Online Reputation Management for Doctors
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Online Reputation Management for Doctors
Curated and Written Articles to help Physicians and Other Healthcare Providers manage reputation online. Tips on Social media, SEO, Online Review Managements and Medical Websites
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RepuGen Is Now Fully Compliant with Google’s Review Policy Update

RepuGen Is Now Fully Compliant with Google’s Review Policy Update | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

RepuGen’s review generation process is in full compliance with the updated Google review policy. that clearly states their stance against review-gating.

 

Now, on the Thank You page for positive, neutral and negative feedback, we will always show the review sites where the patients can click to post their review. With that, unhappy patients now also get an option to submit their review directly on Google (and other review websites) right off the bat. You will still be notified when negative ratings are made, but due to Google’s policy we can’t avoid asking unhappy patients for reviews.

We’ll explain the new RepuGen review process later in this blog. First, let us re-acquaint you with the respective Google review policy update.

 

Google’s Update to their Review Guidelines
On April 12, 2018, Google updated its online review policy, according to which, businesses are no longer able to “discourage or prohibit negative reviews or selectively solicit positive reviews from their customers.” The move was to ensure that businesses gather reviews from all its customers, irrespective of whether they were happy or unhappy with the service, and that online reviews of a business on Google are an accurate reflection of the kind of service they can provide.

 

RepuGen’s Review Requesting Process [Updated]
All user accounts with RepuGen have been updated to be in full compliance with Google’s review policy, providing the patient the option to directly leave a review on Google regardless of their sentiment, positive or negative.

 

The process is the same for happy patients who rate their experience positively. That way, patients will see hardly any difference between a negative rating and a positive rating, but at the same time we’re not limiting the benefit of some of RepuGen’s best reporting features – specifically sentiment analysis and word clouds from the comments that patients write.

 

At RepuGen, we are committed to protecting our clients' businesses by keeping them always up-to-date with the latest industry guidelines and standards. The online reputation industry is constantly evolving, and with that these changes are often necessary to make.

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Online Reputation Management Strategies for Doctors 

Online Reputation Management Strategies for Doctors  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

How your patients will review your practice depends on how they feel during their visit. This means that to improve your online reputation, you'll have to start with improving patient experience at the practice level, then utilizing positive patient experiences to build a positive reputation on the web. How do your build a great physician reputation? Read on to find out.

 

1. Be proactive in collecting feedback from your patients
According to a 2016 survey on how patients use online reviews, 30% of patients who could be writing reviews aren't writing. This could be due to the absence of an automated review generation process. However, even in the presence of an automated system, many doctors complain about receiving only a few reviews. In many cases where practices send their patients a link to publish a review, they still didn't get a response. That's because you need to ensure you’re getting patients at the right time – when they are most likely to publish a review. If you really want your patients to leave a review, encourage them to do it. One way you can do this is by engaging patients in a conversation and then asking them for a review. Doing so will improve the chances of your patients writing reviews for you. Here's how you can engage your patients in a conversation before asking them to write a review:

 

  • Ask as a favor
  • Let them know the time it will take (ex. “It will only take 2 minutes!”)
  • Clearly reveal your purpose for asking them (ex. “Reviews are the lifeblood of my practice”)
  • Clarify the process [keeping it easy will ensure more reviews]
  • Ensure you’re asking them at the right time (immediately after they leave the office is typically the best time, as the experience is fresh in their mind)

 

2.Intercept unhappy patients & perform service recovery
As you start collecting patient reviews, you'll start receiving some negative reviews too. Don't worry, as a few negative reviews are good for you as they present a more balanced reputation online. Also, when tracked proactively, negative reviews provide the opportunity to build and nurture a long-lasting relationship with your patients. A reputation management tool allows you to intercept your unhappy patients right after their visit, and hopefully before they post a review online. The process of intercepting unhappy patients and performing service recovery is simple. It goes like this:

 

  • Your unhappy patient rates you poorly using the tool
  • The tool immediately notifies you of the negative rating
  • You instantly connect with the unhappy patient, listen to their concern, and work with your team to turn the negative experience around
  • After successfully performing service recovery, the same tool again prompts the patient to write a fresh review (which will now be positive)

 


3. Objectively respond to all reviews; positive or negative
People seeing your patients' reviews online will also expect to see your responses to them. This way they get to learn about your attentiveness towards addressing your patients' concerns and how you tackle your patients' issues with your care or service. According to a Software Advice survey, 65% of patients feel it's “very” or “moderately” important for doctors to post a response. Keeping professional courtesy, refraining from disclosing the patient’s identity, and addressing to the masses instead of the specific patient is the key to being objective in your responses. Here are the guidelines on how you should respond to positive and negative reviews: Responding to positive reviews from your patients Create an uplifting, professional response that shows your commitment to patient satisfaction. Don't write anything that could reveal or confirm the patient's identity, to prevent yourself from violating HIPAA. Also, negative or positive, never forget to show your appreciation by always thanking your patients for sharing their feedback. A piece of advice here: Keep distance from phrases like, "It was great to see you", or "Thank you for visiting the office". Try something that's more vague and positive such as, "Thank you for the kind words". Doing so will reduce the chances of confirming the identity of a patient. Responding to negative reviews from patients Before taking any action with a negative review, address it objectively. Examine the situation from all perspectives; the patient's point of view, a legal point of view, and the public's point of view. Then, create a professional response that can minimize the damage to your reputation while respecting confidentiality laws. Software Advice suggests some Do’s and Don’ts of responding to negative reviews, which are very think that a review is falsified or inappropriate, you can report or flag it; asking the review site to take it down. The review site should comply – so long you can provide a credible argument. However, before reporting, learn about the guidelines laid out by each review site. It will help you to be more objective with your request, improving the chances that the review site will comply with your request.


4. Train your staff in customer service best practices
Patients leave reviews about your entire practice; not just about the quality of healthcare you provide. It's just the same when patients are reading reviews. According to a survey, 84% of patients look for information such as staff friendliness, ease of scheduling appointment, wait times, and office cleanliness/environment, etc., over other obvious details while reading reviews.training every staff member in customer service best practices and making it a company policy to follow these practices closely. From phone calls, front desk conversations and nurse interactions, to other things such as car parking, wait times, etc., all should be handled with friendly and professional behavior. Here, you can take help from the sentiment analysis feature provided in your patient satisfaction survey tool. Sentiment analysis of your patients will help you understand what precisely bothers your patients, which will allow you to implement the required changes to your practice more effectively. Related blog: Patients Value Personal Interactions with Their Providers: An Analysis of 7M Reviews Confirms


5.Build a strong patient community & network on social media
While patients are increasingly using social media for healthcare information, doctors are still reluctant about it. The reasons could be the fear of violating ethical and legal regulations, and the possibility of a misstatement getting shares on social media. Contrary to all that, having a social media presence is vital for your practice's growth in this digital age. Marjorie Stiegler, MD, a Harvard trained physician and a healthcare social media strategist provides these reasons for having a social media presence:

 

  • Curating a library of useful healthcare information
  • Finding collaborators
  • Promoting health literacy
  • Growing your practice, and 17 more

 

On the point of reluctance in using social media, Marjorie says, “sharing your ideas with as many people who might possibly benefit (even if that is by challenging you or taking another view) is a good thing. Disseminating knowledge and advancing science are core reasons we publish in journals. Even the best academic journals have a ridiculously low readership compared to the web.” To learn more about what Marjorie suggests for managing your professional reputation on social media, read her complete article on the topic.


6.Utilize content marketing to establish yourself as an authority
Healthcare content marketing is another way to build a robust online presence and reputation. Not only does it help you win valuable organic search traffic, but it also gives you a chance to establish yourself as a thought-leader with your 'expert articles' on related medical issues. According to Pew research, 1 in 3 patients use internet for resolving medical issues. A Google research says that, on an average, patients go through 12 different online resources before finally picking a provider. All of these explain the reason why you should be investing your time and resources in content marketing. Publishing useful content – even just one post per month – can go a long way in garnering appreciation from readers and giving you an effective means of selling your expertise without being overtly ‘sales-y’. The above given physician reputation management strategies can help you in elevating your image online. However, while implementing these, you should always refrain from some practices that may prove to be harmful to your healthcare business. Let's check out some 'Don'ts' of online reputation management for doctors:


Don't incentivize for getting positive reviews: Incentivizing (rewarding or discounting) for reviews isn't just illegal, but is also a practice that is heavily scrutinized by review sites like Yelp, who will bury reviews and flag accounts that they think are paying for reviews. Review sites have their well-defined system to track these reviews. Once found guilty, not just your reviews will be removed, but it will also invite discrediting of your practice by the review site itself, thereby affecting your online reputation and ranking.

 

Don't hire someone to post fake reviews for you: Review sites keep a regular check on fake reviews. They don't just remove a fake review from their site, but may also flag your practice for fabrication, which drastically impacts your online reputation.

 

Don't indulge in an online argument: Regardless of how much an angry patient tries to offend you into an argument, do not get involved as doing so will only discredit you. Always respond professionally, no matter what. If the patient still instigates an argument, offer to discuss and resolve the issue offline.

 

Don't mix up your private and professional life: Maintain separate professional and personal accounts on social media. Never post personal opinions, photos or videos on your professional accounts. Ideally, patients shouldn't find your personal social media accounts even if they go looking for them.

Now that patients' decision-making has shifted online, you should also focus on elevating your reputation on the web, so that you can positively influence prospective patients in your favor. While doing so, take help from a reputation management company who will provide you with a seamless process to ensure that managing your reputation isn’t overwhelming.

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Fight, Flight or Listen: Dealing with Physician Reviews & Negative Comments

Fight, Flight or Listen: Dealing with Physician Reviews & Negative Comments | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Perhaps you’ve followed the Taco Bell (“Of Course We Use Real Beef“) PR brouhaha, or you recall the PR catastrophe for BP regarding last year’s gulf oil spill.

 

Admittedly these are big business issues at the tip of the PR disaster sword. The media has a field day, and it’s a spectator sport for the general public. Professionally, let’s hope that your healthcare marketing and public relations experience never suffers this kind of global flack.

 

But these corporate calamities hold useful lessons for physicians, group practices, hospitals and other healthcare providers. What the giant corporations do (or don’t do) can transfer to something as common as physician reviews and negative patient comments.

 

Straight from the news pages, here are three PR textbook examples and how they might be useful where you live:

 

The FIGHT Response: In response to a much-publicized class action lawsuit, Taco Bell is out with vehement denials and a series of new advertisements titled: Thank You for Suing Us. While it’s commonplace to quickly embrace and repeat compliments, a common reaction to negative comments by patients is to discount or deny them as uninformed and/or incorrect. Some, perhaps most, situations require a response, but an angry, defensive or “come-out-swinging” answer can more easily aggravate a situation than disarm it.

 

The FLIGHT Response: For reasons that are self-evident, we can’t link to an illustration on this one. Remaining silent–the opposite of FIGHT—is seldom heard. Call it the “ignore-it-and-it-will-go-away” approach. And while minor things sometimes do seem to disappear, healthcare Public Relations pros and marketing communications executives recognize that there can be a serious downside in silence. The “no-response-response can be seen as stonewalling or even an admission or agreement. The patient issue or comment is still out there.

 

The LISTEN Response: Hopefully the patient-physician communications channels are wide open and so that patient issues or experiences can be discussed, addressed and resolved before they blossom into a negative online review or word-of-(bad)mouth comment.

 

A real world illustration of listening and acting—one that didn’t make as many headlines as Taco Bell—is this article by Los Angeles Otolaryngologist John W. House: How Online Reviews Can Help a Physician. It can be surprising how effective it is to listen to, and learn from, patient issues and to actively resolve an issue of concern.

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Testimonial are the Rules of Effective Social Proof in Healthcare Marketing

Testimonial are the Rules of Effective Social Proof in Healthcare Marketing | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Puppy dogs (and kittens) are cuddly cute. Babies (and kids) are scene-stealers. But in healthcare marketing, there’s nothing more convincing-and downright effective-than an excellent testimonial.

Sorry canine cuteness, but testimonials have been called “the single most powerful marketing tool.” They are a close relative to word-of-mouth advertising, and they are effective in “closing the sale” for many of the same reasons.

 

After all, what people say about you is many times more convincing than what you say about yourself. (With that in mind, see this page of comments.)

 

What’s more, testimonials are highly versatile. They can be used in brochures, printed materials, on your website, as well as in video format online (website, YouTube, etc.) and in many marketing, advertising and promotional applications. Testimonials are often key elements in television broadcast commercials such as these examples.

 

Unfortunately, testimonials are often done wrong; well intended, but next to useless.

 

Of course we recognize that this is a tool that is not ideal for every medical marketing or healthcare delivery situation. What’s more, HIPAA considerations have many practices and hospitals a bit “gun shy” about anything that approaches privacy boundaries. (If you’re curious but cautious, talk to your legal counsel.)

Nevertheless, testimonials—when they are done properly—can provide an energetic element of convincing “salesmanship” to the marketing message of many healthcare products, services and situations.

 

Why testimonials are effective.
Testimonials work for many reasons, and chief among these is that they are a form of “social proof.” On a psychological level, most individuals want to know that others, like themselves, have made this same choice and benefited from that decision. Testimonials build trust and reinforce the buyer’s inclination or decision to purchase a product or service.

By extension, the consumer takes comfort in joining his/her peer group, and further, can anticipate achieving the same benefits. The process reduces or overcomes doubt. In short, the consumer is empowered by a lower sense of risk and a greater sense of reward. Further, this assurance originates with a third-party.

 

Four ingredients of powerful testimonials.
An unguided and spontaneous testimonial can be enthusiastic but ineffective:

 

“I was really delighted to find [provider] and just loved


!! I don’t know anything like [it/him/them] anywhere!!! Much better than [something else.] Gracious sakes…it’s really the best!!!!”


Subtract the energetic tone (and the four exclamation marks) and this comment doesn’t actually say much. Mindful of policies and regulations, here is a list of slightly overlapping key ingredients that produce powerful and effective testimonials.

 

BENEFIT-DRIVEN – A good testimonial clearly describes how the recipient derived benefit from the product or service. What was the problem, need or compelling circumstance that was overcome or resolved?


