Should Yelp really be part of your dental marketing strategy? While most answers in life and marketing are complicated, this one is simple — yes!
Every dental practice can, and should, take advantage of the huge marketing opportunities on Yelp.
Assuming that the platform only serves restaurants is one of the biggest misconceptions that keeps dentists out of the game.
While Yelp did begin as a way to aggregate restaurant reviews, it’s rampant success has expanded to include basically every brick-and-mortar business you can name — including dental offices.
Studies show that just by claiming your business, you can increase average annual revenue by $8,000. We’re talking less than five minutes of work for thousands of dollars!
Still, only 53% of dental offices are on Yelp. This means that by claiming your practice and optimizing your page you are already way ahead of the curve.
These best practices will help give you a run-down of the platform and teach you how to get the most out of your page.
How Yelp fits into your dental marketing strategy
Besides being completely free and largely consumer-generated, there are many reasons to have an active Yelp presence for your practice.
Get Valuable Reviews
Online reviews have become the foundation of patient decision making.
And when it comes to where people are going to find these reviews, Yelp has proven to be neck and neck with Facebook, more trusted than even Google reviews and the Better Business Bureau.
Improve Google search
Ignoring Yelp means ignoring its best friend (and the key to the Internet), Google.
One independent study proved that when searching for a dentist, Yelp reviews appear on the first page of a Google search 95-100% of the time.
In getting to the top of the Yelp page for your area, you are increasing visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) and boosting SEO for your site.
Communicate with patients
Being active on Yelp is just another way to connect with your patients and show that you are technologically savvy enough to communicate online.
The best way to form that connection is to respond to reviews and engage with every opportunity Yelp offers.
Setting up an optimal Yelp account for your practice
1. Claim your page
Go to Yelp to search and claim your dental practice.
After you sign up, you will get a confirmation email to complete your page.
Now you’re off to the races!
2. Add business info, images, and video
Be sure to fill out all of your practice’s information, including name, location, services, phone number, website, and hours.
Be accurate and up-to-date with all your info, particularly your hours — even if you change them temporarily for a holiday or emergency.
You can add up to three categories for your page (i.e. “General Dentist” and “Orthodontics”). Make sure you are using category names that align with your brand. These are keywords you might already be targeting in your SEO or blogging strategy.
Adding images and a high quality video, if you have one, is the best way to instantly optimize your Yelp page.
Images give patients a sneak peek into your office and make it more likely for them to explore reviews.
Finally, don’t forget to add a short description that includes who you are, what services you offer, and why a patient should choose your practice.
The goal of this section is to be authentic and reflect your brand.
Yelp also lets businesses recommend other businesses in the area. If you have other locations or partners in the area, now is the time give them a shoutout!
3. Encourage (but don’t solicit) reviews
Yelp draws a hard line at soliciting for reviews. Their recommendation software is designed to distinguish between authentic and clearly-solicited reviews.
So while you should never ask for Yelp reviews, you can leave breadcrumbs to lead patients to leave a review.
Getting a “Find us on Yelp” sticker for your practice window is an easy way to remind your patients to leave a review or check in.
You can receive a free sticker by filling out this form.
4. Stay active and respond to reviews
It is important to check in regularly, at least once a week, with your Yelp page.
Yelp users are able to add reviews, photos, comments on other reviews, and even submit edits for the page. With all of these opportunities for patient engagement, checking in is a must.
Beyond just logging in, engaging with patients is key.
Responding to every review, whether good or bad, is a small gesture that helps build a community around your practice.
Yelpers are a loyal crowd, and it’s the little things that go a long way.
5. Create a Yelp Deal
Yelp Deals are great for attracting mobile users who are deciding between two practices.
The Deals are prepaid offers that give patients a discount for checking in at your practice. While there are no upfront costs, Yelp does collect a percentage if the deal is claimed.
You can also give away free check-in offers that aren’t tied to huge discounts.
Even if it is just an extra free toothbrush for the check-in, that could be the deciding factor between two equally-qualified practices.
Get started today
It’s time to help Yelp do some marketing for you!
By setting up a strong and active Yelp profile, you can unlock huge growth for your dental practice.
Learn more about how RevenueWell improves case acceptance and creates more close-knit relationships between dentists and their patients.