The stats about today’s healthcare consumerism are clear: 71% of consumers use online reviews as the very first step in finding a new provider and 50% of consumers are more likely to be motivated by an online review than by a discount offer. This means that what people say about your healthcare organization online can have a lasting effect. So, with a range of doctor review sites available, where should you invest your time and energy?
Set Your Priorities
Providers often place emphasis on their own websites, believing a page full of positive reviews there will be the most beneficial. They are also concerned about their presence on third-party doctor review sites. However, when we look at where patients are actually going for information, these aren’t the top choices. Most patients turn to Google when looking for a doctor. And with the rising prominence of Apple products, Apple Business Connect (ABC) is also becoming a go-to resource.
So, here’s what you need to do — make sure your Google Business Profile (GBP) is comprehensive and updated, invest time in Apple Business Connect, and maintain an informative and user-friendly website. These platforms as well as your website are where patients are actively looking before making healthcare decisions.
Google Business Profile: A Key to Local Search
It isn’t an exaggeration to say that an optimized GBP is one of the most important factors when it comes to ranking in the local pack (the top of local search results on Google). How you set up and manage this profile plays a big role in how your practice appears in Google’s search results. The information you provide, from the category you choose for your healthcare organization, to what patients say when reviewing you, is a treasure trove of information that tells Google where you’re located, what you do, and how patients engage with you. This means that your GBP listing performs a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to telling Google when and where your healthcare organization should appear in the search results for local consumers.
Further underlining GBP’s unmatched significance as a review platform, one survey shows that 34% of customers always check a local business’s online reviews, 43% regularly check, and only 2% of customers never check the company’s reviews. Also, out of all major doctor review sites, potential customers, including your patients, check Google most often. This means your reviews on Google not only boost your online visibility but also shape how potential patients perceive your practice.
So, the message here is clear — keep your GBP up-to-date, and encourage satisfied patients to share their experiences. It’s a direct line to improving both your online visibility and reputation.
Apple Business Connect – A Competitive Edge
While GBP might be a familiar name to many, Apple Business Connect has recently been carving out its own space. ABC rivals GBP by using its tight integration with the Apple ecosystem and introducing features that were previously seen as advantages of GBP.
A key benefit of ABC is allowing you to manage information such as your healthcare organization’s location, business hours, contact information, photos, and patient reviews on Apple Maps, which is used by millions of people for navigation and local search.
The built-in messaging platform of ABC is another feature worth highlighting. It enables you to communicate with your patients directly and improve their experience. They can ask questions, book appointments, and receive updates all from within the app, making it a convenient and accessible option.
In addition to this, ABC’s review management system allows you to sift through reviews using filters like ratings, dates, and keywords. Along with better management of patient feedback, you can also identify areas that need attention, fostering an environment of continuous improvement.
Most importantly, the stats show that 58% of businesses haven’t claimed their Apple Maps listing and 59% of them are unaware of ABC’s features. This presents an opportunity for you to get ahead of the competition and establish a strong presence and reputation on this review platform.
Website – A Direct Reflection of Your Healthcare Organization
While review platforms like GBP and ABC are essential for visibility and reviews, your website remains the foundation of your online presence. Potential patients visit your website to confirm what they’ve read about you elsewhere. They’re interested in your qualifications, the range of services you provide, any specializations, as well as the experiences of past patients. Testimonials or reviews showcased on your website provide the added assurance for them.
In addition to this, the functionality of your website plays an important role. Can patients easily find the information they need? Is the appointment booking process smooth and intuitive? Such details can determine whether a visitor converts into a patient.
Doctor review sites are invaluable for broadening your reach and improving your reputation, but your website strengthens that reputation by offering a deeper insight into your healthcare organization. So, investing in a well-structured, informative, and user-friendly website is essential for any healthcare provider prioritizing superior patient care and experience.
Diversify Doctor Review Sites
While GBP and ABC undoubtedly stand at the forefront, ignoring other platforms can be a strategic misstep. Sites like HealthGrades, Vitals, and ZocDoc might not be everyone’s go-to for searches, but they do play a role in your online reputation strategy.
Let’s not forget that people’s search habits vary. Many people use Google by default, but others may have preferences based on past experiences or recommendations and prioritize other doctor review sites. Also, Google continually scans and cross-references information from other doctor review sites to ensure accuracy. A consistent presence, with uniform and accurate details, boosts Google’s trust in your listing. However, discrepancies can push your listing down in rankings.
Visibility, Balance, and Genuine Patient Care
With information at the fingertips of your patients, you can’t afford to neglect your online reputation. The impact of online reviews reaches beyond mere ratings — they shape perceptions, influence decisions, and can significantly affect your patient influx.
While review platforms like GBP and ABC as well as an optimized website should be your priority, the influence of specialized review sites can’t be completely eliminated. The key is to find a balance. You need to ensure visibility where it matters most, while not overlooking niche doctor review sites that meet specific patient preferences. And in the middle of all these efforts, the core remains the same — deliver outstanding patient care. Because, in the end, genuine positive experiences will naturally pave the way for positive online reviews and a robust reputation.
Handling the complexities of online reputation management can be challenging, especially with the array of doctor review sites available. However, SocialClimb’s healthcare marketing platform ensures that your Google Business Profiles are not only up-to-date but optimized for maximum visibility. From ensuring accurate location data to integrating real-time patient reviews, we tailor your profile to stand out in local searches. We also provide you with access to a wide range of user-friendly tools that empower you to effectively manage your reviews and online reputation, allowing you to address concerns promptly and strengthen positive experiences.
Moreover, our in-depth analytics and insights enable you to understand your healthcare marketing strategy’s efficacy and areas of improvement. This means you can not only implement effective marketing efforts but also measure and adapt based on tangible results. With proven strategies and measurable outcomes, you can drive patient trust, and ensure your healthcare services are recognized for the excellence they deliver.