SPECIFICITY – This is what or how the product or service produced tangible or quantifiable positive results. The more specific the better.


PERSONAL – Preferably a testimonial is first person; about themselves and not others… and in their own words or voice.


EMOTIONAL TOUCH – An audio or video testimonial can help communicate the positive energy, sense of satisfaction, and/or pleasure related to the product/service. How did this produce some form of happiness…feel better, look better, able to do things?


CREDIBLE/BELIEVABLE – Where possible and appropriate, a good testimonial will include a person’s name, location, photo and other details that allow the reader to relate to this being someone like them. Are they someone from a similar locale, situation or demographic?


Highly effective testimonials can reinforce your branding and further differentiate what you have to offer from the competition. Of course you’ll need signed permission to use the words, image and/or voice of the person who provides the testimonial.

 

Finally, have a system that guides and gathers testimonial comments. (Although many people may genuinely appreciate your products or services-and would welcome the opportunity to say so-they need a channel to express their thoughts. Help them.

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What Happens When Doctors Sue Unhappy Patients?

What Happens When Doctors Sue Unhappy Patients? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Experienced doctors tell us that, sooner or later in their career, every physician will face the prospect of legal action. Between 75 and 99 percent of practicing doctors, depending on their specialty, will be threatened by a lawsuit according to a NEJM study.

 

Although “patient-sues-doctor” rarely makes the news, the reverse situation—doctor-sues-patient—seems to make the headlines with regularity. And the core issue is a negative or unflattering online rating or comment by a patient about a doctor. But the outcome is seldom satisfactory.

 

Patients are increasingly engaged and empowered regarding their healthcare, due in part by the pervasive Internet. Doctors are understandably—and justifiably—concerned about their professional reputation…also with added muscle of view-anywhere web postings.

 

In a previous post, Legally Dumb: Should a Doctor or Dentist Sue a Patient for Bad-Mouth Comments?, we sympathized with a practitioner’s frustration and outright anger. Negative comments and online reviews can be untrue, unkind and one sided. But, from a public relations perspective, suing a patient for a negative comment just might be the worst thing to do. In PR terms it likely will grab new and broader media attention, repeat and extend the controversy, patients may sympathize with patients, and generally inflame the original issue.

 

Bad-mouth comments on personal blogs and collective-comment review sites can be influential among patients and prospective patients. There are dozens of user forums that has expanded to include Angie’s List (initially home improvement services), and Yelp (initially reviews of local restaurants).

 

Some news reports, The Boston Globe for example, suggest that doctors are firing back at patients’ online critiques, but with mixed results.

 

“The Digital Media Project at Harvard University tracks lawsuits filed against patients and others for online comments. Its website includes seven such cases filed over the past five years or so, though it’s not a comprehensive list. In some, patients took down their negative comments. In others, judges dismissed the suit, ruling that patients’ comments were protected under the First Amendment guarantee of free speech.”

 

We’re not offering legal advice here, but as another recent indicator, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that an online post about a Duluth neurologist is protected speech. And, according to the AP story about this ruling, “Experts say lawsuits over negative professional reviews are relatively uncommon and rarely succeed, partly because the law favors freedom of speech.”

 

Seeking professional legal counsel is sound advice for your situation. Our previous post lists some of the possible public relations consequences that should be considered, as well as observations from noted healthcare attorney Stephen Kaufman.

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Physician Ratings and Reviews on Sites Can Never Be Ignored

Physician Ratings and Reviews on Sites Can  Never Be Ignored | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

All too often, the love-hate attitude about online physician rating sites comes down to a strong desire by doctors to simply ignore them.

 

After all, doctors are too busy to attend to the largely imperfect and unreliable noise and chatter of patient comments. Even the “positive” reviews are rarely qualified to speak to clinical competency, which patients have little means to assess.

As for the rest of the online static, many doctors say they have zero time to listen to patient chatter–ranging from minor gripes about parking or paperwork to perceptions of an impersonal front desk.

 

Nevertheless, patient reviews and experiential feedback are not to be ignored. For one thing, it is simply good business to be in touch with the “voice of the customer.” Admittedly, it’s an imperfect system, but it’s part of the doctor-patient communications process, and a means to better understand the needs and wants of patients.

 

Then there’s the bottom line to consider. The purchase decision of about one-third of patients searching for a health care provider will be influenced—positively or negatively—by online reviews. And many patients would select an out-of-network doctor with better reviews than in-network doctors.

 

Fortunately, studies routinely find that positive reviews continue to outdistance the negative ones. But a growing number of patients also use online review to evaluate their current doctor, or the doctor they have selected, according to the 2014 Software Advice IndustryView study.

 

“[The] majority (61 percent) use them prior to choosing a doctor. However, a slightly greater percentage of patients in 2014—20 percent, up from 19 percent in 2013—say they use online reviews to evaluate their current doctor.


“Doctors should be aware that both current and new patients may be using reviews to evaluate their performance, and thus having a positive online presence on review sites is a step toward not just attracting patients, but retaining them.”

Where to begin…

 

There are dozens of online review sites, but the Software Advice study finds that “Yelp is the most popular online review site (27 percent), but ties with HealthGrades for most trusted.”

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Online Reputation Management to Avoid in 2019 

Online Reputation Management to Avoid in 2019  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

4 Traits of Bad Reputation Management
We all know it’s critical to maintain a great company reputation and build positive relationships with customers. This has lead many marketing firms to include online reputation management services as part of their offering. However, businesses may find it difficult to sift through the options and find the best firm for their needs. To help, we’ve put together this list of red flags to avoid when choosing an ORM firm for your company.

 

Guaranteed First-Page Rankings
Some SEO firms guarantee that you’ll quickly rank number one or you’ll pay nothing. This deceptive practice should be a huge red flag to businesses. Nobody can truly guarantee that you’ll attain the top spot in the search results. Many factors influence ranking movement, including some external factors that you can’t control. Moreover, search engines are constantly improving their algorithms, which impact search engine results on a daily basis.

 

Online reputation management requires a deep understanding of these factors, as well as the ability to adapt to external changes. Further, it takes time to rank in the top of search engines, especially for highly competitive keywords. A qualified firm understands the search engine reputation management strategies needed to improve your brands positive online presence.

 

Generating Reviews
Online reviews are critical for driving revenue. Whether you’re a local business or a top internet retailer, reviews are a major factor in consumers’ purchasing decisions. Because negative reviews can drive away potential customers, it’s important to monitor what customers say about your business. Many reputation management firms include review monitoring and management, however some may even offer to generate reviews.

 

This can be tricky. You should try to get Google reviews naturally because you offer great service and ask for reviews. However, don’t ever write or buy fake reviews. Reputation management agencies that promise to generate reviews often hire freelancers to publish fake reviews about your business. These reviews can even end up duplicated across several web platforms and have a negative impact on your business’s credibility. In some extreme cases, reputation management companies actually own review sites where they themselves publish fake negative reviews before seeking out the customer and offering their ORM services to remove these bad reviews.

 

If a firm offers to generate reviews, ask for clarity on their process, and if you’re still unclear, it may be best to avoid entirely.

 

Spammy Content Distribution
Creating strong, positive, optimized content is a key element in managing your online reputation. While content creation is a common service offered by reputation management agencies, where that content is distributed and published is equally important.

 

Sketchy firms will take advantage of customers by publishing the same content on low-quality sites on a mass scale. Many times customers are unaware this has happened because they rely on that firm to monitor their mentions and placements. Unsuspecting customers are paying for unique content on quality sites, but instead, their content becomes spam, duplicated across the internet.

 

Be wary when you see offers for “high impact content” published on “trusted sites.” Similar to the scenario noted above for review generation, some firms own a plethora of of low quality sites that they lump in with their handful of “trusted sites,” where they are able to control the content. Ask detailed questions about the content creation and distribution process. Know where your content will be published and that those placements are relevant to your business.

 

Promised Removal of Negative Content
The promise to remove negative Google reviews from the search engine results is the most common ploy used by fraudulent reputation management companies to attract prospective customers. Without legal grounds, the ability to remove a piece of negative content from the internet is generally not possible.

 

To put this concept into perspective, this would imply a firm has the power to delete content from millions of different websites and social media platforms without the owner’s permission. No firm has the ability or authorization to simply remove reviews from Facebook upon request. In fact, some firms claim they possess a software that can achieve this. Sound too good to be true? That’s because it is.

 

Sometimes these sites are operated by the firm themselves, or the firm has a financial relationships with the owners of the sites that allows them to remove content anytime.

 

Google will only remove content from the search results if it includes: valid legal requests (ex. copyright violations), child sexual abuse imagery, or sensitive personal information not intended for the public. You can learn more about how to remove content from Google here.

 

Before hiring a reputation management firm: do your research, ask questions and be sure to reference the above points during the process. You many also consider asking for references or a case study that will allow you to determine the firm’s quality and credibility.

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How to Remove Bad (or Fake) Google Reviews - and Dispute Them

How to Remove Bad (or Fake) Google Reviews - and Dispute Them | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Anybody has the power to critique your company without ever visiting your store or coming face-to-face with your employees. For most businesses, reviews are a great way to build a positive reputation. However, they can also be a nightmare if an angry customer or competitor has a bone to pick with you.

 

But that’s not the only problem.

 

Shady competitors may try to use online review platforms against you. If you doze off behind the wheel, you might wake up to find countless fake Google reviews blasting your business. What’s worse, most people can’t tell the difference between a real customer and a fake reviewer.

 

But don’t worry. We’ll help you spot the frauds and show you exactly how to flag and remove bad Google reviews in this step-by-step guide. Here’s what we’ll cover:

 

How to spot fake Google reviews
Tips to respond to negative reviews
How to flag and remove Google reviews
Follow up and monitor progress
Protect your reputation
Need help rebuilding your company’s reputation? Contact us to learn more about our enterprise reputation management offering.

 

Why it’s important to fix bad Google reviews
It’s practically a guarantee that your business will get negative reviews at some point. That’s why it’s imperative to stay on top of feedback across all review platforms. It’s estimated that 91 percent of consumers read online reviews. They’re usually looking for negative experiences and to see if you attempted to make things right. If they don’t like what they find, they won’t buy from you. That means a poor online reputation could cost large companies millions of dollars and might even destroy a small business.

 

This isn’t to say that all negative reviews are terrible. On the contrary, they can build trust. No business is flawless, so an enormous pile of perfect ratings may smell like a pile of something else to savvy customers. Instead, a sprinkling of neutral feedback creates trust between the brand and the consumer. Bad Google reviews also give you a chance to improve your business. Think of them as free and honest feedback about what isn’t working.

 

Whether reviews are real or not, you still need to do something about them before they damage your company’s credibility and tarnish your hard-earned reputation. Step one is to find and remove fake Google reviews.

 

1. Evaluate your Google reviews
Regularly check for feedback on all review platforms, including Google, Facebook, Yelp and Ripoff Report. Larger companies should monitor review sites daily, while a weekly check-in will usually suffice for smaller businesses. Here’s an article that explains how to Google your business to find comments that may not have bubbled up to page one yet. It’s also smart to set up Google Alerts for your brand so nothing slips through the cracks.

 

If you see a dreaded 1-star review, don’t light your torches and form a mob. Instead, take a breath, calm down, and come up with a clear strategy to rectify the situation.

 

Bad Google reviews happen for many reasons, but most come from customers who’ve had a negative experience with your company. For example, perhaps someone received a faulty product or was insulted by rude staff. But sometimes complaints are just plain false. Disgruntled former employees, sneaky competitors, and spammers may be out to get you. Read criticism carefully to figure out who may have written it, and why.

 

Tricks to spot and remove fake Google reviews
Compare suspicious complaints with your sales records. Can you find any matching transactions? Here’s checklist to help you spot fake reviews:

 

The buyer isn’t in your point of sale software system
Purchased items and/or the transaction date doesn’t match their complaint


No customer service calls on record
Lack of detail (e.g., they haven’t named any specific employees)
You noticed a surge of bad reviews in a short period of time
There’s a connection between the reviewer and a competitor

 

2. Always respond to negative reviews
Rapid response is your best weapon against customer complaints. Never, EVER ignore a review, true or false. Addressing complaints quickly shows third-party readers that you’re serious about providing quality customer service. This is your chance to show others that they won’t have the same bad experience.

 

Tips for responding to a negative review
Contact the reviewer directly: Sometimes it’s best to talk offline. If you can get people on the phone, you may have an even better shot at calming them down. But don’t forget to revisit the original review and explain how the dilemma was resolved.

 

Take the proper tone: The right tone can turn a bad experience into a positive review. Don’t make excuses. Don’t get defensive. Keep things short and sweet. Maintain professionalism and own up to any mistakes you may have made. Swallow your pride and apologize, even if you’re not the one at fault. Most importantly, thank the consumer for their valued feedback.

 

Never threaten a lawsuit: Just don’t do it. Technically, you can sue someone for online defamation in some cases, but even if you win, you’ll likely lose in the long run. Lawsuits draw negative attention, and the media backlash from suing a consumer will scare off other clientele.

 

Offer to fix the problem: If the reviewer has a valid complaint, work with them to solve it. Address the employees involved, replace the faulty product, and make things right for your customer. But don’t make empty promises. Instead, follow through with everything you guarantee. Most negative reviews can be flipped around if the customer sees that you are willing to make things right.

 

How to respond to a fake Google review (yes, it’s necessary)
It’s critical to respond to all reviews — especially if the review is fake. Although you might know the review isn’t true, your customers may not. So before you do anything else, address their issue and apologize for their discontent. Then tell them that you are unable to find a record of their transaction. This sends a message to fraudulent reviewers that you’re onto them while appearing helpful to potential customers. Finally, offer to remedy their issue and give them your contact information (email and/or phone number). We’ll discuss the next steps you should take in the following section.

 

3. How to remove fake Google reviews
It’s usually possible to have a bad star rating removed if you can prove that it’s fake, inaccurate, or inappropriate. However, only the original author can delete truthful complaints from your company page. In the case of false reviews, though, you should take action as soon as possible to erase any trace of them.

