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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4 Ways Patient Feedback Can Help Improve Your Healthcare Practice

4 Ways Patient Feedback Can Help Improve Your Healthcare Practice | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Such is the importance of feedback in a business setting that a person could travel down a seemingly endless rabbit hole at Harvard Business Review on the topics of giving feedback and receiving it — if they were so inclined.

 

Feedback is critical for all healthcare providers to understand how their patients perceive them. This, in turn, helps improve the quality of care and patient satisfaction — and ultimately aids in new patient acquisition and retention. Once all of this is working in a virtuous cycle, healthcare practices will see increased revenue and growth.

 

Here are a few ways patient feedback helps physicians and their practices.

Feedback Helps Providers Understand Patient Wants

Having a clear picture of patient expectations is one of the main reasons why practices should seek feedback. It’s entirely possible that patients expect to schedule appointments online, or that they find bills confusing and the waiting room drab. Perhaps there’s one member of the front office team that is a quiet rockstar who always goes above-and-beyond for patients.

 

Without knowing the likes and dislikes of the entire patient experience — from how patients find your practice and schedule appointments to the care they receive — there is no way for practices to implement changes to better serve patients. Improving patient satisfaction and engagement is the surest way to retain patients.

Patient Feedback Can Help Providers Boost Online Reputation

A positive online reputation can help healthcare practices attract new patients. The opposite is also true: A negative reputation can deter prospective patients from entrusting your practice with their health.

 

Some 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations. This means ensuring that patients who are satisfied with your practice share testimonials on social media or review websites are crucial to success.

 

Asking patients for reviews is easier than you might think. With automated patient feedback surveys, it’s simple to encourage patients to post positive reviews online.

 

Patient Feedback Helps Providers Give Better Care

Physicians typically only have a short window in which to connect, catch-up, and address any and all patient needs. That’s difficult under even the best of circumstances.

 

Without knowing how that patient encounter went — Did you provide the necessary care? The right advice and counsel? Did the patient think you seemed rushed or too focused on the EHR? — you will never be able to step back, assess your performance, and work to improve it for the next time.

 

Providers should always be striving to specifically understand how their performance impacts how patients perceive the quality of care given. This is crucial not just for a practice’s online reputation but especially if and when it begins to take on value-based reimbursements.

Feedback Can Create a Culture of Open Communication and Continuous Improvement

The only constant is change — an appropriate aphorism in today’s healthcare landscape if there ever was one. The best strategy to stay relevant is to build a culture of open communication amongst staff of all levels and continuous improvement where any idea that might benefit the practice is debated.

 

Openly sharing and analyzing feedback given by patients on the performance of the front office and providers is one of the best ways to create the psychological safety inherent of the highest-performing teams.

 

Once that safety amongst teammates is established, constructive dialogues can take place that lead to how the practice’s performance can be improved for the benefit of patients.

 

Patients are the customers of medical practices. Without soliciting feedback from them on your performance, it is almost impossible to improve your business.

 

Feedback, then, is the only foolproof way for physicians and practices to truly become patient-centric.

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How to Respond To Negative And Positive Patient Reviews [The HIPAA Compliant Way]

How to Respond To Negative And Positive Patient Reviews [The HIPAA Compliant Way] | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Even though patient reviews have a critical role to play in the success of your healthcare practice, they don't work in solitude. They are a conversation initiated by one of your patients that asks for your participation to present your side on the matter. You would provide the final viewpoint on the situation.

 

Not responding to a negative review will give the impression that you don’t listen to what your unhappy patients have to say and aren’t proactively addressing areas where you may be struggling. Whereas, not responding to positive reviews can make you look like you only care to address patients when there’s a damage to your reputation. In both cases, it will be your reputation that suffers.

 

When responding to your patients’ reviews, it’s important to comply with HIPAA regulations. HIPAA compliant review responses keeps you safe from any data privacy-related troubles. Data privacy is a big violation that can bring unnecessary financial and legal problems.

How to Respond to Negative Patient Reviews

Negative reviews are not always a bad thing. In fact, you need a few negative reviews from your patients. Replying to a few negative reviews appropriately can help draw attention toward your business’s positive qualities. Think of this concept as quality control.

 

When you see a negative review, don't immediately write a response. It's better to take a short break, analyze the situation, think of a strategy, and then write your response. Below are the “do’s and don’ts” of responding to negative reviews:

Do Not Even Think of Ignoring Them

When patients are irate, it’s natural for them to sound more dramatic while writing reviews. They’re upset and want the world to know about it. Take it with a grain of salt and never take it personally. However, do not ignore negative reviews.

According to a study, the majority (65%) of patients said that it's highly expected of doctors to respond to patient reviews. Responding shows that you take patient feedback seriously and are committed to improving the patient experience. The key here is to be understanding and sincere.

See if the Review Violates Terms and Conditions of the Website

Another thing to do before you respond is to check if the review is violating the terms and guidelines of the review website. If the review turns out to be objectionable, such as written by someone else, promotional in nature, sexually explicit, contains third-party names, harasses, abuses, or threatens to harm, etc., you can simply “flag” or “report” it. Let the review site know about it so they can investigate it and consider taking it down. Consider writing to the review site. However, remember that they are inundated with these requests and may not get back to you for weeks or months.

If the review is not objectionable and it correctly points out your fault, it's your responsibility to think of a strategy to respond to it.

Here's what you should keep in mind while responding to a negative patient review:

 

Examine the situation: Analyze the situation from all perspectives; the patient's point of view, the legal point of view, and the public point of view. After analysis, consider a professional HIPAA compliant response that not only solves your patient's concerns but also minimizes the damage to your reputation.

 

Begin with an apology: Even if you don't recognize your patient's claims, start your response with an apologetic and sympathetic tone. Next, explain your stance on the matter and let your patients know that you're serious about listening to their concerns. For example – “We are sorry to learn about your bad experience. However, this is not something that goes with our standards. Our representative will connect with you to learn more about it."

 

Passively market your service USPs: There is no harm in providing a little bit of extra information that explains what your patients usually experience. This will insert a little bit of marketing in your response to the bad review. For example – “We are normally known for our exceptional attention to detail, and we regret that we missed the mark.”

 

Note: Don't include your practice name or relevant search terms, like category and location, in your response as it can make your negative patient review appear in the relevant search results.

 

  1. Keep it anonymous: Make sure that your team responding to patients' reviews is aware of the HIPAA guidelines. HIPAA requires providers to respond to patient reviews without disclosing the patient's identity and/or their personal health information; such as, but not limited to, phone number, email address, appointment dates or times, diagnosis or test results. Failure of HIPAA compliance can invite hefty fines and even court-related troubles.
  2. Offer to move the conversation offline: Provide contact information of someone at your practice whom unhappy patients can contact to discuss their problem in person. For example – "Hi! My name is [name], and I'm the [provider/practice manager] at our practice. If you'd like to discuss this further, please call me at [phone number] or email at [email address] during regular business hours."

How to Respond To Positive Patient Reviews

Just because positive reviews don't cause any trouble (if they are genuine), should you just sit on them and do nothing? Absolutely not. First, that would be like ignoring someone when they give you a compliment, and secondly, don't you think you should amplify the goodwill using those positive reviews? Obviously, yes! Also, it's a great way to spread positive messages about your brand’s online reputation!

The good news is there are a few best practices and guidelines to follow when it comes to positive reviews; these are very important to remember.

Here’s how to respond to positive patient reviews, the HIPAA compliant way:

  1. Start with 'thanks’: Just like you start off with an apology in case of a negative review, you should also thank your reviewer when they praise you. Example – “Hi! Thank you so much for your kind words. We appreciate you taking the time to share your great experience!"
  2. Keep it ambiguous: While thanking, don't use phrases like, "It was great to see you," or "Thank you for visiting the office." Such phrases sound more declaring or affirming and may be used against you for indirectly exposing the identity and actions of a patient.
  3. Boldly market your practice: Inserting your business name, category, location, and your service-related keywords may help these positive conversations, about your brand, appear in the relevant Google search results. For example – “The team here at [your practice name] are delighted to hear your feedback, and we're proud to be the most trusted [service category] provider in [location name].”

Tips to Get the Most Out of Positive Patient Reviews

  1. Amplify it on social media: You should amplify all positive reviews through social media. Try using a graphics tool like Canva or PicMonkey to create engaging graphics of your testimonials and share across social media. Make sure to cross-promote the testimonials on all social channels you’re active on. This is known as social proof.
  2. Promote it on your website: You can also create a separate testimonial page on your site and showcase positive patient reviews for promotion. Doing so will also help your page get better search engine rankings.

 

Note: To get the most out of positive patient reviews, you should strive to get more overall positive reviews.

 

Incentivizing reviews isn't a great option, it's not ethical, and most review sites don't approve of it. However, you can always ask and facilitate your patients to write reviews in an ethical manner.

Handling patient reviews requires time and effort and an understanding of the policies. It's one of the significant tasks under healthcare online reputation management.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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What Successful Doctors Know About Branding Themselves Online

What Successful Doctors Know About Branding Themselves Online | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Branding and marketing are as crucial to the highly personal, service-based healthcare sector as they are to any other industry. Regardless of a physician’s specialty, a branding strategy allows him or her to maintain a considerable amount of control over how patients perceive and interact with the practice.

 

In the digital age, the most important place that a professional within the healthcare community must focus his or her branding efforts is online. To do so effectively, there are three important aspects of healthcare branding to consider: the value that online branding holds for the modern practice, how healthcare professionals should approach brand-building in the digital space, and the most effective ways to reinforce the online reputation that one cultivates, in-person.

Why an online brand is important for healthcare providers

It sets you apart from the competition

In every discipline, trained healthcare professionals are automatically recognized as experts by the people who come to them for treatment. While this is undeniably beneficial, it also poses a problem if you want to differentiate yourself from other doctors who share your specialty.

 

A prospective patient is likely to consider that your abilities and those of your competition are of an overall equal level, making it difficult to set your skills apart to draw in clients. Branding is the best tool you have to distinguish yourself from other doctors and show your patients why you are better suited to meet their needs.

It establishes clear, consistent expectations for patients

When a patient chooses you as a provider, they are not just concerned about the quality of your services—they are also concerned about how their overall experience with your practice will make them feel.

 

Developing a well-defined brand that extends beyond your online persona and into the workplace culture of your practice helps set patient expectations before their first visit. When you follow through in-office with the promises you make via branding, patients feel that their expectations have been met, which lays the foundation for a positive, trustworthy reputation.

It builds loyalty

Repeated patient satisfaction breeds feelings of loyalty and brings long term stability to your practice. According to this research conducted by Gallup, the five aspects of a healthcare practice that predict a high degree of patient loyalty are satisfaction, reputation, effective problem resolution, staff follow-through, and staff that treat patients with respect and dignity.

 

Branding is the first step you can take toward establishing a healthcare business capable of offering its clientele each of these things.

How to build your professional brand online

Evaluate your current online brand

Begin building your brand by researching where your brand currently stands. Run your name through search engines and identify any potential content that might be damaging your reputation and driving business away, and pay special attention to your patient reviews. According to this 2017 consumer review survey from Bright Local, 85 percent of consumers are likely to trust online reviews equally as much as personal recommendations, so what your patients say about you on the internet matters.

 

Many healthcare professionals are surprised by what’s being said about them online, whether it’s positive or negative, and want to weigh in. However, it’s important to keep patient confidentiality foremost in your mind when looking through your search results. There are moments where you’ll have to accept that you can’t tell your side of the story.

Are online reputation issues hurting your practice?Let us help

Showcase your professional philosophy online

An essential part of building a distinct brand that will set you apart from your competition is effectively showcasing your professional philosophy online. To do this, you must evaluate what your values are as a doctor as well as the approach you prefer to take to provide patients with the best possible care.

 

For example, do you treat patients narrowly, targeting the symptoms, or do you look at their whole lifestyle to determine what the problem might be? Are there particular methods you prefer when treating a chronic illness, and why do you prefer them? What role do you see yourself playing in a patient’s health? Are you a scold? A friend? A coach?

 

Once you’ve determined your professional philosophy and values, let them inform your online reputation management strategy. Consider your existing social media profiles, web pages, and blog sites and look for opportunities to display your chosen brand in subtle yet effective ways.

