Discover how to get more patient reviews and why they are important in building a stronger online presence for your healthcare organisation.

The significance of generating good online reviews as a healthcare brand is simply essential, especially when you consider 81% of patients read online reviews before choosing a healthcare provider

Even if you believe your healthcare business provides the best quality treatments, products, and services in your local area, without online reviews, you might lose out on new patients to another practice that shares patient experiences. 

Read on to discover why reviews are crucial to your healthcare brand, where they belong online, and how to collect more with proven strategies.

What are patient reviews?

In healthcare, a review is a critical assessment of the quality of experience for a service, product, or treatment from a patient. The purpose and importance of online reviews in healthcare are to provide valuable and insightful information for patients so they can summarise the level of care and quality provided before they invest.

Reviews have become a vital factor for consumer research, especially in the healthcare industry, where building trust is essential to a healthy relationship between patients and healthcare providers.

Why are patient reviews important?

Online reviews help a healthcare business define its reputation alongside attracting new patients. Reviews allow people to make informed decisions and understand treatments and care from the patient’s experiences. Once again, it comes back to the essence of all healthcare-patient relations – trust.

Online reviews are now considered a reliable source of information. So much so that 47.5% of patients trust online ratings and reviews as much as recommendations from their doctor (46.8%). Reviews guide patient decisions for healthcare products, treatments, and services, revealing the level of transparency consistent within the healthcare industry and online world.

Not only do patients invest their confidence in online reviews, but they also want validation in numbers. One or two reviews are not going to cut it. 75% of patients want to see at least seven ratings before they can build trust with that healthcare provider.  

So, if your healthcare practice has not yet invested in acquiring quality reviews from your patients, we highly recommend you do all you can to encourage them to rate your products and services.

Where should I collect online reviews?

Recognising the significance of online reviews is the first stage. Now we want to know where we can collect online reviews. After providing an excellent service to a satisfied patient, it would be a shame to lose a review because they can’t share their experience online.

For simple online review solutions, consider these options:

Google reviews

Healthcare providers such as doctors, therapists, dentists, and other medical professionals can register their healthcare business on Google as a Business Profile. Patients can find your practice when they search on Google, depending on the search relevance and location.

Google reviews have an influential bearing on consumer research and decision making, with 72% using Google reviews to find businesses. Here are some further benefits:

  • Potential patients can find you via a Google search
  • Google reviews build your reputation and establish credibility
  • Google reviews also help improve SEO (more on this later)

Achieving high search results relies heavily on optimising your website and online content with SEO. After registering your Business Profile, ‘Reviews’ will appear as a feature alongside any contact information and location via Google Maps.

Social media

Patients can share experiences with reviews on services, treatments, and products via social media platforms. From simple signs to descriptive details, there are various forms of social media reviews available to patients, such as:

  • Star classification rating scale
  • Cumulative thumbs up or thumbs down
  • Descriptive blocks of text
  • Tags, photos, and recommendations

Depending on the healthcare your business provides will dictate the type of social platform you wish to use. Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat were the top three for sharing information about a healthy diet. However, platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn offer a B2B route suiting medical professionals.

As with a Google Business Profile, your healthcare brand must register as a business on the chosen social platform before asking and responding to reviews.

Review websites

Here is a list of reliable medical review sites specific to the healthcare industry:

  • Healthgrades
  • RateMDs
  • Vitals
  • Wellness

Other sites to secure online reviews for healthcare products and services include:

  • Amazon
  • BBB (Better Business Bureau)
  • Yellowpages
  • Yelp
  • Manta

All positive reviews across any search engine, social media platform or website is a boost for your business. Generating reviews on accredited websites will also help build a stronger online presence, further establishing trust in your brand.

Will online reviews impact my healthcare SEO strategy?

Online reviews do impact SEO ranking. So, not only crucial for reputation as a healthcare business, but online reviews enable you to build online authority.

Google reviews boost SEO

It’s no surprise knowing Google designs its algorithm to attribute online reviews as a significant factor in SEO performance. After all, patients rely on reviews for decision-making and determining a brand’s reputation.

Here are the ways SEO works with online reviews:

  • Boosts online visibility
  • Reduce bounce rate
  • Creates user-generated content

Some reviews are displayed in Google’s search engines as rich snippets when it considers online reviews as key to the user experience. So, when it comes to healthcare, promoting your business high in search engines with star reviews is an excellent way of securing potential patients to your practice.

Social media reviews boost SEO

As your customer leaves a review, they tend to use keywords associated with your business. These keywords combine and build a strong SEO performance for your brand. In the same way as Google, social media organically generates keywords to rank your business higher and develop authority.

How do I get more patient reviews?

The first step to collecting online reviews is knowing where you want your feedback to appear and register your business to be available for rating and reviews.

To maximise the possibility of positive reviews, you must establish a patient feedback system, where patient reviews become a priority and part of your company culture. All staff must understand and implement the significance of reviews across all aspects of the business, from customer service to operations and management.

Then it’s a case of encouraging patients to leave reviews via in-person experiences or marketing strategies.

It may seem strange for a doctor to ask for a review, but if you remain professional with your request, we believe it is acceptable and essential for your brand reputation.

Here are some ways to encourage patients to leave reviews:

  • Asking patients after a successful appointment
  • Placing reminders on printed materials, information brochures, and other forms of literature
  • Build a community on social media with regular posts and patient interactions
  • Use patient information to set up an email marketing strategy
  • Respond to all online reviews, good or bad

By implementing these strategies, your healthcare business should start seeing more reviews. Then it becomes a case of keeping your services consistent and professional to ensure all of them are positive.

Start generating online reviews for your healthcare organisation

All in all, online reviews are essential to defining a healthcare brand’s reputation and potential for securing new patients. All aspects of Google, social media, SEO, and other review websites work hand in hand to build your online presence.

Securing patient reviews requires registering on the necessary platforms, implementing an SEO strategy, and encouraging your patients to leave a rating, whether in person or through other forms of marketing.

If you need any support building the online presence of your healthcare business, get in touch with us. At Amay Digital, we specialise in digital marketing services for the healthcare industry, including:

By utilising smart digital marketing strategies, we can help your healthcare brand rise to the top of Google and secure the trust of your consumer with high-quality patient reviews.