We live in a world of options. We have multiple options for the smallest of products and services we may require. However, there is one entity that has been able to remain a monopoly in this sea of options. This entity is Google. Based on its constantly evolving algorithms, the Google Search Engine is a major powerful business tool.
You don’t search for products and services, you ‘Google’ them.
Getting on top of Google Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) is not easy. You cannot just pay to be published, you need to meet Google’s criteria in order for people to find you at or close to the top. Let’s unpack how you can make the most of Google.
How Local Search Works
It is important you understand how Google search engine works.
So before we get into how to get seen at the top of the SERPs, let’s see how Google searches work. There are two major types of search results. One where the user is trying to find generic information, and the second where they are asking Google for specific recommendations based on location. Say, the user searches for ‘Best Dog Breeds,’ it doesn’t look like the searcher is looking to buy a dog breed, or finding the best place to buy one. He only seems to be looking for information. These results are generated based on complex and ever-evolving Google algorithms to provide the best informative piece of content online. As a business, you will not really generate much interest from these searches.
It is the second type, the local searches, that will have the greatest impact on your business. This is when an internet user searches for ‘Best Dental Practices in Melbourne.’ This is where the searcher is looking for information to help make purchasing decisions. You want to make sure that you are one of the top options Google suggests to its users.
Why, you ask? Because 88% of Australian adults own smart phones, the number of near-me searches or local searches has grown by 500% in Australia in the last two years and because 76% of the people who will conduct a local search on their smartphones will actually go and visit that place!
The Google search engine has huge potential to grow new patient flow to your practice and remind existing patients why they should be coming back to you.
Explaining Google algorithms for making it to the top of SERPs would perhaps require a dedicated blog or e-book all on its own; however, there is one element that has become exceedingly popular and can greatly help you crawl up the local search engine results – the reviews.
By only focusing on this one element – achieving top rankings so that your practice shows up on top of the SERPs, can grow your business exponentially. Here is the breakdown of everything you need to know about reviews and how to successfully integrate them into your business.
The Importance of Online Reviews
Online reviews have really taken the community by storm, and one of the main reasons is the ease of accessibility. Say you go to a restaurant; you have a great or really bad experience. You want to rant or rave about it. So you take your smartphone out and start talking about it. Give it a 5 or a 1 star and then go on your merry way thinking you have done your bit to provide helpful information to anyone else wishing to visit the place – and you have!
The only problem is that the people leaving the reviews are only those customers that are extremely motivated to do so. The only people talking are the ones who had some sort of a ‘life changing’ experience at the restaurant or a hotel or dental practice. Not many people are going to get online and say ‘So I went for a root canal and it went fine, I don’t have any pain.’
That is highly unlikely; the only patients who are likely to do this are the ones that either had a bad experience, or an extremely satisfying one where the root canal was paired with a very friendly dentist. The good or ‘uneventful’ experiences where the cavity was filled or the teeth were cleaned would hardly get a review. Hence, the reviews – if left simply to those motivated to do them wouldn’t truly be a fair reflection of the service that you provide.
Tips on Getting Reviews from Patients
- Make sure they leave a review before they leave the practice Because by the time they hit the road or get home, their minds have wandered to other tasks and the chances of them leaving a review become quite low.
- Don’t influence their decision. For instance, don’t ask them to ‘leave a five star review.’ Just request them to be honest and talk about their experience.
- Ideally you should have around 100 reviews before you can finally start seeing results on Google SERPs.
- Make the process exceedingly easy. The main reason a patient might be reluctant to leave a review would be they wouldn’t really know where to go or how to leave a review. Provide links via SMS or email that would direct them to exactly where the review needs to be left.
- Ideally your practice should make it above 3.3 star rating in order to reap results. Research shows that anything below 3.3 would not even be given a second glance by the consumer. However, a good rating, what you should truly be aiming for is an organically generated 4.0 star rating. A rating of above 4 also ensures that Google recommends you when someone looks for ‘the best dental service.’ So where the word ‘best’ comes in, you need to be above 4 to show up. So focus both on quality and quantity of reviews.
These are just some of the tips and tricks to get on top of local searches on Google. Reviews are not just great for attracting new patients but are also effective in team building and team performance. However, know that Google is an evolving machine and in order to keep up, you need to stay updated and evolve with it!
P.S. Whenever you’re ready …. here are 4 ways I can help you grow your dental practice:
1. Grab a free chapter from my book “Retention – How to Plug the #1 Profit Leak in Your Dental Practice”
The book is the definitive guide to patient retention and how to use internal marketing to grow your practice – Click Here
2. Join the Savvy Dentist community and connect with dentists who are scaling their practice too
It’s our Facebook group where clever dentists learn to become commercially smart so that they have more patients, more profit and less stress. – Click Here
3. Attend a Practice Max Intensive live event
Our 2 day immersive events provide access to the latest entrepreneurial thinking and actionable strategies to drive your practice forward. You’ll leave with a game plan to take your results to the next level. If you’d like to join us, just send me a message with the word “Event and I’ll get you all the details! – Click here
4. Work with me and my team privately
If you’d like to work directly with me and my team to take your profit from 6 figures to 7 figures …. just send me a message with the word “Private”… tell me a little about your practice and what you would like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details! – Click here