Want More High-End Patients?
Try this one Simple Step!
If you want more patients for high-end elective procedures, particularly from the millennial crowd, there is just one thing you need to do — control what is being said about you online.
When your online review profile is very positive, new patients flock to your practice. This is especially true for patients interested in lifestyle-enhancing procedures such as LASIK, dental veneers and breast augmentation.
Achieving a positive review profile doesn’t happen on its own — it takes work. Research data shows that doctors are 7 times more likely to receive a negative review (1 or 2 stars) on Yelp when the practice has no active review solicitation program to reach out to patients. If you do nothing to solicit positive patient comments, your chances of receiving primarily negative reviews increases 7-fold.
But don’t despair. A positive review profile is within your reach, so long as you choose the right review solicitation platform.
Reviews Are Important, but What Is the Best Approach?
Most practices understand how important reviews are, and have taken some steps to enlist the help of review management software. But not all review software packages are equal. The weaker packages do not produce a stellar online reputation, increased patient volume or greater practice revenue. To maximize new patient acquisition and ROI, follow these tips for choosing a review platform:
1) Target a Wide Range of Review Sites
The overwhelming majority of review platforms solicit reviews for only a few sites (two or three at the most). This is a problem. Studies show that patients place value on a variety of review sites; in fact, 7 to 10 different review sites…or more. And different types of patients rely on different review sites to make buying decisions — some value Google, some value Vitals or RateMDs. Focusing on a restricted number of sites will dramatically narrow the range of patients you will attract. So choose a review solicitation program that targets a wide range of review sites.
Tip: Ask how many review sites are targeted by the review platform. Warning #1: Some review platforms are actually funded by specific review sites. In these cases, only their own review sites will be targeted by their platform. Warning #2: Almost every multi-site review company has been blocked, banned or punished by at least one major review site, such as Yelp or Google. Ask if the company that owns the review platform has been banned from soliciting reviews for any specific review site — and if so, which one(s). If the company cannot solicit reviews on specific major review sites, choose a different company.
2) Avoid Those that Only Solicit for Company-Owned Sites
A good platform must solicit placement of reviews on a variety of legitimate “public” third-party review sites — in other words, not just on sites owned by one specific “review company.” Prospective patients are acutely aware of the credibility of third-party doctor review sites such as Yelp, Google, RateMDs, Vitals, Yellow Pages, etc. Like it or not, sites such as these are held in high regard by potential (and current) patients. Reviews that appear only on sites that are wholly owned by an individual review solicitation company carry little weight among patients making treatment-related buying decisions.
Tip: Make a point of asking where exactly the reviews that they solicit will appear. If it turns out that your solicited reviews will appear primarily on their review solicitation platform site controlled by them, then don’t use that service. Also, ask what happens to your reviews in the event you cancel their service. Many companies try to hold your reviews hostage, which (obviously) is something you want to avoid at all costs.
3) Automatically Publish Reviews on Your Own Properties
Ensure that the review platform can automatically feed reviews from all reviews sites to your website and your other platforms like Facebook, Twitter and directory profiles. When reviews appear on your practice website and your practice social media pages, prospective patients are more likely to make a timely buying decision. If there are no reviews published on your own site(s), then prospective patients leave your practice website, social media page, etc. to visit the various individual review sites (Yelp, RateMDs, etc.) to learn about you. Once a prospective patient drifts away from your online resources (controlled by your practice), it is more difficult to get them to make a timely and immediate buying decision, and more difficult to get them to choose you.
Tip: Ask specifically whether the review program can publish reviews on your own website, social media and directory listings, and also ask which review sites are included in their automated feed. Many companies do not publish reviews from all the major reviews sites, instead publishing reviews from only one or two. If the company cannot automatically publish a wide range of reviews from an array of review sites on your site and your other online platforms, don’t use them.
Only CEATUS offers a complete package to power your online reputation strategy. Contact us to learn more about the CEATUS Reviews Dashboard and how CEATUS is the best choice for your online reputation.
Too Many Fingers in the Pie?
We are often asked by our clients and prospective clients if one of their internal practice marketing associates can work in conjunction with our SEO team to optimize the practice website. The answer is a resounding yes, as long as the in-house associate keeps the CEATUS team apprised of any proposed structural or other major changes to the site. And of course, the CEATUS team will also keep the in-house team up to date as we perform key SEO and website activities, including regular daily, weekly and monthly website back-ups to protect the integrity of the site’s SEO. These simple procedures protect the practice website by ensuring the critical SEO and content changes made by CEATUS don’t get accidently overwritten.
