Month: October 2012

Dental Marketing News: Google Reviews Not Showing Up

If you’ve taken the time (and had the courage) to ask patients to go out of their way to post a review for your dental practice on Google, you may be disappointed. While we’ve had some client dentists say that their Google reviews were missing for a year, then reappeared, others report that their reviews simply do not show up. The problem seems to be growing. A quick search reveals, missing Google reviews are frustrating business owners across all industries. This can be a serious hindrance in dental marketing.

Why Google Reviews Disappear

Google troubleshooters are looking for answers to the problem, but the company does not yet appear to reason for the missing reviews. A few key factors may influence reviews being filtered out and unpublished. These include, but are not limited to: duplicate business listings; reviews posted prior to the Google+ Local launch (a few months ago); the sorting of reviews, as selected in a dropdown menu by the reader; a review having a URLs (not allowed); or Google marked the review as spam. Unfortunately, Google does not share the criteria for spammy reviews, so you cannot know whether this is the cause of your problem — or how to fix it.

Here’s Google’s review posting policy.

Where Are the Missing Google Reviews?

If your review posters (patients) did not follow the above policy, your review may be in a holding tank. The reviewer can amend the review and republish. Google says that if a review is edited to meet the guidelines, and it is not considered spam (for unknown reasons), it could become public immediately. Read More

Dental Marketing: Is ZocDoc a Wise Investment?

Today I received an email from one of our client dentists in Pennsylvania. He wanted to know whether ZocDoc is a good investment. Since is a type of dental marketing service, I thought I’d do some research and present my analysis and recommendation here on the MDPM blog. If you’ve had experience with ZocDoc and would like to share it with MDPM readers, please comment on our Facebook page.

What is ZocDoc?

ZocDoc is an online appointment-setting service for healthcare professionals. It primarily helps doctors fill empty appointments in their schedule. Physicians, dentists, and specialists can list their practices and profile on the ZocDoc website. Patients can find a doctor, make an appointment online, and leave a review. To sign up, you fill out a form online, and a ZocDoc representative calls you. On, in an interview with Cyrus Massoumi (see below), the inventor of ZocDoc, I learned that ZocDoc started by serving dentists.

A listing includes information about a practice and the dentist’s education, as well as available appointments, and patients can simply book online. In addition, dentists can have an appointment button on their website that sends potential patients to ZocDoc to book. ZocDoc does not replace other dental marketing, so a website and SEO is still extremely important. ZocDoc is simply an addition to a good marketing strategy.

What Does ZocDoc Cost?

At the time of the video, the cost was a flat fee of $250 per month, but it’s now $300 per month. The cost covers unlimited patient numbers.

Does ZocDoc Have Good Reviews from Dentists?

The online reviews I found for ZocDoc are from patients reviewing doctors, not doctors reviewing ZocDoc. Those patients who posted previews gave it a thumbs up, for the most part. However, ZocDoc kicked off with a huge marketing campaign, and there’s no way to tell if the reviews were paid or real. These days, we have to take that into consideration, though I have no reason to believe the reviews to be fake. So, consumers give ZocDoc a nod. According to the company’s website, nearly two million patients use the service to book appointments 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Read More

Your Dental Practice’s Reputation On Facebook

Do you recall when you first opened your Facebook account and made your personal profile? Your kids may have talked you into it after years of your objections. Perhaps you were one of the first to join Facebook, and you update it from your phone, tablet, and PC many times a day. Regardless of why you hooked up with this social media monster, if you’re a professional, you need to consider Facebook part of your public relations, or PR. Sure, you can have a private life, but Facebook is not private!

Gotta Keep ‘em Separated!

