Your online reputation can be tarnished from any corner of the world, and there’s a chance you may not be even aware of it. Mouse clicks that create the difference between a “one-star” and a “five-star” visit will definitely have an impact on your appointment log.
As a physician, you must be cognizant about the fact that your practice can strive and thrive by word-of-mouth. The digital scenarios have transformed the dynamics of the healthcare industry, and click-of-mouse is the new word-of-mouth. Patients these days are fast-forward empowered healthcare consumers, who can say almost anything about your practice and it can spread like wildfire. While positive reviews can help create a positive online reputation, just a few negative ones are enough to trigger a serious blow to your practice. Potential patients take these reviews as experiences coming directly from patients who have already had a consultation at your practice.
Importance and effect of patient reviews on your practice
Reviews can help improve patient conversions
Potential new patients will perceive the care of your practice based on what they read about you on the Internet. If people have posted positive reviews about your practice, it will make potential patients more confident of visiting your practice.
According to a survey published in 2014 in Journal of the American Medical Association, the use of online reviews and testimonials to select physicians is growing rapidly and is of increasing importance to consumers. The results show that 40% of patients think physician ratings on websites are “somewhat important” and, of those who used the web to search for a physician, 35% selected a doctor based on good ratings. In addition, 27% of these web users reported avoiding a provider with bad ratings. Considering the high level of impact that reviews can make for your practice, deliberate actions must be taken to manage them to your advantage.
Reviews can help your local SEO efforts
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
Online reviews and ratings play a crucial role in influencing patient decisions and greatly affect your rankings in the local search engines and, hence, affect your search results. Good ratings can boost your online visibility and provide fresh content to search engines pertaining to your practice and area of medical expertise. This, in turn, increases the chance of your practice ranking higher in the local search results. The more visible your practice is, the easier it is for potential patients to find you.
People may use filters and choose to view only 4-star and 5-star reviews
Almost all websites, including Yelp and Google, allow people to filter and see reviews. For instance, people can choose to see physicians only with 5-star or 4-star ratings for making a decision on booking an appointment with one of them. If your practice has positive reviews from satisfied patients, it can attract many potential patients to your practice.
Overall review star ratings are visible in search results
It’s often touted that online reviews and ratings are indispensably important for physicians. It can be further proved by the fact that online search engines like Google and Bing now feature overall review star ratings in local search results. Whenever someone searches for a hospital or practice, they are most likely to see snippets of online reviews along with it. Patients get a quick glimpse of ratings and may decide to click on or ignore a hospital/physician website based on these ratings.
Reviews are your online digital footprints. You can no longer afford to ignore online reviews. Harness them to build your practice’s online visibility and grow your number of patients.