 

Make sure to use some portion of your websites and profiles to clearly outline and explain your professional approach, as well as emphasizing the “why” behind your philosophy as a doctor. Further demonstrate your commitment to your philosophy through the generation of relevant content, as well as linking readers to well-written pieces on reputable websites that you consider to be in line with your approach to healthcare.

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Dentist Reputation Management: Why It Is Needed & How to Implement It

Dentist Reputation Management: Why It Is Needed & How to Implement It | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Do you know that the healthcare industry ranks third amongst the list of industries for which reviews are most read? Also, 82% of patients consult one or more review sites with some frequency to view or post comments and ratings of healthcare staff.

 

Paired with the effect that online reviews have on the search engine rankings of local business’ websites (you will learn about this as you go through this blog) and you’ll understand why reputation management is crucial for your dental care practice. In this blog, we’ll tell you about the crucial role of dentist reputation management in growing your practice and also give you a complete checklist of how you should implement it.

Why Dentists Require Reputation Management

Online reviews are the primary component in reputation management. In fact, all reputation management efforts are focused on improving the overall picture of reviews that appear online. Patients make their decision almost wholly based on reviews (for most people, online reviews are as much trustworthy as personal recommendations). Reviews and star ratings also affect click-through-rates** for your website, which is an important factor in your website’s Google search ranking. ** Click-Through-Rate (CTR) refers to how many people click the link to your website after seeing it in the search results. A BrighLocal study suggests that going from a 3-star rating to a 5-star rating gets a business 25% more clicks from Google Local Pack, the most coveted section of Google’s search results that shows local businesses (like your dental practice) to the user query.

As more patients visit your website, it increases the chances that more appointments will be booked. Higher CTR = More No. of Potential Patients Visiting Your Website => Increased Rate of Appointments from Your Website Is online reputation management really effective for dentists? Can it really improve those overall star ratings and help acquire more new patients for your dental care practice? GMR Web Team, a premier dental marketing agency, conducted an extensive study to look into this. It studied review-writing and star-rating behavior of patients of its dental care clients to understand the effectiveness of reputation management efforts for its clients. The team involved in the study compiled patient review data for two different periods: Sep 2014 to Aug 2016, when these dental care clients were not using reputation management services; and Sep 2016 to March 2018, when they were using reputation management services. Data was gathered from Yelp and Google, as these are the most prominent and widely used online review platforms. 

The total number of patient reviews posted on Yelp saw a double-fold increase during this period. Its impact was also seen in the overall star ratings. which increased substantially, from 3.11 to 4.55. Similar results were found for patient reviews and star ratings on.

How Dentists Should Proceed with Online Reputation Management

Dentist reputation management involves activities that include:

Claiming or creating your business account on important review sites and other local online directories

The first step is to create your dental practice’s business account on different online review sites and other local online directories. Unless you’re a newly established practice, you may likely find an already existing account in your practice’s name on some of these websites. In that case, you’ll need to claim your accounts by filling in or completing the relevant business information. This whole process is called local business listing. Local business listing is necessary as your potential patients from your vicinity may use one, or a combination of respective platforms to gather specific information about your practice; such as, address, phone number, map location of your practice, etc. Generally, such inquiries are made by patients who are in their final phase of selecting a dentist. The most prominent healthcare-specific local online review sites where your dental practice must be listed are Vitals, RateMDs, HealthGrades, etc. Other general but highly-influencing avenues are Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, and YellowPages. Although listing on all these platforms is a must, there are some particular reasons to separately mention Google My Business (GMB). Here is why GMB listing and optimization is crucial to the success of your dental practice:

  • Helps Google provide the most accurate answers to user queries
  • Increases your website’s local search ranking on Google
  • Helps your practice gain the prominence of appearing into Google Local Pack.

Learn More: Why listing your dental practice on GMB is crucial and how you can optimize your website’s listing there.

Maintaining NAP consistency across the different review and other listing sites

While listing your practice’s business information on various review sites and other local online directories, you must ensure that the information is consistent on all platforms, especially, the name of your business, its address, and the phone number. This is called maintaining NAP consistency. As believed by many SEO (search engine optimization) experts, Google cross-validates the legitimacy of businesses by cross-referencing a business’ NAPs as they appear on multiple websites. Failure in maintaining the NAP consistency might result in losing the confidence of search engines in your dental practice resulting in lower ranking in local searches. Also, a potential patient might use a specific review platform to access your contact number. Learn More: Inconsistent online listings; their symptoms, causes, and treatment.

Facilitating review generation from patients

Most likely, you won’t find reviews flowing in on their own to the newly created or claimed review accounts for your practice. You’ll need to facilitate the review writing process so patients can easily leave a review. RepuGen offers an easy way to consistently gather genuine patient reviews that portray the patient satisfaction picture for your dental practice most accurately. RepuGen’s review requesting process is entirely compliant with the guidelines of all major healthcare and non-healthcare specific review websites, including those of Google. RepuGen is also HIPAA-compliant as we do not use or disclose patients’ personal health information unless permitted or required by HIPAA addendum, or as required by law. Also Read: 12 Simple Ways to Encourage Patients to Leave Great Reviews for Your Practice

Responding to patient reviews online

According to a study, 65% of patients feel it’s important for doctors to respond to a negative review. Show customers that you are willing to go the extra mile by directly addressing their concerns publicly and extending a hand to solve the problem. The study also lays in some Dos and Don’ts for doctors and healthcare providers while responding to negative patient reviews. Find them in the below-given attachment.

 

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Online reviews and HIPAA: What you need to know about responding to patient reviews

Online reviews and HIPAA: What you need to know about responding to patient reviews | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

HIPAA adds extra complications for healthcare providers facing negative online reviews. The common wisdom for most businesses is to respond to all negative feedback publicly. However, HIPAA levies large fines and penalties against providers who reveal personal health information without patient consent.

 

It’s no wonder then that most healthcare providers are gun-shy when it comes to responding to online reviews. Fewer than one in five have a process for dealing with bad reviews, even though more than 80% of providers are concerned about the damage reviews can cause.

 

That said, there are HIPAA-compliant ways of dealing with patient reviews, and you should definitely incorporate review responding into your practice routine.

Why responding to online reviews is so important

Especially given that healthcare can be a life-and-death matter, prospective patients pay a lot of attention to a provider’s online reviews. In fact, 94% of people use online reviews to evaluate physicians, and 75% say that review sites have influenced their choice of provider. As such, negative reviews on sites like Vitals.com, Healthgrades.com, RateMDs.com, Google, and Yelp can be especially damaging—destroying your online reputation and turning away prospective patients.

 

The good news is that most patients tend to write positive reviews. But when negative reviews do pop up, you can often turn them into good reviews by responding promptly in a caring, professional, and HIPAA-compliant manner.

 

These online interactions show potential customers how much you care about your patients’ satisfaction, which can significantly boost your online reputation. Moreover, responding thoughtfully to a negative review can cause a two-fifths of viewers to overlook it.

 

But you shouldn’t just respond to bad reviews; you should also respond to good reviews. In fact, 70% of people believe it’s important for healthcare providers to respond to all reviews online. Doing so not only demonstrates that you listen to your patients, but it also shows that you truly value them and are grateful for their feedback.

 

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Hidden Positive Effects of Negative Reviews

Hidden Positive Effects of Negative Reviews | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Negative reviews are tough to see. Whether the negative review was left by a particularly picky customer or something just went wrong that day, negative reviews don’t seem fair. It’s tempting to try and get rid of or cover up these harsh comments by any means necessary. However, manipulating the review system to only show positive reviews is not only unethical, but it can hurt your business. Negative reviews can actually have some positive effects.

7 Ways Negative Reviews Create Positive Results:

If you’re panicking and wondering how to take the review down or cover it up, ask yourself if the negative review accomplishes these things. It may seem counterintuitive, but negative reviews can actually help you.

1. Finding the Right Customers

If a customer says the product or service just didn’t work for them, it may be a simple matter of opinion. For example, a diner looking for a quick, cheap meal might not enjoy a cozy sit-down restaurant, and they might leave a negative review. Other customers may read this review and realize the restaurant isn’t what they want either, but that’s OK. If your business isn’t designed for these customers, it’s better for both of you if they find one that is.

2. Uncovering Problems

A business owner will never have the same experience as a customer. Negative reviews bring attention to problems that might otherwise go unnoticed. Whether you have a rude employee, a malfunctioning product, slow shipping, or something else, it’s best to know about the problem and respond to it rather than letting it drive away more customers. Make sure to regularly audit your business reputation to uncover these problems right away.

3. Creating Realistic Expectations

Negative reviews usually explain what a product or service isn’t, which will help other buyers get a realistic picture of what they’re buying. A negative review that points out a product or service’s limitations will save other buyers from being disappointed, creating a better overall experience and reducing requests for refunds. Buyers that get what they expect will be more likely to leave positive reviews.

4. Proving Authenticity

A complete absence of negative reviews is impossible and customers know it. While compliments on a job well done are welcome, negative reviews show that the comments are honest and trustworthy. If you have 50 five-star reviews without a single critical comment, customers are more likely to be dubious than impressed.

5. Showing Responsiveness

Thanking customers for their positive reviews shows that you are friendly and attentive, but this isn’t likely to stand out in a prospective customer’s mind. The best way to handle negative feedback is to address it and solve it, and this response will make an impact on new buyers. A business that addresses complaints gives buyers security, showing that they don’t have to worry if something goes wrong.

6. Making Your Business Approachable

Nobody is perfect. If a negative review highlights a mistake or a problem, it’s OK to own up and say you’ll do better next time. Reacting to criticism with a calm and constructive attitude shows customers that you are a real person and that you are honest and reasonable. This is especially true for reviews that are overly harsh or dramatic; your calm, pleasant response will be even clearer against an argumentative comment.

7. Providing More Information

A business owner can describe or display their product or service on their website or the shopping page, but they can’t provide all the details that every customer might want to know. Negative reviews, which usually target specific things, tend to be more helpful than positive reviews in this case. Negative reviews may point out that a clothing item fits smaller than normal or that a restaurant is especially spicy. These may be negative attributes for some and positive for others, but the information is helpful for all potential customers.

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Are Paid or Fake Testimonials Illegal?

Are Paid or Fake Testimonials Illegal? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Are Fake Testimonials Illegal?

Yes.

Under 15 U.S. Code § 45, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has the power to stop and penalize parties “using unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.” This makes it a crime to break official rules imposed by the FTC. And the FTC forbids the use of fake testimonials.

 

Dozens of FTC documents explain the details of “misleading advertisements,” but it boils down to a simple Truth in Advertising statement; “When consumers see or hear an advertisement, whether it’s on the Internet, radio or television, or anywhere else, federal law says that ad must be truthful, not misleading.” The FTC had made a number of guides explaining how truth in advertising works in different situations, but fake testimonials are actually illegal under Section 5 of the FTC Act (15 U.S.C. 45).

 

Fake testimonials are considered false or deceptive advertising—and therefore against the law—for several reasons. First, they are not based on a real customer’s experience, which a testimonial must be. Second, it misleads the customer. Claiming a happy customer exists when the don’t is misleading in itself, but whatever the fake testimonial claims are also misleading. Third, it encourages customers to spend money on a product or service they otherwise might not, thereby financially defrauding the customer, which is an especially notable offense for the FTC.

 

How Do I Get My First Testimonials?

Many businesses use fake testimonials when they don’t have any of their own, often when they’re new. This is a crime, it’s deceptive to customers, unfair to competitors, exposes you to liability, and it’s bad for your reputation. So what can you do instead?

 

A System to Get Your First Testimonials
Get the free testimonial request toolkit

  • If you have a new product, try getting your first testimonials before you launch. Talk to your first product testers. These people helped you make the product great, and their input can help convince other customers too. Since you’re giving these people the product for free, make sure you disclose this.
  • If you have a new business, get your first testimonials with your grand opening event. Set up a kiosk, hand out surveys, conduct a contest or giveaway, or simply ask your first visitors to share their experience. A testimonial collection tool like Boast makes it easy to capture testimonials at your grand opening using a laptop computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  • If you’re combating bad testimonials or reviews, show that you have fixed the problem and demonstrate it. If you have a business, hold a celebratory event and capture testimonials there. If you sell a product, give away some free samples, but make sure you’re following the rules of honest testimonials. Appeal to your existing customers in an email or social media campaign.
  • Remember that not all bad testimonials are bad news. Companies with 100% glowing reviews make customers suspicious. A few critical comments will show that you are not using fake testimonials or deceptive advertising.

