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Medical SEO is a highly competitive arena and often it’s small but important details that make the difference for the healthcare digital marketing efforts of your hospital, practice or other healthcare business. Reviews are among these.

Reviews Are More than Just Impressions

You’ve probably considered reviews as just cool tools to win over the approval of prospective customers. Good reviews win them over and bad reviews spread a negative report. But a study mentioned in Search Engine Land reveals that reviews can in fact enable your conversions through paid-search to improve. When you respond to reviews, it can help you get better results through paid search.

More Review Stars Translate to More Conversions

According to a study by the Location3 digital marketing agency, the more the number of review stars, the greater are the conversion rates in paid search. This research, which is referred to in Search Engine Land, is reportedly backed by 16 months’ worth SEM campaign data from campaigns carried out by national brands having local stores. And the conversions here include actions by potential consumers such as email inquiries, quote requests, form filling, etc. performed on the websites of the brands and their landing pages.

The Location3 study stated that the improved overall review ratings could be correlated with better performance. With more stars, conversions also rose. While the lowest grouping businesses with an average of 3.31 stars had a 10.42% conversion rate, the best-rated segment businesses that received 4.96 stars on an average had a conversion rate of 12.83%. Based on this data, the study concluded that if the lower-rated businesses were able to convert at the levels that were comparable to those of the high performing segment, it would signify 13,000 further leads.

Active Responding to Reviews Matters

The study also found that the response rates of businesses to reviews also influenced the paid search performance. Businesses responding to reviews more often witnessed higher conversion rates than those that didn’t. Businesses with an 8.13% response rate witnessed a 13.86 average rate of conversion. Businesses with a 5.73% response rate only had a 10.42% average conversion rate.

The study concluded with the observation that business owners with active customer review engagement witness improved rates of conversion for paid search. Not only do reviews influence the local rankings of businesses and likewise medical practices as well, they also affect consumer behavior by motivating them to sign up for your services, or discouraging them from it. And responding to reviews gives readers the impression that you’re serious about how customers feel about your service.

Reviews to Build up the Reputation of Your Medical Business

Reviews are important for building your reputation. Negative reviews can equally tear it down. And for a healthcare business, reputation is everything. So you’ve really got to check what your patients or clients are saying about you online. The 2017 State of Online Reviews study by Podium reveals that 93% of customers have their buying decisions influenced by reviews they read online. When translating to the healthcare context, patient and healthcare consumer reviews matter.

If reviews are used by people to check out which business to seek services from, surely they’ll take more care to check reviews when it comes to their medical needs. Reviews help patients decide which practice to seek treatment from.

Encourage Patients to Review

It is important that you encourage your patients to post reviews. If your existing customers are satisfied with the services you offer, they’ll be happy to review you on sites such as Yelp, Google My Business, Yahoo Local, Yellowpages and Healthgrades.

There are many ways you can encourage your customers to post reviews – through links in your website to your business profiles in these review sites, and a call-to-action. You could also encourage reviewing through newsletters you send out, or request them through a sign in your office containing the detailed instructions.

Effective medical SEO services can put in place a great review strategy for your medical business. It’s important!

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