 

Google’s review policy
You can dispute Google reviews and request that they be removed if they violate any of the following guidelines:

 

Spam and fake content: Content must be genuine. Google will remove false information intended to boost rankings.
Off-topic — Content must reflect an individual’s experience at a location. Irrelevant social, personal or political commentary will be removed.


Prohibited content: Google will remove illegal, locally restricted, sexually explicit, offensive, dangerous or derogatory content. This includes hate speech.


Conflict of interest: You may not review your own business, a current or former employer, or a competitor’s business.

 

How to flag fake Google business reviews
Google Maps is the easiest way to flag reviews and complaints. Find your business listing on Google Maps, and click on reviews. Next, identify any false reviews using the tips we shared above. Finally, click the three vertical dots on the right side of the Google business review and select “flag as inappropriate.” That’s all there is to it.

 

How to dispute a Google review
Google might not remove a flagged complaint as quickly as you’d like, if ever. To speed things along, you can also personally contact Google and ask them to take it down. To do so, visit your Google My Business profile again. Next click on the “support” option at the bottom of the left side navigation panel.

 

After clicking “support,” a help box will pop up. To email Google and dispute a review, you’ll need to click through the following list of help topics:

 

Need more help > Customer reviews and photos > Manage customer reviews > Email support

 

Then follow these three steps.

Submit your phone number or email address along with a screenshot of the suspicious review, and you should receive a response in one to two days.


If your situation is especially pressing or you still haven’t received an adequate response, try tweeting directly to @GoogleSmallBiz. Explain your predicament and how the negative Google review violates their review policy along with any images you have.
Finally, if you have evidence that the complaint qualifies as slander against your company, you can fill out a Google form for a legal removal request.


If you’d rather ReputationManagement.com do the work for you, contact our team to learn more about our white-glove reputation management service.

 

Fixing bad reviews on other sites


Facebook
Bad reviews aren’t limited to Google. Whether you’ve created an official Facebook page or not, your customers could be talking about you there. What’s worse, you may have started a page years ago and never gone back to address reviews that could be piling up. Check out this post to learn how to remove bad Facebook reviews.

 

Yelp
If an inappropriate review hasn’t already been filtered out by Yelp’s algorithm, you can report. If moderators find that the review breaches their content guidelines, it will be taken down. However, fake reviews often slip through the filters. Read our full article about how to remove yelp reviews to learn more.

 

Ripoff Report
It’s much trickier to get rid of Ripoff Report reviews. The only way to remove a Ripoff Report is to pay them an exorbitant amount of money. Otherwise, the platform refuses to take down complaints because they believe comments should be preserved to expose patterns of bad business practices. That means you’ll have to resort to reputation management strategies to push these results down. Learn more about Ripoff Report removal here.

 

Contact outside organizations if necessary
If you can prove that a competitor left a fake Google review for your business, report them to the Better Business Bureau and your local Chamber of Commerce. Of course, you should also inform the owner of the competing business privately and politely that you know what they’re doing and that you’re taking action to protect your reputation. If the matter continues to escalate, it may be worth filing a lawsuit.

 

4. Follow up and continue monitoring
Check up on bad Google reviews: Did you make up for a negative customer experience? Did you offer a refund or other compensation? If you believe you’ve resolved the issue, reach out and ask for their current feelings about your business. They may be willing to revisit or remove their original review.

 

Sadly, many review sites push edits to the bottom of the original complaint. But you should still update the report to show how important customer satisfaction is to your company. If the platform doesn’t allow for any changes, consider asking for another review that reflects the better experience. If he or she agrees to edit or remove their Google review or write a new one, be sure to leave a comment thanking them.

 

Keep tabs on reviews you’ve reported: Revisit the ratings you’ve flagged to make sure they’ve been altered or removed. If not, try pursuing other courses of action as we outlined above. If you find more fraudulent reviews, you may have a bigger problem, such as a competitor trying to interfere with your business. Continue to dispute them, but this is where you might start considering taking legal action.

 

5. Build a positive online reputation
If your search results are still flooded with bad Google reviews, the problem may be rooted in your business. Reevaluate how you can improve the products and services you provide. This might mean revamping your customer service training or even firing an employee. In the end you’ll need to do what’s necessary to make your customers happy.

 

The best defense is great customer service
Of course, the best online reputation management strategy to prevent complaints is to provide impeccable service and and amazing products. Doing so will make it easy to earn enough positive ratings to drown out the negativity. Always do everything in your power to make each experience the best it can be. Don’t charge more than necessary. Deliver the correct order the first time. Most importantly, do whatever you can to make your business a place where people feel welcome.

 

Ask happy customers for reviews
Ask your customers what you’re doing right and what you could improve. If they seem to have positive sentiments about your company, encourage them to leave a review and show your gratitude to the ones who do. Here are some helpful tips to get Google reviews:

 

Ask immediately after a transaction.
Include calls to actions on receipts and email newsletters.
Post a list of review sites near your front door or cash register.
Encourage feedback in your store and on your company website so consumers can air their grievances privately instead of posting them online.


Never buy or fabricate reviews, bribe your customers, or obtain too many good reviews in a short period of time — this looks just as suspicious as a sudden onslaught of bad reviews.
Expand your online presence


Build a positive online presence that keeps negative content out of your search results. It’s not a quick and easy process. In fact, you’ll probably need help from experts like us.

 

We can help you establish and optimize your social media platforms and keep them regularly updated with fresh content.

Stay aware: Our team also offers around-the-clock brand monitoring. We’ll watch over your Yelp, Facebook, and Google reviews, in addition to your entire advanced search landscape. You’ll get relentless vigilance over your brand’s complete online presence so we can take action before issues become widespread.

 

Amplify positive news: We’ll work with you to publish and promote positive content that represents your business. Public relations tactics alone aren’t enough to change your search results. You’ll need cutting-edge SEO reputation management strategies to see results. No other firm understands Google’s search algorithm better than us.

 

 

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Physicians in the digital age should know about reputation management in 2019 

Physicians in the digital age should know about reputation management in 2019  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Unfortunately, we live in a litigious world.

 

Although nearly every doctor puts forth the greatest effort to take the best care of each patient, it is often not possible to keep every single one happy.

 

In this day and age, when patients aren’t happy, they frequently resort to digital channels to express discontent with their doctors.

 

Worse yet, some physicians are involved in lawsuits and, through no fault of their own, end up getting negative press coverage — which in turn can result in loss of business and a tarnished reputation.

 

Often, doctors choose to neglect negative coverage but that is not a good long-term strategy.

 

Instead, physicians do better to take a proactive approach to managing their online presence. In the 21st century, the first ten Google search results tied to your medical business can literally make or break your business.

 

That’s how reputation management for doctors, as a marketing strategy, has become a standard service.

 

There are typically two marketing approaches that can be deployed in reputation management for doctors, depending on specific circumstances:

 

1. Crisis Management: This refers to when a physician needs to go on the defensive due a PR nightmare. Usual culprits causing a doctor to deal with crisis management include lawsuits (both when patients sue a doctor and when a doctor sues a patient), DUIs or arrests (doctors are human, too, and sometimes have to deal with unfavorable public records), misconduct cases (ex., sexual harassment claims) or government investigations (ex., governmental study of a doctor’s billing or prescription practices).

 

2. Proactive Reputation Management: This refers to tactics used by doctors to proactively build and manage their digital personae. Today, certain physicians have recognized the power of proactive marketing and social media platforms and have systematically engaged different strategies to boost their digital presence.

 

Both crisis management techniques and proactive reputation management use similar tactics when it comes to improving a doctor’s online persona. Crisis management is nothing more than a subset of proactive reputation management techniques used in a more aggressive way. Since a doctor is on the defensive, the costs associated with quickly dealing with the problem at hand are higher.

 

If you are interested in building your online reputation gradually and systematically, this article is for you.

 

We will quickly review all the tried and true marketing techniques that apply to proactively creating a digital brand for a physician. Are you a doctor or physician interested in creating a powerful online presence? This checklist is for you.

 

Still not convinced your digital presence matters as a practicing physician? Here is an infographic that might change your mind:

 

  • 85% of users trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations
  • 33% of Millenials look for healthcare information online and on message boards.
  • 72% of patients start the search for a new doctor online
  • 65% of patients believe doctors should respond to negative reviews online
  • A study published in the Journal of General Medicine found that 53% of physicians look at physician review websites
  • Around 84% of today’s patients say they research new primary physicians and medical practitioners online before visiting a doctor’s office
  • 48% of patients said positive online reviews can convince them to go out-of-network for treatment because they value quality of service over care affordability.

 

1. Self-Assess Your Current Online Reputation

Don’t feel knowledgeable about what is being said about you online? Google yourself — it really is that simple.

 

In 2017, patients commonly checked doctor reviews on websites such as Yelp, ZocDocs, WebMD, RateMDs, Healthgrades, Google Reviews and Angie’s List. Find your practice on any of these websites and look at what patients are saying.

 

Assessing comments, posts, and reviews on these popular platforms will give you a far better idea of which reputation management approach to take, as well as areas you could improve.

 

2. Claim your Google Business Listing
A Google business listing on Google My Business is a standard free service provided by Google to all local businesses all over the US. Since Google searching is statistically how a large number of people obtain their information about doctors, having a listing profile could be the difference between creating a positive impression and the alternative.

 

If your medical practice doesn’t already have a business listing – go claim yours. This free listing allows you to add pictures from your practice, add hours of operation, information about your business and lets your patients review your practice.

 

3. Build a LinkedIn Presence
Studies show that owning a LinkedIn profile means a high ranking on Google searches — which right away puts you at an advantage.

Furthermore, having a well-curated, detailed LinkedIn page makes your practice seem legitimate, while simultaneously giving you a platform on which to showcase your previous achievements.

10-15% of patients find the doctor through his online presence — and credits his LinkedIn profile for increased business.

 

4. Add Your Listing on Popular Websites
An analysis of 4999 online physician ratings revealed a surprising fact — most patients give physicians favorable ratings online. This means that just your presence on popular physician rating websites means that you will likely benefit from positive reviews!

 

The study found HealthGrades.com, Vitals.com, Yelp.com, YP.com, RevolutionHealth.com, RateMD.com, Angieslist.com,

 

Checkbook.org, Kudzu.com, and ZocDoc.com to be the most popular platforms among physician rating websites; it is of vital importance to maintain profiles on these websites to boost your online reputation.

 

5. Monitor Your Presence Proactively
Not all doctors understand that your online presence can change in a matter of minutes.

 

One bad review, or one unwanted article could mean the deterioration of your online reputation and an accompanying loss of business.

 

It is important to always be on top of what people are saying about your practice every day. Thankfully, it is also very easy to do so. One useful method is to set up Google Alerts, which will notify you whenever your name or the name of your practice is mentioned online.

 

This proactive approach will allow you to better manage your image and improve the success of your medical practice.

 

6. Customer Service Training for Staff

It might surprise you to learn that a combined 48% of patients say they value the friendliness of the medical staff and the ease of scheduling appointments over other information when reading online reviews.

 

Patients leave reviews about every individual with whom they interact in a medical practice, not just the doctor or the healthcare service offered.

 

Train every staff member in customer service best practices and make it company policy to closely follow these practices . Each phone call, front desk conversation and nurse interaction should be handled with friendly, professional behavior. Training staff in customer service protocols could indirectly result in increased business and a more successful practice.

 

7. Respond, Respond, Respond to Comments
Most patients feel that it is important for doctors to respond to all online feedback; it is of vital importance that you respond to both negative and positive comments about your practice online.

For positive reviews, be sure to thank patients for kind words about your practice. Leave an uplifting message that underlines your commitment to patient satisfaction, but be wary to avoid revealing any information that may violate privacy laws.

For negative feedback, refrain from responding in an emotional state, and think deeply about what your response could imply about your business. The right response can quickly neutralize a negative view about your business.

 

Before you address any review — whether extreme or not — consider whether you are able to address the points made from an objective standpoint. Think about the patient’s perspective, your own view, and even the view of someone who is simply reading the review.

 

Minimize the damage to your reputation while simultaneously sidestepping any possibility of violating privacy laws.

 

8. Be Careful Online
Nothing looks worse than a doctor arguing with a patient online.

Doctors should encourage the patient to get in touch with the practice in a more private manner, while apologizing on public forums. Do not acknowledge that a patient was in your office, or that you provided treatment — this is in strict violation of privacy laws and will not reflect well on your business.

 

Furthermore, it is important that you keep your private and professional lives separate on the internet. When potential customers look you up online, it is important that they do not see the nights out and the family barbecues, only what matters from a work-perspective.

 

Keep private profiles restricted so that only friends and family can see them. If you have private information online and cannot remove it, an online reputation company can help.

 

9. Actively Request Feedback
As previously stated, most physicians receive favorable reviews. This means that setting up a user-friendly review process for your customers is in your best interests.

 

Not receiving enough reviews? That may just be because you’re not encouraging patients to leave them. Ask your patients whether they’d be willing to review you when you send them follow up emails.

 

According to a 2016 survey, 70% of consumers said they would leave a review for a business if they’re asked to do so. If you are concerned about asking for public feedback, know that requesting reviews rarely hurts a practice. In fact, more than 50% of patients report leaving positive reviews when they do rate a business; only 7% of patients write negative reviews.

 

An easy, intuitive review system means that your review base will only grow with time, enhancing your online reputation.

 

10. Improve Based on Feedback
Positive and negative feedback can improve your online presence, but it won’t be useful unless you act on it.

Feedback is among the best signs of where your practice stands to improve, and offers an opportunity to give your customers the best experience possible.

 

Facebook is a great place to speak to your patient base and directly ask for reviews through organic posts. Since no one can hide behind an anonymous moniker, you can trust that the feedback you solicit should be a bit more reliable than on other platforms. Take advantage of the following you have built to solicit feedback.

 

11. The importance of reviews
90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. Indeed, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

 

Positive reviews, satisfied quotes, and happy patients make for highly effective free advertising; they are proven to affect the way potential customers think about your business.

Be sure to obtain permission before using any patient’s content in marketing material, however.