Are Paid Testimonials Illegal?

Yes, with some exceptions.

Many of the same laws which make fake testimonials illegal also make paid testimonials illegal. There are some differences, however, since paid testimonials can be based on real customer experiences.

The FTC’s “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising” address how 15 U.S.C. 45 applies to testimonials, including paid testimonials. These guides and others lay out legal (and illegal) practices for testimonials or reviews on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google Business Reviewsand others, as well as any testimonials you use in advertisements, on your website or elsewhere.

According to these guides, legal testimonials must adhere to all of the following;

  • Made by a real customer or user of the product or service
  • Based on a real user’s experience
  • Be an accurate description of expected or normal results
  • Not influenced by money, gifts, or publicity unless it is clearly disclosed
  • Not influenced by a familiar or business relationship (such as employer-employee)
  • Not edited or altered so to change the message

This means paid testimonials are illegal unless; the company or person giving the testimonials clearly states they are being paid and the statement is still true and accurate. The FTC also makes it clear that gifts such as a free trial of the product or service, a gift card, a giveaway, or any other incentive are a “material relationship” that must be disclosed.

While the FTC makes some exceptions for true testimonials that disclose payment, many review sites take a harder stance against this practice. Amazon, for example, does not allow any type of paid reviews. Both the business and the reviewer can be banned from the site for taking part. Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor and others all have strict “no paid testimonials allowed” policies. This includes free products and discounts as well!

How Do I Get Customers to Leave Reviews?

Getting a customer to take time out of their day to leave a review can be tough. Customers have a lot of demands on their time, so how can you compete without a payment?

  • Go above and beyond. If you truly deliver an exceptional customer service experience and then ask for a testimonial, many customers will oblige.
  • Forge a relationship. Find out what your customers care about and give it to them. Are they looking for a company with good ethics? Someone with knowledgeable experts? Personal service? Delightful ambiance? The customers that repeatedly buy, visit, or work with you for a long time are the customers that support you and will give testimonials.
  • Make it easy. Make your customers as comfortable as possible giving reviews. Provide question prompts so they don’t have to search for something to say. Allow them to share a testimonial with just a few clicks.
  • Ask at the right time. When a customer comes in for an appointment or a regular visit, ask if they have a minute to share their thoughts. Or, if an online purchase was completed, ask for a testimonial when you ask how their experience was.
  • Be sincere. While paid and fake testimonials rely on deception, real testimonials allow you to just be yourself. Tell the customer what you think of your relationship and why their public approval is important to you.
  • Have a system and a plan. Testimonials don’t just happen, you have to ask for them. Have a plan and system for gathering and managing testimonials, such as an automated email campaign, an in-person script, or a video app like Boast.

How Illegal Are Paid or Fake Testimonials?

So paid and fake testimonials are against the law, but just how illegal are they? What’s the punishment?

Thousands or millions of dollars in penalties and civil suits.

Each FTC violation is subject to a $10,000 penalty under 15 U.S.C. 45. And it doesn’t stop there; there’s also a fine of $41,484 each day a deceptive ad runs. For many big corporations, this might not be enough to stop paid or fake testimonials. The FTC can and has filed civil actions against larger businesses with judgments in the millions of dollars. The more widespread, deliberate, misleading or damaging a deceptive ad is, the bigger the civil case will be. The FTC can also order businesses to admit to and correct deception, or return money to consumers they deceived. In 2016, Volkswagen had to pay out $10 billion from a false advertising campaign. Though this was due to false product claims and not fake testimonials, it’s a severe demonstration of the litigating power of the Commission.

Besides being against the law, businesses who host reviews and testimonials are also fed up. They’ve changed their terms of service agreements to stop incentivized reviews altogether, and they’ll remove or flag reviewers or businesses who violate the agreements. Amazon sued over 1,000 offending businesses, reviewers and sites in 2015. Yelp did the same, bringing offending companies and reviewers to court for fraud.

Will I Get Caught?

Paid and fake testimonials are illegal, and they can carry harsh penalties. But some business owners still ask; will I get caught?

Most likely, yes.

The FTC’s blog is filled with hundreds of cases they’ve brought against small and large businesses. Big businesses like Volkswagen, small B2C trampoline sellers, B2B freight brokers, marketing companies and many more have all been caught using paid reviews or fake testimonials to deceive consumers, and they’ve paid thousands, even millions of dollars. And there are likely many other cases that don’t make it to the blog.

Many of these cases are first brought to the FTC’s attention by suspicious or angry customers, competitors, third-party websites, consumer protection groups, or local governments. Regional FTC offices and investigators address complaints and sometimes work with local law enforcement or district attorneys to stop deceptive practices on a local level. Third-party sites simply follow users’ trails to track down fraudsters and file civil suits against them or create an automated screening process to prevent fake testimonials.

Customers have also taken notice of paid and fake reviews. Several plugins and apps now exist that will point out fake reviews as customers shop online. These plugins take note of generic terms, grammar mistakes or other common red flags that aren’t present in real, trustworthy reviews.

In essence, if it’s making a difference in customers’ minds, the FTC, other websites, or other customers will notice. And if it’s not making a difference, is it worth putting your reputation on the line for?

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The Beginner’s Guide to Online Review Management

The Beginner’s Guide to Online Review Management | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

The Beginner’s Guide to Online Review Management

Make a List

Before you can begin your online review management and improvement, you have to know what you’re up against. Block out some time to do some research and audit your online business reputation. To start, search for your business as a customer might. What comes up first? Your website? Your Facebook Page? Your Google Business listing? A third-party site? Are these reviews reliable and made by real customers?

 

You’ll probably come across some negative reviews, but don’t worry about addressing them yet. At this stage, simply try to gather as much information as you can. In your list, record the following information about each result you find:

  • URL
  • Search engine results page (SERP) position
  • Number of reviews listed
  • Overall star-rating and/or overall sentiment (positive, negative, neutral)
  • Reviews appear to be made by real customers (or not)
  • Information within the reviews is accurate (or not)
  • Complaints in the reviews have been addressed (or not)

 

After the first page of results, do a quick scan to see if there are any particularly problematic results, like a blog post or local news story defaming your business. If you find these, add them to your list. If not, stick to the first page of results. Since most customers don’t scroll past the first page of results, it’s probably not worth your time to go past the first page either.

Prioritize Online Review Sources

At this point, you probably have 8 to 10 items on your online review management list. Most likely, you don’t have the time to manage all of these. Choose the sources that are most impactful, and prioritize managing those first.

Look at your research from the previous step and find which sites showed up first, which scores were bad, or any reviews that were obviously false. If any of the sites that showed up had ten or more positive reviews, you might skip these and move on to more urgent items. Remember your own website is important here too, especially if it shows up high on the SERP.

Established Businesses

If you’re a well-established business, you may find that you already have a number of positive reviews across a variety of sites. After all, you’ve been around this long because you do a good job and customers like you! In this case, you may want to take a closer look at the ROI of online reputation management. Your strategy can always be stronger, and you can reach more customers with well-placed reviews. To start, look for holes in your online reviews; are there any places customers are looking for you, but not finding you? If you don’t have a Facebook page, website, or other top online listings, these should be your priority.

New Businesses

New businesses may find a few relevant results to start. That’s okay. A clean slate is good; you have the opportunity to control the conversation around your business. You’ll want to prioritize the top spots on the SERP. Ideally, these will be your Google Business listing, website, and Facebook page. You can control some parts of what appears on your Google Business listing and Facebook page, and every aspect of your website, so make sure this information is accurate, and your SEO is good. If you don’t have any reviews in these places yet, this is a good place to start.    

Gather more reviews

Now that you have the information you need, you’ll need to bolster the reviews on your top-priority sites. Make a plan to gather more testimonials and direct customers to the site to post their reviews. There are several ways to do this, and which you choose will depend on where you want to gather more reviews and how you best interact with your customers. Here are a few ways you can ask for reviews;

  • Automated email campaign
  • In-store tablet or kiosk
  • Facebook campaign
  • Customer appreciation event
  • Contest or giveaway
  • Other unconventional ways

With the right plan, you can automate your testimonial gathering process in under one hour. Check out the Step-by-Step Guide to Automating Testimonial Collection.

Manage Your Online Reviews

If you have some reviews coming in through emails, some on YouTube, some on Facebook, and a number of other places, it’s going to get difficult to manage. Focus your reviews into one easy-to-use platform, and make sure customers know where to go to submit them. If you use Boast, you can request, gather, approve, and display text and video testimonials all in one place. You’ll also want to use a platform that integrates with your WordPress website, Facebook page, MailChimp account, and other services so you can use the reviews that you gather in more places. With these integrations, you can continue to manage your online reviews from one place, but use them in many different ways.

Monitor Your Online Reviews

Nothing online remains unchanged for very long, and your online reputation is no different. After you boost your reputation on your top-priority sites, including your own website, you’ll want to monitor these sites. You can set up Google Alerts with your company name as a keyword to see when new mentions go up anywhere online. It’s also a good idea to check back on your review sites periodically and thank customers who post reviews, and respond (where appropriate) to negative reviews or issues. Finally, keep gathering, posting and using testimonials in new ways. Some of the top brands in the world use testimonials to maintain their industry authority, engage customers, build community, and build trust.

 

Once you have a plan to manage online reviews, the process won’t seem so chaotic. Remember that building (or repairing) your reputation takes time, consistent effort, and exemplary service. If you continue to impress your customers and make it easy for them to show their approval, you’ll start to see more reviews rolling in.

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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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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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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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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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Reviews Online Rank Top-Rated Hospitals Poorly 

Reviews Online Rank Top-Rated Hospitals Poorly  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

An analysis of nearly 2,700 online reviews of the nation’s top-20 hospitals as ranked by U.S. News & World Report (USN&WR) finds almost two out of three reviewers give the facilities a mediocre to a poor rating on the social media website Yelp.com.

 

Each year the magazine names 20 hospitals for outstanding clinical outcomes in 16 areas of complex specialty care. Meanwhile, from another perspective, an analysis by Denver-based consulting firm Vanguard Communications & Healthcare Process Improvement found that 62.7 percent of Yelp reviewers rate the latest ranked top institutions at only one to three stars out of five possible.

 

The 20 hospitals combined earned an average rating of 3.2 out of five stars.

 

USN&WR published its latest rankings in August based on the best clinical performances of hospitals nationwide. However, on social media, patients tend to discuss customer service far more often. According to Vanguard’s evaluation of 2,679 reviews of the top 20, nearly 9 in 10 (84 percent) complaints cited nonclinical, service issues as the main source of their dissatisfaction, ranging from chronic billing problems, to poor phone and follow-up communications, to wait times of one to four hours or more to see a doctor.

 

Ironically, most online healthcare reviewers who complain about customer service wind up praising their doctors and typically appear satisfied with the quality of medical care, said Ron Harman King, Vanguard CEO.

 

“Each year U.S. News & World Report performs a great public service by evaluating hospitals in areas that are least transparent and accessible to healthcare consumers,” King said. “We thought it would be interesting to learn more about what patients thought. Our findings suggest they focus their online comments more on nonmedical matters such as how many rings or pushed buttons it takes to get a live person on the phone, and the availability of parking for a doctor’s appointment. This is understandable, given the greater transparency of quality of those services.”

 

Vanguard’s prior social media research found patients freely express gratitude for doctors’ individual performances. A 2016 Vanguard analysis of 34,748 online healthcare reviews showed that 2 out of 3 American patients (66 percent) give doctors either four or five stars on social media.

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Manage Online Reputation With a Patient Feedback System 

Manage Online Reputation With a Patient Feedback System  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Reputation is everything in business, and in today’s digital era this includes your online standing.

 

When choosing a new healthcare provider, people have plenty of options, so many browse the internet to find the practice with the best reviews.

 

An overwhelming 82 percent of U.S. adults read online customer ratings or reviews before making a purchase decision, according to 2016 data from the Pew Research Center.

 

More than half (54 percent) focus on the extremely negative ones, so unkind words can actually hurt your practice.

 

If you’re trying to attract new patients, it’s time to take control of your online reputation. Here are four ways to generate reviews with an effective patient feedback system.