Your patients and potential patients can find you on Facebook, as can your buddies, parents, and children. The best practice, for teens and adults, is to keep everything light on social networks. Ideally, you shouldn’t say or post anything you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see. If you want to talk about old girlfriends with high school buddies, or you feel the need to post a risque cartoon,  you need to keep your professional and personal lives separate on Facebook. This does not mean creating a business page; that’s a separate issue. Instead, you should set up a personal page using your college nickname (and maiden name if you’re a chick) and a professional page using “Your Name, DDS.” Read More

What is Dentist Reputation Management?

As a dentist, you probably know that you need to establish a solid reputation online and good SEO. Your website, blog, and published articles contribute to building your reputation online. In the past few years, the term “reputation management” has evolved, but it does not refer to what you publish online. Reputation management is defined as overseeing the online reviews about a company or professional. Online reviews are patient testimonials about you or your practice, posted on Google+ Local, Yelp!, and other review sites.

The Problem with Online Reviews

As companies began to notice negative online reviews, lawsuits ensued. In many cases, because the Internet is international, and because Internet law is still developing, negative reviews – even those that are false – remain publicly posted. This can become a serious problem for companies, and dentists, who rely on the Internet as an important part of their marketing strategy.

Potential Patients Read Online Reviews

According to research, over two-thirds of Americans read online reviews before making a purchasing decision. Studies also show, people are 12 times more likely to believe online reviews that information provided by businesses. Consumers who participate in online conversations usually make a decision during their interaction, and ultimately spend more on the service or product.

The most relevant statistic is that 90% of people believe testimonials from people they know,

while 70% believe reviews by people they do not know.

When you factor in that bad reviews may not always be real or reliable, the consumers seem to be making uninformed decisions, when they feel they are making very informed decisions.

How can a dentist avoid negative online reviews? That’s the big question. The answer is, you probably can’t, so you need reputation management.

Reputation Management for Dentists

As with many aspects of life, the best way to counteract bad is with good. If you’re the victim of negative online reviews, you should actively seek positive online reviews. This means, ask patients you trust to go online and leave a review for you. Point them toward the sites with negative reviews. Over time, the positives will overshadow the negatives – unless the review company filters out positive reviews. If you find this to be the case, as it now is with Yelp!, direct patients to post positive reviews elsewhere.

Many review sites allow a business to respond publicly to reviews. This is always a good idea. In the case of positive reviews, respond with a brief statement of appreciation. For negative reviews, respond with compassion and concern. Invite the reviewer to call the practice and speak with you, personally. Mention that patient service is very important to you, and you would appreciate hearing the reviewer’s story. Do not get involved in a tit-for-tat. Do not defend your actions. Instead, respond only with kind words and empathy. Negative reviews can feel like a personal attack, so you may find that crafting a positive response is difficult. MDPM content managers often script responses to online reviews, and we’ve found that as a third party, our assistance is invaluable to our client dentists’ reputations.

If your regional dental association allows dentists to post testimonials (the Texas Dental Association does not), use positive reviews as the basis for your blog posts. Promote the reviews on social networks, and feature a testimonial page on your website. MDPM dental marketing consultants can help you decide whether services like Demandforce may be a good fit for your practice. You might also consider recording video patient testimonials, which can be very powerful in marketing.

Knowing the Status of Your Online Reputation

No business can address negativity if they don’t know it’s occurring. To stay informed about your online reputation, set a Google Alert for your name, practice name, and associates’ names. With Google Alerts, you’ll receive an email every time Google indexes the word or words you identified when setting up the alert. If you run across a negative review, decide what you’ll do to counteract it, then take action.

Online reputation management is rapidly becoming an integral part of Internet marketing, and the Internet is here to stay.

Your Dental Marketing Consultant

With Modern Dental Practice Marketing, dentists have access to full-service online marketing and consulting. We’ll examine your overall online reputation, including your website, blog, microsites, local listings, and reviews. Then, we will work with you to develop a strategy to improve and maintain a solid online reputation. Our goal is always to bring a dentist new patients. If you need help managing your online reputation or marketing your dental office, call MDPM at 972-781-8861 today for our complimentary Internet presence analysis.