As a medical professional, it's imperative to make sure your patients see the right information when they search your name or your practice's name online. If you haven't taken the time to Google yourself, you might be in for quite a surprise. Reputation management services for physicians are on the rise; read on to find out why it's never been more important to monitor, manage and improve your online reputation.
Search Results Are Your First Impression
The first several search engine result listings that appear when someone searches your personal or business name can greatly affect your reputation and give a powerful first impression, which will likely set in whether an individual has met or communicated with you or not.
For this reason alone, it's vital to make sure you have a squeaky-clean appearance not only in search engine results, but also on top review sites and throughout social media.
Doctor Reviews Sites Have Massive Reach
While Yelp is the most popular review site and is known for its reviews on restaurants and businesses, the website also provides thousands of healthcare reviews, whether focusing on a practice or an individual. Other well-known medical review sites include Healthgrades, ZocDoc, Vitals, and RateMDs, each of which has millions of professionals listed. It's crucial for any health professional to actively review these sites to be aware of what your patients are saying about you - and what your potential patients are reading about you.
Pissed Consumer and Ripoff Report are two of the most damaging review sites, as the reviews can be written and immediately posted about any professional, service, or business - anonymously. Not only can the reviewer post content on whatever they'd like, but the articles rank extremely well in search results for individual and practice names.
Taking Control Over Your Search ResultsWhen it comes to review sites and anonymous reviews in particular, it can be difficult to have slanderous reviews removed from a website simply because of free speech and the fact that many of these sites operate and make money by posting user content, so they don't want to have it removed or remove it themselves. This is especially true with Yelp, who has continually won nearly every legal case that has been brought against them in reference to removing content from their site.
With that said, the best way to protect your online reputation and give a great first impression to potential patients is to "own" the first search results page for terms related to your name and practice. This can be done by creating your own website or blog as well as and developing profiles on major social media networks - and being active on them.
The end goal is to get as much of your own positive content to rank on the first search engine result page for your practice so you can effectively suppress the negative and potentially harmful content that might be out there, especially on the review sites mentioned above.