6 Reasons Why Your Practice Needs Online Reviews
The adoption of the internet has redefined how patients search for medical practitioners. Today, the first thing most people do when choosing a practitioner is the same thing they do when searching for the best retail shop or restaurant: they conduct searches online. Whereas years back, online reviews of medical practitioners were fewer—and most of them considered unreliable—those days are gone. Today, more people post ratings and reviews of their medical practitioners online—and even more importantly, more people trust those reviews.
According to a MobiHealth report, 95% of US adults and 97% of millennials trust online reviews and ratings to be dependable. Moreover, 70% of the respondents said that online ratings and reviews influenced their choice of a medical practitioner. Ahead is an in-depth discussion of the reasons why your practice cannot afford not to have online reviews.
Why your practice needs online reviews
Here are among the top 6 reasons why your practice needs online reviews:
1. A customer's journey begins with an online search
Most often than not, when a patient is faced with a healthcare need, they begin their medical journey with a question:
Who is the best dentist near me with a four-star rating?
Who is the best orthopedic surgeon near my location?
Who is the top-rated cardiologist near me?
What kind of a doctor should I see for back pain?
Nowadays, having authority in local searches is vital for medical practices. However, getting there is easier said than done. You need to put extra effort beyond SEO. Once potential clients find you, the chances are high that they will dig deeper to assess what other people think about your expertise and services. Not having online reviews may diminish your chances of ranking high on search engines. Moreover, suppose you have online reviews, the frequency and quality of the reviews can also impact how high you rank on search engines. Creating efficient online review management will enhance your authority and credibility, thereby leading to your practice getting more clients.
2. Online reviews provide an insight into how patients perceive your practice
Many healthcare providers are squeezed for time to the point that they can't micromanage every aspect of their business. When your practice has online reviews, you can rest easy knowing that you'll get information on how well your personnel and various parts of your practice are operating.
Negative patient reviews seem both destructive and daunting, but knowing how to respond to them and being willing to improve on them, makes them valuable. Online reviews also give you insights into how people talk about your practice. How do they describe it? Does the language they use to describe your practice do justice to your marketing strategies? If it doesn't, you can either opt to use a similar language or adjust your current language to optimize keywords for your practice's online marketing efforts.
3. They can help improve the SEO rankings of your practice
Your website's rank within the search engine results page (SERP) matters a lot. According to a recent study, 71 percent of people click on the top 10 Google organic results (first page of Google). Google has not revealed the exact algorithm they use to rank websites in search results to level the playing field. However, when it comes to local rankings, they use three primary factors: distance, prominence, and relevance.
Google uses your practice's online reputation, specifically the patient reviews left on Google, as a parameter for determining the prominence of your business. According to Google, among the factors it considers in local search rankings is review count and score. As such, the more positive reviews and positive ratings your practice has, the better your chances of ranking higher in the local SEO.
4. Online reviews provide references to patients
Online reviews play a pivotal role in how patients choose a healthcare provider. Today, patients check various aspects of online reviews before deciding to seek medical care from a given healthcare provider. Among the details that patients look at when viewing your reviews, include the average star rating, the number of reviews, and the convenience and location of your practice. The online patient reviews will act as an indicator for other patients on whether they should visit your practice for their healthcare needs or not.
As such, you should endeavor to ensure that your practice has positive reviews. One way of doing that is by responding appropriately to the negative reviews and ensuring that you remedy the things that led to your practice getting the negative reviews.
5. Online reviews help improve your credibility
In this digital era, all sectors, including the medical field, market their services. A medical practitioner can post on their website how they provide a wide array of medical services or that they are the best medical practitioners in a given medical field. While all this may be true, online reviews from patients who have actually received such medical care will enhance the credibility of their expertise. The positive reviews will help drive more patients to your medical facility, given that it offers proof that you provide excellent medical services.
6. They expand the conversation about your practice
When people say good things about your practice, the chances are that they will share more reviews on other sites. This can help increase your ranking, since Google collects its ranking across various sites. Moreover, when patients share good things across various websites, it helps broaden your client base.
Online reviews have grown to be part and parcel of the healthcare industry. The kind of online reviews you get from patients can make or break your practice. That said, juggling healthcare provision and marketing your practice via online reviews can be daunting. However, partnering with a proven health IT marketing provider will not only relieve you of that burden but also ensure you have excellent online reviews. DearDoc is that provider for you. Contact us today and let us improve your ratings by helping you generate positive reviews.