Patient testimonials, or what your current and past patients have to say about you, can speak volumes to potential patients. When it comes to recommending your medical practice to others, there is simply no better way to build trust among people who don’t know you yet than through word-of-mouth, which, these days, is often done online and through search engines.
In previous eras, word-of-mouth recommendations occurred naturally as people in the community would interact on a daily basis. Because the vast majority of these recommendations now occur online, it’s incredibly helpful when your medical practice website includes patient reviews or testimonials. It’s also equally as important to gain those testimonials on other trusted websites, such as search engines or medical sites like Health Grades. Testimonials are a critical component of online reputation management for your medical practice.
Why Patient Testimonials Matter
Nowadays, most people turn to the internet and search engines like Google when trying to find a new doctor.
The opportunity to make a good first impression of your practice begins with your website. Does it contain helpful information? Is your site easy to navigate? Is it visually appealing, and does it represent what is unique about you and your practice? Perhaps most important of all – is your medical practice website properly optimized so that it shows up at the top of Google search results?
Once you have a potential patient on your website, popular pages they tend to visit include the doctor bios, the services or treatments you offer, and patient reviews or testimonials.
In fact, most patients looking for a new doctor will read online reviews before deciding to call your office for more information or request an appointment. By including patient reviews or testimonials on your website, you can boost your conversion rate (how often you turn a website visitor into a patient) by nearly 300%.
What Makes a Good Patient Testimonial?
For the greatest impact, patient reviews should be authentic, relatable, specific, and fresh. You’ll want to ensure that you or a member of your staff is asking existing patients – preferably before they leave your office – if they’d be willing to share feedback about their experience on your practice’s website. You can make it easy for them to follow through by including a “leave a review” link on your medical practice website or in a follow-up email after your patient’s appointment. After all, online reputation management for your medical practice means being proactive and gathering patient reviews onto your site and on search engines.
In a patient testimonial, the following factors can weigh heavily in your favor with potential new patients:
- Your medical specialty or area of interest.
- Your bedside manner and personality.
- Office location and how convenient it is.
- Front-office staff friendliness and attentiveness.
- Your responsiveness to patient questions during the appointment.
- Quality of your medical care.
- Amount of time spent with each patient.
- How accessible the healthcare providers are on your team.
- Wait times.
Online reputation management for your medical practice is bolstered by encouraging patients to leave you positive reviews online, making their testimonials easy to find by prospective patients who are visiting your website, and responding to patients who leave reviews when appropriate.
Video testimonials can be powerfully persuasive. Videos create hard-to-forget images that stick in a patient’s mind, with a face and a voice to deliver the firsthand experience of the excellent medical service you provide. Seeing a patient’s satisfaction with your service first-hand can make a much greater impact on your potential patients compared to a written testimonial.
Leave it to the Professionals
When it comes to managing your online presence, consider enlisting the help of a marketing professional or an online reputation management company like iHealthSpot. Their sole purpose is to enhance your website with positive content that, not only encourages search engines to promote your business by ranking it higher on search engine results pages, but also reassures your potential patients they are getting the high-quality care they deserve when they choose your practice.
Your online reputation management company will provide you with all the tools and resources you need to boost your presence online. This may include a link to leave reviews right on your website, a follow-up email system requesting reviews from recent patients, or a combination of the two. It’s important to ensure your reputation management company considers all review platforms including Google, Yelp, and medical websites like Healthgrades.