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Reputation Management: How to Work With Online Reviews

A computer screen showing reputation management stats and related information.

Our patient engagement survey provides insights on potential strategies for reviews and reputation management

Published on May 10, 2023

In an increasingly online world, many patients turn to search engines and reviews. A recent ModMed® patient engagement survey, What Patients Really Think, indicates that nearly half of respondents (48%) consulted online reviews before deciding on a new doctor.*

Developing your online marketing presence can be a powerful way to attract new patients. A strong reputation, backed by positive reviews, can also improve your visibility online.

The cycle of ongoing promotion and positive reviews can help your business. But many physicians and their practice managers lack either the time or skill sets to manage digital marketing and reputation management.

Online Review Management

Managing your reviews typically involves ongoing oversight and engagement.

For many practice managers, the process of review management includes patient engagement, like sending surveys after visits or following up with text or email asking patients for reviews. As reviews post, your staff needs to make time to read and respond to feedback, creating reports and compiling key takeaways for physicians and other teams. They may track reputation over time via qualitative or quantitative methods. As your reputation management program grows, you may include competitive research in your efforts, comparing your reviews to other physicians with the same specialty in your geography.

Practices that manage their reviews with ModMed AMP can benefit from using the AMP Portal, a platform designed to streamline reputation management. When your practice receives a new review from certain websites, your team gets a notification. In the portal, your team can manage these reviews and certain directory listings, sort such reviews by chronology or source, respond to such reviews directly from the portal, edit certain listings, generate customizable reports, and track review scores.

Positive reviews may help you attract and retain patients

The importance of reviews can be very high for physicians, especially in dense geographic areas or competitive specialties.

The survey What Patients Really Think reveals that 74% of respondents place importance on online reviews when selecting a new doctor.* This percentage may indicate that physicians with positive reviews that cover a broad time span may have an advantage in attracting new patients, compared to physicians who overlook reputation management.

As you attract new patients, you can further engage with them to continue growing your online reputation. Our same survey shows that 59% of patients are likely to provide feedback via online reviews.* Provide these patients with quality care, and they could advocate for your business.

Positive reviews may help you improve website visibility

Search engine results are determined by confidential, proprietary algorithms that change ranking factors as digital marketing evolves, but physicians with a strong body of reviews may appear higher in search engine result rankings.

That’s because some search engines may use a concept called domain authority when determining the relevance of your site to a user’s search. Domain authority may be influenced by reviews that show your reputation as a provider.

By comparison, it can be more difficult for prospective patients to find you if you don’t have a solid, active reputation management program in place, because you may not be providing search engines with the signals they may require to rank your website competitively.

Listing Management

One of the foundations for developing your online reputation is your listing management. This is how people find you and access important information about your practice, like its location, phone number and website. While listing management may represent less ongoing work than review management, it’s crucial that your listings are comprehensive, complete, and accurate across search engines and directories.

Ensuring you’ve diversified your efforts matters, too. For example, our patient engagement survey shows that Google Business Reviews are the most popular place for patients to leave an online review of a doctor’s office experience (37%), followed by Facebook business profile (23%) and Yelp (14%).* If you weren’t listed on all three, you might lose out on valuable reputational equity.

Aside from these major players and depending on your specialty, there could be up to 40 or more search engines and directories where you should be listing your practice.

Patient Surveys

As you develop your reputation, you can dive more deeply into patient attitudes and ideals with surveys. Patient Surveys can provide insight into individual experiences by visit or across an episode of care. With the responses, you can develop strategies to continue or evolve tactics that work, while refining or adjusting tactics that reduce satisfaction.

Surveys can also be useful because they allow patients to supply feedback privately. If there are issues to resolve, you can do so before the matter becomes the subject of a negative review.

Build your company’s online presence

ModMed AMP can help expand your practice’s online presence across search engines, directories and review sites. In addition to reputation management support, AMP can also help with website development, digital marketing, patient surveys and e-stores. As part of a connected strategy, these efforts can help provide a long-term impact on your ability to attract and retain new patients.

We can help you get started with initiatives around reviews and reputation. With the ModMed AMP program, our team helps you with your digital presence, so prospective patients can find — and choose — your practice. For more information, sign up to hear from one of our associates.

*ModMed 2022 Patient Experience Report: What Patients Really Think, July 2022. See survey question 1 in the Appendix. Data reflected is a combined stat of “very important” and “somewhat important,” “very likely” and “somewhat likely,” or “strongly agree” and “somewhat agree,” as applicable.

This blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or medical advice. Please consult with your legal counsel and other qualified advisors to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations and standards.