Send a quick survey

Your patients are busy people. They don’t have time to complete a lengthy post-visit questionnaire, so make giving feedback easy.

 

After each visit, send a short patient satisfaction survey via text or email. Serving as a post-appointment follow-up of sorts, promptly reaching out allows you to connect with them while they visit is still fresh in their mind.

 

The key to attracting new patients — and retaining existing ones — is finding out what people liked and disliked about their visit. Everyone won’t complete the survey, but automatically send one to each person incites a higher response rate.

Handle issues privately

You strive to provide patients with the first-class service, but no healthcare practice is perfect all the time. In fact, 62.4 percent of providers have had at least one patient post a negative review online about their practice, according to our 2018 Online Reputation Management Survey.

 

When you have a robust patient feedback system in place, you’re able to learn about the problem before the person writes a negative review online. This allows you to manage the issue offline, so it doesn’t play out in a public sphere.

 

Taking the time to rectify the issue will make the patient feel valued. When it has been resolved, it’s possible they’ll write you a positive review that will help attract new patients.

Invite patients to share

People like to voice their thoughts and opinions. When patients have a positive experience with your practice, many are happy to write a review but need a little push.

 

Results of the recent PatientPop survey revealed that 52 percent of healthcare providers ask patients to share their experience online. However, 71.3 percent of practices receive reviews from no more than 5 percent of their patients.

 

Clearly, most providers aren’t using an effective patient feedback system. Investing in a tool that invites patients to post reviews and makes it easy to do so will generate a higher response rate.

 

For prospective new patients, nothing weighs greater than the opinions of those currently under your care. Positive reviews build trust. If patients sing your praises, readers will be more inclined to call you, instead of a competitor without those reviews.

Send friendly reminders

Feedback from existing patients is a fantastic way to attract new patients, so if you don’t succeed the first time, keep trying. Give people multiple opportunities to respond to your patient satisfaction survey, because their opinions matter.

 

Let patients know how important it is for them to complete the survey and how much you truly appreciate their taking the time to do it. Even those who truly intended to fill it out on the first try can easily forget, so a gentle nudge can make all the difference.

 

Getting a handle on your online reputation management is a must for attracting new patients. People put a lot of stock in online reviews, so giving current patients a voice can seriously boost your practice.

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Online Reviews: 5 Things That Leave a Negative Impact on New Patients

Online Reviews: 5 Things That Leave a Negative Impact on New Patients | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Patients are increasingly relying on online doctor reviews for verifying about your practice's reputation.

 

According to a report by Software Advice, almost three-quarters (72 percent) of patients use provider ratings as their first step in finding a new doctor. It confirms that your online reputation is often a first impression for your new patients. This calls for a dedicated work on your online reviews to avoid a negative first impression on your patients regarding your practice.

 

It's not just the quality of reviews (positive or negative) that matters. But there are other related aspects such as their age, volume, and whether you're responding to them or not, that affects how your (or your practice's) online reputation would personify before its audience. The importance of first impressions in healthcare can never be denied. Because reviews reflect the kind of patient experience you're able to provide, you need to be serious about what impressions the online reviews are leaving on your prospective patients.

 

Reviews come first in the search results and stand in the forefront in providing that experience to your prospective patients. In addition to reviews, your organization's online experience is also a key component of patient satisfaction. Always know about the various aspects of online reviews that may hamper your healthcare business by presenting a negative first impression of your practice online. You have to acknowledge them so that you can focus on eliminating them.

 

Here are the 5 online reviews mistakes that leave a negative impact on your patients' first impressions about your healthcare practice and affect their decision.

1. Reviews That Are Too Old

Patients appreciate finding lots of reviews about you. It adds credence to your presence and popularity in the respective locality. However, even the high quantity of reviews can't save your online reputation for long if they're not flowing in frequently. A BrightLocal study cited ‘recency’ as the third most important factor of reviews. It concluded that reviews that are older than 3 months aren't considered relevant by your consumers. This means that your prospective patients are more likely to leave looking for you any further if you don't show up with recent reviews (within 3 months) by your patients.

 

The statistics above also points toward the idea that consumers are relying more on recent reviews. It is becoming a clear trend with the figure rising from 69% in 2015 to 73% in 2016. After all, you cannot expect your prospective patients to judge your quality of service today based on reviews from months or years ago. Instead, it turns out to be very confusing for them to understand why reviews suddenly stopped when there were so many before.

 

2. Too Many Negative Reviews or No Reviews

Zero reviews are as bad as negative reviews. Sometimes, even worse. On one hand, too many negative reviews will suggest a bad reputation for your practice. On the other hand, no reviews will suggest a non-existent reputation with zero credibility on the internet. Time-poor consumers (your prospective patients) who can’t find any reviews about you will instead check out other providers with at least an average review reputation.

 

It's all the same for providers who show up with too many negative reviews. A whole bunch of negative reviews will also make your patients not want to use your service. In fact, according to the same BrightLocal study, 40% of local business consumers (including patients) would refrain from using your service if they find too many negative reviews about you. Poor reviews leave a negative first impatient on patients and damage your reputation in the eyes of search engines. Too many bad reviews lead to lower click through rates (CTRs) in search results that tells search engines to lower your search rankings. Result – less visibility on web.

 

3. Too Many 5 Star Ratings

If there are too many negative reviews, your prospective patients won't bother to scroll any further on your profile page. They'll simply research elsewhere. If there are too many positive (5 stars) reviews, they'll be hesitant and question the credibility of perfect reviews. Most of them won't stick at finding more about you. As a simpler move, they'll leave. Patients won’t spend more time than necessary to research your practice, and will instead, look elsewhere for a more credible and reliable practice.

 

According to a neuromarketing blog, 95% of consumers suspect censorship or fake reviews when there are no bad ones. This is the reason why you don't want to appear too good to be true. This is more so true for healthcare practices. That's because a healthcare business mostly drives on local patients. In most situations, these patients already have a general idea about your practice and its quality of care through news or views. Obviously, all those news and views can’t be perfect. So, when they find only (or mostly) 5 star ratings with too good comments about your service quality on review sites, they cannot digest it.

4. Outdated or Inconsistent Listing

Patients go on looking at multiple reviews websites to get a better picture about you, according to a Zocdoc. Various researches have shown proofs of that too. Landing at inconsistent information regarding your practice across these different platforms will not only confuse them, but also make them angry. Many of our existing healthcare clients were having some or other form of listing inconsistency on different review websites when they came to us.

 

These were simple errors like not being consistent with updated information (changes in email address, phone numbers, location of business, etc.) on all platforms. However, these simple errors were causing severe damage to their online reputation. After we updated and made all information consistent throughout the review platforms, with some time, we started seeing a positive shift in conversion rates. It's necessary to ensure that your business information is consistent across all websites, including the review websites. Focus particularly on NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) information because that's where your patients' attention lands.

5. Zero Response on Patient Reviews from Your Side

Unfortunately, negative reviews do happen sometimes. While responding to them tactfully and in a highly professional manner can reduce their bad effects, not acknowledging them with a response will only add to the bad impression. Patients value responses to negative reviews. It gives them an assurance that there is someone on the other side who is listening to their concerns and taking care of it. According to Software Advice, a majority of patients (65%) believe that it's “very” or “moderately” important for doctors to post a response.

 

There are 60 review websites focused on healthcare in the US. It's difficult and expensive to keep up with all these platforms manually. That's why it's recommended that medical practices and doctors invest in a healthcare reputation management solution for the job.

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How Urgent Care Centers Can Benefit From Patient Testimonials

How Urgent Care Centers Can Benefit From Patient Testimonials | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

A significant percentage of prospective patients landing on your website don’t take the desired action—like scheduling an online appointment or calling your office. Of the many probable factors, it’s the fear of the unknown and the resulting lack of trust that may prevent them from selecting you as their urgent care provider. The best way to eliminate apprehension and instill confidence and trust among your prospective patients is to let them hear your happy patients’ stories about their great experiences. That’s where patient testimonials come into the picture.

 

In this blog, we’ll tell you all about patient testimonials—what they are, their importance, and how you can use them to drive new patients to your urgent care center. Keep reading!

What Are Patient Testimonials?

Patient testimonials are the written or spoken statement of recommendation from happy patients about the quality, character, and competence of healthcare service and/or provider. Effective patient testimonials aren’t just about praises and appreciation, but they also try to conclude stories that inspire and motivate prospective patients from reading them.

 

Different studies have already shown how these positive remarks and comments can help your healthcare business prosper. According to a Software Advice report, 48% of patients would go out of their insurance network for a provider who has a better review history. The search engine giant Google also stated in one of its partner’s presentation videos that patients prefer to watch testimonial videos to hear other patients’ stories before reaching out to any provider. Here’s how urgent care providers like you can grow their practice using patient testimonials.

Use Testimonials to Improve Patient Acquisition Opportunities

Patient testimonials have a crucial role to play in turning your prospective patients’ decision making in your favor. Including testimonials on your site can raise its personality and trust-worthiness; therefore, boosting your site’s conversion rate. This helps in improving patient acquisition opportunities for your urgent care practice. Let’s see how a patient testimonial page can help you boost acquisition for your urgent care:

    • Boosts search engine ranking

      Google loves content and a testimonial page is a great opportunity to feed Google with relevant and updated content that can get indexed regularly. Selecting the right testimonials will allow you to get specific value points included on the page. Those words are added up to the weighted pages that help you with your search engine rankings.
    • Increases trust

      Prospective patients looking for an urgent care center may come to your site via Google searches, or through some reference channels. If they find compelling stories of experience from happy patients, it will help in alleviating their fear and anxiety of choosing a new provider for the first time.

How to Keep Your Testimonials Page Up-to-Date

Having a separate testimonials page on your site is great. However, to leverage it for driving new patients to your practice, you should keep it up-to-date with your newest reviews. You cannot expect your prospective patients to trust you by showing them reviews from months or even years ago. Sending flowers or arranging a thank you event are not practical (or even affordable) ways for urgent cares to collect new patient testimonials. It’s better to develop a process where you systematically request, collect, and utilize testimonials.

 

You can use an online reputation management software like RepuGen to ask your patients for feedback through text and email. As the feedback comes in, it will be easy for your urgent care marketing team to keep selecting and adding the positive ones to your testimonial page on a regular basis.

 

If you want a more automated solution where you don’t have to manually update your testimonial page, RepuGen also provides a solution for that. You can generate a free testimonials page on your website that will automatically fetch positive reviews from your Facebook, Yelp, and Google My Business accounts.

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How to Ask For a Google Review

How to Ask For a Google Review | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

How to Ask for a Google Review: 6 Proven Techniques to Use

1. Email

A simple way to reach customers is in their inbox. By delivering a request for a Google review through email, you can easily layout the steps and provide simple links for the customer to do so. All they really need to do is open the email and write a review.

 

The obstacle you may encounter with this technique is cutting through the email inbox clutter. People receive massive amounts of emails per day, so make sure you use email marketing best practices to improve the open rate and click-through rate. Another way to make sure you’re practicing these techniques as effectively as possible is to have specific criteria customers should meet before you send out the email. A great way to figure out which customer is ready to leave a review and which is not is to calculate Net Promoter Scores.

Don’t make your customers hunt for your page to leave a review

Use the Google Review Link Generator. 

2. Social Media

To successfully collect reviews, show up where your customers are hanging out. This may require a bit of audience research. Come up with a list of social media platforms your customers use frequently. This list will probably include platforms Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter or Pinterest.

Online users respond to aesthetics. Try creating a well-designed, branded graphic that will catch your customers’ attention. You can post it to Facebook, Instagram stories, Snapchat, etc. The graphic can include steps for leaving a Google review to simplify the process.

3. Ask In-Person

A slightly different approach to take is requesting testimonials face-to-face. Depending on what type of business you run, you might have the opportunity to interact with your customers in person. This can provide a better gauge on whether or not they’re likely to leave you a good review. If they’ve been purchasing from you for a while, or you’ve maintained a strong relationship, this can be an effective strategy. You might say something along the lines of, “You really seem to be enjoying [product/service]. We’ve actually been working on building up our reviews on Google. Would you be open to leaving a review on [product/service]?” If they say yes, have an info card on hand such as the one you created for your social media accounts, that lists out how to do it and is easy for them to hang onto.

