Google Watch: Google becoming the dominant player for reviews
Heads up! Google becoming the dominant player for reviews
You may have recently heard some buzz surrounding Google+ Local and online reviews. Why all the commotion? Because Google+ Local pages displaying reviews now show up at the top of the search results. It appears that Google is maneuvering to become the dominant force in online reviews, seeking to capture consumer traffic and revenue from the other review sites.
Because reviews are so important to the reputation of medical practices, hordes of “reputation management” firms now offer online review-related services to elective practices. But these companies may not be paying attention to recent changes in Google’s review guidelines. Make sure the company you hire does; otherwise, you may find your Google+ pages and your website’s search engine rankings plummeting.
Google’s Review Policy – What Not to Do
The importance of positive reviews is hard to overstate. This is especially true given the fact that unsatisfied customers are typically more motivated to write reviews. With the proliferation and popularity of online reviews, it is essential that you have a system in place for soliciting positive reviews from satisfied patients.
Unfortunately, many reputation management companies have been creating confusion with regard to how your practice should go about this. Some of them may have encouraged your employees to post fake reviews praising your practice or lambasting your competitors, or have suggested you offer rewards or discounts for positive reviews. But tactics such as these have woken the sleeping search giant; Google is on to the shenanigans, and they are not pleased with medical practices that employ them.
Google made this abundantly clear in the latest update to its review policies. Here is a synopsis:
- As Google puts it, “Don’t offer money or product to others to write reviews for your business or write negative reviews about a competitor.“
- Do not encourage or allow employees to write reviews.
- Eliminate “review stations” (review kiosks in your office).
So, if you are aware that someone is writing artificial reviews for you, or that your fans are posting bad reviews of other practices, it’s time to put an end to it. And, though an in-office kiosk where patients are able to write legitimate reviews of your practice may make it more convenient (and more likely) for your patients to post these valuable, positive reviews, this too needs to stop. (Google tracks the IP address of those who post reviews, so they know when multiple reviews are being posted from the same location.)
Reviews Done Right
On the flip side, genuine reviews from happy patients are still a great idea. In fact, they now carry even more weight in Google’s search algorithm.
Here’s what you should do:
- Encourage patients to use websites they already use, such as Yelp, Healthgrades.com, Vitals.com and especially their Google+ accounts.
- Devise a flyer or email in which you politely mention that you appreciate positive reviews. Encourage patients to use Google+ even if they also post on other sites. Include links to websites where they can post these reviews, along with instructions to help make it easy for them.
Since Google is becoming the dominant player in reviews, it is important, first and foremost, that patients post their reviews on Google+. Google is likely to place more value on reviews from Google+ accounts. It is easier for Google to verify the legitimacy of these reviews. Not to mention, they promote one of Google’s core products. However, you should also encourage patients that already have a history of posting on the other review sites (Yelp, etc.) to continue to post reviews on those sites.
Feel free to contact Ceatus today with any questions regarding online reviews.
Ask the experts
Q My Google Local page now has a different look. What happened?
A Google recently made several changes that altered the look of its Local pages. The biggest change was to expand the header, which now includes a map. To customize the header, log in to your Local page and upload pictures. A word of caution: The new header is very large and has specific dimensions. Due to the size, high-quality photos of the correct dimensions are needed. Otherwise, the header will look shoddy.
Events: Increase Your Patient Volume
Come visit the Internet Marketing Experts at Ceatus
InterContinental Buckhead, Atlanta
Come to this year’s Foundation for Facial Aesthetic Surgery meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. The symposium will benefit medical practitioners by providing interactive teaching programs on facial rejuvenation led by industry experts. Join Ceatus Media Group, All About Facial Rejuvenation™ and Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery® and receive a personalized website and SEO evaluation from one of our Internet marketing experts!
Anaheim Convention Center California
Ceatus Media Group will be at one of the largest dental conventions in the nation. CDA Presents will bring together 28,000 dental professionals from all around the world to learn the latest clinical and technological advancements. Join Ceatus Media Group and Consumer Guide to Dentistry® at CDA in booth 216. Speak with one of our Internet marketing experts to learn how you can bring new patients to your practice!
The Marriot Marquis, New York
Come join Ceatus Media Group and All About Facial Rejuvenation™ at The Rhinoplasty Society’s 18th annual meeting in New York City! From 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Ceatus CEO David Evans, PhD, will be giving a presentation titled “Generating More Patients Online Through SEO, Website, and Social Media.” Don’t miss your chance to learn how you can bring new patients to your door!
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center New York
Meet us in New York City for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery’s 46th Annual Meeting. The Aesthetic Meeting 2013 will be filled with the latest news, technologies, and trends in cosmetic surgery. Ceatus CEO David Evans, PhD, will be giving a total of four presentations, so don’t miss out!
“Maximizing Your Online Marketing ROI”
April 12 • 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. • Room A13
“How to Get More Patients from the Internet”
April 13 • 12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. • The Aesthetic Marketplace Theater
April 14 •12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. • The Aesthetic Marketplace Theater
“Turning Cash Into Clicks and Clicks into Cash – Advanced Internet Marketing”
April 14 • 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. • Room A27
Moscone Center, San Francisco
The Annual ASCRS and ASOA Symposium and Congress provides attendees with unique access to the latest techniques and technologies in ophthalmic surgery and practices. Ceatus CEO David Evans and VP of Marketing Tamara Evans will be giving two separate presentations on how to increase your patient volume through Internet marketing. Don’t miss it!
“Your Website: Does it Convert? How Does it Rank?”
