shutterstock_1639352191Online reviews have never been more important to small businesses. Almost everyone reads them, and almost everyone is influenced by them. Healthcare providers, including dental practices, are among the small businesses for which the most reviews are read.

According to one survey, ninety-two percent of consumers read online reviews before deciding whether to part with their hard-earned money. Probably because they are written by ordinary people, these reviews do more to influence a business’s reputation than anything else. Most people trust them as much, if not more, as the recommendations of family and friends.

In terms of global traffic, Google and Yelp are among the Internet’s top review platforms. More than half of all consumers, in fact, visit a business within forty-eight hours of Googling them.

Bad Reviews

You can’t please everyone, and bad reviews are going to happen now and then. It’s important to always keep that in mind. Remember too that, as we have written elsewhere on this blog, there are actually benefits to an occasional negative review.

One bad review isn’t much to worry about, but they are never to be taken lightly. Most negative reviews are driven by financial or billing issues. Sometimes customer reviews cross a line: they are grossly unfair or even untrue, and written by someone with an axe to grind. To make matters worse, there are companies trying to take advantage of that: they’ll offer to remove bad reviews for a fee – in order, they usually say, to protect your online reputation.

If you are approached by a company promising to remove any bad reviews, take a pass. Such offers are at best unreliable and at worst deceitful. Your online reputation does matter, and promoting and protecting it is a subject in and of itself. But it is virtually impossible, in most cases, for a third party to remove – that is, to permanently delete – a regular bad online review from a legitimate patient.

What You Can Do

The platforms that provide customer reviews want to present information you can trust: opinions that are honest and authentic. Google and Yelp both have strict policies about review content, and will delete any that deviate from them, such as:

  • Abusive reviews
  • Reviews from current or past employees
  • Fake reviews
  • Unsolicited commercial content (spam)

Removing a review can be an uphill battle, but it can be done – especially when the facts are on your side.

ProspectaMarketing is an experienced Internet marketing firm; we understand Google and Yelp review policies, and know when it’s worthwhile to fight to remove negative reviews. We specialize in dental practices and use the tools of Internet search marketing to help you reach key prospects who are looking for what your practice has to offer. Our unique and thorough approach provides visibility, financial accountability, and ongoing refinement and improvement. You can find out more by contacting Lane Anderson toll-free at 1-877-322-4440 Ext 101, by email using the form on our Contact Us page, or online at