4. In-Store Kiosk

It can be difficult to get an in-store customer to take action online, but it can work with the right strategy. An in-store kiosk can be helpful here. By using kiosk mode, you can lock an iPad or another device to one app, so your customers can write a review right in the store if they choose.

5. CTA

Call-to-actions jump out at people on websites, in advertisements, and on landing pages. With the right and design, and the right copy these can be extremely effective. If you decide to run a testimonial campaign, including a CTA at different touchpoints in your website, social media platforms or digital advertisements may increase the likelihood of people writing Google reviews.

6. Boast

Finally, make use of tools available to you. Boast stores all testimonials in one easy-to-access location, and allows you to filter testimonials based on different factors. We’ve written several blog posts outlining different ways to identify people ready to write a review and how to collect more reviews. By using Boast’s automated processes, you can ask the right customers for Google reviews automatically and save time.

Google is an important part of every business in the Information Age, and you can use this essential tool to your advantage. Ask your loyal customers for Google reviews, and you might be surprised at how many are willing to vouch for you. With your good reputation on display, you can use Google and your customer’s loyalty to bring in more business.

 
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How you can manage Google reviews

How you can manage Google reviews | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

More consumers are now turning to online reviews to help in their buying decision process. With Google reviews, you can enhance your online presence by making sure your business ranks well in search engine results pages (SERPs). Here’s what you need to know to make that happen.

 

How Google changed search results

Google now automatically aggregates and includes online reviews to display in the Knowledge Panel found on the right side of the search results. This useful panel displays information like address, hours, web address, and more.

Which review sites does Google include?

Relevant sites vary between industries, so if, for instance, you manage a restaurant, reviews from Yelp or Zagat will likely be displayed next to your online listings. If your business is a bit more niche, however, there are a few steps you can take to determine which review sites affect you.

 

To determine these sites, go to Google and type the following:
“[your company name] reviews” – to locate sites that already have reviews on your business
“[industry] reviews” – to determine industry reviews sites you should be listed on
“[industry + location] reviews” – to find review boards where you can boost your local presence

Then, list the review sites you found on the first page of each search query and categorize them based on their search ranking and your company’s current rating on them.

 

After creating the list, write down an objective for each review site. This can range from getting listed on the site to improving your rating.

 

To narrow down your choices, focus your review-generating efforts on the five most popular websites on your list, especially those that include negative reviews of your business.

Getting reviews

Regardless of your objectives for managing reviews, the most important thing is for people to write reviews about your products and services. With that in mind, here are a few strategies to encourage people to rave about your business.

Send follow-up emails
You could send a short message thanking them for purchasing your product or service, with a request for a review.

Simplify the review process
Many customers skip writing reviews due to the complex steps and instructions involved. You need to simplify this process by having a review site widget that customers can easily access, asking them to comment on your service before they leave your website.

Offer rewards for reviews
Another way to encourage people to rate your business is by presenting them with a chance to win free goods or services if they submit a review.

 

There are a lot of steps involved in managing your online reputation, but starting early is the key to enhancing your SEO, attracting new customers, and improving your bottom line.

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Signs of a Trustworthy and Reliable Testimonial

Signs of a Trustworthy and Reliable Testimonial | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

7 Signs of Trustworthy and Reliable Testimonials

1. A Reliable Source

Some disreputable businesses pay freelancers to post about products or services they’ve never tried. Other businesses create fake profiles on review sites themselves and attempt to write fraudulent reviews. These practices violate review sites’ terms of service, and they break the law. However, there are several ways to validate a real customer’s identity;

 

  • They have a non-generic name and picture, or videos.
  • Their testimonials are attached to other sources, like a business website or a Facebook page.
  • They have reviewed other products or businesses fairly.
  • Their location, job, or other details fit with the business they’ve reviewed.
  • They have a presence on the site, such as friends or other connections.

2. Pictures or Videos

A video testimonial shows the customer’s identity, making it much more difficult to fabricate reviews. Similarly, many review sites now allow customers to post pictures or videos with their reviews. While a reviewer might still be paid for a review, a picture or video of them using the product proves they at least tried it. This, along with other signs, can help to determine if a testimonial is reliable.

3. Verified Purchase

Realizing that deceptive reviews hurt Amazon’s sales and reputation, the company set out to find and stop fraudulent reviews. In 2015, Amazon sued over 1,000 alleged fraudsters and amended their terms of service to take a stricter stance on fake reviews. Now, reviewers must have a valid credit card and $50 worth of purchases before writing a review, making it harder to create fake accounts. Amazon’s “Verified Purchase” note also helps to validate authentic reviews; “verified purchase” means the reviewer bought the item on the site.

4. No Alerts

Yelp also sued fake reviewers, changed their terms of service, updated fake review filters, and instated new policies to crack down on fraud. One of these was an update to their “Consumer Alerts” feature in 2015. These “Consumer Alerts” now put red flags on businesses suspected of making up or buying reviews.

5. Well Worded

Since fake reviewers generally write a large volume of reviews for low pay, the reviews are short and sound generic. A fake review or testimonial will use a lot of dramatic language like “great,” “awesome,” “best,” or “loved it.” An authentic reviewer will likely take a more even stance, mentioning some things they liked and some things they didn’t. The review will be longer than four sentences, and mention results, features, or applications the reviewer enjoyed or disliked.

6. Good Spelling and Grammar

A review doesn’t have to be a college-ready essay to be authentic, but the spelling and grammar should be mostly correct. If it’s full of errors, it indicates the reviewer was in a hurry (perhaps because they were hired to write a lot of reviews) or the review was outsourced from outside the country. Correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar are simple and obvious signs of a trustworthy and reliable testimonial.

7. Specific Details

Someone who really used a product or visited a business will remember specific details about their experience. The customer doesn’t have to remember everything, but at least one of the following should stick out;

  • Size: Size and proportions tend to be memorable. If a testimonial says a room was too small, a dress too big, or a plate very large, they’re more likely to be real reviewers.
  • Features: Testimonials that mention specific features are more likely to be authentic. A note about an experience might be; “the contractor was always on time,” “the hotel room was a bit too warm,” or “the dress was so soft.”
  • Story: A testimonial or review with a beginning-to-end story is unlikely to be fake. The reviewer might mention how they found the product, a feature they especially liked, and why they will continue to use it or come back again.
  • Incidents: A reviewer that writes about something that went wrong, but then was resolved, such as delays compensated by a coupon or an incorrect delivery compensated by free shipping, is most likely real. This is one of the best hidden positive effects of negative reviews.

 

 

To make sure reviews and testimonials are trustworthy and reliable, many sites have tightened their rules. When asking for reviews on specific sites, make sure you’re not only following FTC rules, but also the site’s terms and conditions. This also rings true when collecting your own video testimonials for your website. Making sure your testimonials are authentic and helpful is an important part of building trust. With honest business practices, you’ll be protected from legal repercussions and prevent damage to your reputation.

 

 

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12 Signs It's Time to Request a Client Testimonial

12 Signs It's Time to Request a Client Testimonial | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Developing a collection of outstanding client testimonials means not only delivering a great experience but also knowing how and when to ask your client for their thoughts. If you ask too soon, they might not be ready, but if you delay too long it might be too late. Look for one or more of these 12 signs it’s time to request a client testimonial and you’ll know when to get your testimonial request emails, phone call or face-to-face meeting ready.

 

12 Signs It’s Time to Request a Client Testimonial

1. The Praise Email

If you consistently impress your clients, you’ve no doubt received more than one email full of praise. Your client has already gone out of their way to tell you what a great job you’ve done. This is the perfect time to ask for a customer testimonial. Make it easy for your client to submit a testimonial online and you can turn your high praise email into an official client testimonial.

2. A Stellar Meeting

When you meet with your client, sometimes everything just goes smoothly. Maybe you’ve delivered great news or you’ve reached a milestone together. For whatever reason, you know your client will leave your office feeling satisfied. This is a good time to ask for a client testimonial. Have question prompts and a way to record their testimonial ready, so you can get their information right away.

3. Tremendous Results

Some clients experience results that are even better than expected. When you deliver these results to your client, or when they see them for the first time, they’ll be likely to give a client testimonial. Explain the impact of the results if it’s not clear and give your client a moment to enjoy them before asking. Keep in mind that lawful testimonials must give an accurate representation of expected results; you may need to mention that this client’s results, though possible, aren’t typical.

4. Other Reviews

It’s good practice to audit your business reputation online and see what customers are saying. This might be a business review site like Yelp or an industry-specific review site like lawyers.com. As you regularly check in, you may notice previous clients that have talked about your good work unsolicited. If you recognize the name on the review, contact them again to thank them and ask for a client testimonial you can use for your website or marketing materials. If you don’t recognize the name, look at the date the review was posted and see what clients you served near that time.

5. Problem Solved

It doesn’t always take tremendous results to make a big impact; you just need to make a big impact on that client’s life. If your product or service solved a problem your client had, ask them to explain their experience in a client testimonial. Remember, your solution doesn’t have to be earth-shattering to be impactful; you may have simply saved them time, given them confidence, or explained a system they didn’t understand.

6. Parting Ways

Ideally, you would like happy clients to return to your business or maintain an ongoing business relationship, but this isn’t always possible. In many cases, your job has a beginning and an end. Your client may also be relocating out of the area, or their needs have changed. If your business partnership is near its end, ask your loyal customer to mark the occasion with a client testimonial.

7. Contract Renewal

In some industries, clients may work with their preferred businesses for years. If they renew their contract with you or make another long-term commitment, they clearly enjoy working with you. As you thank them for renewing and outline the plan for another fantastic year, ask if they would answer a few questions about your work so far and give a client testimonial.

8. Plan Upgrade

If you offer tiers of service and a customer decides to upgrade, their needs may have changed, they may have new confidence in your business or both. Take this opportunity to reconnect with your client; thank them for their business, explain the new capabilities of their service, and ask for a client testimonial.

9. Recommendation

The goal of testimonials is to show the quality of work you do and inspire confidence and trust through social proof. If a client’s friend, family member, or business associate contacts you, your client has already made an informal testimonial. When you thank them for their recommendation, ask if they will repeat what they said to their associate in an official client testimonial.

10. Positive Customer Survey

Conducting regular surveys on customer happiness is a good way to make sure your business relationships are strong and your own performance is on track. When customers fill out a positive survey, send a response with a client testimonial request. You can even automate this process with email triggers and a testimonial gathering landing page to save time.

11. Implementing Changes

Whether you make a small change to your terms of service, you add new services to your office, or you completely revamp your business model, it’s essential to keep your customers in the loop. Hopefully, the changes you’ve made are informed by the feedback you previously received. Once your clients have had a chance to use and adapt to the new changes, ask them how they feel. Reply to the positive sentiment with a client testimonial request.

12. After an Event

If you see your client at a tradeshow, convention, or another industry event, ask them how business is going. This extra familiarity can go a long ways towards gathering testimonials. During or after the event, follow up and ask them to submit a client testimonial.

If you’ve noticed any of these signs, it’s time to ask for a client testimonial! Asking for testimonials can be difficult at first, but it helps to have a system in place and to know when the timing is right. Make it easy to submit testimonials, continue to deliver a terrific experience and you’ll quickly develop a list of client testimonials.

 
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Strategies behind Online Reputation Management for Doctors 

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

At Digital Authority Partners, we are often asked about our doctor reputation management services. Usually, reputation management for doctors, as a service, is often sought if a doctor is:

 

  • dealing with too many negative medical reviews
  • involved in embarrassing public incidents
  • receiving negative press coverage
  • recovering from a malpractice lawsuit

 

Reputation management is critical to the success of a medical practice. But before we go on, a simple definition: 

 

Online reputation management for doctors falls under the category of marketing services meant to repair and improve a health professional’s online presence. It tackles the reviews, embarrassing public incidents, bad press coverage or malpractice lawsuits that might threaten a medical practice’s success.

 

When negative media coverage or online reviews about doctors appear online, medical practices see a one third drop in visits and calls to their offices, causing a potentially disastrous financial impact.

 

When any of these events occur, doctors tend to enter “crisis mode” and often scramble to find the best strategies to restore their reputation.

 

Usually, reputation management companies refuse to divulge the techniques used to repair a doctor’s online reputation. Unlike most agencies, at Digital Authority Partners we prefer to be honest and transparent about how we approach reputation management for doctors.

