How much do online reviews matter when choosing a physician? The short answer: A lot.

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Think about when you are trying to choose a restaurant, typically you look for the restaurant that has the most reviews and highest rating.  Our team found that patients may lack knowledge about your specialty and assessing physician credentials, so the rating system can act as a guide for their physician selection

Consider these facts:

  • When choosing a new doctor, 72% of patients use online reviews1
  • 48% of people are willing to go out of their network because of reviews1
  • Review volume matters2
    • If choosing between two physicians a patient knows nothing about, and one has reviews and the other doesn’t, they will be more inclined to go with the former

So while as physician you may not have the time to pay attention to the myriad of review sites, the fact remains that patients rely on them. At TSO, we found that it’s important to start looking at reviews as a critical marketing tool that will differentiate you from other physicians.

 

 THE MD MARKETING MIX:

4 reasons why good online reviews are important to your personal brand

  1. Increases trust, credibility and transparency3,4
  2. Reviews are the next best thing to a personal recommendation3
    • 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations3
    • Because some health issues that are not openly discussed, personal referral might be more difficult to attain3
    • Reviews carry more weight than self-promotion, so let your patients promote you
  3. Can help increase provider referrals
  4. Boosts your website’s SEO (search engine optimization) as reviews are heavily weighted by search engines1
    • Affects organic search rankings in search engines
    • Each review increases your unique site content

So What? 

If you aren’t managing your online reviews, at the least it’s a substantial missed opportunity for you and your practice. Or in more serious scenarios, your hard-earned reputation can get tarnished if you’re not paying attention.

What Now? 

Don’t have a lot of time left in your day to manage your reviews?

We’re here to help. Give us a call and we’d be happy to work with you on an assessment of how you’re doing today and a plan of action for better results moving forward.

Be sure to check our part two blog post where we’ll touch on some of the top review sites and how to control those reviews; specifically damage control on negative reviews.

 

References:

  1. Loria G. How Patients Use Online Reviews. Software Advice. https://www.softwareadvice.com/resources/how-patients-use-online-reviews/ Accessed June 27, 2018.
  2. Rossen J. How Patients Use online Reviews. Zocdoc. https://thescript.zocdoc.com/how-patients-use-online-reviews/ Accessed June 27, 2018.
  3. Bardwell G. Online Reviews Impact How Patients Select Hospitals and Doctors. Influence Health. https://www.influencehealth.com/insights/blog/online-reviews-impact-how-patients-select-hospitals-and-doctors. Accessed April 25, 2018.
  4. Ellimoottil C, Leichtle S, Wright C, et al. Online physician reviews: The good, the bad, and the ugly. Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons. http://bulletin.facs.org/2013/09/online-physician-reviews/#.WzowtyAna01 Accessed June 27, 2018.

 

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