If you’re a healthcare provider with basic knowledge of general SEO (search engine optimization), you may be wondering how patient reviews play a role in your medical SEO. Online reviews by real patients play a surprisingly large role in medical SEO, and actually account for about 10% of local search ranking factors according to Moz!
But, What Is Medical SEO?
Medical SEO is a process of optimizing a medical website for Google search with the goal of earning higher web traffic levels and improving the visibility of the site.
SEO for doctors can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it is important for any medical practice that wants to be successful online. There are a number of different factors that go into medical SEO, including technical optimization, on-page optimization, off-page optimization, and local SEO.
Technical optimization has to do with things such as site speed, mobile friendliness, and crawlability.
On-page optimization is all about making sure your website is as search engine friendly as possible. This includes things like using the right keyword density, having well-written and informative content, and having a fast and responsive website design.
Off-page optimization refers to all the activities you do outside of your website to improve your site’s ranking. This can include things like building links, creating social media profiles, and listing your business in online directories. Online reviews pertain to off-page SEO.
Local SEO is a specific type of SEO that is focused on optimizing your website for local search results. This is important for any medical practice that wants to be found by patients in their area. Local SEO includes things like claiming your Google My Business listing, optimizing your website for local keywords, and getting listed in local directories. Online reviews play a large role in local SEO.
Medical SEO is an important part of any successful online marketing strategy for doctors. By taking the time to optimize your website and build a strong online presence, you can earn more web traffic, leads, and patients for your medical practice. Online patient reviews can help you achieve that!
How Can Patient Reviews Help Your Medical SEO?
Reviews Help Prospective Patients Form Opinions About Your Practice
Make sure to promote your positive reviews on your website and social media channels. Featuring glowing testimonials from satisfied patients is a great way to build trust with potential patients.
However, it’s also important to include all reviews, even if they are negative, as this shows honesty and transparency, two qualities that most people value a great deal coming from their healthcare providers.
Online Reviews Can Boost Your CTR (Click-Through-Rate)
Positive patient reviews can also increase your click-through rate (CTR) from SERPs. If searchers see that your practice has high ratings and good reviews, they’re more likely to click on your listing and book appointments with you!
Online Reviews Can Boost Your Search Engine Visibility
When patients leave reviews for your practice, they often include keywords related to your specialty or location. This helps your website appear higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), making it more likely that potential patients will find you.
Reviews Can Be The Deciding Factor Between Gaining a New Patient or Losing One
Reviews can be the deciding factor between gaining a new patient or losing one. It’s important to take the time to read and respond to reviews, good or bad. This shows that you are invested in your patients’ experiences and care about their feedback.
Positive reviews can help attract new patients, while negative reviews provide an opportunity to improve your practice. Either way, paying attention to online reviews is an important part of providing quality patient care.
Potential Patients Trust Online Reviews As Much as Personal Recommendations
These days, people are increasingly turning to the internet to find out about potential doctors and medical practices. In fact, a recent study found that potential patients trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations when it comes to choosing a healthcare provider. This is particularly true of people under 35, of which 91% reportedly trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Online Reviews Can Impact Local Search Rankings
As we’ve mentioned earlier, Moz has asserted that online reviews account for approximately 10% of local search engine rankings factors. The highest amount of importance is placed on Google reviews, followed by third-party review sites (such as Yelp), and finally on first-party reviews on your own website.
This just goes to show that while reviews for healthcare providers may not factor into global rankings, they are a contributing ranking factor for local SEO. And, since local SEO is where your new patients will be coming from, it is of the utmost importance.
Patient Reviews Can Provide Insightful Information About The Ways People View Your Practice
If you’re running a healthcare practice, it’s important to understand how your patients view you and your services. And one of the best ways to do that is to read their reviews, whether they are positive online reviews or negative online reviews.
Online patient reviews can provide valuable insights into the ways people view your practice and you as a healthcare provider. They can help you identify areas where you’re doing well and areas where there’s room for improvement. By identifying and working on areas that need improvement, you will be able to take the necessary steps to improve your medical practice and gain (and keep) more patients – as well as get more reviews!
Plus, online patient reviews can be a great way to connect with your patients and build relationships. By reading and responding to reviews, you can show your patients that you care about their feedback and that you’re always working to improve your practice.
