Google is the main review platform for medical practices:
Patient Engagement Hit recently came out with an article about the centrality of provider reviews to revenue increases for hospital groups and other healthcare practices. They focused on a 2019 report from Reputation.com. This report, which analyzed online reviews for 4,800 hospitals across the country and their corresponding revenue reports, revealed that hospitals that held better ratings and reviews tended to have higher annual revenue.
The study also found that “overwhelmingly, Google emerged as the most influential online review website. Fifty-two percent of all online reviews live on Google, followed by 15 percent on Home Pages, 12 percent on Apple, 6 percent on Facebook, and 4 percent on Bing.” This is huge information for medical practices looking to improve their reputations as it makes it clear where they should focus their efforts. Google is by far the number one review platform for medical practices to target in their marketing efforts.
As Patient Engagement Hit points out, this trend towards Google reviews is part of a shifting tide. “In 2016, 9 percent of patient reviews lived on HealthGrades, while only about 80 percent were on Google. That number has gone down for HealthGrades while it has increased for Google, showing that patients are opting for the more consumer-accessible platform.”
What this means for practices is that their review management and marketing should be heavily weighted to target Google because that is where customers are searching (and finding) their doctors.
This doesn’t mean that there is no role for other review sites in a practice’s management plan. As far as patients finding doctors goes, online reviews are only becoming more and more relevant in general. In another recent survey from Software Advice, they conducted research on nearly 2,500 patients and found that online reviews are more popular than ever, with 82 percent of respondents saying they use provider reviews to evaluate their doctors in some way. This is up from 2013 when only 25 percent of patients said they used online reviews.
That is a lot of potential to tap into, on Google or otherwise. But for now the easiest and most cost-effective way to capture the majority of the market is through Google, not to mention the best way to increase profits. Hospitals with good online reputations and positive provider reviews earned $1.2 million more in hospital revenue on average.
So how does a practice build a good Google reputation to capture more patients and increase revenue?:
Both the Patient Engagement Hit article and us here at SocialClimb agree: reviews are essential to making your Google listings shine. This means managing the bad and broadcasting the good. We also agree that having correctly configured Google My Business pages are essential to winning the Google game.
On top of that, maintaining each GMB for your practices and doctors is important for both patient perception and for ranking well with Google. This includes managing reviews, questions and answers sections, and posts to your GMB pages.
For all practices (but especially larger ones) we recommend using some kind of service to help manage and maintain your Google My Business pages, just so nothing slips through the cracks. At SocialClimb we can do just that, and so much more!
If you’re interested in learning more about how to manage and optimize Google listings check out our post on Five basic ways to improve Google Local Search results.
To summarize, Google is the most important review platform for medical practices to be taking advantage of. Patients are searching and finding their doctors online using mainly Google’s platform and practices that aren’t actively managing and maintaining a good online reputation are missing out on a lot of potential revenue. Medical practices can help boost their online presence by managing the bad and broadcasting the good about their practice.
Interested in improving your practice’s Google presence? See how SocialClimb can help!