In any industry, it’s difficult to navigate the online world’s always-changing landscape. It’s even tougher for healthcare brands. After all, there are often literal lives on the line. Those in healthcare face unique challenges that other industries simply don’t on a day-to-day basis.
The patients themselves expect more too. They want to choose a hospital, clinic, physician, dentist, or healthcare facility that they can wholeheartedly trust for themselves or their family. That’s why more people than ever rely on internet search channels to help them find the perfect physician. In seconds, they can see tons of healthcare options, all accompanied by star ratings and real reviews of past patients. What’s written in these reviews has the power to drive fantastic patients toward your organization — or push them towards a competitor.
But for anyone to see your reviews in the first place, they have to find you. Without a strong local SEO, listings, and online visibility strategy, that’s becoming a tougher and tougher task no matter your pedigree.
Have you been putting online visibility and reputation on the back burner? Worry not. It’s easier than you think to build, optimize and maintain a great online presence designed to grow your organization and enhance your patients’ care experience. Here’s how to get started!
Don’t Underestimate Online Patient Reviews
Today, a well-known name or medical degree from a top-tier university isn’t enough to entice patients to your practice. Reviews play a huge factor when choosing a physician or medical facility to trust with their health. In fact, reports show that 84% of patients consult online reviews before selecting a healthcare provider or service!
If you aren’t managing your reviews and online reputation for your medical team, you are leaving the fate of your practice in the hands of strangers on the internet. Thankfully, there are tons of tools, strategies, and tech solutions that encourage more positive reviews and fantastic patient care experiences.
Positive reviews left by patients will go a long way towards improving your online reputation and bringing in more of the local patient base. So does diligently replying to every patient review, positive and negative. Review response is an incredibly effective way to personally connect with your patients, prove that you truly care about their experiences, and want to make it right. It also shows prospective patients that your healthcare organization highly prioritizes patient experience.
Furthermore, about 33% of people will change a negative review to a positive one after a provider replies directly to a review. That alone could make a massive impact on your online visibility and reputation.
That said, when replying to reviews, healthcare practitioners need to carefully follow HIPAA guidelines, or they could face legal trouble. Even if a patient writes about their own diagnosis in an online review, carefully reply with empathy and action while keeping it brief. Then lead them to a HIPPA-compliant place of contact to continue the conversation.
Fully Optimize Online Listings for Every Location
If you’re not using creating, maintaining, and optimizing the online listings for every location, chances are low that you’re landing on Google page one, especially for your target patients. And considering that over 92% of people never click past page one, that means that you’re essentially invisible to anyone searching for care online.
By integrating a strong listings management and local SEO strategy into your brand’s marketing and outreach, you’ll gain a huge leg-up on ranking at the top of local search results when prospective patients search for services, treatment plans and medical care providers nearby.
Here is a quick list of the best practices and local SEO strategies your healthcare practice should employ in order to improve your local search rankings:
Local SEO Tips for Healthcare
- Create and claim listings for every location, physician, clinic, etc.
- Build listings within all major online directories
- Complete 100% of your online listing details
- Keep your hours accurate and updated, especially during holidays
- Delete any duplicate listings
- Add high-quality photos of your facilities
- Include Google attributes to highlight your specialties
- Ensure business details are consistent across all channels
- Include branded and unbranded keywords in your listing description
Want more insights on creating high-performing online listings? Read our blog, Top 5 Online Business Listing Management Best Practices for 2022.
Win More Patient Appointments With Local SEO
There is no getting around it. Local search is an integral tool for patients seeking out healthcare providers. That means that healthcare providers must use strategies for managing their online reputation and optimizing for local search. Otherwise, your competitors will.
Chatmeter proudly supports major healthcare networks nationwide in strategizing and optimizing their listings and online reputation. Our all-in-one, HIPPA-compliant platform and expert team can help you grow your patient base and create amazing experiences for everyone who walks through your doors. Schedule a FREE demo today to see for yourself.