There are countless internet marketing strategies that physicians can use to get more patients online. Search Engine Optimization allows doctors to become more visible to potential patients in internet searches. Developing a strong online presence via a professional and appealing practice website is another SEO strategy. While these can be extremely effective tools for getting more patients, physicians can always start attracting new patients online by shoring up their online reviews.
My Expertise Doesn’t Get Me More Patients?
Patients aren’t holding back their comments, which makes it even more important for physicians today to invest in online reputation management to maintain sterling reviews. Having a strong online reputation when people are searching for your practice specifically (or simply for a new local physician) can mean the difference between success and failure. Most physicians think that after going to medical school, attending residency, and going through years of medical training, that they’re equipped to impress any patient, and thus can obtain flawless online reviews and get more patients easily.
Well, this simply isn’t true.
Patient Experience > Expertise
In a study done in 2013, Vanguard Communications analyzed 3,617 online reviews (Vitals, RateMDs, Yelp) of 300 physicians. Their findings were as follows:
Reviews posted by patients were 4x more likely to be complaints about a physician’s bedside manner or patient service than about the doctor’s medical skills.
Getting positive reviews posted is essential for physicians to get more new patients online, but it’s equally important to avoid negative comments. It’s clear from this Vanguard study that patients who leave comments online after a negative experience are likely unhappy with the service they receive, not a lack of ability from their doctor.
Take Action To Get More Patients
Yes, the education you received as an medical doctor is impressive. Yes, it’s probably more education and years of schooling than almost anybody else receives. However, it’s not enough to get more patients to come see you.
Patients want to know that the physician they choose is qualified, but most doctors are! You’ll have to distinguish your practice from the rest through outstanding patient care if you want to get strong reviews, avoid negative ones, and attract more patients. Always smile when patients are around, treat them kindly, and don’t make them wait long in the waiting room. Additionally, make sure you hire extremely amicable front office staff and nurses who will continue to be friendly to patients when times are stressful.
Your online reviews won’t fix themselves and to be rated 5-stars across a flurry of review sites will take some work. By showing that you care and investing in a review posting campaign – your online reviews and ratings will improve and you’ll be getting more patients in no time.