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How Online Reviews Affect Business

Reputation is everything. You may have heard this phrase used before and for a word-of-mouth industry like dentistry it’s even more true. That’s why it is essential that you take control of your online reviews. Online reviews affect business. It’s that simple. Why do we say take control? That’s because whether or not you are involved, people are talking about your business online. Even if you don’t know it potential customers are making decisions about you based on that conversation and your online presence. So, if you aren’t managing your online reputation, then you have no control over what is being said about you. You might think, “So what?” Well, here are some stats from iSocial Review & Software Advice that will show you just how reviews can affect your business.

  • 87% of consumers said they trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family, according to iSocial Review.
  • iSocial Review found that a one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue.
  • The number of people reviewing dentists skyrocketed 64% in 2014, according to Software Advice.
  • 1/3 of people said they had read reviews for doctors and dentists in the last year, according to iSocial Review.
  • 53% of people in iSocial Review’s survey said that a dentist’s online reputation was most important when choosing a provider.

The number of people reviewing dentists skyrocketed 64% in 2014, according to Software Advice.

How Online Reviews Affect Business and How You Can Take Control

Several factors contribute to your online reputation – your website, your presence, and online reviews. All of these matter with building trust with consumers. If any of these are lacking, your business will likely suffer, but if you take control and put together a stellar online reputation, then you’ll see the dividends quicker than you might think!

Your Website

Before we get to how online reviews affect business, let’s talk about your website. Your website is your face to the online world. Before anyone even sees your storefront, office or you, they see your website. So, it’s important to make sure your website isn’t outdated and it’s easy to view on any device. Click here to see some examples of great dental websites. So, here are some quick tips to make sure your website represents the quality of work you perform:

  • Update it – If a website looks old, people won’t trust it as a reliable source or you as a reliable provider. If you are not sure whether your not your site is out of date or not, ask a newer staff member to give their impression.
  • Make it responsive – Responsive web design is simply when your site will work on multiple devices, including smart phones and tablets. Click here to see an awesome infographic about 2015 marketing trends.
  • Make it easy to use – If potential customers can’t find the information they are looking for quickly and easily then they’ll leave your website and go somewhere else.

If a website looks old, people won’t trust it as a reliable source or you as a reliable provider.

Your Presence

Another important factor other than how online reviews affect business is your online presence. How much (or how high) you show up in searches will certainly determine how much business you get. So, it’s important to manage your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Here are some quick ways you can do that:

  • Create Good Content – Search engines look for original and in-depth content. This is where something like a blog comes in handy. You could write about oral care tips for your patients, plus you could use the content in your newsletter if you send one out.
  • Put Important Info First – Whatever pages you want ranked, you need to make sure they are easy to reach and only one click away from the home page. In general, that will mean putting them in your menu bar as a tab.
  • Give Each Page A Clear Theme – Make sure your home page has only your practice information, your treatments page should only have treatment information, and so on. Make sure each page has one to two keywords.

Online Reviews Affect Business

Finally, online reviews are truly key when it comes to managing your online reputation. This is where you have real control over what is said about you. People trust online reviews, so make sure they are good so people will trust you! Here is how you can do that:

  • Take Control of Your Review Accounts – The reason I say “take control” is because it is likely that there are already reviews about you. This means that pages on review sites like Yelp and Google have already been created without your involvement. However, each of these sites lets you claim it as your businesses with a confirmation method that uses information like your practice phone number. If there isn’t one, then you are lucky to be able to start from scratch!
  • Optimize Your Review Accounts – Fill them out completely – add pictures, information about your practice, and Yelp even lets you add deals that you can offer potential customers. Having a complete profile makes your businesses look more legitimate.
  • Ask Current Patients For Reviews – Let your patients know in the office or through email that you are on Yelp and Google and that it would help you a ton if they would do a review of your business. Simply asking every patient can ensure you’ll get reviews. This way you can ask the patients who are more likely to offer positive feedback. That’s how you can take control. That’s how you make sure online reviews affect business for the better!

Now you know how online reviews affect business how to take control of your online reputation, we’d love to hear about your success with gaining online reviews. At SimplePay, we want to see dentists succeed. That’s why we offer these practice and marketing tips and tricks. Let us know in the comments if you have a success story to share or if there is something you’d like us to write about. If you have any questions about SimplePay Dental Financing itself, feel free to contact us.