Online Reviews Are The Best Type of User-Generated Content
Of course, one of the most important ways patient reviews can help your medical SEO is by improving patient satisfaction. When patients have a positive experience at your practice and take the time to leave a review, it helps show that your practice is meeting (and exceeding) patient expectations. This can lead to even more positive reviews – and an overall boost in your medical SEO.
Online reviews provide some of the best, most valued user-generated content in the eyes of Google. Google and other search engines place weighted importance on genuine and authentic user online reviews.
Patient Reviews Can Reduce Bounce Rate
If your practice has mostly positive reviews, you’re likely to see a reduction in your bounce rate. That’s because patients who are interested in your services are more likely to stay on your website long enough to book an appointment or learn more about what you have to offer.
Of course, there are other factors that can influence bounce rate as well. But patient reviews should definitely be part of your overall strategy for reducing bounces and keeping potential patients engaged with your brand.
What Google Looks For When Considering Patient Reviews
There are a number of different aspects of online patient reviews that Google takes into consideration when using your Google reviews as factors in search engine rankings. These include, but are not limited to:
- Total volume of patient reviews
- Recent reviews
- Overall star rating (quality matters)
- Practices responding to online reviews
Google recently confirming online reviews play a role in local search factors means healthcare marketers or practice managers need to be involved in online reputation management as part of their overall SEO strategy.
How To Use Your Online Reviews To Boost Your Medical SEO
Use Rich Snippets
Online reviews are a valuable way to improve your website’s SEO. Rich snippets are a great way to make your online review more visible, and more attractive and they can help boost your SEO.
When it comes to online reviews, rich snippets are a fantastic way to make them stand out. By adding just a few lines of code, you can give your reviews more visibility and make them look more attractive to potential customers. In turn, this can help improve your website’s SEO.
Rich snippets are a great way to improve the visibility and attractiveness of your online reviews, which can in turn boost your SEO. If you’re not already using them, we highly recommend giving them a try!
Use Local Directories
Depending on your medical specialty, you can use local directories in order to get your patient reviews to appear in more places. In addition, when you register your practice with local directories, you receive a citation (like a baby backlink).
You can also register your business and ask for reviews on other review sites, such as Yelp or Zagat or any other relevant review sites.
Use Social Media Channels
Similar to local directories, many users find review information from their favorite social sites, such as Facebook. Create, promote, and maintain a profile for your medical practice on social media channels. This will get you more engagement, allow more people to see your reviews, and in turn more patients.
You can also use your social media channels to share your great reviews on other mediums. For even more engagement on your social channels, try sharing some of your negative reviews! Include how you responded to the review, how you handled the situation, and changes you have made to prevent the same type of negative review from happening again.
This shows transparency, humility, and vulnerability – all of these things increase your humanity to potential patients as well as show the type of healthcare provider you are.
Respond To All Reviews
In addition to reputation management, responding to your reviews allows your potential patients to see the humanity in your practice. If you get a negative review, it’s ok – reply to it promptly and professionally while avoiding any behavior that would look bad for your character, such as being defensive or dismissive.
Source: Bright Local
Online reviews are increasingly playing a role in local search results. In fact, a recent study found that 91% of consumers under the age of 35 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
This trend is likely to continue, as more and more people turn to the internet for information about local businesses. As a business owner, it’s important to be aware of how online reviews can impact your business’s visibility in local search results.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Search engines like Google take into account many factors when determining which businesses to display in their search results. One of these factors is online reviews. So, if you want your business to be visible in local search results, it’s important to make sure you have a good online reputation.
- Encourage your customers and clients to leave reviews on popular sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. The more positive reviews you have, the better chance you have of being visible in local search results.
Of course, not all online reviews are going to be positive. But don’t worry too much about the occasional negative review. In fact, having a few negative reviews can actually be beneficial, as it shows that you’re a real business with real customers.
Just make sure you respond to all reviews—positive or negative—in a professional and courteous manner. This will show potential customers that you care about your online reputation.
So, if you want to improve your business’s visibility in local search results, make sure you have a good online reputation by encouraging customer reviews and responding to all reviews—positive and negative.