 

A word of caution: resist the temptation of creating fake, positive reviews for yourself. Fake reviews are not only fundamentally immoral, but review websites often scan for inauthentic submissions. If a review on your page is flagged as fraudulent, your practice will quickly develop a negative reputation.

If the authenticity of your reviews cannot be verified, your practice could be flagged.

 

12. Create a Blog

There are several reasons why doctors should consider authoring a blog.

 

First, writing a blog conveys to readers that you are proactive and involved in the medical community. It also builds a voice of your own. This goes a long way to establishing you and your practice as a thought leader in the industry. It also has the potential to give you a vastly enhanced reputation.

 

Blogs are also a lesser-known but highly effective search engine optimization tool. Owning a blog means that your website is more likely to rank highly in search engines such as Google, owing to content freshness and user interaction.

 

Blogs have the added advantage of providing you with content for social media. This gives you a forum for getting involved in popular news items, and enables you to rank for Blog searches as well as regular searches on the internet. This means more people will see your content.

 

13. Maintain a Social Media Presence
Social media is a multi-faceted tool. Social media can be used to find new patients, engage existing ones, and improve your online reputation. Maintain a social media presence that provides useful information, updates about your practice and helpful, respectful answers to patient questions, and even thought leadership!

Many patients turn to social media in their online inspection of a healthcare provider. If you don’t have a presence, you are selling your practice short.

 

Today, 31% of healthcare professionals have already turned to social media for professional networking. Over 40% of patients report that social media affects their choice in a healthcare provider and facility.

 

14. Outline your Value Proposition
Emphasizing what makes your business different from the competition is not strictly an online reputation management tool, but it can be employed online to make your practice stand out.

Does your business offer better customer care than others? Make sure to highlight it on your website and publications.

 

15. Be a thought leader

Not only can an effective content marketing strategy win you valuable organic search traffic but those in your city who see that you have published thought-provoking articles about your industry of expertise will also see you as a thought leader in your field.

 

What better way to show the world you are keeping up with current trends in the medical world than by publishing a regular stream of articles about your profession? Useful content will be greatly appreciated by readers and it gives you an effective means of selling without being overtly sales-y. Even just one post per month will go an incredibly long way to improve and expand your reputation over a period of several years.

 

16. Build a Company Website
In today’s digital climate, having a company website is imperative.

81% of consumers perform online research before making a purchase, and owning a website allows you to express information about your business in a professional, official manner.

 

Furthermore, owning a domain name means that customers that research using organic search engines are more likely to come across your business, meaning more customers for your practice.

 

17. Backlinks and Search Engine Optimization
If you want your business to rank highly on search engines, understanding how backlinking and search engine optimization work is of vital importance.

 

A backlink is an incoming link to your website. In other words, another website links to yours.

 

The more backlinks your website has, the higher it will rank on popular search engines such as Google. The higher your website ranks on these search engines, the more likely people who search for “best doctors in my area” or related phrases are to see your business.

 

Indeed, 93% of searchers never go past the first page. Instead, they are using only the first 10 search results to form their impression — which means it’s imperative for you to be near the top.

 

Search Engine Optimization focuses on how to make your website rank highly on these kinds of websites — this does not simply include backlinking. Making yourself familiar with SEO principles could mean increased traffic, and ultimately more business for your practice.

 

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Five Online Reputation Management Strategies for Physicians 

Five Online Reputation Management Strategies for Physicians  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Many healthcare executives are opening their eyes to the new ways prospective patients are searching for physicians. Almost half of consumers surveyed in 2014 believe reputation is the leading factor when selecting a doctor or a dentist. It is likely those numbers will continue to rise.

 

As more and more information about physicians becomes available online and big digital health companies compete to list doctors, consumers will gravitate to the most information-rich channel. So how can a busy doctor navigate the waters of online reputation, while focusing on providing top quality care to patients?

 

Here are five online reputation management strategies that are yielding results for successful physicians.

 

Embrace online ratings and reviews

While many physicians aren't fans of online reviews, these websites are here to stay. That's because more and more consumers are heading to ratings sites to compare healthcare providers and post reviews about their experiences.

A 2014 survey published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that of consumers who parsed through online reviews, 35 percent of respondents would select a physician based on positive reviews, while 37 percent avoided doctors with negative reviews.

 

Consumers use both healthcare-specific ratings sites — think Healthgrades and RateMD's —and general consumer sites like Yelp and CitySearch. The best way to catch a consumer’s eye online is to have a large volume of positive reviews across multiple ratings sites.

 

So how do you get more reviews?

 

Ask patients to rate you

Now that you've seen the power of ratings sites in affecting online reputation, how can you get more reviews? Just ask.

If you're not sure how to ask patients to rate you, here are a few suggestions:

 

• Hand a card to the patient with the urls listed for key consumer ratings sites and ask them to rate you

• Add a clickable link for key sites to your email signature and website.

• Send patients a snail mail letter with urls of popular ratings sites.

• Keep a tablet at the front desk and ask patients to post a review before leaving your office.

• Send an email request using your auto-responder.

• Create a short video with step-by-step instructions.

Try out multiple strategies to gauge those that work best for your practice, and then focus on the most important thing. Consistency. That means finding a way to ask every patient to rate you online.

You want to see new reviews every week if possible, building up your total volume, and diluting the strength of negative comments.

 

Take full advantage of online profiles

Another way to beef up your reputation is by completing online profiles on sites such as Healthgrades, Vitals, and RateMDs. As many patients search for physicians by name, you'll want a mix of different types of search results, including content you provide.

 

One site many physicians are using is called Doximity, sometimes billed as the LinkedIn for doctors. This is a physician to physician site that can be useful in building relationships with referring doctors.  Consumer sites, such as Vitals, allow you to claim your professional profile and add information about education, specialties, and expertise.

 

Don't ignore angry patients

The first rule is treat every patient well. However, sometimes service may not be up to the patient’s standard. Or a patient or family member is simply unhappy with some aspect of treatment. Like any business, you won't please everyone.

 

But consider how you'll respond when a patient posts a negative or angry review.

 

You don't want to discuss any aspect of a patient's case in online statements, leading to potential HIPAA violations. This means you can't answer someone posting anonymously, but depending on the severity of the negative comment, you may or may not want to respond directly.

 

Some online review sites — RateMD's is one — allow you to respond to a negative review. Crafting a response acknowledging a problem can show prospective patients that you are serious about providing a positive experience.

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27 Essential Tips for Reputation Management for Doctors 

27 Essential Tips for Reputation Management for Doctors  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

1. Self-Assess Your Current Online Reputation

Have you Googled yourself lately? If you don’t know what’s being said about you or your practice online, you need to self-assess your current reputation. In 2017, patients commonly checked doctor reviews on websites such as Yelp, ZocDocs, WebMD, RateMDs, Healthgrades, Google Reviews and Angie’s List. If you find your practice on any of these websites, look at what patients are saying.

 

After exploring various review websites and the first few pages of Google, you’ll have a better idea of your current online reputation.

 

2. Monitor Your Reviews Proactively

Set up Google alerts that will email you whenever your name or the name of your practice is mentioned online. Read each new mention of your practice carefully and closely monitor your online reputation every day.

This proactive approach will allow you to better manage your image and improve the success of your medical practice.

 

3. Treat Every Patient Like a Reviewer

Remember that every patient that calls or comes to your practice is a potential reviewer. Treat each patient with the utmost respect, projecting the image you want your practice to have. For example, if you’d like patients to report courteous behavior and compassionate staff (and you do), go above and beyond to ensure each person experiences just that.

 

Remember, in today’s high-tech society, what you say to a patient could be posted online immediately.

 

4. Request Feedback

If you’re not receiving many online reviews, it might be because you’re not encouraging patients to leave them. Ask your patients if they’d be willing to leave reviews about their experiences online when you send them follow up emails.

According to a 2016 survey, 70% of consumers said they’ll leave a review for a business if they’re asked to.  If you’re concerned about asking for public feedback, know that requesting reviews rarely hurts a practice. In fact, more than 50% of patients report leaving positive reviews when they do rate a business. To compare, only 7% of patients write negative reviews.

 

5. Hire a Reputation Firm

If your online reputation has gotten away from you, or if perhaps you’re just too busy to take the necessary steps to improve it, you may want to seek out professional assistance by hiring an online reputation management firm. These firms staff teams of professionals who can keep your online image focused on the positive aspects about your practice so you can put your best foot forward when being considered by new patients.

Reputation firms can also offer advice on responding to negative patient reviews and on improving doctor/patient relationships online.

 

6. Address Critiques Objectively

Before you do anything about a critical review, address it objectively. Consider the situation from the patient’s point of view, from a legal standpoint and from the public’s point of view. Examine the most professional response and how you can minimize the damage to your reputation while respecting confidentiality laws.

If you are feeling heated and upset by a negative review, come back to the review later on.

 

7. Think Carefully Before Addressing Anyone Online

Nothing looks worse than a doctor arguing with a patient online. For example, if a past patient claims your practice missed a diagnosis, to dispute this online would breach doctor/patient confidentiality laws and cause you to appear unprofessional.

Instead, doctors are encouraged to ask the patient to contact the practice for a specific response while offering apologies. Always address reviews professionally and do what you can to make it right. Do not acknowledge that a patient was in your office, or that you provided treatment for both positive and negative reviews.

 

8. Don’t Create Fake Reviews

Filling a website with dozens of fake positive reviews might sound like the easiest way to improve your online reputation. Instead, this can quickly ruin a practice. Not only is this fraudulent behavior, but many review sites regularly scan for fake reviews.

If the authenticity of your positive feedback cannot be verified, the reviews may be removed and your practice may be flagged for fabricated reviews. It’s just not worth it.

 

9. Respond to Positive Reviews

When you receive a positive review, thank the patient for his or her kind words about your practice. Leave an uplifting, professional response that shows your commitment to patient satisfaction. Do not, however, share any patient information that could violate privacy laws.

 

Stay clear of phrases like, “It was great to see you,” or “Thank you for visiting the office.” Keep it vague and positive such as, “Thank you for the kind words.”

 

Patients prefer visiting practices that demonstrate active engagement with online reviewers.

 

10. Respond to Negative Reviews

Just as you should respond to positive reviews, you should also respond to patients who leave negative feedback. As previously noted, do not do so from an emotional state and always consider your response carefully. Ask yourself if anything you write violates confidentiality laws and if it shows your practice in the best possible light.

 

Most patients feel that it’s important for doctors to respond to all online feedback. In fact, only 27% of patients found it minimally important, or not at all important, for physicians to respond to negative reviews.

 

The right response can neutralize a negative review, preventing it from further damaging your reputation.

 

11. Don’t Get into Online Arguments

When you respond to a negative review, an upset patient might try to antagonize you into an argument. Regardless of what is said, even if the patient is lying, participating in an online argument will do worse for your reputation than the review itself.

Always respond professionally. If a patient instigates an argument, offer to discuss and resolve the matter privately, but do not otherwise engage in a dispute.

 

12. Promote Positive Reviews on Your Website

The positive reviews you receive can be your best marketing material. Promote positive reviews on your website, use quotes from happy patients in your marketing and draw attention to the good things your patients say about you. Before sharing or embedding patient reviews, however, always seek written consent from the patient to protect his or her privacy.

 

13. Be Extra Careful of Patient Privacy Laws

Patient privacy laws must be respected when responding to online reviews. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability ACT of 1996 (HIPAA) obligates every healthcare practitioner to protect patient privacy.

 

Information gained through any part of the patient’s care should never be published publicly without proper authorization. Best practice is to never confirm that the patient was seen by your clinic, according to Dr. Danika Brinda of Planet HIPAA. Instead, thank the patient for sharing feedback, and if necessary, invite further discussion in private.

 

14. Train All Staff in Customer Service Best Practices

Patients leave reviews about their entire experience with a practice, not just with their doctor. Train every staff member in customer service best practices and make it company policy to follow these practices closely. Each phone call, front desk conversation and nurse interaction should be handled with friendly, professional behavior.

 

When patients read reviews, they’re not always focused on the quality of healthcare that each review reports. It might surprise you to learn that a combined 48% of patients say they value the friendliness of the medical staff and the ease scheduling appointments over other information when reading online reviews.

Every member of your staff, even those who do not regularly interact with patients, should be trained in the company customer service policy.

 

15. Maintain a Social Media Presence

Social media is an excellent way to find new patients, engage existing patients and improve your online reputation. Maintain a social media presence that provides useful information, updates about your practice and helpful, respectful answers to patient questions.

 

Many patients turn to social media in their online inspection of a healthcare provider. If you don’t have a presence, you’re selling your practice short. Over 40% of patients report that social media affects their choice in a healthcare provider and facility.

Today, 31% of healthcare professionals have already turned to social media for professional networking. Join these businesses and shine brighter than your competition in 2018.

 

16. Keep a Regular Social Media Posting Schedule 

Maintaining an effective social media account for your practice requires consistency. The right posting schedule will boost your traffic and help you find new patients.

 

Include your posting schedule in your organization’s social media guidelines to keep your staff on the same page. Over 30% of healthcare organizations provide similar social media guidelines to staff. If you do not have staff in charge of managing your social media, consider outsourcing the job to a reputation management firm.

 

17. Be a Thought Leader in Your Field 

Don’t settle for being an off-line doctor. Become a thought leader in your field. A thought leader drives innovation and brings new ideas to his or her given industry. Such leaders become popular, well-respected professionals in their fields, which increases exposure and boosts their online reputations.

Becoming a thought leader isn’t something you can earn a degree for and be done with, it’s a process. You must establish yourself as a reputable professional, refine your skills and bring new, improved ideas to the field on a regular basis.

 

18. Keep Your Online Private Life Private

When your patients look you up online, you don’t want them to see your nights out with friends, family barbecues and casual social media updates. Keep any private online profiles restricted so only friends can view them and never post personal opinions, photos or videos on your professional accounts.

Ideally, your patients shouldn’t find your personal social media accounts even if they go looking for them. If you have private information online and cannot remove it, an online reputation company can help.

 

19. Register Your Name as a Domain and Secure Relevant Web Properties

Registering your name as a domain dramatically improves your search engine optimization (SEO) and it can even protect you from scandal. When potential patients Google your name, the domain that matches your name will appear at or near the top of the page. If you don’t own this domain, someone else could purchase it for their own means or even to use it against you.

