Why Are Google Reviews So Important For Your Healthcare Practice?

In the digital age, the success of your dental practice heavily relies on your online presence. One of the most critical components of this presence is Google Reviews. These reviews can significantly impact your practice’s reputation, visibility, and patient acquisition efforts. Let’s delve into what Google Reviews are, why they are vital, and how you can effectively leverage them to boost your practice.

What are Google Reviews?

Google Reviews are user-generated evaluations hosted on Google My Business (formerly Google+ Business) pages. These pages are free to create and are essential for any business wanting to establish an online presence. For a dental practice, having a Google My Business page is crucial. It not only provides a platform for patients to leave reviews but also serves as a detailed business profile that can appear in local search results and on Google Maps.

To get reviews on your Google My Business page, you need to encourage your patients to visit your page and submit their reviews through their personal Google accounts. This process is straightforward but requires consistent effort to remind and motivate patients to share their experiences.

Why are Google Reviews So Important?

The dominance of Google in Search Engines

Google is the undisputed leader in the search engine market, handling approximately 70% of all internet searches. Google is likely people’s first stop when looking for dental services online. Ensuring your practice is prominently featured in Google search results is imperative. Google Reviews play a significant role in enhancing your visibility and credibility in these search results.

Mobile Search Prevalence

As of 2015, mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches. When someone searches for a dentist on their mobile device, Google Maps often appears at the top of the search results. The practices with the most reviews and ratings are more likely to be featured prominently on this map. This visibility can be a game-changer for attracting new patients searching for dental services in real-time and on the go.

Trust and Credibility

Google Reviews are considered “certified” reviews, meaning they carry more weight and credibility than testimonials on your website. Potential patients trust these reviews because they know they come from verified users with Google accounts. This trust can significantly influence their decision to choose your practice over competitors.

Enhanced Search Engine Ranking

Positive reviews build trust and positively affect your search engine ranking. Google’s algorithm considers the number of reviews and overall star rating when determining your practice’s position in search results. More reviews and higher ratings can improve your organic search ranking, making it easier for potential patients to find you.

Influencing Patient Decisions

Our healthcare marketing agency listens to hundreds of new patient phone calls every month, and a recurring theme we hear is, “I called you because you have so many good reviews.” This feedback underscores the direct impact that positive reviews can have on patient decisions. When potential patients see many positive reviews, they are more likely to trust your practice and choose to make an appointment.

Building a Strong Google Reviews Strategy

Given the importance of Google Reviews, developing a strategy to generate and manage them consistently is crucial. Here are some effective strategies to help you build a robust review profile:

Create and Optimize Your Google My Business Page

If you haven’t already, create a Google My Business page for your practice. Fill out all relevant information, including your address, phone number, business hours, and services. Add high-quality photos of your practice to make the page more engaging. An optimized page helps search rankings and provides potential patients with all the information they need to choose your practice.

Encourage Patients to Leave Reviews

Encourage satisfied patients to leave reviews by making it easy for them. You can do this by:

  • Providing direct links to your Google My Business page in follow-up emails or text messages.
  • Including a review request card with the link after their appointment.
  • Training your staff to ask for reviews during checkout or follow-up calls.

Respond to Reviews

Engage with your reviewers by responding to their comments. Thank those who leave positive reviews and address any concerns raised in negative reviews professionally and promptly. This shows that you value feedback and demonstrates your commitment to patient satisfaction to potential new patients.

Monitor and Manage Your Reviews

Monitor your Google Reviews regularly to stay on top of new feedback. Use tools like Google Alerts or third-party review management platforms to track what’s being said about your practice. Address any issues raised in reviews quickly to maintain a positive online reputation.

The Impact of Online Reviews on Consumer Behavior

According to a BrightLocal survey conducted in 2014, 88% of consumers read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business. Furthermore, 85% of those consumers read up to 10 reviews before deciding. This statistic highlights the importance of having a substantial number of positive reviews. More than just one or two reviews will be necessary in today’s competitive market.

It’s easy (and FREE) to set up a Google+ Business Page for your practice!

The market for new patients is incredibly competitive. If you are not using the free tools that Google has made available, you are missing out on innumerable opportunities. Setting up your Google+ Business page is easy (https://www.google.com/business) and can be completed in just a few steps!

Got questions? We have answers! Email me at ben@practicetreatmentplan.com.

Next week we will discuss ways to encourage your patients to post reviews to your Google+ Business page!

Practice Success,

Benjamin Suggs
Chief Healthcare Marketing Strategist
Practice Treatment Plan, Inc.
Practice Treatment Plan
6340 Sugarloaf Pkwy #200
Duluth, GA 30097