Online reviews can sell your practice for you, but only if you’re paying attention.
I had a horrible experience at a restaurant once. Ok, let me re-word that. I’ve had a few different horrible experiences at restaurants, coffee shops, and retail stores. Everyone has, right? We’ve all been there.
So what do you do when you have the worst experience at the new restaurant in town? A number of people will do one, or both of these things to let out their frustration:
- Tell everyone you know about your bad experience.
- Grab your phone or iPad and leave them a bad review online.
We’re all guilty of it. We want to warn the world to never go to that restaurant and waste your money, or suffer through the terrible service, so we stand on top of the tallest mountain and tell everyone to stay away.
Here’s the catch: the medical industry is no different. You won’t see a review about how bad the steak was, but you may see something that says your front desk staff is rude, or the wait time to see the doctor was outrageous, or even worse, THEY HATE THE DOCTOR. Lets keep our fingers crossed that you never come across that last one.
My point is, you have to know where the tallest mountains are in your field. Where are people leaving online reviews? What sites should you or your current marketing/SEO/website company be monitoring? Why are reviews so important in the first place? That’s what I’ll explain in this post, and by the end of it, you should know exactly where to start your online review regime.
RealSelf is basically the Facebook for patients and plastic surgeons. Patients use it to tell their story and share their cosmetic surgery journey. RealSelf also focuses on patient-doctor interaction. So it’s very specific to cosmetic surgery and it hits that niche target market you’re looking for. This makes it important for you to have a handful of good reviews on their site.
RealSelf is powerful, because patients that go on this site are serious about going through with a procedure. The interest is already there and the patient is researching and looking for the right doctor. Let a few raving reviews do the rest for you.
At DLM, we put a strategy in place with our clients and their RealSelf Rep to get our clients to Top Doctor status. Top Doctor status brings more awareness to our clients profile on RealSelf for the location and procedures they want to focus on. This helps them get a competitive edge on their competition. It also shows more credibility to their RealSelf profile. In order to get Top Doctor status you must do the following:
- Answer a minimum of 75 questions
- Maintain a minimum of 10 answers to questions every 90 days
- A minimum of 3 patient reviews
- A high ratio of helpful votes to your answers
If you want to take full advantage of RealSelf, we also recommend doing paid advertising through RealSelf. We have noticed through tracking the results for our clients a solid return on investment within this medium.
RealSelf gets a ton of traffic each month. If you are not taking advantage of enchanincg your profile on this medium you are leaving money on the table. Just checkout this graph. This shows the growth since inception of RealSelf based on estimated search engine traffic. If you would like to learn more about how DLM can help with maximizing your RealSelf profile, please contact us today.
If you’ve ever Googled your name before (it’s okay to admit it), then you might already know what a review looks like on Google+. When you search your name on Google a few things should happen:
- Your name and practice should be the first search result at the top of the page.
- You should see a star rating from 1 to 5 below your name.
- You should see a blue link that says the number of Google reviews you have.
When you search your name, you should be the first result at the top of the first page on Google. Unless, of course, there is another doctor with the same name.
The 5 star rating scale is important to have. And Google won’t award you with it until you have at least 5 reviews. The stars rating helps draw the eye to that search result, while at the same time making you look like a rock star doc, which leads to more clicks to your website. Get 5 5-star reviews and you will have a 5-star rating on Google. It’s as simple as that.
The blue link to the right of the stars shows how many reviews you have total. So when you search a doctor’s name and they have 4.5 out of 5 stars with 37 reviews, they have some great reviews on Google and users will notice them first when searching.
Yelp has been under a lot of scrutiny and has taken some heat over the past year. A lawsuit was filed against them claiming that they were manipulating reviews on various businesses. They survived the case and the bottom line is: people still use yelp when making buying decisions.
Yelp is an amazing tool when it comes to restuarants and coffee shops, and still plays a role in the medical field. I tend to see more negative reviews than anything on Yelp for some reason, so this is a good one to keep an eye on. A negative review can do just as much damage in swaying a purchasing decision. A couple positive reviews will make it easier to sleep at night.
Use these sites as a jumping off point when looking for the best online review sites for medical practices. A good review can go a long way. If done right, Google+, RealSelf, and Yelp can sell your practice for you. With a little help from these 3 online review power houses you’ll be boosting your online presence in no time!
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