As a plastic surgeon, nothing is more important than your reputation. It is a major factor in establishing and building patient trust. Failure to prioritize your reputation can cost you patients and detrimentally impact your bottom line.
The good news? There are many things plastic surgeons can do to manage their reputations, including SEO.
Read on for a closer look at why managing your reputation matters, along with how plastic surgeon SEO can play a vital role in reputation management and other vital imperatives for today’s healthcare practitioners.
Why Reputation Management Is Critical for Doctors
Your reputation is a priceless asset, and in today’s digital era of instant gratification — it absolutely proceeds you. Given that approximately 84 percent of patients research doctors before meeting them, your prospective patients know a lot about you. Will they like what they see? If they don’t, they’ll probably never step foot in your office.
So while high-quality patient care may be your top goal as a plastic surgeon, you won’t even get the chance to provide it without online reviews. Because not only do a lot of poor reviews deter patients, so do no reviews at all. The takeaway? You need reviews — good or bad — to attract new patients.
Plastic Surgeon SEO and Reputation Management
An excellent reputation goes a long way. And while some of your new patients may come from word-of-mouth and referrals, many more will come via the internet. When patients want to know about a particular plastic surgery procedure or cosmetic surgery in their area, the first place they’ll look is the internet. Whether they find your cosmetic surgery practice after entering a search depends on SEO.
SEO is short for “search engine optimization,” which is the process by which a website can be designed to earn a higher rank in search results. Search engines use “bots” to crawl web pages collecting information, or “signals.” Their goal? To gather enough data and organize it in such a way that lets them respond to user queries with the most relevant web pages for their queries.
This process doesn’t just determine whether your website will appear to users, but also where it will appear on the results page. Which matters. A lot.
Think about the last time you conducted a Google search. Odds are, you clicked into the top link — and you wouldn’t be alone. In fact, more than a quarter (28.5 percent) of people click the first Google search result. Sites in the second and third positions, meanwhile, drop to click-through rates of 15 and 11 percent, respectively.
Think it’s OK as long as you’re on the first page? Think again. The click-through rates of the 10th Google position on the first page dropped to a dismal 2.5 percent click-through. This data speaks for itself. Simply put, if you want to boost the visibility of your plastic surgery practice and maximize traffic to your website, you need SEO — and a prominent Google positioning — to do it.
SEO and Patient Reviews
Search engines share one primary agenda above all else: to provide value to searchers by providing the most relevant websites to their queries. They are always improving on their algorithms in order to do this. You can use plastic surgeon SEO to your advantage, such as by incorporating keywords wisely, creating consistent and compelling content, optimizing your website, and using before and after photos as well as testimonial videos and local search marketing.
However, Google recently announced a change to its algorithm revealing that it is now prioritizing websites with high-quality user reviews, too. The “focus overall is on providing users with content that provides insightful analysis and original research, content written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well,” explained the search engine of the update.
So while third-party review sites like Healthgrades and RateMDs are important, first-party reviews — those hosted directly on your website — are now also essential for improving your ranking.
How to Get More Reviews for Your Plastic Surgery Practice
We’ve established that patient reviews are pleasing to search engines, which means they’ll reward websites that include them with higher rankings in search response pages. Their reasons for doing this aren’t arbitrary. They do it because it’s helpful to internet users. This is your goal, too.
After all, the more helpful, useful, and valuable information your site provides, the more favorably your medical practice will be perceived by prospective patients. This means more trust — and more conversions.
All of which begs the question: How do you get more reviews? The answer is surprisingly simple. You ask for them. Whether you do so in person when they’re leaving an appointment or via email or social media, research shows that people are much more likely to leave feedback when asked to.
Reputation Management Tips for Doctors
Plastic surgeon SEO is one of many ways doctors can improve their reputations online. Other strategies include:
- Making sure your business information is updated across all search platforms. Search engines see accuracy as an indication of quality, and therefore respond with higher rankings.
- Monitor all of your reviews. From third-party sites to social media, keeping up with your reviews can help you determine where you’re succeeding and where you’re failing.
- Respond to reviews. Monitoring reviews is only one part of the physician reputation management process. You must also respond to your reviews — ALL of them. Acknowledging an unhappy patient shows that they matter to you.
- Use your positive reviews. Get positive feedback? Build your reputation by sharing it on your website or posting it to your social media.
- Train your staff to provide the very best care. At the end of the day, there’s no substitute for top-notch customer service. Build a commitment to customer service into your company culture through staff education and training.
One last reason to invest in plastic surgery website SEO, reputation management, and other digital marketing imperatives? According to one study, nearly half of patients say that they’ll go out-of-network based on a positive online review, and that excellent service is more important than care affordability.
In today’s competitive healthcare landscape, attracting new patients means using the latest digital marketing tools and strategies. Together, plastic surgeon SEO and reputation management can ensure that you’re driving more visitors to your website and making the most positive impressions when they’re there.
Interested in ramping up your digital marketing initiatives, but not sure where to begin? A plastic surgeon marketing company offering plastic surgery SEO services can help you maximize the benefits of digital marketing for your practice.