 

For example, a disgruntled patient or competitor could buy an unregistered domain – i.e. www.DrYourName.com – and post false content about you there.

You’ll also want to secure other relevant web properties on professional website, blogging platforms and more.

 

20. Verify and Claim Your Google Business Listing 

Claiming your business on Google provides a good starting point to control what’s displayed about you on Google searches. This includes business location, images, hours and reviews. Once claimed, you can use Google Business tools to improve your listing.

 

Visit www.google.com/business and log in with your professional Gmail account to create your free Google listing.

 

21. Read Reviews of Other Doctors to Identify Trends and Pain Points

Researching the competition is among the best ways for businesses in any field to boost their success. Read reviews from other local doctors so you can identify pain points and trends that impact what other patients are saying.

 

The more you know about how and why your competition succeeds or fails, the more information you have available to help improve your private practice.

 

22. Know Your Audience and Keep It Professional

Whether you’re posting on the company blog, your practice’s Facebook page or in response to a positive review, know your audience. Consider your patient demographic and use it to define how you present yourself. Also keep every post professional, clean and polite.

 

Doctors, more than many other types of professionals, must maintain complete professional presentation and neutrality.

 

24. Temper Your Expectations

Remember, overhauling your online reputation is a marathon, not a sprint. If you start cultivating your online reputation now, it will not look perfect in five days. However, if you work on your reputation every day, proactively address reviews and continue to improve your practice, you could end 2018 with an excellent online presence.

 

To put it into perspective, Google typically recognizes index profile changes every two to six weeks. This means you can expect some small changes about every month, but you will not dominate the front page of Google after one long night of reputation repair.

The more time you can devote to this, the better. If you don’t have hours of extra time to devote to managing your presence, consider outsourcing to someone who does.

 

25. Treat the First Page of Google as Your Business Card 

Whether you like it or not, Google results are the new business cards. It doesn’t matter what your traditional advertisements say if your potential patients find contradictory information on the front page of Google. Often, when a patient Googles a practice, he or she will look for another physician in seconds if the front page lacks information or displays negative reviews.

 

According to a 2016 survey, 88% percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Furthermore, 90% of consumers read fewer than ten reviews before forming an opinion about the business.

 

If your online reputation is less-than-perfect, launching a proactive approach will improve your practice’s success. Online reviews are a modern concern for practitioners in all fields of healthcare and the number of platforms used to facilitate patient reviews is rapidly increasing.

 

Whether your reviews are positive, negative, or nonexistent, knowing what’s out there is the first step in protecting both yourself and your practice.

 

26. Pay attention to your Facebook reviews and ratings

Facebook is increasingly becoming one of the more frequently relied upon review platforms. Many experts have so much as predicted that 2018 will be the year that Facebook reviews come of age and begin to rival Yelp and other platforms as the go-to source for customer sentiment about brands. You can be certain that doctors – especially those with the all-important social media presence – will be a healthy part of the mix.

 

Facebook is also a great place to speak to your patient base and directly ask them for reviews through organic posts. And since no one can hide behind an anonymous moniker, you can trust that the feedback you solicit should be a bit more reliable than on other platforms. Take advantage of the following you’ve built to solicit feedback.

 

27. Content marketing is essential, even for doctors

Not only can an effective content marketing strategy win you valuable organic search traffic, but those in your city who see you’ve published thought-provoking articles about your industry of expertise will also see you as a thought leader in your field. What better way to show the world you’re keeping up with current trends in the medical world than to publish a regular stream of articles about your profession? Useful content will be greatly appreciated by readers and it gives you an effective means of selling without being overtly sales-y. Even just one post per month will go an incredibly long way over a period of several years.

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Urgent Care Marketing Strategies for Your Online Reputation

Urgent Care Marketing Strategies for Your Online Reputation | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Your urgent care marketing strategies and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts may have improved your search ranking. However, chances are low that you'll get any new patients if your practice shows up with a poor online reputation on Google. For your urgent care marketing to succeed, you'll need a stellar online reputation, and for that, you'll need help from your existing patients.

 

Online Reviews Help in Building Trust

 

Even after using creative marketing and ad campaigns, you may not be able to attract patients, as your top competitors are also there trying to impress them. Ads and campaigns show your biased information and patients know this. That’s why they trust online recommendations from other patients when choosing any urgent care practice. 68% of people trust a company with positive online reviews.

 

Patient Experience Boosts Your Online Reputation

 

In the midst of all sorts of marketing materials, it’s the experiential stories that resonate with potential patients the most. A potential patient looking for an urgent care would hardly think of selecting your practice if it doesn’t have a strong external support (in the form of online reviews) from its existing patients. Patients rely on hearing stories from other patients. According to a survey by Software Advice, 72% of patients use online reviews as their first step in finding a doctor.

 

Think of an online review as a recommendation from a neighbor who had a recent experience with your care. A patient residing in your locality faces an immediate need of care and wonders where nearby he/she can find a good urgent care center, so he/she asks your existing (happy) patient who refers him/her to you. It’s important for you to provide them with the best patient experience that is worth sharing about.

 

How to Balance Your Reputation Picture

 

Patients can sense fake or paid reviews. If your profile is showing only good reviews, some would think this means that either these reviews are fake or paid. No reviews are just as bad as fake or paid reviews. If your practice has no reviews, it would be very difficult for a patient to trust you.

 

The best way to show a more balanced picture of online reputation for your healthcare practice is automating the process of gathering reviews from your patients. Integrating reputation management tools into your patient management system (or your EMR) will let the reviews flow in automatically. Promote the positive ones on your social channels or website and tackle the negative ones and use them to improve your service and patient experience.

 

Online Reputation Management Is Crucial for Conversions

 

SEO and marketing strategies may help your urgent care practice rank higher in search results, but will not ensure conversion unless you have an improved online reputation. Search ranking helps you become visible in search results; the next step is how you convince your patients to select you. Being a healthcare practice, you cannot convince them by words, you need proof that comes from your existing patients. That’s where online reputation management becomes crucial in improving your online conversion goal.

 

We conducted a study that will help you understand how online reputation management helps in conversion. We analyzed data for one of our urgent care clients based in California for the period of Oct - Dec’17 when they were not managing their online reputation. That data was then compared to the period of Jan - Mar’18 when they automated their review management process through our reputation management tool.

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4 Key Facts From 2018 Online Reputation Management Survey 

4 Key Facts From 2018 Online Reputation Management Survey  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

A healthy online reputation is critical to attracting new patients, but how are providers managing their reputations? Our exclusive survey shares answers and highlights risky knowledge gaps.

 

It happens every day: A person searches for a healthcare provider online and quickly narrows their choice to two options. What’s the determining factor? Which provider gets the appointment and the new patient?

 

The one with the stronger online reputation. A whopping 91 percent of patients have said the provider with better online reviews is likely to be their choice, according to Software Advice.

 

In markets across the nation, there’s a provider continually finishing second in that head-to-head comparison, and losing new business. With that much at stake for providers, PatientPop asked 200 healthcare practices about their approach to, and knowledge of, online reputation management, and their plans to stay ahead of their competition. The results are in.

 

Here’s a preview of our full report:

 

1. Providers feel online reputation is important, but they don’t know how to affect it.


Some 80.3 percent of survey respondents said maintaining a strong online reputation is either very or extremely important. Yet, a majority of respondents — 55.4 percent, illustrated below — do not know or aren’t sure about actions they can take to positively affect their own reputation.

 

2. Although patient reviews are the key to an impressive online reputation, most providers receive reviews from very few patients.


To foster a strong online reputation — and encourage a beneficial two-way connection with patients — it’s essential that providers ask patients for feedback. Our survey found that it’s not happening enough.

 

Whether providers aren’t asking (52 percent said they are), or the methods they’re utilizing are ineffectual, only a small percentage of patients are sharing their healthcare experiences online. In fact, 71.3 percent of providers receive reviews from 5 percent or fewer of their patients.

 

3. Nearly two-thirds of healthcare providers have received a negative review online.


In our survey, 62.4 percent of respondents said a patient has posted a negative review about their practice. It’s not a surprise, then, to learn that number is nearly identical to the percentage of providers who said they’re very or extremely concerned about negative reviews and the consequences that could arise.

 

Regardless of whether they’ve received a negative review, healthcare providers have a variety of concerns about how their practice and reputation will be perceived by prospective patients and the community at large.

 

4. 45.8 percent of survey respondents are already putting resources toward online reputation management in 2018.


Nearly half of the practices that took part in our survey need to improve or better maintain their online reputation, based on their plans to do devote more staff, time, and/or money toward that effort.

 

Some are looking to expand their business by gaining greater visibility in the market. Others want to focus on online patient reviews. Regardless of the reasons, more than one-third of those planning to address online reputation in 2018 will increase their resources by up to 25 percent.

 

But where are those resources coming from, and what’s potentially being sacrificed in the process? How are providers responding to negative feedback — and how should they, base on best practices? Which review sites are most used by patients?

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Should Doctors Buy Google Reviews for Their Medical Practice?

Should Doctors Buy Google Reviews for Their Medical Practice? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

If you’re worried about the negative patient feedback that is drawing attention from prospective patients online, then it must be tempting to take a few shortcuts to get a quick fix. Perhaps, you may be wondering if you can buy Google reviews with 5-star ratings that can quickly bury the negative patient feedback and clear off the blemishes in search results.there is a growing market for businesses looking to buy Google reviews that are in fact, “fake reviews,” as they are posted under a random name and Google user who may or may not even be a real person. Healthcare providers who are struggling with negative reviews are increasingly getting drawn towards these 5-star review purchase services. Service providers are luring them with the promise to deliver "5-star quality reviews" from "fully completed (Google) profiles and realistic photo attached account.” They also assure to provide reviews from users residing in the US, and even from a close vicinity to make it more relevant for local businesses like healthcare.

 

You Should NOT Buy Google Reviews for Your Medical Practice. Here’s Why.
Before you buy fake Google reviews, you should know about its short and long-term consequences for your healthcare business. Read on!


Buying (fake) Google reviews isn’t ethical.
Healthcare businesses need to be ethically superior at functioning than any other business. Be it the patients, healthcare or medical communities, regulatory bodies, and even any responsible medical or general review sites out there, all of them consider selling or purchasing of patient reviews not just ethically wrong but also illegal.

 

Review selling or purchasing is also against Google’s guidelines
Google has indicated in its guidelines that it will consider a review fake and take it down if it doesn’t reflect a person’s genuine experience at a business location. The search engine giant also clearly prohibits offering or exchanging money in exchange for reviews. According to Google, businesses that do not follow these guidelines strictly are under a severe risk of getting blacklisted.

 

FTC will come after you
During the past few years, regulators have become increasingly cautious about fake reviews, and there had been instances where they cracked down on fake online reviews. For example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) executed “Operation Clean Turf” in which they caught and slapped hefty fines on companies that were generating fake reviews online. Out of the 19 companies that paid a total of $3,500,000 as a penalty, eight were from health and related categories.


Both your patients and Google can easily tell the difference
No matter what those “Google review traders” say, you’ll end up receiving at least a few obviously-fake-reviews, which today’s tech-savvy health consumers can easily recognize. It will erode prospective patients' trust which can result in a decreased patient acquisition. If you think you can cheat Google with fake reviews to improve your search rankings, save your skills! Google has all the information about its users, and it can easily recognize whether the review posted by a user is fake or genuine by checking their recent online activities.


Fake feedback doesn’t benefit your practice in any way
As fake feedback doesn't tell the right story, there’s nothing you can learn about your areas-of-improvement. Genuine patient feedback, when understood collectively, provides valuable insights into the common patient experience issues or problems. It’s only by knowing the real issues that you can address them.


Get Genuine Patient Reviews, Ethically
Instead of buying five star Google reviews, try to earn positive patient reviews. We’ve already written about strategies on how healthcare providers can ethically earn positive patient reviews on sites like Google. For many, simply asking (verbally or virtually) their patients to write reviews works effectively. We also suggest going beyond just asking and facilitating your patients in submitting reviews. RepuGen is an online reputation management tool for doctors that helps them get genuine reviews from their patients by facilitating patients through the review-writing process. RepuGen also allows your patients to directly submit their reviews and ratings to review sites of their choice. The review acquisition process on RepuGen is fully HIPAA-compliant, which means your patients’ personal health information is completely safe and secure. Here’s how RepuGen’s way of acquiring patient reviews benefits your healthcare practice:

 

  • You don’t always (awkwardly) have to ask your patients to write reviews. RepuGen will send texts and emails to patients asking them to leave reviews.
  • It saves your patients from manually posting reviews on review sites. RepuGen provides an option to post reviews directly from its interface.
  • You can easily track patient reviews on multiple review sites using a single dashboard.
  • You’ll always know when a new patient review goes online. This will allow you to respond (if necessary) ASAP.
  • RepuGen’s sentiment analysis technology will provide valuable insights into the patient experience issues and problems that will allow you to address them effectively and efficiently.
  • The improved patient experience, in turn, will create new patient acquisition opportunities that will help you grow your practice.
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Online Reputation Management for Doctors 

Online Reputation Management for Doctors  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

As patients are increasingly turning to search engines and review sites for evaluating the quality of care, it's time that doctors should also be there to provide the answers that patients are looking for. With a proactive reputation management, doctors can leave the right impact that will convince patients and eventually acquire them. This article will guide you step-by-step in developing and managing your online reputation. The success of your healthcare practice depends on how positive a reputation it has with its patients. If that’s the case, then how do you determine your reputation? Referrals and word-of-mouth are still a well-known and common factors that relate to your reputation and patient acquisition, but then how many of your new patients rely on just these two factors to choose you? As a matter of fact, even after getting referred by their friends or family, or even by another physician, one of the first things that your patients will do is to research your or your practice and its reputation online to see what other patients are saying about you. 85% of (healthcare) consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. - BrightLocal While displaying positive patient reviews can certainly help your practice influence opinions in your favor, it doesn't mean that reviews are all that matters for your practice's online reputation. Users check, on an average, 12 different sources including content from review sites, social media, on-site testimonials, blogs, etc., before finally picking a provider. – Google All this sum up into two things: first, many other factors (apart from reviews) are responsible for your online reputation. Second, reviews and testimonials form a major part of it. The process that takes care of all these is called online reputation management. Related Blog: Why Doctors Should Pay Heed to Their Patient Reviews Online


What Is Online Reputation Management?
“Online reputation management (ORM) is the practice of crafting strategies that shape or influence the public perception of an organization, individual or other entity on the Internet. It helps drive public opinion about a business and its products and services. – Techopedia The definition encompasses almost every online marketing activity that directly or indirectly adds to the reputation of your practice and you. So, in those terms... ORM may involve utilizing your medical expertise to engage with your online patient community on Facebook to answer medical questions and concerns. Or, using the same expertise to provide relevant answers to your patients' health-related inquiries via content marketing, to establish yourself as an authority in the eyes of your audience and Google (by improving your search rankings). However, as the term 'reputation' exhibits more about your patients' beliefs or opinions, it's arguable that in its core, ORM strategy deals more with taking control of the online conversation. That way, ORM may involve using Twitter or Yelp to jump in on conversations and tackle negative or defamatory comments about your practice. Or, it could involve soliciting positive reviews from happy patients to improve the search engine rankings and the public-facing online reputation of your practice. With online reputation management, you can ensure your healthcare brand is decently positioned (and represented) not only on review sites, but on other important places like search results and social media timeline/feeds. If you are interested to see how these are done, we will explain later in the article. Before that, you should introspect whether your practice really needs reputation management or not. For that, you'll need to self-assess your current online reputation. How?


