Building strong Dental SEO for small practices comes from diligent Internet marketing. In today’s fast paced, super plugged-in world what others think and more importantly, say, about you matters. Sometimes it can mean the difference between your business succeeding or failing in the blink of an eye.

Success will require monthly, if not weekly, online reputation management as a part of your dental marketing program. I realize small or solo practices will scoff at this idea. “We don’t have the time,” “We don’t have the resources,” “I don’t really think it’s that big a deal” and other similar notions will certainly arise. This is where small firms often make a costly mistake.

Technology is an amazing tool. To many consumers, technology is nothing more than a means to an end. To some, it’s a convenient way to get a lot done quickly. To still others, it’s a form of mindless entertainment. A lot of blogs, forums, community boards, and social networking sites are filled with comments and posts not by actual customers, but by those wanting to get their name out there no matter what the conversation. These entries are usually passive to your overall online reputation unless their content goes viral in a negative way. Where a company needs to be cautious is when a particularly catchy, and usually unwarranted slam, is started either by a random poster or by your competition. Not everyone out there is who they say they are and their intentions are frequently more malicious than solicitous.

It’s these areas of the Internet that you don’t have access to that are the most damaging. Online reputation management for dentists is where you will reap the biggest rewards. By dedicating a few hours a month to your company’s social networking accounts – from posting to Twitter, adding new content to Facebook, skimming for positive and negative content on forums and sprucing up your LinkedIn page – even the smallest dental office can head-off potential disaster with a few clicks of the mouse.

Unfortunately you can’t forget the power of word-of-mouth from your own staff either. In this instant gratification world people are tweeting, posting to YouTube and Liking or Disliking on Facebook with the push of a button on their smartphones. A smiling face in the office could turn into a heavy grudge to bear with damaging consequences outside of work. Internet marketing reputation management is therefore extremely important to monitor not only what is being said about you by your customers, competitors and even vendors, but by your internal staff as well. Studies show peer recommendations weigh heavier in people’s minds than even personal experience.

Lastly, you can’t control what others say, but you can make an effort to counteract these viral discussions with positive posts, testimonials from satisfied former clients and links to glowing (but honest!) comments. Ignoring negative press will not make it go away and reacting in a defensive manner ​​won’t help either. Remember to be humble by addressing posters’ concerns – you never can tell exactly who someone is, so it’s better to err on the side of caution. It’s human nature to grab on to the negative comment before the positive one, so actively supporting those hard-won kudos, recommendations, and happy client remarks will go a long way in building strong Dental SEO.

Erin Gavin is a writer for Webfor Dentists, an Internet marketing company in the Portland, Oregon metro area that specializes in marketing for dentists and their practices on the Web.