Do you know how your practice appears online? Before setting foot in a doctor’s office, 97% of patients look up a physician or practice online, and more than 90% consult online reviews to make their decision. Most of your patients know your reputation before you ever meet them.
The good news? You can control and improve your practice’s online presence.
Let’s talk about your Google search ranking
The first page of Google essentially serves as your business card. It doesn’t matter what any of your advertisements say if online contents of your practice don’t look good at first glance. Prospective patients will find a physician that does.
It’s also critical to rank high in search results for phrases like “doctors near me”. Your ranking is affected by several factors, such as how many reviews you have, how high your average rating is, how recent your reviews are, and how many sites you have reviews on to name a few .
Not only do search engines consider reviews important — patients do as well. In fact, most patients trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. Patients increasingly value quality of care over affordability, and they’re willing to spend more money on a doctor they deem more qualified. So how do patients determine a doctor’s quality of care? By reading through other patients’ experiences: nearly half (48%) of patients say that positive reviews can convince them to go out-of-network for a physician.
How can patient reviews get you more new patients?
As impactful as patient reviews are, you can’t leave your entire review strategy up to your patients. Just a little effort on your part can give you a huge leg up on the competition.
Successful doctors today are turning reviews into new patient growth by:
Collecting new reviews on a regular basis
How: Ask every patient for a review after their appointment, and provide an easy way for patients to leave their reviews right then and there. You know how it is: the more steps involved, the less likely a person is to complete the task. Reviews are no different. Patients will be happy to leave a review if it doesn’t seem like a chore. It’s no surprise that text messages have proven to have the highest conversion rate of review request to review–patients are on their phones all day already, what’s one little review?
Monitoring and responding to those reviews in a timely manner
How: Thank happy patients for their great feedback and resolve unhappy patients’ issues. This not only strengthens relationships with your existing patients; it also proves to prospective patients browsing your reviews that you care about the happiness of each of your patients. If you can catch any unsatisfactory reviews early on, you can address any issues before negative reviews go into third party review or business sites such as Yelp.
Marketing reviews across the internet
How: Since not every prospective patient checks the same review site, share your Google and Healthgrades reviews on your Facebook business page, share your Facebook reviews on your Google+ page, and so on to get those awesome testimonials in front of more prospective patients. Once you start stacking up the reviews, there are little tricks you can do to dominate search results even more. Enable rich snippets to show star ratings from your reviews in organic search, and if you’re running any Google AdWords campaigns, you can enable Google Seller Ratings to make your ads stand out from the herd with star ratings from your great reviews.
Wait a minute, all of this sounds like a full-on strategy. You don’t have the time to follow up after a visit, you’re busy helping other patients.
There are tools designed specifically for doctors like you. These tools are called reputation management platforms, and you don’t need to know anything about marketing. These tools such as BirdEye let you send HIPAA-compliant review request texts and emails to your patients with varying frequency that direct them to sites you care about most, like Google or Healthgrades. These tools can also send alerts for new reviews, and you can respond if necessary right from your phone. To give your search ranking a healthy boost, use these tools to build each of your locations its own SEO-optimized review microsite displaying all your reviews from all sites, your up-to-date contact information, and the option to book an appointment. You can also choose to automatically promote your reviews to your social media pages to reach a wider audience of prospective patients.
With the automated reputation management solutions available for doctors today, there’s no such thing as being “too busy” to manage your reputation, and one of our app partners, BirdEye, provides a powerful platform that can achieve everything above with little to no effort on your side. Getting started with BirdEye is easy with DrChrono EHR: review requests can be sent automatically to every patient after an appointment is marked “Complete” in DrChrono.
To give your search ranking a healthy boost, BirdEye builds each of your locations its own SEO-optimized review microsite displaying all your reviews from all sites, your up-to-date contact information, and the option to book an appointment. You can also choose to automatically promote your reviews to your social media pages to reach a wider audience of prospective patients.
With the automated reputation management solutions available for doctors today, managing reputation for medical practices has become much easier and streamlined. Although you might not think of your practice as a brand, your patient feedback (or lack thereof) is your brand — so what are you waiting for? Take control of it and turn them into assets.
Interested in learning more about DrChrono? Request a demo below and get started.
BirdEye is a reputation management software designed to help doctors use patient reviews to grow their practices. No marketing team? No problem. The BirdEye platform makes it easy to collect reviews from every patient automatically on sites like Google, manage all reviews in one place, and market reviews across the web to reach more prospective patients.
Article by Helen Irias, Product Marketing Manager at BirdEye
Helen Irias is a Product Marketing Manager at BirdEye with years of experience in reputation management strategies and technology.