Should Your Practice Focus on Testimonials and Reviews?

by | Published on Sep 15, 2016 | Medical SEO

Testimonials and reviews are an accepted part of a medical SEO strategy, and for a good reason. They are devoid of any sales pitch and present true opinions to the potential patients or customers out there.

Why Reputation Matters in Medical SEO

Reputation means a lot for businesses, but it is everything for:

  • Healthcare practices
  • Hospitals
  • Physician clinics
  • Nursing homes, and
  • Drug and medical equipment manufacturers

And, as we saw above, there’s nothing more capable of building reputation than the voice or words of a customer or patient. If the customers have largely positive opinions, it indicates your practice is running well, takes care of the needs of customers, and has more than just profit accumulation in mind.

Testimonials or Reviews

But the big question is, are reviews or testimonials more important? Though customer testimonials in your website can serve as social proof of the customer’s experience, the technique is losing its value these days.  Online reviews, though, have multiple advantages. Not only do they help improve your search rankings, they are also important for local or geo-targeted search. They help you effectively reach out to local customers and gain an edge over other local businesses.

The greater the number of positive reviews you earn, the greater the online traffic and conversions would be. Quality reviews on Google My Business, Yelp, etc and on social networks such as Google+ and Facebook can magnify your ranking and make your location more visible. That’s when partnering with a reliable SEO company helps through efficient online review management.

Advantages of Positive Online Reviews

  • They help increase the local rankings of your business in the search engines
  • Provide better click and targeted traffic
  • Ensure greater productivity

Search Engine Land recently indicated that testimonial pages are not as useful as they once were. Reviews deliver more effective results because customers want to read reviews, though not on your site. This is perfectly illustrated by Google Analytics. Readers prefer unbiased reviews on third-party sites. Reviews on third party sites indicate honesty and truthfulness of the review, and users rely on these more. Your reaction to bad reviews is equally important.

Elements of a Successful Review Strategy

So focus on reviews and get your review strategy up and running. Here are the steps that need to be taken:

  • List your practice in every major local business directory
  • Create a ”reviews” page and link it to the websites where customers or potential patients can read the reviews they’re looking for
  • Include any vertical directories that customers might visit
  • While listing links, make sure these open in a new browser tab
  • Messages at the top of the page let users read what past customers have said, just like you’d include on a standard testimonials page
  • Do not link the Yelp listing, instead use the SERP link as your link to Yelp so people will click the link

Building Backlinks

Customer reviews can also translate into backlinks. Such a review that has an established account with Google and that is active on social media can have a significant impact on rankings. It is strongly recommended for online businesses to work on getting more online reviews since, though Google continues to support backlinks, it will slowly replace them with customer reviews. If handled properly, even bad reviews can act as a positive ranking signal.

Professional SEO services can handle these aspects efficiently. Reputation and goodwill form the holy grail of medical SEO, and reviews can get them for you. But make sure your customers have solid reasons to write positive reviews.

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