An important part of creating an effective physician profile includes demonstrating the physician’s skill and expertise. It’s important because consumers look for and use this critical information as they engage in the process of selecting a physician. In our Physician Promotion eBook we outline a number of ways to effectively highlight the skills and expertise of your organization’s physicians. But there’s one increasingly important way that deserves its own treatment: physician ratings and reviews.
From Amazon to Netflix and beyond, consumers are increasingly accustomed to seeing evaluations of the goods and services they shop for. Often these take the form of an iconic star rating system that’s become the internet’s at-a-glance method of conveying user satisfaction (or other subjective measure) with the product at hand. But it’s not just for shoes and movies anymore. It’s also for your physicians.
Like it or not, the fact is that your physicians are already being rated and reviewed. In many cases, it’s off your website and on third-party sites where you have little to no control over what gets published. To add insult to injury, these third-party physician rating sites divert organic search traffic away from your own website and physician profile pages. That’s because Google knows that consumers value this information, and it rewards sites that provide it.
If your own website doesn’t publish physician ratings, you shouldn’t be surprised that others are earning your organic search traffic.
Clearly, ignoring the physician ratings trend is not an option. It’s time to embrace it and make ratings and reviews a prominent piece of your physician profiles. Doing this can have a number of benefits for organic SEO:
- Providing you use the correct semantic markup in your ratings, you may start to see your rating and review information appear in Google’s search results.
- As you collect more and more ratings and reviews and publish them to your profiles, Google may begin to rank your physician profiles higher in search results than the profiles on third-party websites that have fewer reviews.
- Updating your content — even if it’s just adding new reviews and ratings to your physician profiles as they become available — is a quality signal that can independently raise your search rank.
The result? Improved traffic from organic search. Increased engagement on your site. More appointments with your physicians.
How big of an SEO boost can you expect? Well, there are no guarantees, but after University of Utah Health Care implemented ratings and reviews they reported a significant increase in traffic from organic search and a near 280% increase in physician profile pageviews.
Remember, the research reveals that 77% of patients use search prior to booking an online appointment. It’s clear that because physician ratings can increase organic search performance and on-page engagement, they are a potent means of promoting physicians and converting site visitors into scheduled patients.
A Unique Opportunity
Now is the opportune time to implement physician ratings on your website. Innovators have paved the way, running the experiments, finding the solutions, and demonstrating the returns. But it’s still new enough that an investment here canconvey a first-mover advantage in many markets — an advantage that once earned, is difficult to counter.
Though you may have the opportunity to be the first in your market, implementing physician reviews and ratings now means you aren’t inventing from scratch. You can easily reference the solutions developed by the innovators or, if you are reluctant to take on the work yourself, partner with a vendor that can help you place physician ratings on your website. Some solutions even go beyond just placing ratings by providing the workflows necessary to survey patients, evaluate results, and publish reviews to your website according to your specific editorial criteria.
Contact us if you’d like to learn how Geonetric can help implement physician ratings on your website. Or, check out our physician promotion webinar to learn more about this and other ways to enhance your patient acquisition with effective physician promotion. You can also download our comprehensive Online Physician Promotion eBook.