The internet gives dentists a number of great, free resources to grow your practice, Yelp being one of the best. Because of Yelp’s reach today, many people turn to them before a company’s website. Your Yelp page not only has hours and information about your business, but it also features independent reviews. And it’s in your interest to make sure your reviews are as positive as possible, while still maintaining the independent nature of Yelp.
Improving Your Yelp Potential
Keep Your Page Updated
There’s nothing more frustrating than not finding correct information for a business, right? This is especially true for those who have recently moved to the area. Yelp is often the first place new residents turn to for everything from hair salons to pizza to gyms to, yes, dentists, which means if information turns out to be false, they’ll likely go somewhere else.
When there’s a resource to help you grow your practice, you should keep it as updated as possible. If you change your website or your phone number, be sure to update it on Yelp. If a patient finds your practice on Yelp but some information is wrong, chances are they won’t be leaving an entirely favorable review.
If people can find your practice in the first place, then they’ll leave reviews for others who are in the same situation.
Respond to Negative Reviews
Yelp gives you the chance to respond to reviews, so take advantage of it. Diplomatically and without sass, of course. Unless it just needs a sassy response, by all means go for it. But maybe we aren’t the best person to ask on that specific point, so you didn’t hear it from us.
Anyways, take the time to really try to understand what the patient means in their review. Depending on their mood and how fresh the experience was for them, it could be emotionally-charged or it could be very matter-of-fact.
Either way, work to understand their position and clearly explain your position. It may not change their mind, but if others see how well you respond to negative reviews, it could negate the review completely. Business isn’t just avoiding the poor reviews, it’s learning from and managing them, as well.
Make Your Yelp Presence Known
Some may disagree, but we’d recommend not begging for reviews in return for a giveaway entry or some such nonsense. People will feel pressured to leave at least a half-decent review, and that shouldn’t be the goal.
Instead, you can post a Yelp sticker on the door, which is a subtle way of telling your patients that you’re on the website, and that they should check you out on there. The more people leaving positive reviews, the higher your practice will rank on Yelp.
You should only be scared of reviews if you have something to be scared of. If you and your staff do a great job, and the patient is inclined to post a review in the first place, then your practice will benefit from their review and you don’t need to do anything.
Pro tip: Not sure how many people are finding you through Yelp? Try adding a “where did you hear about us” question on your intake form, if you haven’t already, and make Yelp an option.
Even though there isn’t a lot you can do yourself on Yelp, ignoring this platform isn’t going to help: it’s an important way to reach potential patients. Through updating your page with relevant information, responding to reviews, and making your presence known (in a good way), your practice can continue to grow and improve your reviews.