The Importance of Online Patient Reviews
In the medical industry in particular, patient reviews of your practice are an essential part of establishing brand awareness, reputation, and the enhancement of your SEO ranking strategy. By encouraging your patients to write unbiased reviews about their experiences at your practice, you're accomplishing a number of different things to further your business.
Benefits of Online Patient Reviews
1. Establishing brand awareness - this is a simple concept; the more your brand appears online, the more exposure people will have to your practice even if initially they're merely recognizing your name. A portion of these individuals that are familiar with your practice will become patients themselves or refer someone else in need of your services to you.
2. Developing a reputation - in this industry, a portion of new patients come into your practice based on referrals from other satisfied clients, and that is especially true when your services are categorized as elective. Independent review sites like Yelp, RateMDs and Google Places provide additional ways for people to share their experiences and reach a greater audience than they would by word of mouth alone. Your reputation will grow positively when people can see that you have a track record of leaving clients satisfied. When prospective patients have information about your reputation conveniently at their fingertips, they're more likely to make a decision without hesitation to come in if they like what they see.
3. Improving your search engine rankings - online directories like Google Places are great resources for people looking for medical practices in their area (like searching through the phone book but with a map to help you get there). The more positive reviews you have attached to these listings, the higher you will be ranked with these directories and in Google's search engine results. High rankings lead to greater exposure and can draw in more business! These directories do also provide links to your website and/or your blog, so as people click from the review those rankings are being improved as well.
Getting Patients Involved in Online Reviewing
Patients that have had their expectations met are less likely to go out of their way to post a public review than those that have been disappointed or blown away by great service. Mentioning to all clients that their feedback on these domains will help you meet or maintain an exceptional level of patient satisfaction will encourage many to share their reviews!
Additional review sites to explore: Vitals.com, Healthgrades.com. To get started with online reviews in your practice, make sure your practice is listed on these directories and the ones noted above, and then encourage patients to visit!