Reputation Management for Doctors
A bad online review or comment on social media can have a severe impact on a doctor’s practice. If you are a doctor, then it is imperative that you keep an eye on your online reputation. Reputational risk can have a huge impact on your profitability. As such, Reputation Management for doctors is a must. Especially now that we’ve moved past the days of word-of-mouth and into online reviews that can spread quickly and which never disappear. The good news is that with the right tools, this task can be made much easier. Let’s discuss.
Reputation Management for Doctors
Negative reviews can pop up on search results. Even one bad apple can have severe consequences on your practice. Most people tend to click only on the top three search results, so if you have a negative review that comes up in the top three positions on SERP, you need to take immediate action. To assess the health of your practice’s online reputation ask yourself:
- How do patients view my practice, services, and staff?
- Am I getting consistent referrals?
- Are patients satisfied with the bedside manner of our team?
Now, spend some time looking at online review sites and see if what you assumed matches up with the reviews left by your patients.
Online Reputation Management for Doctors and Physicians
If you have too many negative reviews, fewer patients are likely to choose your practice. How can you assess the health of your online reputation? First, you need to understand how people search. Follow us on this exercise.
Google Your Practice
First, go into incognito mode. If you run a regular search, your results will be skewed towards your search habits and may not reflect what a regular patient looking for your practice would see. There are three main areas that make up the search results. Ideally, your website will come up on the top three. This will also probably include review websites.
Top Three Results
The first three results in the SERP are the most important. 95% of people will click on one of these three results. The lower you rank, the fewer clicks you will have to your website. These three results don’t change very often. It takes a lot of SEO work to get into these top three positions.
If a negative review or a review website comes up, this will get clicked on quite often.
CTR (or click-through rate) from position 1 to position 5 drops by almost 25% on the desktop and 17% on mobile devices. People are lazy, they don’t like to scroll. This is why the top 3 get clicked on so much, and these tend to get ignored, this is especially so on mobile. These will also include review websites and social media accounts.
How People Search
People won’t keep scrolling. They’ll revise their search term and search again…so if you or your good reviews don’t show up on page one, your chances of being clicked on are zero to none.
Do You Need to Worry about your Medical Online Reputation?
You do if what you originally assumed about how your clients felt about your practice does not reflect what is seen on Google. Do the search results match up with what you expected? What are people saying about your practice including front of house staff, bedside practice, wait time etc?
To really find out the negative things that are being said about your business, you can scroll through numerous review websites or you can go back to Google to search for different permutations on your practice’s name and common negative review words. For example:
- Dr. Morris reviews
- Dr. Morris complained
- Dr. Morris pissed
- Dr. Morris sucks
I know it seems weird, but this will help you pull up negative sentiments so you can gauge what may be a recurring issue. Make a plan to handle the negative in-house and to do some damage control.
Damage Control for Doctors
The idea here is to regain the trust of your clients and get them to leave better reviews so that you have a chance to assert some control over search results.
Fix What Is Broken: Did you see that most of the reviews spoke about that rude receptionist? Start a plan to coach that employee to get them to a higher service ranking.
Reply to reviews: You’re not going to be able to remove reviews. The best thing is to address them, determine if they are valid, and reply. If possible, keep the reply private. This way you don’t have to worry about violating HIPAA. If you make a public response, make sure it follows legal standards of privacy and keep in mind that your reply will be a big factor in how potential customers and patients view your practice.
ORM, PR, SMM, SEM, SEO. Craft a diverse marketing plan that includes Online Reputation Management, Public Relations, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, and Search Engine Optimization. Only doing one thing will help a little, but attacking the issue from all angles will have a much bigger long-term effect.
Use the Right Tools. For example, Socialdraft is an all-in-one social media tool. It allows for team collaboration so you can assign people in the office to schedule social media posts (you can even require that it be approved prior to publishing). It also includes reporting so you can measure your social media success.