Getting Reviews for Your Practice...A How to Guide
Is it possible that online reviews are replacing the phone book? Given that 66% of North Americans use online search to find local businesses, user reviews are becoming a larger component in consumer decisions whether to patron a local business.
Having many reviews on online business directories, such as Google Places, Yelp.com or Insiderpages.com, can help your optometry practice in two ways. Firstly, you have a greater chance of being found. Secondly, more reviews, either positive or negative, is more unique content (i.e. validation for your site) that improves your rankings on Google.
Start by claiming your business listing on Google Places and as many other directories as possible. Claiming your listing lets you edit your practice’s information and ensure its’ accuracy. For some sites, such as Yelp.com, this also enables you to receive updates when reviews are posted and lets you email reviewers.
Next, be aware of what people are saying about your optometry practice. While you can’t remove a negative review, you can address the issue with the disgruntled customer and you can recognize loyal customers by thanking them for a positive review. Showing a genuine and honest interest in what your patrons are saying about you really counts!
Lastly, turn to your happy, loyal customers to increase the number of positive reviews. Focus on getting as may reviews as possible for your Google Places page, since this will have the most impact on your overall SEO. Ask your customers - you will be surprised how many of them would be happy to write a review, particularly with a little incentive.
Here are some strategies being implemented by our clients to get customer reviews on their Google Places listing.
If you use OfficeMate, DemandForce.com's D3 platform solicits all patients to submit reviews - and feeds them straight to Google as a certified review. Websystem2.com is also plugged into OfficeMate and can send emails to all patients with a link guiding them to submit their online review about the practice.
Once again, reviews are important for SEO because they are a big ranking factor for your Google Place page, which is increasingly how new patients are going to find you. So, remember, the more great reviews you have, the better, and the best way to fight a bad review, is with LOTS of good ones.
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