Category: Author: David Hall
I wanted to give an update on continuing online marketing research here at Infinity Dental Web.
Back on September 3, 2014, I wrote a post reporting on the use of reviews by prospective dental patients who are searching for a dentist on the Internet. At that time I reported that we were showing that 41% of these prospective patients were looking up the reviews of the dentist before contacting the practice. This was based on data from August, 2014.
That percentage has continued to increase. For most of 2015, it was about 50% of patients checking the reviews before making the appointment. But we have had a recent sharp uptick in that percentage, and our latest data, from August 12 to November 10 2015 shows 57% of them checking reviews. Here are the graphs:
Our first thoughts, as we look for an explanation for the timing of this sharp uptick, are to look at what is happening now with online reviews. The most obvious thing is Google’s recent revisions in its display of local search results. The local pack results when you now do a location-based search for a dentist look like this:
Clicking on the stars that accompany the results for the dentist takes you to the reviews. This, I believe, does two things. It obviously increases the chances that the searcher will look at those reviews. But it also increases the awareness of online reviews and makes searchers more reviews-conscious, whether or not the stars are displayed for the dentist they are looking for.
Bottom line–if you want your phone to ring, you need to pay close attention to your online reviews. They are continuing to grow in importance, and they can make or break you.