The Google Review Guidebook

By Mike Russo, May 4, 2020

The Good News on Google Reviews

Studies demonstrate 82% of patients trust online reviews before visiting a business. While all reviews and review sites are important, Google stands on top of the review podium. Google has more traffic and reviews than the next two review sites combined, including Facebook, and Yelp. Why is this significant, it means Google’s 58% of reviews are seen by an ever-increasing consumer base. It also improves their authoritative impact on products and businesses.  

Why is Google King

Where do people often first turn to look up recommendations for a new healthcare practice? Google. It cuts across all services: physicians, chiropractics, acupuncture, therapy, and rehab. Patients drop by Google to get the most up to date reviews and current perception of practices they intend to do business with.   

The Crown is Heavy

Google’s constantly evolving search engine, business listings, maps, and reviews afford patients to find all the information they search for. Thus clinics need to ensure consistent, relevant, and reliable postings to ensure improved “searchability.” It all boils down to Google’s ability to instill trust within any patient base. As a clinic owner, you must be sure to capitalize on Google’s ability to build trust for your brand to succeed.

Significance of Reviews

Google reviews aid clinics in several ways. The most obvious is their impact on local search ranking on Google. This is called SEO. Essentially it is the ranking system in which practices appear on a page following a search for a given location. Studies show 90% of clicks occur on page 1 of a search, and it only drops off from there. Thus the goal of any clinic should be to achieve page 1 status.

As Google reviews are a ranking factor in their algorithm for search results, a simple equation begins to develop. More reviews + frequent reviews + good rating review = better rankings on local searches.

How Many, How Often, Star Rating

- Patients across all age ranges expect an average of 112 reviews per service when they search online.

- 44% of patients consider reviews over one month irrelevant

- 57% of patients will not choose a business with less than four reviews 

Studies show the average star rating across all business is 4.3. Thus in the eyes of consumers, if your practice falls below a 4.3-star rating, it is seen as below average. It is a safe bet to assume the best local clinics have more ratings and better ratings.

However, sheer quantity is not the only concern. There are several sides to the review story. A thousand reviews from a year ago do not paint a picture of recent events at the practice. Hence, it is why almost half of patients desire a steady stream of fresh reviews. In the eyes of patients, it is essential they continue to have almost daily feedback. If you are a physician’s office and seeing 40 patients a day, you should be getting several reviews per day.

Get Reviews for Your Clinic

Generating Google reviews for your clinic is rather simple. The process starts with claiming and updating your Google My Business account. Oh, by the way, it is entirely free.

Once done, you now have to ask your patients to leave their feedback on Google. Here’s the process of setting up your Google My Business account into two easy-to-follow steps.

Step 1: Claiming Your Clinic Profile

If your clinic has been around long enough, you can find your listing with a simple company name search. Once you find it, all you need to do is claim the profile.

Google will send you a P.I.N. to verify that you are the owner of the practice. Most business owners choose to receive the P.I.N. through the mail, which takes a couple of weeks, depending on location. Email and phone verification are also available for select businesses.

Step 2: Updating Your Clinic’s Information

Now that your Google My Business account has been claimed, you can start adding
information to your profile that will help more customers discover your office.

This includes:
· Adding correct contact information.
· Uploading high-resolution images.
· Keeping accurate hours of operation, including holiday closures.
· Ability to publish offers and news (posts).

These steps will go a long way to make your profile look complete and trustworthy to both patients and Google’s ranking algorithm.

If you cannot locate your profile and have to create one from scratch, here is a quick guide - how to set up Google my business page.

Tips for Reviews

Since your set up is complete, it will be easier for patients to find you through Google. Before asking for reviews, here are a few recommendations to keep in mind.

Timing Really Does Matter

We hear it about everything in life, and in reviews, it is no different, it is all about timing.Studies have confirmed that 70% of patients are willing to leave a review if asked.

Suppose your patient just got the dental cleaning of a lifetime. Now, if you were to send her a request to write are view the very same day, there’s a very good chance she’ll do it. Chances she leaves feedback become slimmer and slimmer as time goes by.

Ask, Ask, Ask.

Make sure you ask all your patients for reviews - every one of them. Every client deserves to be heard even if you do not want to hear it. Often businesses like to hand-pick their patients and selectively ask for reviews only from satisfied patients. This has two implications. First, it disables you from getting complete feedback to be able to make improvements.But secondly, it significantly limits how many reviews you generate.

Google calls this gaiting, and its recent guidelines reflect an updated policy. In addition, Google does not support as it diminishes authenticity. And Google’s goal is to be as authentic as possible for the best and most accurate customer experience. Hence they try to eliminate bias and will remove reviews when this is suspected.

K.I.S.S..

Simplicity is generally a good rule of thumb. Keeping it easy will allow you to capture more reviews. Even delighted patients do not want to have to perform extra work to leave a review.

Asking by word of mouth is a great start but often is not enough, nor is it likely to yield results your practice is seeking. Asking them to try to find you online may not be the easiest option.

Luckily, there’s an easier way: sending review requests through text and SMS. By sending a direct short link to your patients, all they have to do is click the link and leave a review. It’s quick, convenient, simple, and can be done from anywhere.

Automate Your Google Review Collection

When you run a practice, time matters. And no matter how well you manage your time, there is still never enough. That is why automating the process can be a time-saving proposition. After all, time is money. With all the work you do already, we can help you achieve fantastic results to get your clinic where you want it to be.

Let review generation be part of your business, just like sending invoices. It should be best practice for all businesses, no matter the size.

Review management software can take care of the whole process for you. Clinic Builder, for example, uses deep-linking to route customers directly to the Google review form in one click. This makes the process of writing a review even easier than not writing one - especially when the patient is happy with their experience and likes your business. Clinic Builder handles this process for Google and over 150 other review sites.

Clinic Builder is fully integrated with Google, so every step of the review collection process is automatic. Clinic Builder assists you in generating. But we are so much more than that. Aside from generation, we streamline the process of review monitoring, review management, and review marketing. There are so many overlooked facets for online reviews, but with Clinic Builder, you can handle them all and turn your practice into the Leader, it deserves to be.


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