Why are your dental patient reviews disappearing from Google?
There has been a bit of chatter recently regarding patient reviews being removed from dental practices’ Google Business Profiles.
There may be some sort of new algorithm update or Google glitch behind the recent uptick of removals (no one really seems to be sure), but disappearing reviews are nothing new. The root cause usually turns out to be that Google detected them as being spam or fake, even if that was not the case.
The exact reason for a deleted review can be a mystery, but your best defense is pretty clear. You just need to be diligent about only having authentic reviews posted, and in a way that won’t raise any red flags with Google.
How to keep your reviews from disappearing
Here are some tips we give our clients to protect the positive reviews they work so hard to collect…
Get reviews that are local, but not TOO local.
As a brick and mortar business, reviews from your local community are most credible, and reviews from another part of the country could create some suspicion since they wouldn’t likely be actual patients. Also, having a number of reviews posted from inside your office could signal deceptive activity since businesses are often tempted to have employees post great reviews.
Collect reviews steadily, but not suddenly.
Getting a consistent flow of patient reviews is ideal to build up your reputation. Receiving several at once, however, is another common red flag for inappropriate reviews. Keep this in mind if you run some sort of email or postcard campaign to request reviews. You’d be better to break up your patient list into smaller segments and spread out your requests. If your office uses review software, you may be able to automatically send out individual review requests after each appointment, which is even better.
Request, but don’t reward.
Offering patients an incentive to go online and leave feedback can seem like a good idea to boost responses, but it is not an acceptable practice in Google’s eyes. The majority of patients are actually willing to leave a review without being “bribed” to do so. Just make the process easy for them by giving them a link to your Google Business Profile.
Put your eggs in multiple baskets.
If you only have reviews on Google and nowhere else, it can seem spammy. Also encourage patients to voice their opinions on Yelp, Facebook, and other platforms for more diversity.
Google will still be Google
Even if you follow all the right steps, Google can still unexpectedly remove your dental patient reviews. Getting the mistake corrected and having the review reinstated can be nearly impossible. If it does happen, your best bet is to simply ask the same patient to consider posting an updated opinion of your office. Who knows, if you’re doing everything right, the new review may be even better than the original one!
How’s your dental website’s SEO?
In addition to collecting dental patient reviews for your Google Business Profile, have you checked your overall dental SEO (Search Engine Optimization) recently? There’s a lot that goes into achieving dental SEO marketing success, but we have a helpful self-evaluation checklist featuring the six key factors you’ll need to succeed. Take the free quiz and see if your dental SEO passes the test.