All collectors have one thing in common: They collect. Whether it’s butterflies or Elvis memorabilia, you’re not really a collector unless you have built quite an assortment of items related to your area of interest. If you are a dental professional, chances are you want more patients, better ranking, and a great reputation online. The truth is, if you want to beat your competition, you need to be collecting reviews.
Not all types of reviews are valued equally
Just as not all baseball cards are equal, not all types of reviews hold the same value either. How can you make sure you are collecting the proper reviews for your business?
Here is a prioritized list of different types of review methods. Note how each has a place, but not all have the same value.
1. Google Reviews
If you do a simple Google search and look at the top listings, the ones who are beating your practice often have more Google reviews. The quality and quantity of reviews on Google is one of the most important ranking factors for local SEO. When a person browses the search results for a service in Google, the listings that include reviews present higher credibility and, naturally, receive more clicks.
For example, if your search result listing shows a 5-star rating with 18 reviews (and your competitor’s listings show less), that is powerful social proof that your product or service is trustworthy. From an SEO standpoint, Google reviews have carried the most value because they are directly connected to Google’s search algorithm and show within your business listing in the Google 3-pack.
2. Facebook reviews
Never one to be left behind, the social monster – that is, Facebook – also directly affects your SEO. Recent changes to Google’s search algorithms puts more value on Facebook reviews and exhibits your average star status in the search result section, comparable to Google’s review star system.
3. Review sites
Dedicated review sites like Yelp, City Search, Angie’s List, Yellow Pages, etc., are also great assets to have as a part of your review collection. While these sites do not have as much direct SEO value, they do serve an important purpose in helping potential new patients find your practice.
4. Review engines
Third-party review engines, such as Demand Force, are great for building trust and providing fresh content for your site, but if you do the research, you’ll find that Google doesn’t value them as highly as others.
Be an active review collector
Even if you have many reviews, (which is not usually the case), having a system that promotes an ongoing collection of reviews is what Google wants to see.
Use this super simple grading system to see how you are doing with Google reviews:
A = 3 or more Google reviews a week
B = At least 1 Google review a week
C = At least 1 Google review a month
D = At least 1 Google review in the last three months
F = No Google reviews in last three months
Gone are the days where you could “own” a spot on search engine results; Google does not care how long you have been in business, how many courses you took, or the fact that you are a really great person. Google ranks businesses solely based on relevancy. If your practice is gaining new reviews on a continuous basis, that signals to Google that you are relevant for your area of service.
Tools and methods that help you collect different types of reviews
- Team cooperation & goals – Get everyone involved. We have received multiple emails with feedback that points to the positive effects setting goals can have on getting more reviews. One office held a friendly contest that rewarded team members for every five reviews they got. Make it fun, offer free massages or a team lunch at the end of the month if your team reaches their goal.
- Patient handout aid – Don’t leave your patients in the dark; when you ask them to leave you a review make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Download our FREE guide to outline each necessary step in leaving a Google review.
- BirdEye – Put a system in place that encourages existing patients to leave you reviews. Our BirdEye app makes it insanely easy to get more five-star reviews. Learn more about BirdEye and what it can do for your business today!
Focusing on reviews is most likely the most fundamental exercise any small business can do to improve their marketing and SEO ranking. Reviews are one of the most cost-effective ways to build trust, generate communication, and drive traffic to your site.
What challenges have you found that make it difficult to become a seasoned “review collector?”