How to Perform Online Reputation Management for Doctors

by Anna McHenry October 16, 2012

The reputation of a doctor is his or her most important asset. If your reputation becomes compromised, restoring that reputation becomes vital for being successful as a healthcare business. Doctors and physicians often acquire new patients through word of mouth referrals. Without quality reputation management, your referrals could begin to dwindle away and new patients will become scarce. Luckily, there are ways you can protect your reputation as a doctor. Below, you will find top suggestions on how to do reputation management when you work in the healthcare industry. These tips should be a strong asset to your efforts when it comes to restoring the confidence that your patients have in you.

#1 – Encourage positive feedback from existing patients

As a doctor, you are likely to have patients that would be more than whiling to leave positive feedback about you, provided that you asked them for their support. These patients are probably completely unaware that your reputation is suffering, but they’re at the ready to extend a helping hand when you need it. Be sure to encourage your patients to fill out surveys and leave reviews about their experience with you or the doctor’s office as a whole. Chances are, if they are a long-term patient of yours, they will have great things to say about you. Make this process easy for them by providing short surveys that they can fill out as they are getting ready to walk out the door.

#2 – Optimize your name and office on the web

Search engine optimization is a fundamental component of reputation management. Today, when people want to research their doctor or doctor’s office, they turn to Google. Getting positive reviews and content ranked at the top of Google is essential. When your customers search online, you want them to be overwhelmed with positive influences. You can use your own website to accomplish these results. Be sure to set up several pages on your website that are optimized for both your name as a doctor and the name of the office that you work for. When those keywords are searched online, the goal is to have pages from your website occupying all ten results on the first page.

Tip: We wrote a blog post about some great tools to help monitor your reputation online.

#3 – Marketing should never be neglected

Even as a doctor that just provides healthcare in a local area, online marketing can greatly benefit your business. By publishing content on press release websites, article directory websites, wiki websites, and social networks, you can spread your name far and wide. This will greatly improve your branding and it is essential to reputation management. Often times, authority sites will rank better in Google. Even though your website may not have the power to occupy all ten results on the first page, other websites do. You can publish content on these sites that are optimized for similar keywords that you target on your own website. In doing so, this content may outrank your website, but either way, it’s a positive influence on your customers, which is all that matters. You can even use the content to advertise a link and direct the traffic to your website.

#4 – Understand SEO and the potential of backlinks

Search engine optimization is heavily impacted by the number of backlinks that your website has. By link building to your website’s pages and the content that you have published on other websites, you can drive those pages to the top of Google.

#5 – Become active on social networks

Social networking isn’t for everyone but as a doctor, it could improve your branding and be essential to reputation management. The golden rule is to interact and engage with your followers. There are great ways to do this as a doctor. Your knowledge in healthcare allows you to answer questions, provide feedback and ease the worries of others better than anyone else can. If your followers discuss something health-related, act quickly and become part of the conversation.

#6 – Respond quickly to negative comments

Anytime that you receive negative feedback as a doctor, you should respond quickly to diffuse the situation. Display a high level of professionalism and be sure to address the concerns of your unhappy patient. It’s important to remain calm and collected while speaking with them.

Anna McHenry
Anna McHenry is the Director of Client Services here at McKremie. She tweets from @McKremie so stop by and say "hi" on Twitter.

Leave a Reply