How to Assess Your Current Online Reputation
Have you ever Googled your practice or your provider's name to see how they appear in the search result? If you haven’t, do it now! A stellar online reputation starts with a robust internet presence. After all, if you are not properly visible, how can anyone say anything about your reputation? While you Google your practice, look for these in the search results: [Note: Try 'incognito' browser setting. It will ensure that the search results aren't influenced by the previous search activities on your desktop.] Your website: Ideally, your website should appear as the first result for a direct search (someone directly entering your brand name) on Google. If your site is well-optimized (with proper keywords), is well-indexed, isn't serving any penalty from Google, then it'll rightfully appear in the first result. Of all other content links in the search results, at least some should be the predominantly “owned” ones (i.e., those where you control the content). For example, your blog page where your brand owns the content. Appearing with more predominantly “owned” links means a high reputation in the eyes of Google. Review snippets: Google can fetch results from review sites too. Remember the review snippet in the search result.

 

If the review snippet appears, check for these:

 

  • Aggregate review scores are appearing from how many review platforms?
  • Is it only from Yelp, or from other review platforms such as HealthGrades and Facebook?
  • Are the aggregate review scores positive or poor?
  • Is there parity in the aggregate review scores of different review platforms?

 

To appear with review snippets from different platforms, your review profiles will need to be well-optimized for local online presence. For a high reputation, they'll also need to be mostly positive. Google Knowledge Graph: Appearing in the Google Knowledge Graph means you have a high online presence and reputation. The Knowledge Graph sums up the most useful information about your practice such as your picture, the map, the business address, telephone number, patient reviews, etc., all in one place.

 

healthcare client as it appears in Google's search result. We have blurred the photo, phone number, website and address because of privacy reasons)[/caption] However, appearing in the Knowledge Graph requires a well-optimized site and proper online listings of your practice on different third-party online directories, including Google My Business. [Read: Everything about online business listing and its relation with patient experience] Note: Google Knowledge Graph is the box that appears to the right of the search results and that contains information such as a map, the business address, telephone number, and also Google reviews. Tip: Search differently as patients will do. It means replacing related words around the keyword. For example, substituting “Dr. ABC Neurologist” or “Dr. ABC McArthur Boulevard” for “Dr. ABC, MD” will expand the search results. Search results for all these terms will slightly differ, and ideally for all these terms, you should appear decently parallel to make sure that your reputation is on terms with related keywords. While search engine reputation matters the most, social media reputation is no less important. That's why you'll need to assess your social media reputation as well. One of the best ways to assess your reputation on social media is by manually checking your social media profile pages and comparing them with your competitors. If you have been visiting your social media pages daily, you should already be aware of the situation. However, if your profiles are being handled by a social media marketing person or your practice manager,


Why You Should Focus on Facebook
Facebook is the most important platform as it's a highly sociable place where you get to learn from your patients' perspectives. For learning about your reputation with other stakeholders, such as referring physicians, pharma people, and medical industry influencers, Twitter and LinkedIn are the best. For now, stick with Facebook, as that's the place where you directly get to interact with your patients online. Also, in terms of monthly user traffic, Facebook is already the highest review generating site with 47% of its surveyed users having written a review in the last year. How do you assess your reputation on Facebook? Look for these: Review frequency: It's important that your profile page should be receiving reviews on a regular basis. An outdated database of reviews doesn't help patients in their decision making. Also, regular reviews help in increasing engagement and keeping up with the algorithmic actions on your profile.

 

also get a closer look at the content of the reviews, especially the negative ones with less star ratings. That will help you understand the factors that are causing a bad reputation among your patients. Review responses: Also, check how your reviews are being handled from your practice's end. If you find that reviews, especially the negative ones, aren't being handled carefully and tactfully, it means you need a reputation management team dedicated for the job. Engagement & interaction: Check for how the posts on your Facebook profile page are performing. Are they getting a sufficient number of responses in terms of likes, comments, and shares? You should check the quality of those comments too. That's because these metrics can indirectly affect the frequency and quality of your reviews. With these informative steps, you should be able to get an idea of where your current online reputation stands. If it needs improvement, don’t hesitate to make the changes necessary to optimize your practice’s reputation.

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Controlling The Message for Better Outcomes and Medical Practice Reputation

Controlling The Message for Better Outcomes and Medical Practice Reputation | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

We have yet to find an online physician and medical practice rating system that is “perfect.” Are you aware of how you rate on HealthGrades.com, or ratemds.com, or Vitals.com, or any of the dozens of other physician rating websites that populate the Internet?

 

If someone has taken the time to post a comment, does it represent your practice fairly or is it a one-time unflattering rant? And if the overall impression is “positive,” a practitioner may embrace the results. But “negatives” that don’t reflect well on the physician’s marketing, branding or reputation are frustrating if not infuriating.

 

If, for example, a patient feels that they’ve been rushed through an appointment or believes their concerns are being ignored, they may express their own frustrations and disappointments online. And once the unflattering comments are posted on the Internet, they are difficult to challenge or change, even when they are false or unjustified. (Contrary to what some paid services would like you to think, there’s not much that can be done to remove or erase such comments.)

 

Proactive control begins with the patient experience.
The most practical approach to positive patient comments is by being proactive. While you can’t control reactions to patient care, you can implement a deliberate program of communications and engagement that gives every patient the means to feel heard before turning to online social media.

 

The foundation, of course, is in consistently delivering an overwhelmingly positive patient experience. And when patients feel that you’re listening to their concerns and addressing them, they are more likely to become ambassadors, and make referrals to friends and family.

 

Communications strategies to enhance patient experience and physician marketing


The most effective communications programs include a variety of media and methods. Here are several strategies for showing your patients you are listening.

 

Learn how your patients prefer to communicate: While you may or may not like the idea of using email, text messaging or online scheduling, your patients might prefer to engage electronically. While it can be hard to monetize the time spent communicating outside the examining room, consider this an aspect of your marketing program. (And, yes…this all can be done within HIPAA guidelines.)


Collect email addresses and mobile phone numbers: Request this information on patient information forms and ask for written consent to contact them by email or text messaging when appropriate.


Use scripts for welcome, interaction and parting: Don’t leave your verbal communications to chance. Implement and train everyone in communications skills for positive interaction. Scripts are powerful tools to inspire patient feedback, clarify questions or concerns, and assess patient understanding of medical instructions, etc.


Text messages: Consider how to integrate a standardized follow-up text message to remind patients how to contact the office with any questions about their visit, diagnosis, medication or treatment.

 

Follow-up contacts: Utilize letters or survey questions following a visit to help assess the patient’s level of satisfaction. Even if they don’t reply, you’ll let them know you care enough to contact them, and to connect with new patients after their first visit.

 

Follow-up calls: A follow-up call a day or two after a patient’s first visit (or treatment or surgery) provides a clear and direct channel for questions and encourages treatment or medication compliance.


Post an FAQ page on your website: Provide answers to Frequently Asked Questions to further understanding and patient education. Remind patients during their office visit that the website is an information resource for their use.


E-newsletter: Regular communication by email/newsletter promotes your accessibility as well as your ideas.

 

Relevant educational materials: Empower your patients with relevant and research-based articles about health conditions. A reliable and authoritative source of your own is superior to potentially erroneous information online.

 

A consistent communications program has the potential to create the kind of advocates who are encouraged to go online and post glowing reviews of your services, as well as refute negative ones you can’t address yourself.

 

The good news is that some surveys say that most online comments are positive. More importantly, well-informed and engaged patients are more likely to experience better health and outcomes.

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Reputation Equals Revenue So What’s Your Review Site Strategy? 

Reputation Equals Revenue So What’s Your Review Site Strategy?  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

The painful thing about lost business opportunity is that you often don’t know that it’s lost. It’s revenue that never happened. Here’s a sorry-scenario that we discover all too frequently:

 

  • A word-of-mouth (WoM) referral passes from a patient to a prospective patient
  • The prospective patient looks for your practice online only to find “unhappy” reviews
  • The WoM endorsement is offset by one or more “bad review” site ratings
  • Your competition’s phone rings…
  • The empowered consumer has taken their business elsewhere

 

Your name, practice, hospital and/or professional affiliations have more online listings and ratings than you realize. Sites such as Vitals, Yelp, RateMDs, Healthgrades, ConsumerReports and many others are well established. (The following graphic from PwC Health Research Institute slices the field into six primary categories. Although they provide 18 example sites, they quickly note that the “figure does not include all sources of healthcare ratings and reviews.”

 

Source: PwC Health Research Institute analysis

Despite the overabundance of healthcare review and rating sites, it’s a vital marketing concern to see what each has to say and to use the various sites to protect and extend the professional reputation that visitors find online. A recent study by PwC reports:

 

“While nearly half (48 percent) of consumers said they have read health-related reviews, only one-third has used reviews to make decisions on where to get care. (The single largest source for information was Consumer Reports, identified by 43 percent of respondents who have read reviews.)


Quick note: Patients and prospective patients are “empowered” about making personal healthcare decisions, and health-related reviews are being considered with increased frequency. Although only one-third used reviews to make a final decision, in our experience, such sites are frequently a starting point, negative or unflattering reviews influence individuals to search further, and reviews do carry influence.

 

In fact, among those who have read healthcare reviews, 68 percent said they have used the information to select a doctor, hospital and to a lesser extent, a health plan, pharmacy and drug or medical device.

 

“No single trusted source has emerged in the health industry, creating an enormous market opportunity. Organizations such as the California Health Care Foundation and the Leapfrog Group are attempting to close the gap with more user-friendly data sites. Big-box retailers are beginning to apply their consumer expertise to better market health-related products and services.


“Through internal surveys and observations, healthcare companies found that consumers care the most about topics such as the physician-patient relationship, understanding what to do after a clinic or hospital visit, and how to obtain more helpful service from their health plan.”


Healthcare organizations are, PwC concludes, “increasingly operating in a world in which the voice of the consumer impacts the bottom line, and where customer experience is now a matter of dollars and cents. Customer feedback has become a determining factor…[and] ratings connect consumers’ experience to quality, and quality connects to financial performance, market share and reputation.”

 

The PwC report, Scoring Healthcare, is available here. And you’ll find related information in our previous posts, Physician Ratings & Reviews: Doctors Distrust Them and Fight, Flight or Listen: 3 Ways to Deal with Physician Reviews & Negative Patient Comments.

 

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10 Commandments of Online Reputation Management for Physicians

10 Commandments of Online Reputation Management for Physicians | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Across the board, reputation is an ever-present ingredient in health care marketing.

 

Informed and empowered consumer/patients do their homework, researching symptoms, medical conditions and hospitals. From branding to public relations (and everything in between), a physician’s reputation is a key component and influence factor.

 

And as many as 8 out of ten people will look online for information about individual doctors. And all of that happens long before they make an appointment…and what they find—positive, negative, neutral or nothing at all—influences their decision to call or not to call.

 

Perception is the reality: Who you are online is who you are to most people.

 

Many doctors fail to appreciate that their reputations extend far beyond their immediate circle of professional colleagues and current patients. In fact, far more people—the consumer public, prospective patients and many other physicians—know you first (and sometimes exclusively) by your online reputation.

 

It is the “management” side of Reputation Management that is most often neglected.

 

A physician carefully stacks the familiar building blocks, carefully aligning data points that include education, training, experience, academic papers, presentations, recognitions, etc.—all the stuff that fills a multi-page Curriculum Vitae (CV). And for the sake of conversation, let’s assume the CV is “sterling,” and the provider is a skilled communicator, has a caring “bedside manner,” and is trusted, well-know and well-liked by close colleagues, staff and patients. All good stuff.

 

The First 10 Rules. (What would you add to this list?)

 

Although there’s very little cost involved, the Internet has many facets and reputation management requires a systematic commitment of time and effort. (You may want some professional help, particularly to get things going at the outset.) Here are some of the essential concepts for effectively managing your online status:

 

Your reputation lives in two places: online and in-person. Pay attention to both daily. Few things have a higher priority for doctors…concern for their professional reputation is hard earned and constantly protected in their daily work. Physicians need no reminder of the “in-person” part. But the “online” part—which is often out-of-sight-out-of-mind—deserves equal concern and attention.


What’s online can hurt you and it can help you. The Internet is the home of “digital word-of-mouth.” Comments—either good or bad—tend to be seen as a form of endorsement, crowd sourcing, or social proof. Patient recommendations and testimonials can, and often do, significantly influence the decision process and provider selection of other patients.


The Internet never forgets. Never. It’s frustrating to think that user-generated comments often remain online (and available) even when they are incorrect, inaccurate, and often undated. Because things are “continuously available” online is further reason to keep your figurative stethoscope on this vital sign.


