Medical Reputation Management
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Managing the reputation of a medical practice should always be a priority. When the view of your practice is positive, you are more likely to get new patients. Thanks to the internet, your practice’s reputation is accessible with the click of a button. Not only are the positive reviews and community benefits accessible, but also the negative reviews and comments made about your practice. One of the best ways to keep a balanced (and positive) online presence is by hiring a professional digital marketing agency that specializes in medical reputation management strategies.
According to a study conducted by Pew Research, 72% of users online looked up medical information, and one in five consulted with online rankings and reviews of the medical practice. By utilizing a unique reputation management strategy, you can ensure that your practice is always showing its best side in searches.
Before a client picks up the phone, they are researching your practice. What will they find when they look it up? Did they find positive patient reviews or the good deeds you have done in the community? Or did they find negative reviews and comments left by unsatisfied patients?
When you hire a professional digital marketing agency to navigate your medical reputation management strategies, they will help monitor, address, and mitigate aspects like social media mentions, reviews, and the results of search engine queries to enhance the positive image of your reputation to your practice’s advantage. The agency will use two reputation management approaches – proactive and reactive.
When a medical practice is proactive about its reputation management, it takes responsibility for it – it doesn’t make excuses or blame circumstances. A medical practice spreads the good, including their good deeds in the community, their patient experiences, desire to help others, sharing educational medical information, and marketing it to its benefit. A professional helping with medical reputation management will use this and more when creating the proactive strategy necessary to boost positivity.
The opposite of proactive is reactive. In a reactive medical reputation management strategy, the practice and its marketing partner will work together to develop an actionable strategy for dealing with negative comments and turns them into something positive for the practice. A professional agency will help the practice identify, address, and monitor the problems pinpointed in negative user reviews. Many negative reviews and comments are often made because a patient doesn’t feel like they are being heard. These types of problems may include long wait times, poor front desk training, etc. But knowing and monitoring are the first step to ensuring they do not happen again.
When prospective patients look up your information online, they are likely to see your practice in several results – Facebook, Google, Yelp Reviews, ZocDoc, Real Self, Vitals, Healthgrades, and more. If you are coming up on these platforms in these searches, it is likely due to your marketing efforts and the reputation being built about the practice online. What type of reputation do you want potential patients to see?
Facebook and social media marketing for your practice are vital in reaching a patient base. There are millions of users on Facebook, and these users are scrolling through ads, leaving reviews on medical practices, and commenting on posts. If one user leaves a review, chances are at least ten more are going to see it before the day is over. Social media is like a snowball – the impact is small at first, but before you know it, it has gotten out of control. When a professional agency helps you with your medical reputation management, they can step in and help monitor the situation, mitigating the impact by keeping things positive.
Google is the search engine of choice for most internet users. All the marketing your practice does is for the sake of SEO – ranking on search engines like Google. The higher the SEO rank, the higher the exposure to your practice a prospective patient will have to your practice. This exposure includes negative comments and reviews. For the sake of keeping your practice’s image positive, a professional will not only monitor how you are ranking but also what you are ranking for.
Yelp is a platform that helps connect consumers with great local businesses – or in terms of the medical industry, patients with great practices. As patients visit your practice, they may begin leaving reviews on platforms like Yelp. One way to be proactive with Yelp reviews is by advertising on the platform. Instead of leaving the profile unclaimed, your practice can be proactive by claiming and marketing the profile to benefit the practice, not the detriment. A professional agency will be able to help monitor and implement the right strategy on Yelp and sites like it to elevate a positive medical reputation management strategy.
ZocDoc is a one-stop shop for the medical industry. Patients go online and search for a practice in their area. In addition to returning general results, past patients can leave reviews about the practice, exposing the practice to good and bad remarks. Doctors have power on the ZocDoc platform, too. Doctors can manage the profile for their practice and market it so that patients can find them. An additional feature that is unique on ZocDoc is appointment scheduling. If a patient sees your practice and wants to schedule an appointment, they can do it directly from the platform – reducing the steps, it takes for your practice and the patient to connect.
Real Self markets itself as the go-to advisor for plastic and cosmetic surgical procedures, boasting unretouched photos, reviews, unbiased cost analysis, procedure information, and verified doctors. Like ZocDoc, Real Self allows patients to search and book their consultations all from a single dashboard. Unlike ZocDoc, Real Self is for cosmetic procedures only. A medical reputation management strategy with a platform like Real Self can allow practices in a specific niche to market their positive attributes accordingly. By becoming verified on the Real Self site, doctors can help take control of how potential patients see them.
Vitals is one of the largest online databases of patient reviews in the medical industry. The platform provides patients in search of the right doctor in close proximity. In addition to the reviews of patients, Vitals provides an extensive collection of educational material for users. Practices with positive reviews on a platform such as Vitals increase their reach to new patients and gain the trust necessary to rank highly. A professional marketing agency focused on your medical reputation management understands the vital role that a platform like Vitals plays in the big picture. A strategy rich in monitoring and nurturing these profiles for physicians can impact the number of new patients entering the office and the increased revenue the practice needs.
Healthgrades is a seasoned medical practice review site. In addition to offering searches for local providers, the platform covers a wide range of medical specialties. Statistics show that half of all Americans who see a doctor each year use Healthgrades as their source for finding the right physician. A positive reputation on Healthgrades is important for providers (based on the statistics alone) and to claim a profile on the platform is free. Providing accurate practice information and showing a positive reaction to reviews can help create a relationship between practice and patient. These relationships help build trust, which is what new patients need to schedule an appointment with you versus the competition.
A quick internet search will populate countless platforms that review medical practices. While some are not as well known as Vitals or Healthgrades, they can still impact the reputation of medical practices. When working to create a medical reputation management strategy, your digital marketing agency professional will zero in on the sites that have your practice listed, help create the necessary free profiles, and monitor them to ensure accuracy and review information is handled appropriately.
Don’t be alarmed if new ones keep popping up – many of these sites use area data and create the profiles, but it is up to you and your marketing professional to ensure that these profiles are claimed, verified, and include the overall branding of the office.
The benefits are important to consider when building a positive medical reputation management strategy for your practice. Some of the benefits you can expect when working with a professional marketing agency include:
Did you know that 92% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from real people? That means that the majority of your prospective patients are looking to outside review sites to learn more about your practice before ever meeting you. You could try to create a medical reputation management strategy on your own, but trusting a professional with your practice’s reputation may prove more beneficial in the end.
Working closely with a professional can help unlock potential that you didn’t know existed. From marketing off of the good reviews to implementing changes to prevent future negative reviews from being posted, how you approach the reputation of your medical practice is crucial for success. Your reputation is important to the agency you work with, and in many cases, negative reviews can be disputed, something many physicians do not know. Only when working with a professional can you unlock the untapped potential your medical reputation has in the community.