How Patient Reviews Influence Your Medical Practice’s Web Rankings
Do Google reviews help improve SEO rankings for healthcare practices? Well, there’s a strong connection between the feedback your patients leave online, your medical practice's reputation, and your Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) ranking. So, to boost your practice’s SEO visibility and website visits, you’ll want to take a proactive approach to patient review management. Here are some important points to keep in mind as you look to boost your healthcare service's SERP rankings with more positive patient reviews.
1. How Do Google Reviews Help SEO for Healthcare Practices?
According to the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, healthcare consumers are increasingly considering quality ratings and reputation when choosing a doctor. Google takes this into account by incorporating patient online reviews in working out your business' SERP rankings. To provide the best user experience, Google prominently ranks higher practices with positive online reviews and high engagement levels with their patients. Patient reviews serve the following purposes when it comes to boosting Google SERP rankings:
- Indicate that you have a real practice that serves patients
- Show that the more positive reviews you have, the higher the patient satisfaction rates
- Illustrate your practice’s popularity by how frequently your patients add reviews
Generally, medical businesses with frequent, positive reviews rank better on Google than those with only negative or no reviews at all. It’s also important to monitor patient feedback on other platforms or directories like Yellow Pages or Yelp, which Google might consider when ranking your practice.
2. Important Patient Review Signals for Your Practice
Before Google’s algorithms assign you a SERP rank, the code looks into your review signals. These indicators may account for roughly 10% of your practice’s search ranking factors, according to Search Engine Watch. The key review signals are:
- Quantity of Patient Reviews
Aim at attracting as many patient reviews as possible to improve your search ranking. The statistic helps Google assess your popularity. So, if you’re more popular online than your competitors, you’ll likely rank better on the search engine.
- The Velocity of Your Patient Reviews
How frequently are patients leaving reviews for your healthcare service? The higher your review velocity is, the better your SERP visibility can be. Conversely, search rankings will typically drop when you have a negative rate.
- Review Diversity
Google’s local search algorithm considers the diversity and the number of your patient review sources as a ranking factor. Therefore, while it’s important to have a Google reviews profile, your pursuit of better SERP rankings shouldn’t stop there. Consider establishing an active presence and encouraging patient reviews on HealthGrades, Yelp, and other similar platforms.
3. A High Percentage of Patients Check Doctor Reviews
A 2020 RepuGen report shows why patient reviews are a serious merit consideration if you’re a healthcare giver. According to the survey:
- About 80% of surveyed patients look at online reviews when choosing a healthcare provider
- Poor healthcare provider reviews turn away 30% of patients
- To check healthcare provider reviews, most patients (76%) visit Google as opposed to alternative review platforms
- Google is the most trusted review site, followed by WebMD and HealthGrades in that order
- 63% of patients select a healthcare provider after assessing at least 10 patient reviews
4. Why You Should Respond to Patient Reviews
Poorly managed customer feedback can uncontrollably take a life of its own with potentially devastating outcomes on your practice’s reputation and search rankings. Here are the benefits of responding to patient reviews:
- Shows That You Value Your Patients’ Concerns
Responding to reviews helps affirm your commitment to providing high-quality services and patient satisfaction. It shows that you care, are willing to listen, and will make necessary healthcare service improvements.
- Establishes Trust with Your Target Audience
Prospective healthcare consumers may not trust your practice if they see that you don’t usually take patient reviews seriously. By openly addressing specific concerns from your previous patients, you show that your hospital, doctor’s office, or dental care clinic is responsible and trustworthy.
- Boosts Your Brand’s Influence and Online Visibility
Your responses to patient reviews are a crucial part of your practice’s search ranking factors. As you increase your interactions with patients on review pages, your SERP prominence and the ability to be found by prospective patients improve.
- Offer Your Patients New and Relevant Information
As you respond to patient concerns on review websites, you can provide relevant updates or reinforce your brand philosophy. You could speak to a wider target audience by customizing your responses to highlight your practice’s key differentiators.
- Preserve Your Practice’s Reputation
Responding to negative customer sentiments is an excellent opportunity to take control of the conversation and protect your business’ reputation. Your responses to previous unhappy patients speaks volumes to prospective patients about your professionalism, reliability, and trustworthiness.
Summing it Up: Google Reviews Help SEO Rankings
Google takes into account patient feedback and engagements when assigning you a local search rank. Thus, search influence reviews should be an important component of your SEO strategy if you’re a healthcare practitioner. For improvement and better control of your practice’s online reviews and engagements, consider leveraging a healthcare reputation management platform like RepuGen.