Five Reasons Why Doctors Need Online Reputation Management
As a medical professional, your primary goal is to ensure the health of your patients.
But without a healthy reputation, your ability to establish trust and provide a consistently positive patient experience suffers—particularly when negative reviews have infected your online presence and injured your bottom line.
Here are 5 reasons why robust digital marketing strategies for doctors are essential not only for coping with bad online reviews, but also for protecting your practice and delivering the high-quality care your patients deserve.
1. Patients are researching you online (and checking your reviews)
People turn to review sites more than ever to find and research healthcare providers in their local area. In fact, nearly 85% of patients are performing check-ups on your practice using sites like Yelp, Healthgrades, Vitals and RateMDs—physician review portals that get top billing on Google, Bing and Yahoo search pages.
Additionally, more than three-quarters (over 77%!) turn to online reviews first when searching for a new physician, while nearly 21% use online ratings to validate word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family.
If your marketing strategies aren’t supported by quality reputation management and SEO services for doctors, who knows what that one bad patient review could be doing to your identity, reputation and bottom line.
Well, for one thing…
2. That bad review could be scaring away new patients
Online reviews are at the heart not only of the consumer research process, but also your professional reputation—a factor almost 60% consider important and nearly 35% of patients rate as more important for doctors than those working in any other industry.
What’s more is that over 60% of patients will avoid a doctor or healthcare organization based solely on bad reviews, rejecting your practice out of hand no matter how inaccurate or malicious that online commentary may be.
Failing to implement the proper marketing and reputation management strategies for doctors doesn’t just leave your reputation exposed; it scares away the new patients and business you need to deliver great care and grow your practice.
3. Patients trust online reviews
Trust is vital to a healthy doctor-patient relationship. Unfortunately, it’s also something many patients place in online physician ratings and reviews regardless of their accuracy or who happened to post them.
More than 80% of patients now say they trust online doctor’s ratings more than personal recommendations, meaning more than 8 out of 10 searching for a caregiver put more stock in online comments than the opinions of their own friends and family!
And when it comes to a professional referral? Surprisingly, over 47.5% of your patients trust online reviews of a specialist as much as your professional recommendation—almost half!
Which makes one thing absolutely certain: if your digital marketing strategies don’t include SEO-driven reputation management services for doctors, those bad online ratings are giving your rep a dose of bad medicine—and eroding the confidence and trust you’ve worked so hard to build for your practice.
4. Your patients are rating you right now
As we’ve shown, people count on doctor review sites more than ever when choosing a local provider. What you may not know is the number of patients who now share and rate their experiences online, amounting to more than 50% of those you see on a daily basis!
That number grows even higher among younger demographics, as 7 out of every 10 millennials report sharing their healthcare experiences on review sites and social media platforms across the web.
With so many patients potentially rating and reviewing your practice each day, SEO-driven marketing strategies and services may be the prescription you need to take control of the interaction, encourage more positive reviews and begin to optimize your online reputation.
5. Social media can be viral
Doctor review sites have an undeniable impact on your reputation. But what about social media?
Like any business, healthcare is susceptible to the whims and trends of the social media landscape. And if your practice isn’t equipped with marketing strategies built for doctors and designed to control the social narrative, you’re not only risking your reputation, but possibly a golden opportunity to connect with the public and improve patient interaction.
One study found that four out of every ten prospective patients say a physician’s social presence affects who they choose for treatment, while more than 30% of healthcare consumers look to social media for sharing how they feel about doctors and treatments. Another found that of those seeking health info on social, over 50% are also searching for information on a specific health professional or doctor.
Whatever your specialty, it’s hard to deny what strong social media marketing strategies can do for your doctor’s office in terms of reaching potential patients and growing your online footprint.
Proven marketing strategies for doctors
At Reputation Sciences™, we provide doctors the customized digital marketing strategies, expert SEO services and comprehensive reputation management solutions they need to defend and define their brands online.
We know the unique threats and fierce competition healthcare providers face on the web. Our aim to equip your team with the tools, technology and full digital marketing support you need to conquer those challenges, sharpen your competitive edge and deliver the best patient experience possible.
Since 2011, our focus has been to provide you the data-driven analysis, strategy, reputation and maintenance solutions that enable a stronger online footprint—and to seize on opportunities for realizing your full potential.
We know you have a practice to maintain, which is why our SEO professionals deliver a full suite of marketing and reputation management services for managing online reviews, engaging with prospects, improving your search engine presence and cultivating confidence among those that matter most.
At Reputation Sciences™, we do the heavy lifting so you don’t have to.
These days, managing your reputation is essential to your success. Visit us online or call 866-427-2206 or to schedule your comprehensive brand audit.