Customer reviews: the easy way and the hard way

TabletStewart Roode looks at alternatives to Google for patient reviews.

You’ll probably be aware that Google reviews are like gold dust because they turbo-charge your website’s search performance. The only snag is you’ve got to get your patient to jump through hoops to leave a Google review: first they must find where to leave a Google review, and most won’t have a Google account, so they’ll have to set one up.

You’re asking them to spend precious time in their busy lives; you can’t blame them for being put off, even when they genuinely want to leave positive feedback.

We’ve had some calls with Trustpilot and Feefo, two of the bigger consumer review websites that have created an alternative. These feedback review systems remove the annoying online obstacles to your patient posting a review of your dental practice. Here are the pros and cons:


  • Patient reviews are easier to gain using review services like Trustpilot and Feefo – typically an email is sent to the patient and they can reply direct within the email to write their testimonial or be sent to a form to directly to leave a testimonial there and then
  • These testimonials can then be displayed on the practice site through the use of a widget to encourage conversion and treatment take-up
  • There is a benefit of added star-ratings within PPC (pay-per-click) ads if you can gain 30+ reviews within a constant 12-month period. Google crawls the web looking for review counts – for star ratings it takes into account review counts from sites it deems bona fide (including Trustpilot and Feefo). Having star ratings on your ads makes you stand out from your competitors
  • Trustpilot’s pitch is full transparency – it argues that other review solutions allow the owner to remove or moderate reviews, whereas its goal is to have a highly trusted review platform where owners should reply rather than edit content. As this becomes more widely understood by consumers it will help you build trust with your website visitors.


  • The major drawback and risk is you might then cease to encourage Google reviews, which are highly important, prominently displayed in the search results and harder to gain
  • Even including any negative reviews, Google reviews contribute heavily to Google local rankings, so as large traffic and business generators they should still be attained regularly
  • To combat any existing or future negative Google reviews, Google reviews need to be gained regularly to reflect a true picture of your practice and push any negative reviews downwards.

And here’s my recommendation

Services like Feefo and Trustpilot can help your on-site conversion and can enhance your business’ performance in local listings to some degree.

Google reviews are important to drive traffic, more visible within Google and can cause the most damage if negative. So, to increase new patient numbers, do Feefo/Trustpilot but also maintain a strategy to gain Google reviews.

Breathe Online Marketing is a dental website specialist. For more information visit, or contact Stewart directly at

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