New Survey Highlights The Average American’s Selection Process During A Google Search

We conducted a survey asking 1,500 US respondents between the ages of 18 to 65+ which dentist or dental clinic they would choose based on a Google search that returns several options. We asked the following question with several possible responses:

You are searching for a new dentist near you on Google, and you get several options to choose from, which will you most likely pick?

  • The one with the best online reviews
  • The one closest to me
  • The top-ranked one in the search results
  • The cheapest one
  • The one with the best-looking website

Positive Online Reviews Are Most Important Especially To Females 55 to 64-Year-Olds

When asked which dentist they would pick based upon Google search results, 43.3% of respondents to the survey indicated the one with the best online reviews.

When demographic filters were applied to the results specifically focused on females between 55 and 64 years old, the percentage soared to 52.2%. That is nearly a full ten percent increase from the general survey results.

In this our digital age, suffice to say that positive online reviews are crucial for dentists, or any other business for that matter. It is imperative for medical practitioners (including dentistry) especially, to be regarded as a reputable, if not exceptional. By having the best online reviews, this provides an essential sense of confidence for potential patients that they are putting their healthcare needs in the hands of an adept dentist, or any other medical practitioner. Reputation management is key to maintaining favorable impressions of a brand.

Close Proximity Is Key For 18 to 24-Year-Olds

The second most popular response in the survey with 19.4% of respondents was the dentist closest to them.

When demographic filters are applied to individuals between 18 and 24 years old, it increases to 23.4%, and with females within this age bracket to 25.1%. Considering that young people favor convenience and are often on a budget regarding transportation costs, it is unsurprising that close proximity would be a deciding factor.

A Top Ranking In Search Results Vital Especially For Those 65+

The third most popular response from the survey was a top ranking in search results. 18.4% of respondents indicated that they would pick a dentist who was the top-ranked one in the Google search results.

Yet, very compelling insight is provided when demographic filters are applied to older demographics 55 and older. 22.5% of respondents from this demographic indicated that they would select the top-ranked dentist. The percentage increases further with those 65+ to 23.8%. Consequently, this response is the second most popular on the survey for those 55 and older.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is vital for dentists (and any other business) in order to have an effectual search presence and stand out. Having a visible and top-ranked presence in search results considerably increases a dentist’s potential for sales and profitability.

The Cheapest Dentist Is Most Important To Males Aged 18 To 24 Years Old

The penultimate response was the cheapest dentist, with 14.4% of respondents indicating this choice.

However, interesting additional insight is provided when demographic results are applied to the results, specifically to males aged 18 to 24 years old. An astounding 28.9% of this demographic indicated that they would choose the cheapest dentist. As a result, this response is the second most popular amongst males between 18 and 24 years old.

Considering that young adults are quite often on a very fixed budget, ultimately the drastic percentage increase factoring cost is understandable.

Web Design Is Essential Especially Amongst Younger Demographics

The last, albeit an equally important response at 4.5%, was the dentist with the best-looking website. However, when demographic filters were applied to those respondents between 18 to 34 years old, the percentage increased to 6.7%. Moreover, when males between 25 and 34 were specifically targeted, 10.3% of this demographic indicated the response.

Web design is another essential component for dentists and businesses, in general, to stand out by conveying legitimacy. By having a user-friendly and search engine optimized website, dentists will attract and engage potential patients, not to mention, communicate and increase awareness of their expertise. As goes the saying, excellent first impressions are imperative with all things in this life.


With literally tens of thousands of dentists operating throughout the United States, it is crucial for them to implement certain strategies to stand out in a Google search. Given the sheer number of dentists in any given American city, things like positive online reviews, SEO, and website design are all digital marketing solutions that can be utilized to further increase search optimization with the best possible results.

Details About The Study And RMS Score


Audience: Users on websites in the Google Surveys Publisher Network

Method: Representative

Age: All Ages

Gender: All Genders

Location: United States

Language: English

Frequency: Once

Bias Table

Root mean square error (RMSE) is a weighted average of the difference between the predicted population sample (CPS) and the actual sample (Google). The lower the number, the smaller the overall sample bias.

Sarah Bauder is a senior content specialist at IronMonk Solutions. Sarah has a degree in journalism and has a decade of experience writing content at numerous renowned publications. She enjoys writing about digital marketing, business, entrepreneurship and more.

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