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Most of you reading this blog probably don’t think that online reviews matter very much. However, did you know that 84 percent of people trust online reviews? That’s huge!
So, to ensure that you understand the major impact that online reviews can have on your practice’s online reputation here’s a quick breakdown.
- Out of a billion customers all over the world, only 9 percent of consumers do not read online reviews. And most of those people are individuals who have not adapted to technology or do not have access to technology.
- 68 percent of consumers have already formed an opinion by just reading one to six reviews.
- Word of mouth is a super effective marketing strategy, but so are online reviews. In fact, these days, 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- According to 74 percent of consumers, positive reviews make them trust businesses even more.
- Up to 60 percent of people say that negative reviews will instantly make them look for another business.
- And, only 14 percent of consumers would consider connecting and using a business with a 1-2 star rating. Yikes!
I know those are some powerful stats! However, we have more for you – next, let’s take a look at the importance of online reviews.
How Important are Online Reviews?
Online reviews can have a huge impact on your local search ranking
Have you wondered how some websites end up first on the results page? Most people would probably think that it has to do with how popular a website is. Technically that’s somewhat true because where your website ranks within the search engine results page is associated to search engine optimization. However, a website doesn’t have to truly be “popular” though; there are a lot of factors that go into how a website is ranked.
Quick thought on SEO:
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. SEO specialists can increase the number of visitors on your website by conducting keyword research analysis. By using specific keywords that most people search for online, it would definitely increase your chances to be on the first page of the search results page.
Going back to the original topic – it is extremely important to have positive online reviews because Google uses your online reputation, including your online Google reviews, to help with the ranking of your practice. It is an authority signal to measure how prominent your business is.
Your Google reviews count and score are factored into your local search ranking. Think of it this way – more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve your practice’s local ranking.
Online reviews provide valuable insight into how your patients view your practice
Most business owners (especially healthcare professionals) just don’t have the luxury of time to micromanage every aspect of their business. Since you’re both a business owner and a healthcare professional, you probably understand that very well. This is where online reviews come in – if something or someone is not working well, you’ll hear about it through an online review.
And you should try your best to avoid getting negative reviews. But, in reality, you can’t please everyone. So, if you receive a negative review, turn the negative reviews into insights that can be valuable. You should have a strategy in place on how to respond to negative criticisms and use that feedback to improve your medical practice. Honestly, it’s a good opportunity to turn a negative into a positive. I mean, what better way to hear how you and your staff are doing than to hear it directly from patients, right?
Now that we’ve established how important online reviews are, the next question is:
How many reviews do you need?
When it comes to how many reviews you need, there is no magic number. You could get from one to one hundred; there isn’t a perfect number between standing out among the competition, sending out prominent authority signals to Google, and of course, earning the trust of your customers.
Google used to ask for five reviews before orange stars would appear next to your Google listing. But now, Google tweaked their system which allowed orange stars to show up even if you only have a single review. Honestly, the more positive reviews you have, the better. A good number of positive reviews can really help you stand out amongst the competition.
Also, did you know that 73 percent of consumers think that reviews older than three months are irrelevant and only 22 percent will consider reviews that are two weeks old? Therefore, as you can see, the age and frequency of reviews are just as important as the number of reviews that you have.
The best advice that we can give you is to continue to receive new online reviews on a consistent basis to receive the best results.
What’s an ideal average rating of an online review?
92 percent of consumers would use a business with an average of 4.0. Therefore, it’s safe to say that your medical practice needs at least a 4.0 rating so that customers will trust your practice them more. However, if you can find a way to reach a five-star rating, then go for it. The higher the better, right?
How can you improve your online reputation
One of the most efficient ways to take your practice to the top is to improve your practice’s online reputation by gathering online reviews. But, you should be patient. Maintaining your practice’s online reputation takes time and does not happen overnight.
You have to:
- Evaluate your patients’ experience
- Ask for reviews
- Follow a systemic approach
- Respond well to negative reviews
- Keep on learning
Look, I know you’re probably thinking that you don’t want to invest in your online reputation; but trust me, it is worth it. In today’s digital age, everything is on the Internet and everybody has something to review every day. Do not damage your medical practice because of bad online reviews.
Fortunately, Website4MD provides a Google Reviews Service. Our team calls up your patients, creates a good rapport, and asks if they could write a review for your practice. Easy as that! And here’s the best part – you increase your chances of improving your online reputation without doing the job yourself. You can rely on Website4MD to do the job for you!
Don’t miss out! Schedule an appointment today.