These days, patients have lots of options when looking for healthcare. So, how do you help your practice stand out from that long list of possibilities? Since 91% of younger consumers trust online reviews more than personal recommendations, it’s time to make sure that you’re taking advantage of that. Doctor review sites are a great way to not only get your name in front of patients looking for care, but to also let them know how amazing your practice is. Here are seven of the most popular doctor review sites (and best practices for each one!).
How to manage doctor review sites
There are a variety of doctor review sites to choose from, but it’s crucial to make sure you are using them properly. Many people hesitate to ask for reviews—what happens if an angry patient leaves a terrible review? Turns out, bad reviews provide a great opportunity to show prospective patients just how much you care.
Online reputation management is more than just getting the reviews. It’s also about what happens next. This is a quick overview of what your strategy will look like.
Create a plan
Figure out how you will ask for reviews, and how often. Avoid any unsavory practices, like paying for reviews.
Further, make it easy for patients to leave reviews by including links in all electronic correspondence.
Respond to reviews, positive and negative
Before reviews start rolling in, decide how you will handle responses. All reviews should be acknowledged in a timely fashion, but some need a little more than that. Is a patient angry at how appointments are scheduled? Reach out with solutions. Asking about a personal health matter in a public forum? Direct them to your office for more assistance, as we discuss below.
Remember that behind each review is a human being who had an experience with your practice. Reinforce the positive by thanking them for their time and work to help remediate the negative. Designate specific days, times, and people to handle reviews and be consistent.
Protect personal health information by taking discussions to phone or email
Even if a patient posts their entire medical history in a public forum, your practice is still regulated by HIPAA rules that prohibit you from discussing sensitive health matters openly online.
Leave contact information in your reply or ask that the patient call you to discuss their concerns privately.
What are the most popular doctor review sites?
Your time is valuable and there are many doctor review sites to choose from. These are our top seven to focus on as you get started out.
1. Healthgrades reviews
Healthgrades is a doctor review site with 19 million monthly visitors. That number alone is a strong argument for making sure you’re using this site! Healthgrades also has advertising platforms to help promote your practice.
This is also one of the only doctor review sites with a comprehensive suite of tools that helps you to target and optimize your posting to reach prospective patients in your area.
How to optimize Healthgrades reviews
Improving your reputation and ranking on Healthgrades is easy. Claim your Healthgrades profile for your practice in general, and then create separate profiles for each provider in your practice. Make sure to completely fill out all fields (awards, areas of practice, photo, etc.).
2. ZocDoc reviews
ZocDoc has a special feature that makes it stand out when you Google doctor review sites: the ability to make an appointment directly from their site! After patients read your reviews, they can then book through the site.
They can also fill out some office paperwork directly, saving time in the waiting room at that first appointment.
How to optimize ZocDoc reviews
ZocDoc was built by doctors, so they know how to make the most of your limited time. But as with other doctor review sites, the more detail you can include about your practice, your specialties, your hours, and your experience, the better.
3. WebMD reviews
WebMD serves two functions that work really well together. Many people turn to “Dr. Google” on WebMD to research symptoms and conditions, but WebMD now also includes a doctor directory. Once your patient has an idea of what they need, they can easily look for your practice!
Bonus: WebMd receives an estimated 127 million unique visitors a month. That’s a lot of potential patients!
How to optimize WebMD reviews
As with other doctor review websites, make sure your information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date. Many WebMD doctor search bars pop up with the location already filled in, so make sure you have all practice locations listed.
4. Vitals reviews
At right around 3.5 million viewers a month, Vitals is a small but still mighty force in the world of doctor review websites. Patients can search not only by name and practice specialty but also by which insurance is accepted. With rising healthcare costs, consumers are looking to optimize their dollars (but many will go out of network for a highly-rated doctor!).
Feedback is given up to five stars, and Vitals does filter out derogatory remarks, keeping reviews private to protect reviewers.
How to optimize Vitals reviews
As with the other doctor review websites, optimize your profile by adding all of the requested information. This is then verified through public records, including state boards.
5. RateMDs reviews
RateMDs reviews claim over two million reviews that have helped over 160 million patients choose a provider. The page opens with a listing of the “best doctors near you” and also features a list of specialties on the front page.
How to optimize RateMD reviews
The best way to make it to the front page here is by getting more high-quality reviews. Beef up your profile and make sure most (all?) patients who receive service are leaving feedback on this site.
6. Yelp doctor reviews
You may think of Yelp when looking for restaurants or local attractions, but consider adding this to your list of doctor review sites. Yelp allows patients to search by neighborhood, features, and specialties. Plus, it’s often a top listing on “near me” search results—a big bonus!
Yelp is also a bigger one if your clinic provides related health services, like acupuncture or massage therapy.
How to optimize Yelp doctor reviews
Make sure you claim your profile, fill it out completely, and add lots of pictures of your staff and your practice. A big no-no for Yelp: receiving tons of reviews all at once. When this happens, Yelp suspects that family and friends are padding your review statistics. This may result in your page being taken down for review.
7. Google My Business reviews
Although not a dedicated doctor review website, Google My Business puts your practice front and center in organic searches. This free service lists reviews right next to your name and is especially powerful for the ever-popular “near me” search.
How to optimize Google My Business reviews
The best way to leap to the top of search results is to fully optimize your listing with photos, location, and hours. Use keywords in your description and ask for reviews on this site, first and foremost since so many people use it. Publishing new posts to your profile and updating pictures weekly can also get more eyes on your practice.
Get help with your online reputation management
Online reputation management begins with doctor review sites, but it doesn’t end there. Good news: Boost Medical can help. We offer full reputation management services so you can spend more time focusing on your patients.
Get in touch today to learn more!