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While word-of-mouth is still the best form of advertising, these days many people look online to discover and learn about local dental practices. Maintaining a good reputation on social media and in search engine results is crucial. Here’s how to establish a strong, positive online presence.
Reviews are arguably the most important part of your practice’s online presence. When people search for a new dentist, the first thing they will do is look at the reviews. Google reviews, in particular, are popular, so your first step for creating a solid online reputation is to make sure your business is set up on Google. Claim your Google Business Profile (formerly called Google My Business) listing and double check that all the information (hours, location, COVID protocol, etc.) is accurate. Add your logo and high-quality images of your employees and facilities. Optimizing your Google Business Profile will help you rank higher in searches for dentists in your area.
Don’t stop at Google! Wherever possible online, you should be in control of your practice’s listing. Create accounts on websites like Yelp and Bing, and healthcare-related websites like Healthgrades. Claim your listing, update the business information, and add photos. Set yourself a reminder every 4-6 months to go back and check or update your listings.
Once your Google Business Profile is set up, you need to accumulate reviews. Asking your clients to write reviews is completely acceptable, but don’t spam people with email requests or post about it constantly on social media.
Whether it’s on Facebook, Yelp, or Google, replying to online reviews is a good way to show that you are active online and care about your clients’ feedback. Just make sure your notification preferences are set up to email you every time someone reviews your dental practice!
For positive reviews, simply reply with a thank you or a short, personalized message. It’s also important to respond to negative reviews. Think of it as an opportunity to potentially turn a negative experience into a positive one. Plus, how you handle the situation can affect your public perception with other clients. Be polite, address any issues, and apologize. Managing a bad review diplomatically and gracefully can make you look good in the end.
Being active in the community is a great way to spread awareness about your business and cultivate a positive public perception. Take part in local events and post about them on your social media channels. If you have a local celebrity as a client (like the mayor or a weatherman), ask for permission to post a picture on your practice’s Facebook Page, for example. Fun, behind-the-scenes content can also help share your practice’s personality.