Reputation management is crucial to marketing for medical practices, but sometimes it can be difficult to prove the value of improving your reputation. BrightLocal published their Local Consumer Review Survey in December 2019, and we’d like to highlight some of their key findings particularly relevant to medical practices. We’ve also thrown in a few key stats of our own.
10 Key Findings
1. 90% of consumers used the internet to find local businesses in 2019.
In 2019, 90% of consumers looked online to find local businesses. People are using the internet, and you need to make sure your physicians can be found by medical consumers in their decision making moments. For starters, that means having a GBP listing in place for each of your physicians and every practice location. Read Best Practices for Medical GBP Listings to learn more.
2. 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses.
Medical consumers look for a doctor online and then read reviews to see if he or she is good at what they do. This is part of the process for digital information seekers. Physicians and practices should take steps to make sure they have reviews in place, or they risk consumers scrolling by without stopping.
3. Medical is the #3 top industry for online reviews.
Statistics show that patients are leaving reviews and reading them. With the medical industry at the top of the pack for online reviews, physicians and practices need to make sure they are regularly pulling in reviews so they stay relevant to online searches.
4. 84% of consumers believe that reviews older than 3 months are irrelevant.
Old reviews provide continuity, but they can become stale rather quickly. Marketing for medical practices should be continually pulling in reviews as consumers turn to the most up-to-date information they can find.
5. 91% of consumers are more likely to use a business with positive reviews.
Medical consumers like to see positive reviews. And unfortunately, if you leave your reviews up to chance, your majority of happy patients will remain silent. Without asking for reviews, most patients will only feel compelled to leave a review if they have a very strong emotion—either negative or positive—associated with their experience. Asking for reviews gives voice to your silent majority of happy patients and will improve your reputation.
6. Consumers read 10 reviews on average before feeling able to trust a business.
Medical practices with fewer than 10 reviews may not have enough crowdsourced clout to earn the trust of today’s digital savvy medical consumer. Make sure your physicians and your practices are pulling in reviews to more accurately reflect who they are and their level of expertise to searching consumers.
7. 76% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, including 84% of consumers 35 to 54 years old.
Today’s digital world has transformed the way we search for information. Medical consumers are no exception. Gone are the days where patients ask family and friends for a recommendation. They expect a broader—and perhaps a more objective—range of information. For better or worse, reviews have a place in consumers’ decision making process.
8. 15% of Google rank factors are made up of review signals.
Daniel Shaw’s Local Search Ranking Factors survey found that the importance of reviews in Local Search ranking is on the rise. Specifically, review quantity, velocity, and diversity, etc. are taken into account. So for medical practices, bringing in high-quality reviews will improve your chances of getting shown in Google’s local 3-pack when consumers are searching for healthcare.
9. 10% of patients will leave a review when asked.
We’ve found that among our customers, 10% of patients will leave a review when asked. Our platform integrates seamlessly with most practice management systems to automatically send text or email requests for a review to every patient. Then you just sit back and watch the number of reviews rise.
10. SocialClimb customers enjoy a 1.3 star rating increase on average.
SocialClimb customers experience a 1.3 star rating increase on average when they start asking for reviews. The beauty of it is that the higher ratings enjoyed by both physicians and practices are more accurate to who they are and how they are viewed by their patients.
Marketing for Medical Practices
The numbers presented above show a compelling picture; if reviews aren’t part of your marketing for medical arsenal, they should be. Reviews will get you seen by medical consumers in online searches, and in addition, the quality and quantity of your reviews will have a big impact on your SEO.
We have found that review platforms that have the most impact on your medical practice are Google, Healthgrades, Facebook, Vitals, RateMDs, and Yelp—to some degree—with Google leading the pack. You can find many others out there, but they don’t bring enough value to be worth your time.
If you need help collecting reviews to acquire new patients, our team would love to help you. And if you’re ready to move on to the next step, targeted patient acquisition (using big data and AI to attract the best patients), we can help with that too. Give us a call at 866-338-8270 to get started.