 

If you or your medical practice are dealing with a reputation issue, read our ultimate guide to online reputation management, along with an explanation of how each technique works.

 

Every doctor should care about their online reputation

 

As early as 2012, 60% of US customers researched their doctors online. By 2016, 84% of patients researched new medical practitioners before their first appointment. Positive reviews and coverage are consistently considered important or very important before scheduling an appointment with a specific doctor.

 

The first page of Google search results tied to a doctor’s name or practice is the new business card. While some doctors may still choose to ignore this fact; their prospective patients will not. 

Bad press won’t go away. So a lot can go wrong if you don’t address the problem head on.

 

This is the simple truth about online reputation management for doctors: bad reviews and bad press coverage don’t go away. As a consequence, prudent doctors have taken very aggressive measures to guard their reputation. But there are good ways and catastrophic ways to restore your reputation. This article will only focus on the tried and true tactics to restore a doctor’s reputation.  

 

Let’s pause for a second and explore the unfortunate ways some doctors try to deal with their tarnished online reputation.

 

According to Aaron Schur, Senior Director of Litigation at Yelp, the company regularly receives subpoenas from legal counsel retained by doctors to fix their reputation. Yelp rarely acts on these aggressive legal tactics to remove customer feedback.  

 

Even though negative coverage never goes away, the worst thing a doctor can do is fight fire with fire.

 

In 2016, a Manhattan dentist sued multiple Yelp reviewers for their negative reviews – a move that backfired. The New York Daily News began its coverage of the suit in very unflattering terms: “A Manhattan dentist has been trying to extract money from patients who give him bad reviews online.” Then the case caught the attention of national media.

 

Worse yet, the case caught the attention of senior executives at Yelp. Two years later, potential patients going to the dentist’s Yelp page see this warning message:

Although you cannot delete negative coverage, you can bury it with positive content

The Manhattan dentist mentioned above is a prime example of what reputation management companies advise against. Obviously, more negative coverage is the opposite of what a medical practice needs to restore trust in the digital space.

 

Instead, any reputation expert will advise its customers to focus on other strategies that are more likely to succeed. The best way to deal with negative reviews and coverage is to bury it with positive content.

 

How do you bury negative content? By replacing it with a single recipe for success: use Google’s search algorithm in your favor by creating valuable content that pushes the negative content associated with a business name after the first page.

 

It doesn’t happen overnight. And it’s easier said than done.

 

Regardless of your industry, there are specific white hat marketing techniques that can be employed to repair your online image. These are legitimate, widely accepted tactics promoted by some of the most renowned marketers in the world.

 

The rest of this article presents 11 tried and true tactics Digital Authority Partners leverages to successfully restore the online reputation of doctors. We strongly believe all doctors should know exactly what steps we follow to repair their online reputation.  

 

Strategy Number 1: Build a website for yourself and/or your practice

The first and most valuable strategy to repair your reputation is to create a website dedicated to yourself and/or your practice. In some cases, you should consider doing both.

 

Why build a website for yourself or your medical practice?

 

A website serves multiple purposes. First – it introduces a doctor to the world. A good physician-dedicated website tells the story of a specific doctor, the values to which he or she adheres and provides testimonies about the quality of services the physician provides.

 

So, what makes a doctor’s website rank highly in Google search results?

 

Use the following checklist to build a website that will improve your reputation:

 

Launching your own physician website has multiple benefits.

First, if done right, your website will be found when patients look up your name. That’s very powerful. Even if patients find some negative reviews, making a great first impression is imperative.

 

Second, in online doctor reputation management, it’s best to have a website that clearly presents all the critical information about yourself you want emphasized. Your website is a building block, a central place that will be used for all aspects tied to reputation management.

 

For example, one of the foundational strategies to improve an online reputation for a doctor involves the act of securing backlinks to the cornerstone digital property. That can be your own personal website or a website dedicated to your business.

 

Either way – for any reputation management campaign to succeed you need one primary digital property that you own and control. The reason that matters is because a centralized digital property with a robust analytics platform is needed to actually measure and improve on the overall effectiveness of your reputation management campaign.

 

Third, a personal website is your own forum. It’s where you can share updates about your practice, show your thought leadership, and engage with patients.

 

In short, having a website is the single most important tactic of reputation management for doctors. 

Strategy Number 2: Start a blog directed to your patients

If you talk to 10 marketers, all 10 will tell you that the best way to manage your reputation is to have a blog. A blog lives on the internet forever (or as long as you pay for your web hosting). More importantly, a blog allows you to speak to your patients – current and future – to show your expertise and the value you bring to your clients.

 

Most important of all, a regularly updated blog is more likely to bring new clients, garner repeat business, and help you and/or your practice rank higher in Google search results.

 

Why launch a blog for yourself and/or your medical practice?

 

Starting a blog may seem to be a daunting task. How often should you publish content? Will you regularly have time to do it? Is it really worth it?

 

If you talk to any reputation management company, you will often see a list of clear and indisputable benefits tied to starting a blog. If you are in process of repairing your reputation online, here are some quick reasons why you should start a blog for your practice or yourself.

 

As other experts have pointed out, a pleasant side effect of physician-run blogs is that they lead to more business and referrals.  

 

Most importantly though, from a pure reputation management perspective, a physician blog (preferably on your website) nearly guarantees that your content appears at the top of the Google search results. This is why most reputation management companies make the creation of new and original blog content the Number 1 technique to bury negative results in Google.

 

In sum, no legitimate reputation management campaign can succeed without creating great blog content on behalf of a doctor. 

Strategy Number 3: Create blog posts for other websites

The key to success, when dealing with a reputation management issues, is to create relevant, timely content associated with a physician’s name on multiple platforms. As we saw above, one of the easiest ways to create valuable content is to start a blog.

 

However, even if you create the single best physician blog on the internet, that will likely only bury one of the first ten Google search results.

 

A robust doctor reputation management campaign needs to do more than that. The easiest way to bury negative reviews or press coverage is to create new content on other websites as well. For example, at agencies like ours, we have partnerships with over 400 blogs that accept guest submissions from the doctors and clients we represent.

 

First, we work with each client to determine the topics that will best showcase their expertise. Then our team of writers create long, in-depth content pieces that are published under our client’s name on other websites. As part of the guest posting efforts, we secure backlinks to our physicians’ websites or social media profiles (more on that below).

 

If you are a doctor with a significant reputation management issue, guest posting is one of the best strategies for displaying additional Google search results when a patient looks online for your name or the name of your practice.

 

Guest posting is perhaps the most popular doctor reputation management tactic for restoring physicians’ online reputations.

 

Clearly, guest posting has numerous benefits, but the technique is primarily used to get backlinks to specific interviews and news coverage about you and your company. Guest posting can be on another physician website, blog, or social media profile. Links from guest posts will point to whatever content we create for you. 

Strategy Number 4: Create powerful social media accounts (LinkedIn, Facebook) for your medical practice

Google takes a wide variety of digital signals into consideration when ranking content for a specific search term. When running a doctor reputation management campaign, the best way to get meaningful results is by tackling all the major signals drawing Google’s attention.

 

It is well established that social media activity has an impact on Google search results. Specifically, Google is drawn by the number of visits specific websites and blog posts receive directly from social media like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

 

This strong correlation between Google search results and social media activities is what drives most successful reputation management campaigns for doctors to include a social media component. Creating robust social media profiles combined with frequent posts has proven to be a very effective reputation management technique.

 

By creating strong social media accounts with regular posts, every doctor with whom we perform reputation management initiatives will see their social media profiles rank on the first page of Google search results tied to their own or their firm’s name within 60 days.

 

Social media is a powerful tool not only for restoring your online reputation but also for proactively engaging your patients and future clients. An article from March 2018 reveals how various physicians all over the US leverage social media to combat misinformation – not only about their own practices but also about specific conditions, diagnostics, and other timely healthcare news that could affect their patients (ex., flu season, epidemics, etc.).

 

This makes social media management incredibly relevant not only for reputation management but also for long term digital engagement with your patients.

 Strategy Number 5: Claim your Google business listing online

According to Google, 97% of users search for local businesses and local business owners names online.  For that reason, reputation management campaigns often focus on what is called “local SEO practices.”

 

The first priority when improving a doctor’s reputation is to make sure locals searching for a doctor’s name see relevant results – preferably not the questionable ones.

 

To that end, the most important step when initiating a local SEO strategy is for a practice to claim its local Google business listing.

 

For example, here’s the Google listing page for a doctor in the Chicago area:

 

When searching Dr. Gnatenco’s name, Google search results return her image, Google map location, specialty, address, and phone number.

 

Since reputation management campaigns center on optimizing the Google search results, claiming, optimizing, and managing a Google business listing page is important for online reputation management.

 

Google allows for mini-posts on the Google listing page – something that helps with SEO and reputation management initiatives.

 

This is one of various “social” online listings that carries a lot of weight when tying a doctor’s name and medical practice to Google search results.

 

There are many customization options on the Google Business Listing dashboard, giving doctors the opportunity to create powerful and influential profiles for potential patients to visit.

 

Strategy Number 6: Respond to all reviews on Google/Yelp

When looking for new service providers, most customers go to two sources: Google and Yelp.

 

For doctors who are doing well – reviews are a great way to attract new customers. For doctors dealing with unhappy customers and other PR baggage, online reviews can be a nightmare.

 

Doctors’ responses to the new world of online reviews have not always been appropriate or even legal.

 

In 2016, a Washington Post investigation into 3000+ physician responses to negative reviews on Yelp and Google showed that an alarming number of doctors violated HIPAA compliance rules when responding to disenchanted patients. Other doctors – who used a passive aggressive tone or responded rudely to online reviews opened the door to additional criticism and unwanted attention from online users who were offended by physicians’ postings.

 

In general, doctors should not take it upon themselves to respond to online reviews. That’s because it is impossible to not feel emotional when dealing with negative comments. Instead, doctors should either designate a staff person to this task or outsource responses to reputation management consultants. This approach will often avoid making a situation worse or drawing more unwanted attention.

 

Responding to a negative review poorly is not the only problem doctors face with regard to their online reviews. Another unfortunate tactic some physicians erroneously employ, not addressing online reviews at all.

 

Neither strategy is good. Some doctors have reported a 30% loss of business after negative Yelp reviews. As one doctor put it, “Yelp reviews can literally be the bane of many doctors’ existence.”

 

Online reviews aren’t only read by patients. A 2013 study showed that 86% of doctors read their own reviews; 36% also regularly check their competitors’ reviews. As a result, online reviews can affect not only a physician’s ability to acquire new patients but also his/her standing as a member of the medical community as a whole.

 

In general, the appropriate course of action for doctors dealing with online reviews is to respond to every single new review – positive or negative. That shows others researching doctors that you listen to your patients’ concerns and address them professionally.

 

Don’t forget – you can’t make everyone happy. However, you can treat everyone with respect and courtesy – especially when everyone in the world can see your online interactions.

 

How should physicians and reputation management agencies respond to Google and Yelp reviews?

 

The best approach, is to answer to every single online review as part of your ongoing reputation management activities.

 

But how should a physician respond to negative reviews online?

 

There are many ways doctors can tackle negative reviews in their reputation management campaigns. Through it all, remember this point: a bad review doesn’t ruin a business. It’s impossible to please everyone. The best technique is to keep your head cool and to give professional answers to every single review online – good, bad, or ugly.

 

Strategy Number 7: Create medical profiles on relevant directories and social media sites designed for doctors

One of the best approaches to online reputation management for doctors is to create rich profiles on a wide variety of platforms set up specifically for doctors. Just like mainstream social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin, social media platforms for doctors stand a very good chance to rank organically in Google for the search term associated with the name of a specific doctor.

 

Some popular social media platforms and directories for doctors are:

  • CareDash: As one of the fastest growing provider review sites, CareDash uses artificial intelligence to help detect and stop the publication of fraudulent reviews. Doctors can easily create and personalize their profile, and patients trust the platform to help them confidently choose their care provider.
  • Doximity: An online social network for doctors with verified clinicians’ profiles. As of 2018, the network has over 1,000,000 doctors and physicians. That’s approximately 50% of all doctors in the US.
  • Sharecare: An online health and wellness platform and doctor directory. Sharecare lists each doctor’s full profile – including insurance plans, years of experience, biographical information, specialities, professional affiliations and educational background. The platform also allows doctors to answer questions and provide thought leadership on specific topics.
  • WebMd: One of the largest healthcare news and directories in the world. The company allows doctors to create free profiles and advertise on the platform to get new patients.

