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What is the Importance of Online Consumer Reviews?

Consumer reviewsConsumer reviews were once thought to be a novelty idea, allowing consumers the ability to express an opinion about a product or service. However, what was once a novelty is now a strong predictor as to whether or not something sells. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that 9 out 10 consumers will review consumer review sites before deciding on whether or not they will make a purchase or deciding on what service company to call. Additionally, 88% of consumers polled say that they put as much faith in online consumer reviews as they do from traditional word of mouth referrals. With numbers like that, it’s really easy to see how important having positive consumer reviews are.

In addition to building your reputation and encouraging more potential patients to contact you, having good consumer reviews builds up your importance in the eyes of search engines and is a valuable piece of local SEO, or search engine optimization. They have the ability to raise your ranking in local search indexes and gets your practice in front of more people who are looking for a dental practice in your area, which will also increase your business.

Now that you know how important it is to have positive consumer reviews, it’s time to figure out how to get them.

How to Get More Online Reviews

It is important that your practice is represented on several consumer review sites. You need to set up a profile on Yelp and Google+ at the very least as these are two of the most Of course, the more people you ask, the better your chances will be that someone will take the time to visit one of these sites and leave you a review. You can also take advantage of having people leave reviews and ratings on sites such as Bing Maps, Google Places and more. However, in order to increase your odds, you should make it as easy as possible for people to submit reviews. You can add a link to your business directory profile in your email appointment reminders. You can also add links to your social media pages as well as your website. Next, you need to begin soliciting reviews from your customers. Ask your patients to take the time and leave a review on your business profiles as they leave your practice. Because it is important to have many consumer reviews and knowing that consumers place more emphasis on up to date reviews, it is important to check with your patients on a regular basis and ask them to provide you with reviews whenever the opportunity presents itself.

In order to manage your business profile, you need to check them regularly. If you find that you have received a negative review, take the time to contact the patient and address the patients’ issues professionally. Then concentrate on asking for more reviews from those patients with whom you have a good relationship with.

Lastly, avoid falling into the trap of getting fake reviews. Whether purchased or solicited from friends, family members and staff, consumers are quick to spot the differences between a real review and a fake one. Having fake reviews on your profile can do irreparable harm to your reputation and cause you to lose business.