Finding the perfect doctor for your needs can be a long and difficult process. The patient-doctor relationship is delicate and extremely personal; it takes a lot of time and trust to build. Naturally then, most patients prefer to do their own thorough research before taking the first step and making an appointment. Research shows that 75% of patients search for a healthcare provider online and that 74% find online reviews very or extremely important.

Given the vast amounts of information available on the Internet, it’s understandable that patients would want to see what other patients think of a provider before making a commitment. Word of mouth has always been among the most effective marketing tactics, and an online review serves much the same purpose; 80% of patients trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Manage your reputation online

Online reputation management, sometimes abbreviated as ORM, is the process of controlling the online narrative surrounding a person, company, brand or, in this case, a medical practice. It consists of reputation protection and monitoring, as well as crisis management and reputation recovery should the worst happen.

The first step is to claim and optimize your practice profiles across all online platforms online – more on that later. Reviews on these platforms play a major role in helping patients choose a provider. Given the importance of reviews, it is also important that your practice focuses on increasing the amount of online reviews left on the website. The regularity of these reviews is of particular importance here, because 22% of users consider regency among online reviews; regency here is defined as reviews left between the last 3 months to a year.

Although your website will be the main hub of your practice’s online presence, claiming these listings is critical to improving it. You don’t want potential patients finding your practice online with incorrect information. Providing accurate information will help build trust with these potential patients.

Now let’s take a closer look at all the most popular review websites where your practice will need to claim and optimize their profiles.

  1. Google
    According to a recent study by PatientPop, 69.3% of patients search for online reviews on Google, which is consistent with Google’s reputation as the most popular search engine. Goggle offers businesses a fantastic free tool in the form of Google My Business that can help you engage patients and manage your online reputation. Your profile will appear on Google Search whether or not you claim the listing, allowing patients to post reviews and photos related to their experience. Claiming this profile allows you to respond to what patients post and update the information provided in the profile to ensure it is correct and up-to-date.
  1. WebMD
    WebMD is not just a directory for your practice; it’s a full-fledged medical news and information website that sees over 75 million unique viewers monthly. As such a large health news organization, the WebMD network encompasses other new sites such as MedicineNet, RxList, and Medscape. Claiming your WebMD profile comes with access to over 40 directories that are part of the website’s network of physician directories. 33% of patients use WebMD to search for reviews.
  1. Yelp
    Yelp is a specialty review website that connects users with local businesses. Based on numbers provided by Yelp itself, it has received over 244 million reviews, 9% of which are for healthcare-related businesses. With 33 million unique mobile app users, 77 million mobile website users, and 62 million desktop users, Yelp has too many potential patients to ignore.
  1. Healthgrades
    Healthgrades is a free online resource that connects patients with providers, with approximately 1 million daily users, according to the company itself. What sets it apart from all other directories is that Healthgrades automatically adds any practice that has an active profile to the National Provider ID Registry. 21% of patients look at Healthgrades for reviews.
  1. Facebook
    More of a social network than a review aggregator, Facebook has nonetheless built a significant reputation as a place where users can see what others are saying about businesses. With 3 billion daily active users, Facebook is second only to Google on this list, making it no surprise that 16% of patients use it to review providers.

The Most Popular Websites for Patient Reviews

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