 

How physicians and reputation management agencies should optimize healthcare directory profiles

 

Healthcare directory profiles play a critical role in reputation management campaigns. This infographic shows the top reasons why doctors should care about their online directory profiles:

 

For reputation management companies, creating online profiles in established directories is an “easy win” to influence google search results. Given the nature of some of the directories – where doctors need to verify their identity – new profiles for specific doctors are usually easy to set up and then rank in Google. Google sees verified directories as highly legitimate social signals for ranking those profiles highly for specific keywords.

 

Whether you are actively working on your reputation or not, one thing is certain: you should absolutely have yourself and your practice listed on some of the most popular – and free – directories in the US.

Strategy Number 8: Be helpful online by posting on relevant Q&A sites and threads

One often ignored technique for ranking high in Google search results is the practice of creating profiles on Q&A websites and responding to questions posted on message boards that are within the doctor’s specialty.

 

For example, Quora is the most popular question and answer website in the world. It ranks 90th  for the most popular sites in the world and 3rd for Q&A sites. On Quora, anyone can create a profile under their own name and contribute to the community.

 

However, Quora has a lesser known benefit. Engaged users who create relevant content using their actual names, can be up-voted by their users.  This usually results in that individual profile ranking higher for the name of its author.

 

In simple terms: a doctor can create a Quora profile under his/her name. After answering questions on specific topics, the Quora profile link will appear in the results of a Google search when a user looks for the name of a specific doctor.

 

How physicians and reputation management agencies use Quora to rank organically in Google

 

The following infographic is based on a Quora thread around the SEO benefits of using Quora to get positive results.

 

In many ways, Quora is just like many other social platforms available. However, by its very nature, Quora is a content platform. That means it can be used to showcase a doctor’s expertise, credentials, and thought leadership. Relevant Quora profiles rank high in Google search results, while simultaneously pushing down negative content tied to a specific physician’s name or business practice.

 

 

Strategy Number 9: Use YouTube to post promotional content, highlight testimonials and make your YouTube profile rank highly in search results

Here is a lesser-known fact: YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world. Furthermore, YouTube is also a tried and true tactic that has become increasingly popular among doctors to attract new patients, learn new methods, and even attract new employees.

 

In addition, YouTube allows users to create a custom URL in their own name for their channel. As that URL gets backlinks, it will start ranking in search results.

 

The SEO benefits have made creating a channel and getting a custom URL a very popular technique for reputation management firms.

 

Of course, there is a catch. According to Google, a channel must meet the following criteria to get a custom URL:

 

  • Have at least 100 subscribers
  • Be at least 30 days old
  • Have an uploaded channel icon photo
  • Have uploaded channel art

 

This means that if a reputation management company is to reap the SEO benefits for a client from YouTube, it’s not enough to just create a YouTube profile.

 

Reputation management companies need to work with a client to create relevant video content. Then, the video content needs to be promoted. Potential subscribers need to be found and encouraged, through campaigns, to follow the channel.

 

In the end, this is worth the effort. When a doctor or reputation management company uses YouTube correctly, the YouTube channel for a specific physician can become one of the top ten search results associated with a specific doctor’s or practice’s name.

 

How physicians and reputation management agencies use YouTube to rank organically in Google

 

Many doctors feel intimidated by video content. When we think video – we think high tech video editing, sound editing, special effects, and more.

 

Actually, any doctor with a smartphone can become a videomaker. The videos can be about any relevant healthcare topic. Some examples include: testimonials, health related tips / tricks, video from a conference, etc.

 

Any video – small or big – can help with reputation management. Especially when you are dealing with negative online reviews, YouTube becomes a great channel for online visitors to see you in action, sense your personality and charisma, and relate to you as a doctor outside of any negative reviews found online.

 

YouTube is one of the most powerful tools to quickly and efficiently improve your online reputation.

 

 

Strategy Number 10: Use SlideShare to showcase your expertise, thought leadership and skills as a doctor

Creating a powerful SlideShare online profile is another popular technique used by reputation management companies to remove negative reviews from the first page of Google search results.

 

SlideShare is a social network allowing users to publish professional presentations, infographics and documents online. The website gets approximately 80 million visitors a month and has over 30 million users. In 2012, the company was purchased by LinkedIn for $119 million.

 

How physicians and reputation management agencies can use SlideShare to rank organically in Google

 

SlideShare has long been used for marketing and SEO purposes. Like other techniques presented in this article, SlideShare is simply another online social network which, when used correctly, can offer businesses and physicians a much needed search result in the process of burying negative results in Google.

 

Like Quora, SlideShare is created around topics. This makes it easy to create a robust strategy to rank higher in Google search results.

 

As with other techniques discussed in this article, SlideShare is great for reputation management. Prepared correctly, Slideshare accounts can even replace other Google search results and help physicians rank higher for their own content.

Strategy Number 11: How physicians and reputation management agencies track online presence in real time

Reputation management never stops. Even when a specific issue is resolved, physicians must be diligent about their online presence and quickly react appropriately when necessary.

 

The best way to handle your reputation management is to create a Google custom alert. When users go to this link they can set up a specific alert for any word or combination of words of interest:

 

In the search bar above, a doctor can enter a personal name or the name of the business. Any time the name is mentioned online, an email alert is sent.

 

This strategy is very effective because it allows doctors to easily maintain their reputation management. Rather than waiting until the last possible moment to respond to negative reviews or negative PR coverage, physicians can deal with problems early.

 

In reputation management, it’s imperative to answer criticism proactively and quickly counter any negative publicity.

 

This simple tactic will keep you instantly informed and give you peace of mind. With custom alerts you can sleep well at night because you know you have access to any good or bad online news as soon as your name is mentioned.

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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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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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11 online reputation management techniques for doctors 

11 online reputation management techniques for doctors  | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

At Digital Authority Partners, we are often asked about our doctor reputation management services. Usually, reputation management for doctors, as a service, is often sought if a doctor is:

  • dealing with too many negative medical reviews
  • involved in embarrassing public incidents
  • receiving negative press coverage
  • recovering from a malpractice lawsuit

 

Reputation management is critical to the success of a medical practice. When negative media coverage or online reviews about doctors appear online, medical practices see a one-third drop in visits and calls to their offices, causing a potentially disastrous financial impact.

 

When any of these events occur, doctors tend to enter “crisis mode” and often scramble to find the best strategies to restore their reputation.

 

Usually, reputation management companies refuse to divulge the techniques used to repair a doctor’s online reputation. Unlike most agencies, at Digital Authority Partners we prefer to be honest and transparent about how we approach reputation management for doctors.

 

If you or your medical practice are dealing with a reputation issue, read our ultimate guide to online reputation management, along with an explanation of how each technique works.

 

Every doctor should care about their online reputation

 

As early as 2012, 60% of US customers researched their doctors online. By 2016, 84% of patients researched new medical practitioners before their first appointment. Positive reviews and coverage are consistently considered important or very important before scheduling an appointment with a specific doctor.

 

The first page of Google search results tied to a doctor’s name or practice is the new business card. While some doctors may still choose to ignore this fact; their prospective patients will not.

 

The bad press won’t go away. So a lot can go wrong if you don’t address the problem head-on.

 

This is the simple truth about online reputation management for doctors: bad reviews and bad press coverage don’t go away. As a consequence, prudent doctors have taken very aggressive measures to guard their reputation. But there are good ways and catastrophic ways to restore your reputation. This article will only focus on the tried and true tactics to restore a doctor’s reputation.

Let’s pause for a second and explore the unfortunate ways some doctors try to deal with their tarnished online reputation.

 

According to Aaron Schur, Senior Director of Litigation at Yelp, the company regularly receives subpoenas from legal counsel retained by doctors to fix their reputation. Yelp rarely acts on these aggressive legal tactics to remove customer feedback.

 

Even though negative coverage never goes away, the worst thing a doctor can do is fight fire with fire.

 

In 2016, a Manhattan dentist sued multiple Yelp reviewers for their negative reviews – a move that backfired. The New York Daily News began its coverage of the suit in very unflattering terms: “A Manhattan dentist has been trying to extract money from patients who give him bad reviews online.” Then the case caught the attention of national media.

 

Worse yet, the case caught the attention of senior executives at Yelp. Two years later, potential patients going to the dentist’s Yelp page see this warning message:

 

Although you cannot delete negative coverage, you can bury it with positive content


The Manhattan dentist mentioned is a prime example of what reputation management companies advise against. Obviously, more negative coverage is the opposite of what a medical practice needs to restore trust in the digital space.

 

Instead, any reputation expert will advise its customers to focus on other strategies that are more likely to succeed. The best way to deal with negative reviews and coverage is to bury it with positive content.

 

How do you bury negative content? By replacing it with a single recipe for success: use Google’s search algorithm in your favor by creating valuable content that pushes the negative content associated with a business name after the first page.

 

It doesn’t happen overnight. And it’s easier said than done.

 

Regardless of your industry, there are specific white hat marketing techniques that can be employed to repair your online image. These are legitimate, widely accepted tactics promoted by some of the most renowned marketers in the world.

 

The rest of this article presents 11 tried and true tactics Digital Authority Partners leverages to successfully restore the online reputation of doctors. We strongly believe all doctors should know exactly what steps we follow to repair their online reputation.

 

Strategy Number 1: Build a website for yourself and/or your practice

 

The first and most valuable strategy to repair your reputation is to create a website dedicated to yourself and/or your practice. In some cases, you should consider doing both.

Why build a website for yourself or your medical practice?

A website serves multiple purposes. First – it introduces a doctor to the world. A good physician-dedicated website tells the story of a specific doctor, the values to which he or she adheres and provides testimonies about the quality of services the physician provides.

 

So, what makes a doctor’s website rank highly in Google search results?

 

Launching your own physician website has multiple benefits.

 

First, if done right, your website will be found when patients look up your name. That’s very powerful. Even if patients find some negative reviews, making a great first impression is imperative.

 

Second, in online doctor reputation management, it’s best to have a website that clearly presents all the critical information about yourself you want to be emphasized. Your website is a building block, a central place that will be used for all aspects tied to reputation management.

 

For example, one of the foundational strategies to improve an online reputation for a doctor involves the act of securing backlinks to the cornerstone digital property. That can be your own personal website or a website dedicated to your business.

 

Either way – for any reputation management campaign to succeed you need one primary digital property that you own and control. The reason that matters is that a centralized digital property with a robust analytics platform is needed to actually measure and improve on the overall effectiveness of your reputation management campaign.

 

Third, a personal website is your own forum. It’s where you can share updates about your practice, show your thought leadership, and engage with patients.

 

In short, having a website is the single most important tactic of reputation management for doctors.

 

Strategy Number 2: Start a blog directed to your patients


If you talk to 10 marketers, all 10 will tell you that the best way to manage your reputation is to have a blog.

 

A blog lives on the internet forever (or as long as you pay for your web hosting).

 

More importantly, a blog allows you to speak to your patients – current and future – to show your expertise and the value you bring to your clients.

 

Most important of all, a regularly updated blog is more likely to bring new clients, garner repeat business, and help you and/or your practice rank higher in Google search results.

 

Why launch a blog for yourself and/or your medical practice?

 

Starting a blog may seem to be a daunting task. How often should you publish content? Will you regularly have time to do it? Is it really worth it?

 

If you talk to any reputation management company, you will often see a list of clear and indisputable benefits tied to starting a blog. If you are in process of repairing your reputation online, here are some quick reasons why you should start a blog for your practice or yourself.

 

As other experts have pointed out, a pleasant side effect of physician-run blogs is that they lead to more business and referrals.

 

Most importantly though, from a pure reputation management perspective, a physician blog (preferably on your website) nearly guarantees that your content appears at the top of the Google search results. This is why most reputation management companies make the creation of new and original blog content the Number 1 technique to bury negative results in Google.

 

In sum, no legitimate reputation management campaign can succeed without creating great blog content on behalf of a doctor.

 

Strategy Number 3: Create blog posts for other websites


The key to success, when dealing with a reputation management issues, is to create relevant, timely content associated with a physician’s name on multiple platforms. 

