Since the world of medical marketing revolves so much around the concepts of search engine optimization and paid marketing, one of the few things a lot of start-up online medical businesses fail to consider is the concept of online reputation management. Online reputation management (ORM) is a bundle of strategies that consist of protecting and improving their online image in the eyes of potential and existing patients. The process, however, is no walk in the park.
With your online medical business climbing the stairway to success, there comes a stream of fake reviews, negative comments, and unethical competitors even if your medical services are stellar. While it is near impossible for healthcare businesses to control these obstacles, you can certainly learn by reviewing some common online reputation management mistakes to help you avoid falling into severe consequences that may take a hit on your online image, keeping you from accomplishing high patient lead generation rates.
What Is Online Reputation Management (ORM)?
If you are unfamiliar with the concept of online reputation management, a quick overview of ORM can be:
“a multi-faceted concept that creates a positive perception of online businesses in the eyes of their consumers/customers.”
It addresses any negative feedback such as bad reviews or comments that may potentially bring harm to the business’s reputation and uses carefully put-together strategies to solve that damaging feedback and prevent any in the future.
Why Is Online Reputation Management So Significant To Healthcare Businesses?
Online reputation management is a crucial part of any online business’s marketing strategy as it permits them to monitor their online image and perception regularly. The online perception of any healthcare business can change drastically as their medical content shifts or an unsatisfied patient leaves a negative remark.
Medical businesses need to be aware of what is being said about their medical services so that they can change any negative perception any existing or potential patients may have about their medical services. You may be surprised to learn that more than 45% of online businesses strictly monitor their online reputation daily while a lot of them monitor it hourly.
Only by diligent monitoring of their online reputation, online medical businesses can strive to avoid losing patient leads or existing patients which can inevitably lead to their reputation being downgraded, which is an aspect that search engines, especially Google consider when ranking online businesses. It is important for doctors to set aside resources for implementing diligent online reputation management if they want to avoid damaging their medical business’s online reputation.
Five Biggest Blunders Doctors Can Make In Online Reputation Management
When it comes to managing an online medical business’s reputation, the slightest mistakes can bring you an immense amount of damage. To avoid being a victim of any online reputation damage, here are the top five mistakes doctors can make in online reputation management:
1. Failing To Claim Online Listings
When it comes to online reputation management specialized for medical businesses, the best way to control your online reputation is by reviewing, responding, and updating your business information on channels such as Healthgrades, Google, or even Yelp. This is because patients seek to review these sites first when they are considering your medical business for choosing its services.
However, according to research done on the subject, almost 50% of local medical businesses ignore their local listings. This practice shows your incorrect business information which brings patient and revenue loss. Aside from this, not updating and claiming your online listing also creates the perception that your medical business doesn’t exist anymore or is unprofessional.
2. Being Unattentive To Social Media Comments
Gone are the days when patients would ring up clinics and hospitals to ask them a question or submit a complaint. Now, they use social media platforms for that purpose. Patient care on social media channels is a chance for you to bond with existing and potential patients and maintain your online reputation. It is important to answer their questions, complaints, and queries and be attentive to them.
If patients receive no response to their questions or complaints, they are unlikely to ever choose that healthcare provider ever again. Make sure that you invest some effort in engaging with your patients on your social media channels and respond to their queries actively.
3. Ignoring Online Patient Reviews
Picture this: you spend all your time and money in writing valuable medical content, creating professional ads, running stellar campaigns yet still there is no change in your lead generation numbers. Your site’s patient traffic hasn’t increased and your conversion rates are still low. While this sounds like a horrible scenario to picture, it can become reality if you don’t mind its root cause. Which is bad patient reviews.
One of the first things a patient looks up about your medical business is what other patients have to say about you. Doing this helps that patient determine whether your medical services are worth choosing. If your medical business’s name is attached with pages worth of negative reviews, the outcome can be too severe. It is important that you address this negative feedback and avoid leaving it unattended no matter how tempting it may be.
4. Giving ORM Responsibilities To Inexperienced Employees
Since doctors are typically busy handling other responsibilities, they usually delegate their online reputation management duties to other employees. While it is smart to appoint an individual to manage ORM duties, assigning them to the wrong person who is inexperienced can waste all the effort, money, and time you put into creating a positive image for your medical business. This is why it is advised that you choose an external online reputation management service so that your online image gets maintained properly.
5. Creating Fake Online Patient Reviews
Patient reviews are a crucial aspect of how other patients perceive your medical business. While it is important for you to obtain tons of positive patient reviews, that may not always be the case. A lot of medical businesses opt to post fake patient reviews in desperation to convey their positive image to potential patients, however, it brings more reputation harm than patient leads.
Posting fake patient reviews can get your medical business in trouble by Google as it diligently monitors fictitious reviews. You may be penalized or blocked from using that review channel. Once the word gets out that your brand posts fake reviews, your medical business will appear sketchy, unprofessional, and unreliable to your patients.
Keeping Negative Patient Reviews At An Arm’s Length
It is safe to say that online reputation is everything to doctors. Addressing one single negative review the wrong way can cause your online reputation to tumble down after all the hard work you put into bringing it to the top. By avoiding these common mistakes in online reputation management, you can retain your medical business’s image as an authority in your industry.
Read More Click Here: Medical Reputation for Doctors