Why 5-Star Google Reviews are Vital to Practice Growth

There is a little spread in the stats, but somewhere between 77% and 86% of people looking for local business use the Google maps application to find a result. The same goes for potential patients looking for a new dentist.

I’m not sure if those numbers mean anything to you, but for a dental marketer, it’s astounding. If building your Google review profile isn’t right up at the top of your marketing initiatives, you’re missing the boat.


Everyone knows that Google reviews are valuable, but not everyone knows exactly why they’re helpful.

The word on the street is that Google reviews help you rank higher in the search engine. At least I’ve heard this at some recent marketing presentations. 

Usually, that claim comes from dental marketing companies selling Google review aggregation software. They’re not right, but they’re not completely wrong. 

Getting more Google reviews slightly impacts local SEO rankings, but it’s not much. I would estimate less than 10% of the local ranking algorithm.

If that claim were true, you would find the dentists with the most reviews always at the top of the Google map. But in our exhaustive local dental SEO research project, which included more than 28,000 dental practices across the USA, we found that it’s just not the case. 

Practices with the most reviews did not consistently rank higher than other practices in their area. 

So, don’t worry about outranking your competition by trying to get more Google reviews. It’s probably not going to work. If you want to outrank your competition, you need to start doing dental SEO, which is another conversation.


Consumers have come to trust Google reviews as much as personal recommendations. Around 50% of consumers a few years ago valued Google reviews as robust as personal recommendations, but now it’s close to 90%.

What this means is a 5-star Google review is as valuable as one of your patients recommending your office to their friend. And if you remember back to your college marketing 101 class, you learned that word-of-mouth marketing is the most valuable form of marketing. It’s inexpensive and has a high conversion rate. 

The real reason why Google reviews are so valuable is not that it helps you rank higher; it’s because you will be chosen over other practices. If you’re the third listing on the Google map, but your review profile is kicking some serious booty, you will get the phone call.

We know this because we’ve been tracking dental practice phone calls through Google maps for years. When a practice’s review profile is better than the competition, they start getting more calls, even if their rankings have not gone up.

But, here is the big kicker…


Google reviews have become so ubiquitous and trusted that they’re now becoming a filter for all marketing. 

What do you think happens when a patient drives by your practice and says to themself, “They’re close; I should check them out.” What about when someone opens your print mail piece? How about when they see your billboard? 

It doesn’t matter how a potential patient finds out about your practice. It could be through referral marketing, billboards, driving by, or any other marketing initiative, but close to 90% of potential patients will check out your Google review profile before calling your practice. 

If your review profile – for a lack of a better word – sucks, how much marketing investment are you losing? Just listen to what Jessica Schrippia from the #1 Google reviewed practice in America says about it. Or hear what Oscar from Antoine Dental Center did when they got more than 2,000 Google reviews.


You need to put a plan together and get some buy-in from your team. An excellent place to start is to set an aggressive goal in a short time frame. 

If you read through the Google review annual report, you’ll see how many reviews some of the best practices in the USA have. You’ll also be able to see how many reviews practices can acquire in a month. Those stats should help you set a goal. 

Then download this complimentary Google review aggregation campaign. The kit will help you coordinate and get your team on the same page, set a goal, and launch.

I hope this helps and if you have any specific questions, please reach out.

About the author

Adrian Lefler is a dental marketer and a key member of the dental marketing team at My Social Practice. He has been involved in digital marketing for many years in the dental industry. Adrian has helped thousands of practices grow and thrive through digital marketing. Adrian and his wife Emilie have four children and live in Suncrest, Utah.

Scroll to Top