Proactively work your online presence at least once per week. It’s just good business sense to see yourself as other see you. Carefully examine these primary (and slightly overlapping) information arenas…


Search Engine Results – use a variety of keywords and search with Google, Bing, Yahoo! Search, Ask, Aol Search and others. Pay particular attention to listings or results that have a community connection.

 

Local Directory Listings – regularly check “find a doctor” sources with online Yellow Pages/SuperPages, business listings, insurance-provider lists, hospital databases, Google Plus pages, community, “area connect” or “city search” directories, medical society listings and the like.

 

Social Media – Primarily your own faces such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs. Keep your own material fresh and engaging, and don’t overlook mentions that might appear in the social media platforms of others (such as discussion groups, events, blogs, etc.)

 

Physician Rating and Review Sites – Compile a list (and check each listing regularly) of online listings. A 2011 study of 4,999 online physician rating sites identified these 10 as the most commonly visited sites with user-generated content: HealthGrades.com, Vitals.com, Yelp.com, YP.com, RevolutionHealth.com, RateMD.com, Angieslist.com, Checkbook.org, Kudzu.com, and ZocDoc.com. (That leaves only 4,989 others.)

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Hospitals Suddenly Discover Reputation Management

Hospitals Suddenly Discover Reputation Management | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Within the healthcare industry, reputation management is not new. But when the venerable Washington Post has something to say about hospitals and health systems, people in American’s capital and throughout the nation tend to take notice.

 

An insightful Post Health & Science section article reports on “a new and urgent effort by hospitals and health systems to track and control their online reputations.” We suspect that management and marketing folks in hospitals would not describe reputation management in those terms, but it is probably newsworthy to the publication’s general-circulation readership.

 

A wide public awareness ultimately benefits the healthcare delivery system, “as out-of-pocket costs for health care have risen, people are increasingly shopping for their medical care and comparing reviews. And younger consumers who have grown up on Yelp and Rate My Professors expect the same seamless, digital experience with health care that they have used in other aspects of their lives.”

 

Healthcare in general, the Post observes, “has long ignored the patient experience.” To whatever degree that may have been true in the past, there’s an increasing priority for health systems and hospitals to track and, whenever possible, boost their ratings on rating sites like Yelp, HealthGrades, ZocDoc and Vitals.

 

Reputation management isn’t what’s new…

 

Doctors have long guarded their personal and professional reputation. And hospitals have long been concerned about their reputation, especially with their doctor constituents. Significant factors in the constantly changing healthcare landscape—among a hundred influences—include:

 

  • patient/consumers are increasingly using social platforms to communicate
  • the number of “rating sites,” in various formats, is increasing
  • online consumer reporting is quick, easy and nearly real time

 

From a reputation management perspective, it’s increasingly tough to monitor comments, and when appropriate, to respond. Near the top of the heap in social media are Facebook, Twitter and others. But in healthcare, among the top sites—popular with smartphone-enabled constituents—for administrators and marketing executives to monitor are:

 

Yelp: A crowd-source platform, originally keyed to restaurants, rapidly expanding among healthcare providers and facilities.

 

HealthGrades: Founded in 1998, HealthGrades is one of the oldest and largest source of information about physicians and hospitals.

 

ZocDoc: Integrates online scheduling with information about medical practices and facilities.

 

Vitals: Links consumers with information about cost, quality and access about health plans and providers.

 

There are dozens of other rating and reporting sites. But the newly empowered patient/consumer is increasingly influenced by online ratings and reporting in their selection of providers and facility. Reputation management matters.

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Search Engine Reputation Management is Way More than SEO

Search Engine Reputation Management is Way More than SEO | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Search Engine Reputation Management is often confused with traditional SEO. But it’s not quite the same, and here’s why.

 

If you’re familiar with both seo and reputation management, then you probably know they’re related. Reputation management uses SEO principles to improve online reputations, but they’re not the same. It’s typically more difficult to repair a damaged reputation than to rank for a specific keyword. Rather than ranking a single page for one keyword, online reputation management pushes up multiple pages in the search results.

 

What Search Engine Optimization Does
For the completely unfamiliar, search engine optimization (SEO) influences the visibility of a webpage on search engines. Algorithms consider each page’s quality, trust, popularity, user experience, and topical relevance when ranking a page. Ideally, SEO will result in a top search engine result ranking for a single desired website or page.

 

SEO can be broken down into on-page and off-page factors. On-site strategies improve content quality, relevance, site architecture, user experience and interlinking. Off-page tactics improve expertise, trust and authority (E.A.T.) through link building and public relations. You can make these improvements on a single page or an entire website depending on your goals.

 

SEO typically targets just one website or webpage to rank well in search engine results, while online reputation management promotes several websites. This may involve signing up for multiple social media platforms, performing public relations, or maintaining a presence on review website.

 

What SEO Reputation Management Does
Like SEO, search engine reputation management often focuses on the first page of Google results. But it also digs much deeper into the SERPs. Positive content that has been submerged past page 3 may need to be pulled up.

 

Reputation management SEO strategies curate search results to provide the most positive first impression of a business or individual. But to do so, that means ranking multiple properties in search engine results, not just the one you own.

 

Pushing Search Engine Results Down
One popular misconception about online reputation management is that it uses negative SEO to push down or delete search engine results. As much as you may want to bury negative content, that’s not really how search engines work.

 

In reality, online reputation management does nothing to the unwanted page. If you don’t own the website, you may not be able to remove negative articles — and that means there is little you can do to influence its on-page SEO factors. Rather, in order to remove one bad result you’ll need to pull up roughly 20 other pages.

Let’s go over that again: in order to push down a single result to page three, you’ll have to pull up 20 other results to outrank it in search engine results. So your SEO work is now multiplied by 20. This is no easy task, but with effective online reputation management, it can be done.

 

Online Reputation Management Using Positive Long Term SEO Techniques
Online reputation management establishes a long-term positive online presence for a business or individual. Creating engaging social profiles, a positive review presence, and multiple points of positive, high quality content will ensure that you can maintain a positive online reputation that lasts.

 

The majority of SEO techniques will result in positive search engine results. But you must avoid black hat SEO tactics when executing an online reputation management strategy. Google guidelines prohibit keyword stuffing, cloaking, spam blogs, and hiding content. Google may even remove your site from its index if you use black hat SEO tactics.

 

Online reputation management avoids using black hat SEO techniques, as these tactics can ultimately damage your reputation by making it difficult to maintain a positive long term presence on search engine results. Ethical online reputation management will also avoid harmful tactics like buying reviews. In fact, we recommend reporting and removing fake Google reviews.

 

Rather, online reputation management uses white hat SEO techniques such as writing high quality content, making HTML helpful and clear, and quality inbound links. This is of course in addition to other online reputation management tactics including public relations, social media building, and review maintenance.

 

What Online Reputation Management Does that SEO Doesn’t
Online reputation management includes SEO, but SEO is just one tool in the online reputation management arsenal. In addition to SEO, online reputation management ramps up content creation and marketing, public relations, social media cultivation and interaction, and review site maintenance. Online reputation management also regularly monitors online presence to ensure that results remain positive.

 

Many of these actions ensure that search engine results remain positive. For example, you should remove Yelp reviews that are fake or inaccurate. Doing so will boost your Yelp star rating in Google search results.

 

Online reputation management also analyzes and monitors top search engine results and decides how to categorize them. It looks at results to determine whether they are positive, negative, or neutral, and that’s just not something you do with SEO.

 

Online reputation management focuses on proactive work that will support a positive online presence such as building a regularly updated blog, developing social media properties, and reaching out to the press to develop positive news story links. This proactive work means that online reputation management clients enjoy a positive long term presence online while also protecting against surprise negative results that may pop up. By consistently building a positive online presence through multiple channels, it’s much easier to squash negative results as they occur.

 

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How to Monitor Your Reputation Online? 

How to Monitor Your Reputation Online?  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

People are talking about your business online. Do you know what they’re saying? Online reputation monitoring is the best way to ensure that the chatter is accurate and positive. It can help you identify trouble early on, as well as let you know when things are going well.

 

When you keep watch over your online reputation you’ll discover positive stories to share when customers write glowing reviews. You’ll also discover any negative comments quickly so you can address them. It’s important to monitor your online reputation with a variety of different channels. Don’t limit your scope to Google and Facebook. Be mindful of every social media site, complaint website, and even image search.

 

Sound exhausting? It can be. But there are many helpful tools to automate the process so regular check-ins don’t become a burden. Read on to learn about the tools and processes you can use to monitor your reputation.

 

How to Monitor Your Reputation on Social Media
Social media is the new water cooler. People discuss everything on social networks, including your business. Whether they’re leaving Facebook reviews, sharing inspiration on Pinterest, or lodging a complaint on Twitter, customers are talking about you.

Consumers are turning to social media to connect with brands and high profile individuals more than ever. In fact, people now prefer using Twitter for customer service more than a company’s website.

 

You’ll need to monitor more than just your pages and accounts, but public mentions and comments also. Social media isn’t limited to what you share. What people say about your brand is important as well.

 

Social Media Reputation Monitoring Tools
Keyhole: Keyhole is the ultimate resource for monitoring your social media and online reputation. Use Keyhole to easily monitor your brand across different social media platforms, and listen for both direct and indirect (‘dark’) mentions of your brand. Keyhole also monitors news articles, blogs, and discussion websites (like Reddit) and allows you to set up AI-driven Intelligent Notifications that immediately notify you if someone has made a negative post about your brand. Keyhole’s dashboard also gives you key insights into your audience, brand, and competitors, such as sentiment, trending topics, top users or influencers and much more.
Mention: Monitor the entire social web with Mention, a service that monitors millions of sources in 42 different languages. The tool offers analytics, statistics, reports, and more, and you can respond to mentions without even leaving the application as well.


Hootsuite: Hootsuite was made for social media monitoring. This tool allows you to monitor emerging trends, create custom conversation streams, monitor based on geolocation, and much more.


Monitoring Reviews for Reputation Management
Online reviews are great for companies with a strong online reputation, but a few complaints on Ripoff Report can really damage a brand. However, by actively monitoring on review sites, you can identify negative reviews and quickly take action. In some cases you may be able to work with the website to remove fake or negative reviews. If that’s not possible, you can always try to contact reviewers directly to make amends and request an updated review.

 

Don’t just monitor the big review sites, like Google, Angie’s List, Yelp and Trip Advisor. Look into niche review websites as well. Stay on top of them all by using the following review monitoring tools. They can even send you updates and let you know any time you get a new review.

 

Review Reputation Monitoring Tools
ReviewPush monitors the most popular review websites each day. You’ll get an email alert each time someone posts a review about your brand. You can even use this service to ask for new positive reviews.


Review Trackers helps you listen to what customers are saying online. This tool analyzes reviews from customers on Foursquare, Trip Advisor, Open Table, Google, and more.


Chat Meter offers an easy way to monitor and respond to online reviews each day. It even looks at the attitude of the reviews your customers are posting and more.


Monitoring Your Reputation on Your Website
Often, the most trusted source of information about your reputation or the reputation of your business is your very own website, which you control. This is great news, as you’re in charge of this resource, and you can manage the information on it.

 

Of course, it’s important to get a handle on any user generated content to make sure things aren’t getting out of hand. Using a commenting platform like Disqus, you can get notifications for upvotes, comment replies, or new comments on articles so that you can stay on top of the conversation on your website.

 

Monitoring Your Reputation on Google
In addition to social media and review websites, your reputation exists on Google, which is basically the entire rest of the Internet. This includes blogs, news websites, even mug shot websites and the like. It’s tougher to pin down monitoring in this area because it is simply so large and spread out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

 

Monitoring online allows you to learn about new links, news stories, and more — and finding out right away gives you a chance to respond. Monitoring tools can let you know as soon as a webpage has changed, if there’s a new search result for your name, even if someone has used your image. Stay on top of it all with tools designed to help you tame the monitoring power of the internet.

 

Online Reputation Monitoring Tools
Google Alerts: If you use just one reputation monitoring tool, Google Alerts is the one. It will tell you about any new mentions of your name, your brand’s name, product names, and anything else you’re concerned about. Check out our guide to setting up a Google Alert for more.


Google Autocomplete: Google’s autocomplete feature can say a lot about what people think about your reputation. When a name or phrase is typed into Google, the search box will automatically pop up with what it thinks might be what users are looking for. For a company, a bad autocomplete term might be “Your Company fraud” or “Your Company complaints,” but more positive ones would be “Your Company charity” or “Your Company new location.” To take a look at what Google thinks of your reputation, simply go to Google.com and start typing your name to see what pops up.
Complaint Website Search Tool: There are more than 40 different complaint websites online, and with this search tool, you can monitor your name on all of them at once. We recommend using it regularly.


WatchThatPage: Have a page about you that you’re concerned about? Set up a WatchThatPage alert to find out any time a page on the Internet is updated or changed.

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Increase Patient Conversion With These Facts About Online Reviews

Increase Patient Conversion With These Facts About Online Reviews | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

A 2018 study published by ReviewTrackers found that online reviews are changing – for the better. Literally, reviews are getting more positive. They also found that people are using fewer characters to get their point across and that review-only sites are not growing as fast as social media and Google. We’ve talked before about how important it is to get good reviews on Google and how social media is the first place many go to find out about your practice. Below we present three of the findings that ReviewTrackers highlighted about the direction online reviews are going this year and how they can grow your practice.

 

More poetry than prose

Reviews are getting shorter. This is good news. People don’t have to slog through a rambling review to find out what the person wants to say. ReviewTrackers reported that “Reviewers are writing simpler and more to-the-point reviews. The average review has gotten 65 percent shorter since 2010 and is now roughly the size of a tweet.”

 

How this helps: With the rise of the tweet, people are learning to write succinctly about the businesses they visit. In this time-constrained, mobile world, we just want to know the facts. It also means that the barrier to entry is lower. We can ask patients to write short, factual posts quickly. It also means that people can read more positive reviews about your practice in less time (see point three below).