April 20 • 3:30-4:30pm • Location: Yerba Buena 14-15
“Your Website, Social Media, and Traditional Marketing: Are They Working Together?”
April 21 • 8:00-9:00am • Location: Yerba Buena 14-15
CEATUS Case Study of the Month
Ceatus SEO catapults renowned surgeon to top of rankings
Dr. Ashkan Ghavami is an internationally recognized plastic surgeon who has appeared on numerous television programs, including Good Morning America, Ricki Lake and The Doctors.
Problem: Dr. Ghavami invested heavily in his Internet presence to support his substantial reputation and word-of-mouth referral base, yet his website ranked poorly for many important “Los Angeles” and “Beverly Hills” search terms, particularly those related to rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty. In fact, his site was absent from the first 5 pages of Google’s search results for these terms. He reached out to Ceatus to learn more.
Solution: An evaluation by the experienced Ceatus team showed that Dr. Ghavami’s website was laden with non-relevant pages as well as unnecessary cross links and external links. Ceatus immediately went to work cleaning up these issues on his site. Over the course of several months, the following actions were taken:
- Removed spammy reciprocal links hosted on his site
- Redirected or removed more than two dozen duplicate pages
- Developed additional content for low-content pages
- Updated procedure-related content to make it more current and search-engine friendly
- Developed high-quality incoming links related to Dr. Ghavami’s practice areas
- Verified and optimized his Google Local pages
- Added Google Authorship to his website
Result: Within three months of completion, Dr. Ghavami’s website had acquired far more visibility and began ranking at the top of Google’s search results for a variety of highly competitive search terms, including:
- beverly hills rhinoplasty
- beverly hills revision rhinoplasty
- los angeles rhinoplasty
- los angeles revision rhinoplasty
- beverly hills nose surgery
Also, thanks to Ceatus’ implementation of Google’s Authorship program, Dr. Ghavami’s picture now appears at the top of Google’s search results for these terms. Please see below.
Test Your St. Patrick’s Day IQ!
How much did you really know about St. Patrick’s Day? Take this fun quiz to find out!
1. How did St. Patrick, according to legend, make all the snakes disappear from Ireland?
A) Performing magic
B) Flooding the country
C) Pounding drums
2. What is the national symbol of Ireland?
3. True or False: St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, for whom the holiday is named, was born in Ireland.
4. What is the traditional Irish meal served on St. Patrick’s Day?
A) Corned beef and cabbage
B) Green eggs and ham
5. According to Irish legend, you must do what to the Blarney Stone to gain the gift of gab?
A) Rub it
B) Take a piece home with you
C) Kiss it
6. Where was St. Patrick’s Day first celebrated in America?
B) New York
7. How many leaves does a shamrock have?
8. Why is Saint Patrick’s Day Celebrated on March 17?
A) It was his birthday
B) It was the day he drove away the snakes
C) It was the day he died
9. Every year in Chicago, what do they do to one of the city’s landmarks to help celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
A) The Sears Tower is illuminated green
B) Navy Pier is called “Green Pier” for the day
C) The Chicago River is dyed green for several hours
10. True or False: The Irish Car Bomb is an American cocktail.
- B. (While you might think it would be the shamrock or a leprechaun, the harp has been considered the “official” symbol of Ireland since medieval times.)
- False. (He was born in England.)
Tweet All About It!
Ceatus announces timely new social media service
In response to the rapidly growing role of social media, Ceatus is proud to announce an exciting new service to you, our valued clients. Because consistency is the key to social media success, our new social media package consists of daily posts to your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. This product will allow you to take your lucrative word-of-mouth efforts and go digital.
Why Now? A Super Bowl Moment
The current social media environment is ripe for action, as illustrated by the events of Super Bowl 2013. Like many of today’s technologies, social media is in a constant state of evolution, and the Super Bowl marked a pivotal moment in this evolution. As the now-infamous blackout unfolded, advertisers that had paid millions of dollars for TV ads found themselves helpless and flailing. In contrast, by using social media, several savvy companies seized on the situation to get in on the unparalleled consumer exposure offered by the Super Bowl (for a fraction of the cost).
For example, Walgreen’s informed fans that they “carry candles.” Tide tweeted a photo with a caption reading, “We can’t get your #blackout, but we can get your stains out.” And Calvin Klein linked followers to a Vine video showing a well-known celebrity toning his abs since “the lights were still out.”
Consistency is Key
But the Super Bowl isn’t the only venue from which to gain visibility using social media. Every day, there are countless opportunities to gain exposure for your practice. To succeed with social media, you need to continually take advantage of such opportunities by updating your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
The reason? Only a fraction of your followers see any given update to your social media accounts. According to a recent survey conducted by the PEW Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, some 61 percent of Facebook users took a break from using Facebook for a period of weeks or more in 2012. With so many of your followers taking periodic vacations from Facebook and other social media platforms — and so many posts streaming across their feeds — many of your posts will be buried by the time most of your followers log in.
Enter Ceatus. Our team of writers will monitor daily trends and pounce when opportunities arise. Our new social media package provides a great opportunity to make your practice visible to your target audience.
How Does it Work?
Each business day, our talented team of writers will add engaging posts to your most important social media accounts. Rather than focusing on your products and services, these posts will touch on information pertinent to your specialty as well as timely topics that are of interest to your patients. They will cover a range of topics, with links to relevant information. Only reputable sources will be used.
You will still have the ability to add additional posts on your own. Both these and the posts added by Ceatus will appear to come from your practice.
For more information on our new social media package, contact Ceatus today.