5 Reasons Your Practice Should Respond to Patient Google Reviews
Over 92% of patients read online reviews, which represents a huge opportunity for your practice to build connections with current and potential patients, boost your rankings on Google, and cultivate a professional and empathetic online reputation that drives more new patients through your doors.
Why is responding to patient reviews important?
You should respond to patient Google reviews because it:
1. Demonstrates a Commitment to Your Patients and Quality Care
When it comes to marketing your practice, an emotional connection is what sells. Responding to your reviews makes your patients feel heard and valued. Your response tells your people that their opinions matter, and you care. Not responding, sends the opposite message and is something you cannot afford.
2. Builds Trust and Transparency with Your Target Audience
When you respond to a review, you’re showing your patients that you take your work and their opinion seriously. And the more you build an open relationship online, the more your patients will trust you. For many of your potential patients, these reviews will be their first exposure to your practice which provides you with an incredible opportunity to win them over with your thoughtful and caring responses, building trust right out of the gate.
3. Maximizes Your Brand’s Influence & Reach
Reviews directly boost your Google and search engine rankings and therefore your practice’s ability to get found quickly by the right patient audience. Search engines use interaction data with patient reviews as a component of their ranking algorithms. While you are building trust with your patients, you are also building trust with the search engines. In fact, reviews are the third most important factor in your local ranking metrics and account for roughly 13% of the equation1,2.
4. Share New and Relevant Information
Responding to reviews is an excellent opportunity to update and reinforce your practice philosophy and demonstrate how your care is differentiated from other providers. By keeping your responses tailored to a wider target market, not solely the individual, you’ll deepen your relationships and solidify your practice as the preferred choice to prospective patients.
5. Protecting your Business Reputation
Not all reviews are positive. Remember, one or two negative reviews are not the end of the world. Patients are actually more likely to trust the positive reviews that show up because they won’t seem forced and unrealistic. Users realize that every business will have upset clients. What is most important to them is how you respond to those unhappy patients.
The best way to control the conversation is to be proactive – and drown the negative reviews with positive ones. It’s all about your average with review sites, so you need to be diligent about continually soliciting new reviews from your current patients and to be timely in your responses. If you are not currently automating your review requests, consider the implementation of a patient reputation marketing system, such as Launch Survey or PBHS inForm, that can rapidly increase your number of 5 star reviews and help you control your online reputation. And remember, to maintain your HIPAA compliance, it is crucial that you do not directly acknowledge that the person was a patient of your practice, just be warm and thank them for their kind sentiment.
For more tips on how to boost your reputation while responding to your patients’ online reviews, reach out to our PBHS reputation marketing and review management experts for a tour of Launch Survey and PBHS inForm, at 1-800-840-5383.
- “How Google Reviews Drive Local SEO Results,” Digital Examiner, Joel Whippie, https://www.digitalexaminer.com/google-reviews-drive-local-seo-results/.
- “Local SEO Ranking Factors 2020: What Affects Google Local Rankings,” Bright Local, Rosie Murphy, https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/key-ranking-factors-for-local-seo/.