Manage Your Online Reputation

Chris Panebianco


If you’re a dentist looking to build or expand your patient base, it’s crucial to have a positive online reputation. When—not if—patients type your name into the Google search bar, what will they find? Hopefully, positive reviews and current information about your practice.

Go ahead and try it yourself to see what results are returned. Then apply some of the tips below to enhance your online reputation. If you’re web-savvy, these tips can be applied pretty easily. If you’d rather focus on other aspects of your business, hire a digital marketing professional to tackle them. 

Build Profiles

Review sites are one of the first places consumers go when looking for a service—a salon, a mechanic, a retailer, or even a dentist. It’s important to create and maintain profiles across popular review sites as well as professional networking sites. Consumer-facing sites include Google, Zocdoc, WebMD, and Yelp. For professional networking, focus on LinkedIn.

Fill out profiles and business pages as completely as possible. Consumers expect to have information at their fingertips, and they expect it to be accurate. Make sure to include contact information and a link to your website. Check these sites periodically to make sure information is up to date.

Request Patient Reviews 

You might be surprised by what patients are willing to do if they are asked. At the end of an appointment, ask your patients if they are satisfied. If they say yes, encourage them to share or rate their experience online. If they say no, you can dig for more information and learn how to improve the patient experience. You can either ask yourself at the point of care, or implement it as part of the checkout process. 

Consider keeping cards with URLs for your profiles at reception to hand to patients. You could also send patients a followup email requesting a review after their appointment.

Address Negative Reviews

Negative reviews may slip in occasionally. The important part is to address them as soon as possible. Keep HIPAA regulations in mind, and remember that you likely won’t be able to respond in detail.

Instead, send a message with a friendly tone offering to discuss the situation offline. Include direct contact information, and make this message viewable to the public. Why bother? Taking the time to address the negative feedback and continue the conversation shows that you listen and care.

Be a Voice of Authority

Another way to boost your reputation online is by generating content that positions you as a voice of authority. Consider having a blog on your practice website where you publish short articles on topics relevant to your practice like nutrition and staying healthy during flu season. You could also look for opportunities to be a guest author on health and wellness websites. Make sure to promote your content across social media channels and via email. 

Update Your Website 

Your website should be both easy to find and easy to use. Out of date contact information and incorrect operating hours are confusing and frustrating for users. Make sure all relevant information is up to date and prominently displayed. 

If you choose to have a blog on your website, make sure to post at least once a month. If your site features staff profiles, make sure to remove them when employees move on and add them for new hires. Link to this website from all of your business listings and review profiles. 

Your digital reputation is just as important as your in-person reputation. Without taking the time to poke around and see what’s being said about you and how you’re represented online, you may never know how you’re perceived when someone Googles your name. Take control to manage your online presence to be present yourself, your staff, and your practice. 

Mr. Panebianco is chief marketing officer at Bankers Healthcare Group, the leading provider of financial solutions for healthcare professionals. Contact him directly at or visit

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