If a doctor has a poor reputation or low rating on their local listings, they may have issues growing their practice. With approximately 71% of people searching online for a doctor before booking an appointment, online reputations are crucial. Nowadays, reviews and ratings are just as critical as a personal referral.
Online reputation management for physicians involves many working parts and different factors. Let’s take a look at the components that work together to create an online presence and reputation.
Parts of Your Online Reputation
1. Your Practice Website
In 2020, it was estimated that only 64% of small businesses had a website. This alone is a huge factor when it comes to your online reputation and digital presence. A poorly created website – or not having one at all – can damage your reputation.
41% of businesses that do not have websites think they don’t need one. Here are some common beliefs as to why they think they don’t need a website:
- Their business is too small to warrant a website.
- The cost of a website is too great.
- A website is irrelevant to a specific industry.
- Social media gives their business enough credibility and visibility.
Websites boost your credibility and give people a chance to learn about your business, your service offerings, and who you are before booking an appointment. Without a website, people in your zip code may not even know your practice exists!
2. Social Media Profiles
Social media is a part of many American’s daily lives. 69% of Americans are active on Facebook. Out of those users, 42% of them want to follow their physician or practice on social media. In addition to using social media to stay in touch with friends and family, many people use it to become or remain knowledgeable about businesses in their area.
Facebook may not be the leading platform where patients get in touch with their doctor’s office, but using your profile to share relevant information regarding business hours, holidays, and educational material for patients is essential.
Since people can leave reviews and ratings on social media sites like Facebook, maintaining professionalism and an attractive social media page is an integral part of online reputation management.
3. Local Listings
47% of people read Google reviews, and 71% of people read a doctor’s online reviews before booking an appointment. This is why it’s vital to maintain and manage a Google My Business page to boost your business online.
However, Google isn’t the only public profile listing that needs your attention. WebMD and Vitals review platforms are also crucial to medical practices that need to be updated and optimized regularly. These three digital directories educate potential patients about your practice, engage current patients, and allow patients to leave candid and public reviews. Physicians need to be proactively responding to the push for transparency in healthcare, so providing as much information as possible on these local listing profiles can make or break a practice.
4. Patient Reviews
As we’ve previously mentioned, patient reviews are incredibly important regarding your online presence and reputation. Out of the 71% of patients who read reviews before booking an appointment with a doctor, 57% of those people will only consider healthcare practices with four or more stars out of five.
Patient reviews and ratings are incredibly important for growing your practice and critical to your online reputation. Getting those reviews should be part of your reputation management strategy. Practices that spend time each week cultivating online reviews and publicly addressing online feedback get 70% fewer negative reviews than those who ignore reviews and ratings. Over half of people (66%) feel it is imperative for a doctor or practice to publicly reply to patient reviews, regardless of whether they are positive or negative.
On average, only 10% of patients leave online reviews unless presented with the opportunity via email or online survey. This means your practice could be missing out on a large number of rave reviews unless you take time to manage your online review strategy.
Patient reviews are very important to your business’s digital presence and online reputation. If you do not have a consistent reputation management strategy in place, it’s time to start. Your practice could be losing patients without even knowing it. Valet Health creates a personalized approach for each practice as a part of its LaunchPad service.
LaunchPad enhances doctor’s online reputations by eliminating incorrect information, claims, and updates all listings and profiles within 30 days, and increases the quality and quantity of patient reviews for physicians.