Don't Risk Your Reputation on Fake Reviews
- Date: February 24, 2014
- Author: eDentalImage
- Comments: 0
When it comes to attracting new patients for your dental office, glowing online reviews are golden. Same goes for the opposite, because if someone writes a horrific review on a visit to the dentist that ended in huge bills and a terrible dental service job, no one will want to go to that dental office.
It’s also a fact that these reviews can be easily manipulated. Fake reviews are big business, and some SEO companies rely on the practice as a way to get some immediate results. Since patients put a huge weight on reviews and companies believe that a multitude of positive online reviews can increase their website ranking, many services try to boost their attractiveness with fake online reviews. However, fake reviews always ultimately hurt your dental office.
Why You Should Never Fake Online Reviews
1. The first and most significant reason is that it’s more than a bad idea–it’s illegal. Posting fake reviews can lead to trouble with the FTC and result in steep fines for your office.
2. Fake reviews hurt your service reputation. Most patients can spot a fake review a mile a way and will believe that any company engaging in the practice can’t get a good review on their own.
3. Unless the reviews are from actual patients, then search engines like Google will penalize your website. Once your website has been penalized, it is very hard to build your rank back up. And while you’re working hard to recover, the competition is getting ahead.
4. Some sites, like Yelp, publicly shame businesses caught paying for fake reviews. As soon as you’re caught, they put a giant badge at the top of your listing, letting visitors know that your office paid for fake reviews. Try changing the mind of a potential patient who’s seen that.
5. They aren’t as effective as organic SEO contributors, such as blogging and directory listings- so why take the risk?
So how do you drive more people to your dental practice and your website? It all starts with authenticity:
1. Provide great patient service. Nothing trumps great service in influencing present and potential patients. When you provide great service, patients are far more likely to come back, recommend your services to friends, and provide raving online reviews.
2. Grow your online influence organically. Be present and active in top local listings like Google Places, Google+, and Yelp. Getting into social media outlets such as a Facebook page and a Twitter account help as well.
3. Be patient. Solid and lasting results take time. Your efforts in providing a top notch dental service along with your efforts in growing your online results organically will pay off huge dividends in the end. SEO growth is a timely process that proves worthwhile.
Search engines are always developing new ways to weed out fake reviews, and the government is taking the problem seriously. Promoting your dental practice with fake reviews is just not worth the results, or the trouble. It will only hurt your practice in the long-run. Instead, focus on building a clinic built on integrity and trust, and the loyal patients will find you.