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Like everything else, medical care is becoming consumer driven. Patients have even more opportunity to choose the providers and facilities that provide care.

Patients find providers in the same way they find everything else, they ‘Google it’. They Google for medical decisions 91% of the time. And, when they ‘Google It’, 56% choose a provider simply because “It had positive reviews & star ratings.” (BrightLocal)

Brightlocal chartHospital networks, clinics, practices, and physicians feel this change. They all know that reputation affects patient acquisition which inevitably affects revenue. Facilities and providers with the top reputation are the easy choices for today’s medical consumer as 72% admit to using an online search as the first step to find a doctor. (Software Advice)

But how much does having a good or great reputation really affect revenue growth in medicine? At SocialClimb we have been helping doctors, practices, and hospitals improve and grow their reputations for years. We have been working to define the reputation =  increased revenue growth equation for more than a year and we have some pretty interesting answers.

The majority of this reputation data comes from Google. That is not to say that other reputation platforms don’t matter, it just deals with the reality that 80% of searches for providers start on Google. Those search results are affected by Healthgrades, Vitals, Facebook and yes, Yelp but patients rarely search anywhere other than Google.

As an example we have used a mid-sized Orthopedics practice but have found that these numbers hold true for most types and sizes of practices:

  1. As a practice increases its physical (GMB) ratings to 4.5+ and its physician ratings to 4.2+, it typically moves into the Google Local Pack for related searches.
  2. Getting the practice into the Google Local Pack means that it will get most of the click-throughs.
  3. Here are the raw numbersBrightlocal bar chart:
    1. Practices with 5 stars earn 69% of click-throughs
    2. Practices with 4 stars earn 59% of click-throughs
    3. Practices with 3 stars earn 44% of click-throughs
    4. Practices with 1 or 2 stars earn less than practices with no stars
  4. Click-throughs to the GMB pages are the key. Once patients get to the GMB page, the payoff is to drive them to GMB Actions by clicking to your website and clicking to dial your office and make an appointment.
  5. The overall increase in click-throughs clicks to website and phone calls for practices with a 4.5+ rating is about a 20% increase. Our customers getting a 20% increase in those key Google enabled actions are experiencing a revenue increase of 3% to 5% attributable to improve reputation local search visibility.

So, ruling out lots of variables each practice and location deals with, the generalized equation is:

4.5+ stars = Google Local Pack = 60% click through + 20% increase GMB actions = 3% to 5% revenue increase

We continue to work with customers of all sizes to better understand the increasing value in local search of physician, practice and hospital reputation. Stay tuned for more details, data and case studies.

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