Author | Chatmeter TeamDate Posted | August 8, 2022

How to gain more patients with online listings, local SEO and positive reviews

How to gain more patients with online listings, local SEO and positive reviews

It’s difficult for any organization to navigate the online world’s evolving landscape — and even tougher for organizations in healthcare. Between HIPAA and confidentiality agreements, unexpected medical crises, and literal lives on the line, healthcare teams face challenges other industries simply don’t.

Patients expect more too. After all, it is their health, and they want to choose a hospital, clinic, physician, dentist, or healthcare facility that they can fully trust for themselves and their family. To find that perfect fit, prospective patients scour online reviews on digital search channels like Google, Yelp, Healthgrades, and ZocDoc. In seconds, anyone can access a plethora of healthcare options — all accompanied by star ratings and real reviews from past patients.

The reviews and ratings posted online have the power to drive patients toward your organization or push them toward a nearby competitor. However, to even get that far, users must be able to find your business listings online. To reach those coveted top spots on the search engine results page (SERP), healthcare teams need a strong online visibility, listings management, and reputation strategy and software. Otherwise, competitors will easily surpass you on the way up.

Has your healthcare team put online visibility on the back burner? Worry not. With the right platform and partnership, it’s easy to build, optimize, and maintain an incredible digital presence designed to grow your organization and enhance your patients’ care experience.

Don’t Underestimate Online Patient Reviews

A well-known name or top-tier medical degree isn’t enough to entice patients to your practice anymore. Patients want to see real feedback supporting everything from your expertise to your bedside manner. That’s where online reviews come in. For patients, review channels and directories play a huge role in choosing which physician or medical facility to trust. In fact, reports show that 84% of patients consult online reviews before selecting a healthcare provider or service!

If you aren’t using a platform to manage online reviews and reputation for your medical team, you leave the fate of your practice in the hands of internet strangers — rarely a winning idea.

Thankfully, organizations have the power to seamlessly leverage tons of fantastic tools, strategies, and tech solutions that boost online search visibility, encourage more 5-star reviews, and drive growth-focused care experiences.

No matter where you stand today, positive patient reviews will significantly improve your online reputation and attract the attention of the local patient base. So does diligently replying to every patient review, positive and negative. Review response also shows prospective patients that your healthcare organization highly prioritizes positive patient experiences.

Even better? 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 overall reputation score.

However, healthcare brands must pay close heed to this critical topic when replying to reviews — HIPAA guidelines! Failure to do so could mean legal trouble, but don’t let that dissuade your team from actively pursuing a review response strategy. With innovative features like customizable review response templates and easy-to-follow guidelines to prevent a potential violation, replying to patients while strictly abiding by confidentiality regulations is simple.

In brief, even if a patient openly posts a review revealing their own diagnosis, carefully reply with empathy while leaving out any specifics. Then, give them direct contact information leading them to a HIPPA-compliant place to privately continue the conversation.

Download Reputation Management for Healthcare Whitepaper

Fully Optimize Online Listings for Every Single Location

As more brands in the medical field catch onto the importance of online visibility, they are doing more to enhance their searchability and land higher on the SERPs. With the top three Google results getting over 55% of all clicks, falling much below that renders brands essentially invisible. With growing competition, your team must employ search visibility strategies to truly compete.

A common mistake to avoid is the assumption that one listing covers an entire organization. In actuality, every single location, doctor, practice, and department requires separate and fully optimized, updated, and monitored listings! While this might sound like a tall order, especially for massive enterprise-level healthcare systems, it’s vital to success. It’s also surprisingly simple to accomplish with the right tools for listing optimization.

Without this focus, it will be challenging for any of your practices to land atop the SERPs. Additionally, a lack of listings optimization creates challenges for users seeking the right service, specialty, department, or doctor for their specific needs. If they don’t immediately see the right details and keywords leading them to what they need, they’ll likely jump to a competitor that does display the desired information.

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 nearby medical services, treatment plans, procedures, and medical care providers.

A Quickfire List of Local SEO Tips for Healthcare

Ready to kickstart listings optimization for your healthcare organization? These best practices and local SEO strategies to improve your healthcare brand’s local search rankings will get you going:

  • 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 hours accurate and updated, especially during holidays
  • Delete duplicate listings
  • Add high-quality photos of your facilities
  • Ensure business details are consistent across all channels
  • Include branded and unbranded keywords in your listing description

That’s just the start. For deeper insights into the creation of high-performing online listings, read our blog, 5 Ways to Improve Online Visibility in Google in 2022.

Win More Patient Appointments With Local SEO & Reputation Management

There is no getting around it — patients looking for healthcare providers want to see online reviews before making a final decision. To make the final cut, healthcare teams must invest in software and strategies to amplify their online listings and positive online presence. Otherwise, your nearby competitors absolutely will.

Chatmeter proudly helps major healthcare networks nationwide strategize and optimize for online visibility, listings, and online reputation success. Our comprehensive HIPPA-compliant solutions, along with our friendly expert team, can’t wait to support your group’s growth. Schedule a FREE demo today to see why it’s the perfect fit for your organization.

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