 

However, even if you create the single best physician blog on the internet, that will likely only bury one of the first ten Google search results.

 

A robust doctor reputation management campaign needs to do more than that. The easiest way to bury negative reviews or press coverage is to create new content on other websites as well. For example, at agencies like ours, we have partnerships with over 400 blogs that accept guest submissions from the doctors and clients we represent.

 

First, we work with each client to determine the topics that will best showcase their expertise. Then our team of writers creates long, in-depth content pieces that are published under our client’s name on other websites. As part of the guest posting efforts, we secure backlinks to our physicians’ websites or social media profiles.

 

If you are a doctor with a significant reputation management issue, guest posting is one of the best strategies for displaying additional Google search results when a patient looks online for your name or the name of your practice.

 

Guest posting is perhaps the most popular doctor reputation management tactic for restoring physicians’ online reputations.

 

Clearly, guest posting has numerous benefits, but the technique is primarily used to get backlinks to specific interviews and news coverage about you and your company. Guest posting can be on another physician website, blog, or social media profile. Links from guest posts will point to whatever content we create for you.

 

Strategy Number 4: Create powerful social media accounts

 

(Linkedin, Facebook) for your medical practice
Google takes a wide variety of digital signals into consideration when ranking content for a specific search term. When running a doctor reputation management campaign, the best way to get meaningful results is by tackling all the major signals drawing Google’s attention.

 

It is well established that social media activity has an impact on Google search results. Specifically, Google is drawn by the number of visits to specific websites and blog posts receive directly from social media like Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin.

 

This strong correlation between Google search results and social media activities is what drives most successful reputation management campaigns for doctors to include a social media component. Creating robust social media profiles combined with frequent posts has proven to be a very effective reputation management technique.

 

By creating strong social media accounts with regular posts, every doctor with whom we perform reputation management initiatives will see their social media profiles rank on the first page of Google search results tied to their own or their firm’s name within 60 days.

 

Social media is a powerful tool not only for restoring your online reputation but also for proactively engaging your patients and future clients. An article from March 2018 reveals how various physicians all over the US leverage social media to combat misinformation – not only about their own practices but also about specific conditions, diagnostics, and other timely healthcare news that could affect their patients (ex., flu season, epidemics, etc.).

 

This makes social media management incredibly relevant not only for reputation management but also for long-term digital engagement with your patients.

 

Strategy Number 5: Claim your Google business listing online

 

According to Google, 97% of users search for local businesses and local business owners names online. For that reason, reputation management campaigns often focus on what is called “local SEO practices.”

 

The first priority when improving a doctor’s reputation is to make sure locals searching for a doctor’s name see relevant results – preferably not the questionable ones.

 

To that end, the most important step when initiating a local SEO strategy is for a practice to claim its local Google business listing.

For example, here’s the Google listing page for a doctor in the Chicago area:

 

When searching for Dr. xyz name, Google search results return her image, Google map location, specialty, address, and phone number.

 

Since reputation management campaigns center on optimizing the Google search results, claiming, optimizing, and managing a Google business listing page is important for online reputation management.

 

Google allows for mini-posts on the Google listing page – something that helps with SEO and reputation management initiatives.

 

This is one of various “social” online listings that carries a lot of weight when tying a doctor’s name and medical practice to Google search results.

 

There are many customization options on the Google Business Listing dashboard, giving doctors the opportunity to create powerful and influential profiles for potential patients to visit.

 

Strategy Number 6: Respond to all reviews on Google/Yelp

 

When looking for new service providers, most customers go to two sources: Google and Yelp.

 

For doctors who are doing well – reviews are a great way to attract new customers. For doctors dealing with unhappy customers and other PR baggage, online reviews can be a nightmare.

 

Doctors’ responses to the new world of online reviews have not always been appropriate or even legal.

 

In 2016, a Washington Post investigation into 3000+ physician responses to negative reviews on Yelp and Google showed that an alarming number of doctors violated HIPAA compliance rules when responding to disenchanted patients. Other doctors – who used a passive aggressive tone or responded rudely to online reviews opened the door to additional criticism and unwanted attention from online users who were offended by physicians’ postings.

 

In general, doctors should not take it upon themselves to respond to online reviews. That’s because it is impossible to not feel emotional when dealing with negative comments. Instead, doctors should either designate a staff person to this task or outsource responses to reputation management consultants. This approach will often avoid making a situation worse or drawing more unwanted attention.

 

Responding to a negative review poorly is not the only problem doctors face with regard to their online reviews. Another unfortunate tactic some physicians erroneously employ, not addressing online reviews at all.

 

Neither strategy is good. Some doctors have reported a 30% loss of business after negative Yelp reviews. As one doctor put it, “Yelp reviews can literally be the bane of many doctors’ existence.”

 

Online reviews aren’t only read by patients. A 2013 study showed that 86% of doctors read their own reviews; 36% also regularly check their competitors’ reviews. As a result, online reviews can affect not only a physician’s ability to acquire new patients but also his/her standing as a member of the medical community as a whole.

 

In general, the appropriate course of action for doctors dealing with online reviews is to respond to every single new review – positive or negative. That shows others researching doctors that you listen to your patients’ concerns and address them professionally.

 

Don’t forget – you can’t make everyone happy. However, you can treat everyone with respect and courtesy – especially when everyone in the world can see your online interactions.

 

How should physicians and reputation management agencies respond to Google and Yelp reviews?

 

The best approach is to answer to every single online review as part of your ongoing reputation management activities.

 

But how should a physician respond to negative reviews online?

 

There are many ways doctors can tackle negative reviews in their reputation management campaigns. Through it all, remember this point: a bad review doesn’t ruin a business. It’s impossible to please everyone. The best technique is to keep your head cool and to give professional answers to every single review online – good, bad, or ugly.

 

Strategy Number 7: Create medical profiles on relevant directories and social media sites designed for doctors


One of the best approaches to online reputation management for doctors is to create rich profiles on a wide variety of platforms set up specifically for doctors. Just like mainstream social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin, social media platforms for doctors stand a very good chance to rank organically in Google for the search term associated with the name of a specific doctor.

 

Some popular social media platforms and directories for doctors are:

 

CareDash: As one of the fastest growing provider review sites, CareDash uses artificial intelligence to help detect and stop the publication of fraudulent reviews. Doctors can easily create and personalize their profile, and patients trust the platform to help them confidently choose their care provider.


Doximity: An online social network for doctors with verified clinicians’ profiles. As of 2018, the network has over 1,000,000 doctors and physicians. That’s approximately 50% of all doctors in the US.


Healthcare6: An online directory that helps patients find doctors based on specialty and location. The company currently lists almost 3 million doctors and health care providers.


Sharecare: An online health and wellness platform and doctor directory. Sharecare lists each doctor’s full profile – including insurance plans, years of experience, biographical information, specialties, professional affiliations, and educational background. The platform also allows doctors to answer questions and provide thought leadership on specific topics.


WebMD: One of the largest healthcare news and directories in the world. The company allows doctors to create free profiles and advertise on the platform to get new patients.
How physicians and reputation management agencies should optimize healthcare directory profiles

 

Healthcare directory profiles play a critical role in reputation management campaigns. This infographic shows the top reasons why doctors should care about their online directory profiles:

 

For reputation management companies, creating online profiles in established directories is an “easy win” to influence Google search results. Given the nature of some of the directories – where doctors need to verify their identity – new profiles for specific doctors are usually easy to set up and then rank in Google. Google sees verified directories as highly legitimate social signals for ranking those profiles highly for specific keywords.

 

Whether you are actively working on your reputation or not, one thing is certain: you should absolutely have yourself and your practice listed on some of the most popular – and free – directories in the US.

 

Strategy Number 8: Be helpful online by posting on relevant Q&A sites and threads


One often ignored technique for ranking high in Google search results is the practice of creating profiles on Q&A websites and responding to questions posted on message boards that are within the doctor’s specialty.

 

For example, Quora is the most popular question and answer website in the world. It ranks 90th among the most popular sites in the world and 3rd for Q&A sites. On Quora, anyone can create a profile under their own name and contribute to the community.

 

However, Quora has a lesser known benefit. Engaged users who create relevant content using their actual names, can be up-voted by their users. This usually results in that individual profile ranking higher for the name of its author.

 

In simple terms: a doctor can create a Quora profile under his/her name. After answering questions on specific topics, the Quora profile link will appear in the results of a Google search when a user looks for the name of a specific doctor.

 

How physicians and reputation management agencies use Quora to rank organically in Google

 

Strategy Number 9: Use YouTube to post promotional content, highlight testimonials and make your YouTube profile rank highly in search results


Here is a lesser-known fact: YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world. Furthermore, YouTube is also a tried and true tactic that has become increasingly popular among doctors to attract new patients, learn new methods, and even attract new employees.

 

In addition, YouTube allows users to create a custom URL in their own name for their channel. As that URL gets backlinks, it will start ranking in search results.

 

The SEO benefits have made creating a channel and getting a custom URL a very popular technique for reputation management firms.

 

Of course, there is a catch. According to Google, a channel must meet the following criteria to get a custom URL:

 

  • Have at least 100 subscribers
  • Be at least 30 days old
  • Have an uploaded channel icon photo
  • Have uploaded channel art

 

This means that if a reputation management company is to reap the SEO benefits for a client from YouTube, it’s not enough to just create a YouTube profile.

 

Reputation management companies need to work with a client to create relevant video content. Then, the video content needs to be promoted. Potential subscribers need to be found and encouraged, through campaigns, to follow the channel.

 

In the end, this is worth the effort. When a doctor or reputation management company uses YouTube correctly, the YouTube channel for a specific physician can become one of the top ten search results associated with a specific doctor’s or practice’s name.

 

How physicians and reputation management agencies use YouTube to rank organically in Google.

 

Many doctors feel intimidated by video content. When we think video – we think high tech video editing, sound editing, special effects, and more.

 

Actually, any doctor with a smartphone can become a videomaker. The videos can be about any relevant healthcare topic. Some examples include testimonials, health-related tips/tricks, video from a conference, etc.

 

Any video – small or big – can help with reputation management. Especially when you are dealing with negative online reviews, YouTube becomes a great channel for online visitors to see you in action, since your personality and charisma, and relate to you as a doctor outside of any negative reviews found online.

 

YouTube is one of the most powerful tools to quickly and efficiently improve your online reputation.

 

Strategy Number 10. Use SlideShare to showcase your expertise, thought leadership and skills as a doctor
Creating a powerful SlideShare online profile is another popular technique used by reputation management companies to remove negative reviews from the first page of Google search results.

 

SlideShare is a social network allowing users to publish professional presentations, infographics, and documents online. The website gets approximately 80 million visitors a month and has over 30 million users. In 2012, the company was purchased by LinkedIn for $119 million.

 

How physicians and reputation management agencies can use SlideShare to rank organically in Google

 

SlideShare has long been used for marketing and SEO purposes. Like other techniques presented in this article, SlideShare is simply another online social network which, when used correctly, can offer businesses and physicians a much-needed search result in the process of burying negative results in Google.

 

Like Quora, SlideShare is created around topics. This makes it easy to create a robust strategy to rank higher in Google search results.

 

As with other techniques discussed in this article, SlideShare is great for reputation management. Prepared correctly, Slideshare accounts can even replace other Google search results and help physicians rank higher for their own content.

 

Strategy Number 11: How physicians and reputation management agencies track online presence in real time


Reputation management never stops. Even when a specific issue is resolved, physicians must be diligent about their online presence and quickly react appropriately when necessary.

 

The best way to handle your reputation management is to create a Google custom alert. When users go to this link they can set up a specific alert for any word or combination of words of interest:

 

In the search bar, a doctor can enter a personal name or the name of the business. Any time the name is mentioned online, an email alert is sent.

 

This strategy is very effective because it allows doctors to easily maintain their reputation management.

 

Rather than waiting until the last possible moment to respond to negative reviews or negative PR coverage, physicians can deal with problems early.

 

In reputation management, it’s imperative to answer criticism proactively and quickly counter any negative publicity.

 

This simple tactic will keep you instantly informed and give you peace of mind. With custom alerts, you can sleep well at night because you know you have access to any good or bad online news as soon as your name is mentioned.

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

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

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