Rankings Fell and then Snapped Back
This case study describes a highly successful plastic surgeon who had both his in-house team and the CEATUS Team working on his website. The CEATUS Team had elevated his rankings to the first page of Google for a wide range of high-value plastic-surgery-related search terms, including the highly coveted “best” terms, such as “best plastic surgeon in XX” or “best rhinoplasty in XX.”
However, overnight, his rankings fell. In some cases his website dropped to the third or fourth page of Google for search terms where the site had been on Page 1 just the day before. When diagnosing the problem, the CEATUS Team found that, in order to add a few new “cool” features to the site, the in-house marketing team had added extraneous pages to the site and made a number of non-SEO-friendly navigation and linking changes. A couple of examples: A duplicate home page had been created, as well as a number of pages that included only images. To make matters worse, the site’s internal linking had also been altered to favor these new pages. For example, a “tummy tuck” link that was previously directed to the primary tummy tuck page — a page that ranked highly on the first page of Google — was now shifted in order to promote and direct prospective patients to a new tummy tuck animation feature. There were other issues as well. However, the bottom line is that these ill-advised structural changes to the site made it exceedingly difficult for Google to effectively crawl and analyze the site. As a result, rankings plummeted.
CEATUS to the Rescue
Fortunately, the CEATUS SEO Team had the proper monitoring and reporting features in place. The losses in traffic and rankings were immediately detected, and the CEATUS Team jumped into action. The hands-on analysis took a full day, and the modifications were applied the next day. The troublesome pages were removed or de-indexed, the linking was redirected to re-favor the previous CEATUS SEO strategy, and the procedure content pages were re-written to force Google to re-analyze the content. Additionally, the changes made by CEATUS staff (with a few “extras”) allowed the desired “new practice features” to remain, without damage, by bringing these features in line with SEO best practices. Within 5 days, the practice’s website rankings bounced back.
Effective SEO is a synergistic system in which all the elements work together toward the goal of gaining the “approval” of the search engines. And while events occurring individually may not cause harm, these same events occurring simultaneously may cause exponential harm. In this case study, the level of SEO skill and online marketing expertise that was required to diagnose and then correct this SEO debacle was significant because there was no single “new feature” that caused the rankings to fall. However, together, as part of the larger system of the practice website, the implementation of these “new features” was toxic. Most online marketing companies would have had extreme difficulty diagnosing the SEO problems outlined in this case study — partly because they would not spend the time, but also because they don’t have the expertise or the experience working with in-house marketing teams. Regardless, the moral of the story is that expertise and communication are the keys to successfully working on a practice website. To protect your SEO, do everything in your power to ensure proper coordination between your in-house team and your external SEO team.
Make sure that if your in-house staff makes the following types of changes (and/or related changes), the external SEO team is notified:
- Adding New Procedure Pages
- Changing the Navigation
- Creating Duplicate Pages on the Site
- Adding Pages with Only Images or that are Very Image Heavy
- Significantly Altering Content
To learn more, contact CEATUS today.
Ask the experts
Q: If my name and the practice name are different, do I need to get reviews for both?
A: Yes! Major review sites automatically create review profiles from both your name and practice name, which means that reviews can be created by patients for both profiles. If there is only one doctor in the practice, then the CEATUS Team can merge the two profiles so that all the reviews flow to just one profile, whether the reviews are created for the doctor or practice name. If more than one doctor is in the practice, then it is best to leave the practice profile and practice reviews as standalones, separate from the individual doctor profiles and reviews. For your benefit, the CEATUS Team can merge the reviews from multiple profiles to feed onto your website and social media for maximum benefit.
Questions about your Reviews Strategy? Call us today at 858-454-5505 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maximize Your Internet Strategy
Come by the CEATUS booth for a FREE website evaluation!
September 22-26, 2018
Visit us at booth B342, and join CEATUS CEO David Evans, PhD, and CEATUS VP Marketing Tamara Evans for the following must-see digital marketing presentations!
“Integrating Traditional and New Age Digital Marketing for Millennial Success”
Saturday, September 22
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
“Building a Successful Online Footprint: From Reviews to Next Generation Social Media”
David Evans, PhD
Tuesday, September 25
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
September 26-29, 2018
Looking to “go big” with your Digital Marketing strategy? Visit CEATUS’ expert team at booth 617 to get answers to all of your Internet marketing questions, and for a FREE Digital Marketing Evaluation and Reputation Score!
Incline Village, NV
September 28 & 29, 2018
Not attending any of these shows? Give us a call (858-454-5505) for a FREE Marketing Strategy Evaluation!