I’ve always taken it at face value that every orthodontist needs to make a concerted effort to amass hundreds of positive google reviews. Why would someone dare question something so obviously true? Like you, I get bombarded on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and via email by “experts” who tout their ability to get you the reviews that are so essential to your success. All the orthodontic Facebook groups talk about who has the most reviews and why it’s important. Google is Google after all… You gotta be there in force!
However, this weekend it finally struck me that there are scores of orthodontists who have more accumulated Google reviews than they have case starts in a given year. What I mean is that there are orthodontists who only start 100-200 cases a year but have hundreds of Google reviews! That’s crazy and evidence of a seriously misdirected expenditure of effort and resources. I only realized the truth of what should have been obvious because our start up practice, Smiley Face, has only 4 Google reviews (one of them from me) and our website, MySmileyFace.com, doesn’t even show up when you search “braces Orlando” or “orthodontist Orlando”! If you’d asked me in the past if this was acceptable I would have been adamant that it was not and I would have told you that a practice in that position would suffer. I would have been wrong though. The fact is that Smiley Face gets about 100 new leads a week, we are growing like crazy and we have produced 680 k in the first four months of our cold start.
Don’t get me wrong, I like positive Google reviews and will take all I can get. All things being equal, more Google reviews are better! The point being that Google reviews are not the product you’re producing – case starts are – and your laser focus should be on maximizing the number of people you help acquire the smile of their dreams. Don’t lose sight of that! You only have so much time and effort to expend. Make sure the number of case starts per day/week/year is your primary (and perhaps only) KPI because getting distracted can be disastrous.