If you own a dental practice and are seeking new patients you must focus on Google Reviews. Why?

Google is the New “Word-of-Mouth”

New dental patients come from two sources: word-of-mouth and Google. Word-of-mouth dental marketing is accomplished by providing your current patients with a welcoming environment, ease in making appointments, quality cleanings and services, and a friendly atmosphere. In many respects, word-of-mouth marketing takes care of itself by delivering a quality dental service.

Dental marketing through Google does not take care of itself. Using Google as a tool for patients to learn about a business requires effort. To be effective, dental practices must create a visually attractive Google business page, and most importantly, have current patients write reviews about the practice.

Importance of Reviews

A Google Places for Business page allows practices to reach new patients more easily and effectively than ever before. This page allows a business to be found on Google Search, Maps, and mobile devices. Reviews from satisfied patients allow people to learn more about the dental practice and improves a practice’s position in Google search. Visibility in Google search is essential to acquire new customers.

One of the most important factors in determining search ranking in Google is the number of reviews on a Google+ business page. Dental practices with active Google business pages and numerous reviews are much more marketed than those that do not. In general, the more search results for a specific dental practice, the more credibility assigned to the business.

Creating a Google Places for Business Page

To create a new Google business page, visit https://www.google.com/business/placesforbusiness/. If a business doesn’t have a Google account, it’s easy to create one. A Google+ business page provides customers accurate information like contact information and hours. It allows businesses to understand customer feedback and respond to reviews.

Convert Patients to Google Reviewers

Smaller practices often find success by directly communicating with patients. First, a practice needs to collect patient email addresses. This is accomplished by asking permission to add the patient to an email list (aka “opt-in” marketing). Businesses often collect email information when new patients make appointments. Practices may have a sign-in sheet at the desk that asks for email addresses or have the receptionist ask patients on the phone or in-person.

Once these email addresses are collected, practices should email patients directly and request them to write a review. Remember to provide patients with the direct link to the Google Places for Business dental practice page. It must be highly-visible in the email. These emails should be friendly and instructive.

Simple introductory messages are most effective. Here’s a basic example. “We hoped we served you well. It would really help our practice if you could have a few minutes to write a review or testimonial.”

Email Instructions

Patients will benefit by including simple review instructions. These instructions will help ensure that patients write reviews.

Please log in to your Google account (create one at https://accounts.google.com/signup)
Search for dentist office location on Google.com.
On the Google search result page, you’ll find our dentist office. Directly below the search result, you’ll see a star rating, link to Google reviews, and “Write a Review”.
Click on “Write a Review”.
Note: If you don’t see “Write a Review”, click on the list of Google reviews (for example, “10 Google Reviews”). A window will then appear showing the reviews. From that window, click the blue box that reads “Write a Review”.
Please rate us with a star rating from 1-5 and describe your experience in words. You can focus on how you found us or dental service.
Click “Publish” to post your review.

Ben Shaver
Lead Strategist & Consultant

Ben Shaver is a dental marketing consultant for Dental Inbound. He works with practices of all sizes.

His main focus is to develop strategies that provide congruency between traditional media sources and new media platforms.

You can email him at bshaver@dentalinbound.com