Rise of social and search

Review-only sites like TripAdvisor aren’t seeing as much growth in reviews as Google and Facebook. In fact, ReviewTrackers reports that Google and Facebook are now the No. 1 and No. 2 for online reviews.

 

How this helps: People & Practice dedicates its marketing efforts on a client’s Google MyBusiness profile and Google reviews. We also help practices develop and maintain an engaging and robust social media presence on Facebook – including targeted educational advertising. The data supports our findings that these are prime online channels for patient outreach and referrals.

 

The future is bright

Reviews are more positive than ever before. ReviewTrackers said in its report that “reviews are increasingly shifting from being a place where consumers air their grievances to being a place to recommend businesses after a positive experience.”

 

How this helps: Positive reviews convert people into customers. Other surveys have shown that half of consumers look for a 4-star rating at a minimum before they choose a business and 73% said that positive reviews make them trust a business more. Reviews are a serious business.

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Online Reputation Management for Doctors

Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

This is a sponsored post written by SearchReputation.net. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

 

Most doctors can manage their reputations informally through customer relationship management and how they treat their patients. But most are unfamiliar with more practical ways of managing their reputational risk.

 

Word of mouth is no longer local. Although most doctors operate locally, happy patients (your clients) now head online to tell their friends and family about their positive experiences.

 

The same applies to a poor experience.

 

Google works similarly to the human brain. It will put much more emphasis on bad results than good results. Likewise, the human brain has a negative bias that is more sensitive to negative news.

So, one bad result that manages to make its way on the first page of the SERP can ruin a doctor’s whole reputation.

 

There are many factors to assess:

  • How are you currently viewed by patients?
  • How often are you getting referrals?
  • Are you meeting the bedside expectations and practical expectations of patients?

 

Answering these basic questions should help doctors determine where they stand with their community.

Perception is reputation. Managing beliefs and perceptions will favor a healthy reputation – online and offline.

The Anatomy of ORM for Physicians

While medical treatment is necessary for our society and doctors for our health, doctors with bad reputations are definitely seeing fewer patients walk through the door.

 

Before identifying the signs of an unsavory online reputation for doctors, we at Searchreputation.net explain to doctors in “medical terms” what a good reputation looks like in the eyes of patients.

 

The SERP can be divided into three parts:

The Brain & Heart

The brain and the heart represent the first three results in the SERP.

 

Depending on the patient, they will think with their head or their heart when they see a bad review or result that high up about their doctor.

 

Whether they think with logic or emotion, neither is good in this situation.

The Stomach

The stomach is where things may shift in perception often oscillating from good one day and bad another.

 

It takes a lot of traffic behavior change for Google to shake the first couple of results. So, it will test what’s in the middle first.

 

Most individuals will be less phased by what they see in the middle. The click-through rate from position 1 to position 5 drops by 24.13 percent on desktop and 17.1 percent on mobile phones.

 

On phones, people are much less likely to scroll. So, the CTR for the first three results in mobile phones has skyrocketed recently.

The Rest of the Body

The last couple of results – and everything after that – are the rest of the body: the supporting functions (or, in this case, the supporting results).

 

The everyday consumer won’t be as influenced by supporting search results as they would be by higher ranking results.

Interestingly enough, most people will simply change their search if they don’t find what they are looking for within the first eight results.

Vital Signs of a Bad Reputation 

Unfortunately, the anatomy of online reputation management is not as well defined as it is for doctors who study the human body.

Google’s algorithms are much more complex and constantly changing.

 

So, what determines the reputational risk of doctors?

  • The gap between perception and reality.
  • Changing expectations and perceptions.
  • Operations and communications.

 

When a reputation crisis hits, it’s hard to quantify how much damage it will do in the short and long terms. The best gauge is quantifying qualitative responses.

 

  • Are you a doctor who has no bedside manners?
  • Do you make your patients wait an hour and a half with an appointment and only see them for five minutes?
  • Are you reliable?
  • Are your secretaries and nurses unresponsive?

 

Depending on your answers to these questions, evaluate how you meet the expectations of your clients. An accumulation of poor experiences will reenforce the unreliability of a doctor.

Don’t overestimate how much people may or may not like you. Looking yourself up is the best way to tell.

 

How? Enter your name with various keyword combinations.

 

Start with your full name and dr. in front. Then, drop your first name, add your city on the end and interchange words like reviewscomplaintspissedratingscomments, and news.

 

Anything bad come up? Your lifeline as a doctor running a business with “clientele” might be cut short.

What Now? 

So you’re a doctor with bad reviews, perhaps a minor disciplinary action, but you can still practice. How do you restore trust in clients?

  • Evaluate your practice. 81 percent of Americans believe that the first impression of a physician is extremely or very important. This is strongly associated with bedside manners, how much time they spend getting to know their patients, and quality one-on-one time.
  • Replying to reviews. While many ORM firms might suggest removal (always an option but not always the most ethical method of changing up the SERP), try responding first. Not only does it respond to the user, it shows anyone who comes across the result that you’re reaching out and willing to start a discussion.
  • ORM, PR, SEM, SEO, every acronym you can think of. A combination of online reputation management, social media, public relations and press releases, search engine marketing, and search engine optimization will contribute to better shaping your online image.
  • Maintenance: Don’t ever stop. It’s nearly impossible to not have an online presence. Often times, patients create that online presence for doctors themselves.

 

While removing reviews and negative results is neither ethical nor guaranteed, it is a possibility. Speak to a lawyer or your online reputation managers about these possibilities.

 

Take control of your online reputation by managing what is being said about you online. The moment you stop engaging online, you’ll quickly lose control of your online reputation. One post can ruin it all.

 

Again, the negative bias Google has can ruin your whole image with one post, one comment, one review. Always be ready to counter it and get ahead of the game by spreading positive and attractive content.

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How Good Reviews Can Help Grow Your Business?

How Good Reviews Can Help Grow Your Business? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Ever order a poorly-made kitchen gadget and then leave a bad review with the company in an effort to help other consumers avoid purchasing that gadget? Likewise, ever find the best salsa or Greek yogurt and want to share it with everyone you know? Leaving these reviews affects an organization's reputation, and the same way you felt about that gadget or yogurt is the same way patients feel when they've had a great — or poor — healthcare experience. They want to share or spare others from the same experience.

 

Of course, you want your overall healthcare organization's reputation to be good, but reputation is important for individual physicians as well. In fact, physician reviews play a significant role in a patient's decision to choose a doctor. Up to 77 percent of patients use an online review as a first step to finding a new doctor. And a study published in the Journal of General Medicine found that 53 percent of physicians look at physician review websites, “likely to understand their patients' experiences and to improve their practices."

 

Clearly, reviews are increasingly important in healthcare, but what can you do about such a self-motivated activity? How do you manage the content you can't control? Good or bad, there are strategies that can help you with reputation management.

 

How Do Good Reviews Help?


Reviews are often the first thing a patient sees or knows about a physician, and online reviews contribute to a positive reputation – to a prospective patient, you’re only as good as what others say about you on Google, Healthgrades or other public directories. A good online review history can bring patients to your door, increase referrals, confirm the recommendations given by friends/family and can even bring out-of-network patients in.

 

Beyond the importance of patient reviews as a selection criterion for prospective patients, reviews are also an important local ranking factor in Google. Search queries from "cardiologist near me" to "pediatrician in Atlanta” will bring up just 3 options out of the tens or hundreds of healthcare practices and physicians – with a major boost given to local listings with the strongest patient review signals. These signals include review volume, review sentiment, review recency and diversification of reviews on other top local directories.

 

While physicians focus primarily on the quality of care, doctors must also acknowledge that patients are looking for the best healthcare experience, and all steps from intake to follow-up care is fodder for review. Reputation management begins by being proactive about the information available about you. When you have happy patients, you can send follow-up emails soliciting a review or encourage sharing positive experiences on social media and third-party review sites through other marketing outreach efforts.

 

What about Negative Reviews?


Though you might prefer to deal with the challenge of soliciting positive reviews, the reality is that negative physician reviews happen. You may be tempted to ignore these negative reviews, but consumers prefer a response. Not all review sites allow a physician or organization responsible, but posting a well thought-out reply when possible can help acknowledge a complaint or concern and show that feedback is taken seriously – and where necessary share “the other side of the story”. When crafting a response you should:

 

  • Be gracious
  • Thank the patient for their comment
  • Consider the patient's complaint or concern
  • Address any changes that can or will result
  • Respond privately, if warranted, to correct the situation and discuss further
  • Above all else, protect PHI

 

A gracious response can go a long way toward making a negative review less weighty, while also showing prospective patients that you are engaged with your patients and provide a personal experience.

 

What do Patients Focus on in Reviews?


Quality care and accuracy of diagnosis are high on patients' lists of healthcare review metrics, followed closely by listening and explaining skills. Don't forget that office environment, staff, and overall experience will also often be noted in online reviews. In fact, everything that happens in your office from the first phone call for an appointment through the waiting time, exam, and interactions with staff, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care is up for review.

 

If you do happen to receive negative feedback, you can look at this as an opportunity to grow in any of these areas as necessary.

 

Managing your Reputation


Since having a large volume of five-star reviews is an excellent way to ensure a good online reputation, ask your current patients if they would review you. Some ways to accomplish this are to include a link to a review site in your email signature, provide a tablet for patients to sign-up to receive a request via email to leave a review upon check out, or direct them from your website to your favorite star rating sites.

 

If you still need help managing this important task, there are experienced services teams and technology solutions that keep tabs on your reviews, alert you when a response is required, provide best practices for responding, help solicit reviews, and more. Focusing on your online reputation will serve to build trust, credibility, and a positive online presence – while also helping to keep your employed physicians happy.

 

Reviews are an unavoidable aspect of today's healthcare consumer experience.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
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Your Online Reputation and Six Best Practice Ways to Make It Better 

Your Online Reputation and Six Best Practice Ways to Make It Better  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Successful medical practices recognize that their online reputation is a source of new business—almost like a referring doctor’s office. Here’s how the best of practices influence this resource and manage their reputation, to produce the greatest number of new patient calls and appointments.

 

Every doctor has two professional reputations to constantly manage:

 

  • The “CV version” for colleagues, and
  • The online reputation version for the public

 

The first version is what he or she believes professional colleagues know or think about—in person, or as a CV write-up, or what fellow professionals might say when you’re not in the room. This version is based on close, personal contact…occasions when doctors meet and/or work together. Interactions and observations might be clinical, business or perhaps social. It is this first type of reputation that professionals regard as most important and absolutely critical to manage. Indeed, it’s a critical foundation for a professional existence.

 

But it is the second type—your online reputation—that is widely seen and recognized by the general public. Curiously, the patients and prospective patients have almost no means to judge the clinical skills that represent the abilities of a medical practitioner. (The clinical particulars are usually the mainstay of the CV-type.)

 

The larger audience forms an understanding, or online reputation, by what they find on physician rating boards, practice and practitioner reviews, and comments and discussions or other patients. And it is in this “reputation arena” that carries the most influence with other members of the public.

 

 

How to Craft a Sterling Online Reputation

 

Collectively, the online reputation management has the greatest public influence on capturing, or losing, new business into the practice.

  • More than half of consumers list reputation first in the selection process
  • Positive, or excellent, online reviews inspire trust in a practitioner or practice
  • Patients usually read four or more reviews before they trust a practitioner
  • Over 90 percent of patients will select a local doctor with a five-star rating
  • Close to 40 percent of patients would not select a provider with negative reviews

 

The professional’s online reputation forms in the mind of the prospective patient. Their selection process is shaped largely by the reviews and ratings of others. That process—following by the actions of others—is the powerful dynamic of social proof or social influence at work. Assuming that your patient experience is world-class, here are some of the steps to shaping a sterling online reputation.

 

#1. Don’t be modest about asking for testimonials.


It’s easy enough to do, but many practitioners neglect the simple action step of asking. Make it a habit to ask for comments, provide a simple instruction card with review site directions, or provide a brief survey that’s geared to service improvement. The majority of comments will be positive. Occasionally, a comment may reveal something in need of improvement.

 

#2. Take advantage of any negative comments.


Even the best of practices may draw an occasional not-so-flattering review. Although the majority of patient comments are positive, the real opportunity to improve and exceed is to address patient concerns. The first steps are to:

  • Demonstrate concern
  • Quickly respond and embrace the issue(s)
  • Be a caring leader, anxious to resolve the concern

 

Being quick to discover and quick to respond is important with negative problems. The silent approach (even if you were not aware of the comment) implies that the issue or problem is being ignored. Trust is at stake. Take the issue off-line if necessary, but be proactive about a resolution.

 

#3. Install a system to diligently monitor your online persona.

 

Like it or not, consumer ratings are now an influential part of healthcare delivery. As with professional referrals, have an operating system to watch the places that influence patients and your reputation:

 

  • Assign the monitoring as a regular staff responsibility
  • Install Google Alerts, Social Mention or other pulse-checker
  • Routinely check your listing on review and comment sites
  • Respond to positive as well as negative comments


#4. Check and correct your N-A-P information.

 

A surefire way to cut off inbound calls is to have out of date NAME, ADDRESS, PHONE info listed. Check these constantly for accuracy in directories and online listings.

 

#5. Expand and enhance your online profile.


In addition to fundamental directory listings (NAP), take every opportunity to complete (and regularly update) the profile section of social media and online descriptions. Here’s where you have an opportunity to shine. Prospective patients respect a doctor’s experience, training, awards, and expertise.

 

#6. Actively jump into (or lead) the conversation.


Don’t be a bystander when you can be an active participant in social media discussions. Seek out timely and relevant topics and inspire or lead discussions. Ask questions, provide new information or respond to questions within a group.

 

You can shape your online reputation.


These are some of the ways that you can influence the information—and manage the reputation—that people find online. Because your influence is slightly indirect, it can be a challenging task. But the time and effort that’s invested can often realize an immediate return. People tend to see and absorb the first few entries in a physician review page. And newer comments usually float to the top of the page.

 

How well are you monitoring your online reputation? Remember that positive information and ratings are a significant influence in generating new business. But negative online reviews about their existing provider can cause them to change to an out-of-network physician. Further, nearly half of searching patients would go out-of-network for a physician with more positive reviews.

 

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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