Why Medical Professionals Need a Reputation Management Strategy
When you chose to become a physician, a wellness professional or a holistic practitioner, you probably didn’t consider how much your patients’ opinions could make or break your practice. The growth of the internet and its ever-increasing reach means more and more people have the ability to let others know what they think. Online is the new word-of-mouth.
The numbers don’t lie:
- 94% of survey respondents said a negative review has kept them from patronizing a business
- 71% of consumers are inclined to come back to a business that’s responded to their review
- 53% of consumers will consider trusting a business that has less than a four-star rating
Still wondering if reputation management is something you should be concerned about?
See if this changes things: as far back as 2016, 84% of patients researched new medical practitioners before their first appointment. Do you know what they’re learning about you? Are you coming up on the first page of their search results? How do you stand out amongst the competition?
Reputation management for doctors and other healthcare professionals is a must if you’re interested in improving your online presence — or repairing it. It can be especially critical if you’re dealing with too many negative reviews, involved in embarrassing public incidents, receiving negative press coverage or recovering from a malpractice lawsuit.
How do you address negative content? It’s never a good idea to go on the offensive, but a better strategy is to bury what doesn’t make you look good with positive content. It takes time, but over the long term the good should obliterate the bad.
Here are 8 reputation management tactics you can implement now to enhance your online presence:
- Claim and enhance your Google My Business listing. Since your first priority is making sure locals searching for you see relevant results, claiming this listing is imperative.
- Keep your Google My Business and all online directory listings up to date. You will want the information about your practice to be consistent to viewers and populate across all search engines and online directories.
- Ensure you are consistently generating reviews from current patients. Those who are searching for your services will be looking at your average rating and reading only the first 3-5 of the most recent reviews.
- Respond to all Google/Yelp reviews. You’re a busy professional — you can’t do this yourself — but you should have someone doing it for you.
- Create and maintain profiles on relevant directories/sites. Get your name out there with a profile on sites like CareDash, Doximity, Sharecare and WebMd.
- Build a website for the practice. You’re in charge of the narrative here — this is a digital property you own and control.
- Start a blog. This is a great tool to show your expertise and the value you bring to patients.
- Create powerful social media accounts. Focus initially on LinkedIn and Facebook, as regular posts on these platforms will get Google’s attention (which is a good thing).
This is just a sample of what you can do to ensure you’re not losing patients before they even set foot in the door. Even referrals are researching you before they call to make an appointment. Are they seeing the value and care you bring?
Reputation management is a marketing strategy that’s time has come for anyone in the healthcare industry. Not sure where or how to start? Contact us to find out where there’s an opportunity to enhance your online reputation – keep your current clients and gain new clients who trust in your care.
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