The Importance of Reviews for your Dental Practice

Did you know that 87% of consumers won’t consider a local business with low online ratings, 44% pay attention to the quantity of reviews, and 69% only find relevance in current reviews? These statistics play a significant role in a potential patient’s decision-making process when they are evaluating dental offices and deciding who to call. When consumers are looking to decide on a local business, they trust what others have to say about their experiences and the reviews help to build credibility. It is important to be on top of these reviews, and if you time does not allow, hire someone to manage this for you.

You can spend money on advertising, but if your online reviews are not good or non-existent, you are decreasing your chances of a patient choosing your office as their dental office. In order to effectively manage your online reputation, you need to focus on three things; review monitoring, review responding, and review generation.

• Review Monitoring: Monitoring your online reviews is important so you know what people are saying about your business. There are many review sites that patients could be going to and leaving feedback and without monitoring, you would be unaware of these reviews. Plus, the feedback is critical to your online rating. If you don’t know what is being said, then you cannot respond, engage, learn of areas to improve, or address any concerns.

• Review Responding: It is in best practice to respond to all comments about your business, both positive and negative. Responding to the positive reviews publicly shows you appreciate feedback and opens the lines of communication for future engagement. Responding to any negative reviews is important for damage control and continuous improvement.

• Review Generation: There are many ways to collect new reviews from patients. You can post your review links to your social media outlets, asking current patients to review your business. You can also train your staff to ask patients to leave reviews while they are in your dental office. The most effective way is to make it easy for patients to review you by giving them the direct link for the review site by either emailing or texting them a direct link. Using direct links make it easy for them and results in the highest acceptance rate.

A dental office’s online reputation plays an important role in generating new patients for your office. This can be done internally by setting up systems or by hiring an agency to handle the processes for you. With 90% of consumers looking at online reviews before making decisions, it is important to make managing your online reputation a priority.

Easy Ways for Dental Professionals to Give Back to the Community

As a dentist, you are a caring and compassionate professional. You care for your patients, your team members, and your colleagues. You probably worry about people from time to time, such as a pediatric patient going through tough times at home or a staff member whose spouse is in ill health. You probably also care a great deal about your community, but you might not know how best to show it. Here are 5 easy ways to give back to your community.

Donate to Charity

There are numerous dental charities, each with a slightly different focus. Oral Health America focuses on targeted oral health campaigns. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Charitable Foundation (AACDCF) rebuilds the smiles of adults who have survived domestic violence. Healthy Smiles Healthy Children provides pediatric dental care to children whose families cannot afford it. Research these and other dental charities, and then make a donation to the one that resonates the most with you.

Conduct a Free Community Dental Day

Whether you hook up with an organization such as Dentistry from the Heart or go it alone, a free community dental day is a wonderful way to directly impact lower-income people in your local area. Decide in advance which services you will offer, such as cleanings, fillings, and oral cancer screenings, and prepare for a crowd. You might also consider making it a day of fun with giveaways, lunch, and other exciting events.

Host a Food Drive

Food pantries are always in need of donations. Consider partnering with a local food bank to collect donations at your office. You can increase participation by giving a small discount or other reward to patients who bring in nonperishable foods.

Educate Schoolchildren

Help set up local children for a lifetime of excellent oral health by taking your message into the local schools. Prepare a short, kid-friendly talk on the basics of dental anatomy and oral hygiene, along with the role of a good diet in maintaining oral health. Bring some small, fun giveaways such as toothbrushes and stickers, as well as refrigerator magnets or other branded items.

Take a Mission Trip

There are numerous organisations, both religiously affiliated and secular, that provide health care including dentistry in remote regions. Seek out a group that fits your practice’s vision, and then take your skills to a foreign country for a few days.

Of course, these are just a few ways to give back. Don’t forget to tap into your own personal interests, as well as those of your team members. You might choose to build sets for (or even star in!) a play at the local community theater, donate time or money to a local homeless shelter, or sponsor a kids’ baseball team. Whatever you choose, make sure it feels authentic to you and fits with your practice’s mission, vision, and values.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at 413-224-2659 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

8 SEO Tips All Dentists Must Follow

SEO, or search engine optimization, is absolutely vital to ensuring your website’s visibility. No matter how well-designed your site may be, it does you no good as a marketing tool if no one can find it. SEO boosts your search rankings, ensuring that people who are looking for a dentist in your area can find you. Here are some quick and easy SEO tips that all dentists should follow.

Keep It Fresh

One of the easiest ways to boost your SEO is to regularly update your content. Start a blog and add new posts at least once a month. Also review your various web pages now and then to make sure the information is accurate, relevant, and up to date.

Do Your Homework

Research keywords to see what people are searching for. Develop a list of potential keyword phrases, and then run them through Google’s Keyword Planner at You will need to create a free account, but this helpful tool provides you with quite a few insights to help you decide where to focus your attention.

Write Naturally

Long gone are the days of “keyword stuffing,” or trying to shove your keyword phrases in as many times as possible. Write high-quality, authoritative content that sprinkles in your chosen keyword phrase as it naturally fits. Choose one keyword phrase per page.

Use Title Tags and Meta-Descriptions

Your keyword phrase should appear in the title tag for the relevant web page. Also write a short meta-description for each page that quickly summarizes the main content and includes the keyword phrase.

Don’t Change Domains

Choose a domain name that you like, and don’t change it when you update your website. Domain age and the reputation that your domain builds over time can boost your SEO.

Keep It Local

Claim your Google My Business page and make sure it is complete. Also list your site on Yelp and similar directories. Ask for patient reviews. Make sure you have a local phone number, not just an 800 number, and be certain that your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) are identical across all listings.

Gather Backlinks

You can create your own backlinks by linking to your website from your Twitter, Facebook, and other social media pages. To really boost your SEO, though, you will also need backlinks (sometimes known as citations) from other websites. These websites should be well established and credible, and trusted by Google. You can gather backlinks by reaching out to other sites and offering to trade links, as well as by providing guest blogs to them.

Build a Sitemap

Create a sitemap, which is simply a detailed list of all the pages on your website. If you are unsure how to do this yourself, reach out to your webmaster for help.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at 413-224-2659 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.