Prior to the computer age a local practice could thrive with a marketing plan that consisted of a few print ads, a listing in the phone book and referrals from the practice’s existing patients. The process of how patients are finding their providers has changed drastically on in the last 20 years. More and more people, especially the baby boomer generation, are looking for recommendations through online search.
According to eMarketer.com, 70.3% of seniors 65+ currently use the internet on a regular basis. That is an enormous amount of people communicating, researching, buying and making recommendations on the web. When people search for a local business online, a large part of their consideration goes towards reviews from other people. When someone does an online search for a local business, a search engine like Google will likely serve up customer reviews alongside the URL to that business’s website. In many cases, Google will take reviews into consideration when determining where your website should show up in someone’s search. In other words, the more positive online reviews your business has, the better visibility you may have in a search engine search result. The better the visibility, the more people will be inclined to click onto your website or call to make an appointment.
So, how can you get more online reviews for your practice? We recommend developing a program that encourages your patients to write a review, whether it’s a through follow up email or a handout given to your patients along with their follow up appointment cards. The most important thing to remember is to never pay for reviews and in the event of a negative comment, be sure to follow up and address those comments with the suggestion to have that person contact you directly to discuss their concerns.
If you would like to discuss a local marketing strategy that includes increasing your online reviews, you can contact us for a free consultation.