Potential patients are increasingly relying upon crowdsourced reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp and Healthgrades to choose their next medical provider. It is hugely important for medical providers to capitalize on this increased reliance on the opinions of other patients. The answer to this is reputation management. Managing your clinic’s reputation score can leads to increased patient visits, better SEO for your practice, and even boost the retention of current patients.
Acquiring more reviews:
The first step to achieving a successful reputation management strategy and score is to begin asking for reviews and feedback from patients. Surveys, sent through email or text, are the most effective methods of gathering these reviews. The process of requesting reviews should be automated and be integrated into a patient visit to facilitate the experience.
Online Business profiles
Creating business profiles on a variety of platforms gives your practice visibility and drives engagement with patients. These sites allow your potential patients to find more information about your clinic, in a context that isn’t your practice website. Many sites, including Yelp, Google My Business, and Facebook will allow your to claim your business page, and to then fill out the information on your profile. It is important that each of these profiles be updated with the most relevant information in order to attract patients. Information should be specific and in-depth – so don’t be afraid to go into detail about your practice’s specialties and other factors which differentiate you from the competition. Adding pictures to your profiles is another great way to engage visually with patients. Keeping these profiles updated with accurate and relevant information is an important part of reputation management!
The two elements of reputation management:
- Star rating – The star rating of your practice has is hugely important, and perhaps the strongest visual representation which influences consumer behavior. A star rating of four or above should be any practice’s target.
- The number of reviews – Having a substantial number of reviews is another important component of patient acquisition, and the groundwork for being able to engage in any reputation management activities. Recent, relevant reviews will let patients know that your practice is active and makes an active effort to engage with patients and to improve your clinic. Reviews older than 3 weeks will be considered irrelevant by patients and search engines, so it is important to build a healthy stream of new reviews.
Localized SEO and reputation management:
Search engines are extremely important for reputation management, as they display your hard-earned positive reviews to potential patients. It is important to note that higher scores in star ratings, and positive keyword usage in reviews can lead to your clinic ranking higher in search results.
Search engines will rank your practice higher in your local market if the verbiage used by patients is positive and makes it understood that your practice is an important part of your community. SEO is hugely influential for acquiring new patients. A significant percentage of the 83 foundational factors that affect search engine results are directly related to the quality, verbiage and quantity of reviews received by your practice.