Online Reviews for Dentists: The Secret to Winning Over New Patients

Why Do Online Reviews for Dentists Matter So Much These Days?

We all know how it goes – you need to find a new dentist, so you hop online and start researching your options. But how do you sort through all the listings to find the right fit? More often than not, you turn to the court of public opinion: online reviews.

These days, reviews are everything when it comes to attracting new patients to your dental practice. They provide that all-important social proof that helps potential patients decide if you’re the real deal or not.

online reviews for dental clinics


The Modern Patient Journey

Think about it – finding a new dentist is a big decision for many people. They go through a whole journey: first realizing they need a dentist, then researching options in their area, building interest in a few practices, ultimately deciding on one, and finally booking that first appointment.

Reviews play a pivotal role in that interest and decision phase. Positive reviews help patients build confidence in your skills and practice, while negative ones raise red flags.

The Proof is in the…Well, the Reviews

The stats don’t lie – a whopping 88% of consumers check online reviews before choosing a dentist or doctor. But not all reviews are created equal when it comes to swaying potential patients. For dental practices in Australia, the magic numbers are:

    • A review rating of at least 4.7 stars

    • A minimum of 150 total reviews (the more the merrier!)

With that level of stellar reviews, you position yourself as the obvious top choice in your local area. Anything less than these metrics, people won’t take your practice seriously.

Why Google Cares So Much About Reviews

Search engines like Google want to provide the best possible results for user queries. Part of determining quality and relevance for local businesses is looking at…you guessed it, online reviews!

Google looks at four key review factors that impact a dental website’s search rankings:

    1. Number of Reviews: More reviews = more credibility in Google’s eyes.

    1. Overall Rating: A higher star rating indicates you provide a superior service.

    1. Freshness of Reviews: Practices acquiring new reviews consistently rank better.

    1. Response Rate: Taking the time to respond to all reviews shows you value feedback.

But it’s not just about the numbers. Google also scans the actual text of your reviews when matching you to relevant search queries. The more detailed and descriptive your reviews, the more opportunities for Google to associate your practice with specific keywords and services.

Actionable Tips for Getting More Quality Reviews

Okay, you’re convinced – reviews are critical for reaching and converting new dental patients. So what can you actually do to start raking in those coveted 5-star praises?

Strike While the Treatment is Hot or Should You?

The optimal time to request a review is right after a patient’s appointment, while their experience is fresh in their mind. Ask office staff to kindly request a review from patients as they’re checking out. 

But, reviews can also be asked for during wait times and just before the service. You just need to ask for one appropriately. Do not leave it to only with the receptionist, dental assistants can also play a big role in collecting reviews. If your practice offers a brief consulting service before the service, this could be the best time to ask for a review.

online reviews for dentists

Pro Tip: Don’t have them leave the review on your guest WiFi – that can look like you’re inflating things. Instead, provide clear links or QR codes patients can easily access later.

Honesty is the Best Review Policy

It’s tempting to just plead for positive reviews, but that’s a no-no. A better approach is to genuinely ask patients about their experience first:

“Hi Sandy, I’m so glad you came in today. What did you think of your appointment?”

Let them share feedback, good and bad. Then, follow up with:

“That’s great to hear! If you don’t mind, would you be willing to leave a quick review online about your visit? Your feedback really helps us out to reach more new patients so they can also receive the same benefits as you did.”

This method feels natural and allows patients to give their fully honest opinions. Want bonus points? 

Role play with your staff so they get comfortable with this verbiage. Come up with better scripts and practice them in the clinic.

Incentivise Your Review Builders

Your front office team are the boots on the ground when it comes to collecting reviews. Motivate them to make it a priority by running fun contests and incentives around review goals. For example:

    • Lunch on the practice for every 25 new reviews received.

    • $25 Movie Ticket for each staff member after hitting 100 total reviews

    • A pizza party when you hit that 150 review benchmark!

Just steer clear of directly paying for reviews, as that’s a no-go in many places.

The Huge Payoff of Being the Review Rockstar

Putting in the hard work to generate a constant stream of glowing reviews doesn’t just feel good – it leads to some serious dividends:

    • Revenue Boost: Dental practices with elite online reputations earn $100,000 – $150,000 more per year on average than their lower-ranked competition. On the flip side, having a week reputation online means revenue drain of this magnitude. The questions is whether you are ready for such magnitude of loss for your practice.

    • Search Dominance: When you utterly crush the local rankings on Google, Bing, and other search engines, you get floods of new patients finding you through online searches.

That’s the power of authentic patient reviews. With rave reviews backing you up, new patients get reassurance they’re choosing the absolute best dentist in town. The kind of credibility no advertising budget alone can buy.

So if you’re looking to stand out amongst your  competiton and in the nearby suburbs as the best dentist, start by making Google Reviews your top priority. Implement the tips above and position yourself as the destination dentist in your town.

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