz is an experienced reputation management agency, specializing in online reputation management for dentists. Contact us today and let us work out a dental reputation management plan together!

Dental Reputation Management FAQs

Want to know what Dental Reputation Management is and why you need it? Wondering why it might be worth hiring a Reputation management agency and how long it will take to show results? Here are some answers to your (likely) most common questions about dentist reputation management. If you have further questions that are not listed here or would like to find out more about us at MarketingBlendz and our approach to reputation management for dentistscontact us here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Businesses and their practices are more transparent than ever thanks to the internet. Many platforms provide customers, clients or patients with the opportunity to comment and review their experiences with your business. This in turn influences future customers, clients or patients in their decision to choose a service, business or doctor’s practice.

Dental reputation management includes the monitoring and managing of your online presence on these platforms and reviews with a specific emphasis and specialization on dental practices.

Before the internet, most businesses – but especially medical practices and dental offices – thrived and failed on the basis of word-of-mouth promotion and the advantages of their physical location. The internet is like word-of-mouth on steroids: everybody can leave a public review than anybody can see.

This is why online reputation management is so important. 82% of people say that the online reviews for healthcare providers they find during their research influences their decision. This means that if you ignore or neglect your online presence, chances are it hurts your business. A few negative reviews left without a response may lead to fewer new patients in the short term. This then can lead to fewer reviews, meaning the negative reviews may stay atop your most current reviews longer. It’s a spiral trajectory.
Reputation management can counter negative reviews and encourage happy patients and clients to leave positive reviews, thereby boosting your business. It also influences your search engine ranking by boosting your brand’s credibility.

Conducting reputation management for dentists is tedious and time-consuming work. Even if you have a marketing manager or coordinator at your practice, and even if they are specialized in digital marketing, chances are that they simply lack the time for comprehensive online reputation management.

A competent reputation management agency can support your digital marketing and SEO strategy, take some of the workload off your marketing manager and support your overall SEO strategy.

Reputation management is not miracle work but much other organic digital marketing efforts (e.g. SEO) it does take a few months to show results. 

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