After patients leave your office, do they leave online Google reviews? If not, you're missing a huge opportunity. Graig Presti explains how to get more 5-star Google reviews, and why they are critical to gaining new patients.
Without Google reviews, it's harder for people to conclude that they should pick your practice over your competitors'. Plus, you're far less likely to outrank your competitors in Google search results.
When it comes to reviews, your focus should be this: getting more positive, five-star Google reviews from your patients. This will set your practice apart (and push bad reviews down in the list). Be aware that reviews from most patient reminder systems don't post to Google.
The bottom line is that you need to ask each and every happy patient for a Google review. But how do you do this without being a pest? Fortunately, you've got options—12 of them. I know of 12 ways you can get reviews that patients either write directly on your Google Places page or write through third-party sites like Yelp and CitySearch.
It doesn't matter how much time you have, how many patients you have, or how computer-savvy your patients are. At least some of these methods will work for you and your practice.
1. Organic method—Make sure your practice is listed on as many third-party sites as possible. This ensures patients can find you if they feel like writing reviews spontaneously.
2. Links or clickable images on your site—Have something that patients who return to your site can click to write reviews.
3. Single-page handouts—Prepare a sheet of instructions you can simply hand to patients that walks them through how to post a review.
4. Personal e-mail—A simple e-mail with a polite request and a link can be effective. But personalize it—none of that "Dear Valued Patient" garbage. Also, consider a review link in your e-mail signature.
5. Autoresponder e-mail—If you have your patients on an e-mail list through a service such as Demandforce or Solutionreach, you can have an e-mail request that goes out automatically.
6. Snail-mail request—Although it involves a bit more work, people generally pay more attention to snail mail, especially if it's personalized and from a practice they know and like.
7. Video-A short walk-through video showing how to leave a review can be effective.
8. Social media-Patients can write CitySearch reviews using their Facebook usernames, making it that much easier for everyone.
9. QR code on a postcard—Hand out or send patients a postcard that asks them to review you by scanning a QR code. The code is linked to your Google Places or InsiderPages page.
10. QR code as a sticker or decal—The sticker or decal can be placed anywhere in your office or store. Patients can scan it with their smartphones to review you on the spot.
11. Phone call—It's kind of old-fashioned, but effective with the right kind of patient.
12. Part of a little gift you send patients—For example, you give out a pad of paper or fridge magnet with your logo and phone number...plus a request to leave you a quick review. The gift has to be something people see daily and actually use, making it a subtle but persistent reminder.
Take these 12 suggestions to heart, and you'll see your five-star Google reviews rise, your place in Google search climb, and more new patients find your office.
Graig Presti is CEO of three-time Inc. 500/5000-recognized company Local Search For Dentists (LSFD), one of the fastest growing companies in dentistry. LSFD helps thousands of dentists all over the world gain dominance in their local markets. LSFD's proprietary marketing systems have helped thousands of dentists achieve more freedom, greater new patient numbers, and the ability to reach their income goals. Visit localsearchfordentists.com/de12 for a Google reviews cheat sheet.
Author's note: If you'd like to learn more about how to get five-star Google reviews and protect your practice and hard-earned revenue, visit this site for Dental Economics subscribers and download a complimentary Google reviews cheat sheet: localsearchfordentists.com/de12.