THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Why Reviews are becoming so much more important in your marketing – and why you cannot just re

Last Autumn Google announced that they would be pulling in other platform reviews into their organic search and this is now beginning to make itself visible in dental practice marketing.

I’ve recently been preparing some marketing audits and this week one in particular caught my eye.

Here’s a screen shot of the search results for O’Connor Moore (OCM) in Sligo on the north west coast of Ireland.

First things first – an organic search for “dentist sligo”:

Good start – #1 on Maps.

Scrolling down the same page and past the maps reveals that OCM are also at the top of open listings, so somebody is doing their SEO job well.

Of course, anyone who clicks on that first link will be taken straight to the home page of their web site.

An alternative (and this is where I get interested in reviews) is what happens if the original search term in Google is altered to “O’Connor Moore dental practice sligo” – then we are presented with a very different page:

I want to particularly draw your attention to the summary of reviews on the right hand side and under the photos:

  1. 32 Google reviews with a 5-star rating

  2. 23 “WhatClinic.com” reviews with a 96% rating

  3. 15 Facebook reviews scoring 5/5

  4. 2 Golden Pages reviews scoring 5/5

An impressive list of achievements but my main point here is that Google are now searching other reviews to give a broader perspective to the results of my enquiry.

This is the bad news for the long-suffering Front Desk, TCO, Marketing and Clinical teams in independent dentistry who “don’t have the time” and “don’t think patients/people in our practice/area are using social media/the internet.”

Wake up.

Reviews (across all social platforms) are:

  1. a critical and essential part of daily practice life

  2. aggregated by Google to improve your organic listing

  3. observed by prospective new visitors (including patient and GDP referrals) as part of their initial enquiry process

  4. the means by which the best (and the worst) aspects of your customer service and clinical care can be reported

Reviewing has put power into the hands of the consumer.

A female practice owner complained to me the other day about the risk of a 1-star review – “why not simply stay out of the race and avoid that?”

That really is a head in the sand tactic, along with the complaints from team members who don’t want to move out of their comfort zone.

Better to focus on delivering that 5-star service so that the reviews flow – and when the occasional genuine 1-star shows up (which it will) then accept the feedback and offer thanks.

Reviews mean no hiding place, so you can choose to make reviewing an asset or a liability in your marketing collateral.

OCM, like you, have to increase the number of their reviews across all channels.

I’m working with them on a complete review of all of their marketing systems and although we are at the beginning of our journey, I’m confident already that we will make a very good practice even more attractive.

How do I know that?

Because 72 reviewers told me so.

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