- Posted by wainscot
- On April 14, 2014
Last week, we learned about a partnership between Yahoo and Yelp, where Yelp will now provide listings for local businesses on Yahoo. Sounds good, right? Isn’t integration between platforms a good thing?
Not necessarily. The downside to the Yahoo/Yelp partnership is that when searching for a local business on Yahoo, years of old Yahoo reviews are now gone and replaced by Yelp reviews: Dan Tringale, a business owner from Massachusetts, saw 50 Yahoo reviews- reviews that had been built up over six years of hard work- disappear.
So what does this mean for your medical practice?
Choosing a physician is an important decision, one that people tend to put some research in to. You know from our recent blog post about medical practice reviews that online reviews are important to your reputation. A recent study by JAMA showed that 19% of consumers said online reviews of physicians were “very important” and 40% said they were “somewhat important.”
Last year, Software Advice showed that not only do 25% of consumers actively use online reviews to research physicians, but that Yelp was considered the most trusted source. You may have spent years collecting positive reviews for your medical practice- or for yourself as a physician- on Yahoo, but now they will only see reviews that were posted on Yelp. Some people really trust Yelp while others are more wary; the polarization of opinions is probably why it’s getting national media attention.
Okay, so you know why this is an issue… but what can you do about it?
We told you in a recent post that growing your email list- not your number of Facebook fans- should be your end goal with social media. You don’t want to put all of your digital eggs in one basket. Part of growing your online reputation is getting good ratings across several websites. So don’t just stick to Yahoo and Yelp- try RateMDs, Vitals, or SuperPages. Think of each of these pages as an arrow that points visitors to your website. From there, they can sign up to receive your emails, and eventually, make an appointment.
You want potential new patients to know about the experiences other patients have had at your practice, so be sure to put reviews you receive on external websites- like Yelp, Yahoo, or even physician-specific sites like RateMDs and Vitals- on your website. You can copy and paste the text of the reviews, or even take screenshots of the reviews to include.
Another option is to ask patients for their testimonials. These testimonials can either be written or video; here is an example video testimonial we produced:
Your online reputation as a physician is important, and in addition to managing your online reviews, one way to build it is by blogging. For more information on blogging to help promote your medical practice, download our e-book, below.