Word of mouth has gone digital, and online reviews matter when it’s time for people to choose a dentist, reports digital marketing agency IronMonk Solutions.
Its recent survey of 1,500 Americans between the ages of 18 and 65 and older asked people how they choose a dentist or dental clinic when using Google to find a dentist. When presented with several choices, the survey asked, which dentist would you pick? Options included:
- The one with the best online reviews
- The one closest to me
- The top ranked one in the search results
- The cheapest one
- The one with the best looking website
According to the results, 43.3% of all respondents said they would select the dentist with the best online reviews. When demographic filters were applied, 52.2% of females age 55 to 64 said they would choose a dentist based on reviews.
Favorable impressions through positive online reviews are essential for success, IronMonk says, as people need peace of mind as they place their healthcare needs in the hands of reputable and adept healthcare professionals.
Location was the next most popular response, with 19.4% choosing the dentist that was closest to them. That percentage increased to 23.4% for respondents between 18 and 24 and additionally to 25.1% for females in that demographic.
Next, 18.4% would choose the top ranked dentist in the search results. But when filters were applied to older age brackets, it increased to 22.5% for those 55 and older and to 23.8% to those 65 and older, making it the second most popular response among those 55 and older.
Consequently, based on the survey results, IronMonk said, effective search engine optimization (SEO) is vital for dentists to maintain visibility in Google searchers and therefore to increase potential profitability.
The fourth most popular response was the cheapest dentist, at 14.4%. When filters were applied to factor in males between the ages of 18 and 24, that percentage rose to 28.9%, which IronMonk said makes sense considering that it’s a student demographic with limited purchasing power.
“These results prove the importance of online reputation management, SEO, and web design for dentists. Proximity to the searcher is not something you can control, and price is not as important once you have all those three aspects covered,” said Amine Rahal, CEO of IronMonk Solutions.
“If you have good reviews, are ranked high on Google for your keywords, and have a well-designed website, you’ll scoop up a large portion of the market,” said Rahal.
The final option, with 4.5% or respondents, was the dentist with the best looking website. Yet that increased when filters were applied to those between the ages of 18 and 34 to 6.7%. It also increased to 10.3% when factoring makes between 25 and 34 years old. Good web design conveys legitimacy, especially among younger age brackets, IronMonk said.