Online Reviews Frequently Asked Questions
We recently hosted a webinar titled “Turning Reviews Into New Patients.” You can view the recording anytime you’d like.
During the webinar, we received some great questions from our viewers and we wanted to share our responses with you here. If you have any other questions, please contact us.
- If you do not require a positive review but instead ask for an honest review, can you offer a discount or gift?
- Sharing on Facebook and tagging the patient who wrote the review on Google: is there a breach of patient confidentiality there?
- There’s a local practice with 90 Google reviews, 100% of which are glowing 5-star reviews. How are they doing that and suppressing 100% of anything negative (statistically, they HAVE to have someone unhappy)?
- Is health grades a site that potential patients would use?
- Do Facebook reviews affect our Google ranking?
- Do you recommend keeping Facebook reviews open? I find many clinics have more negative reviews on Facebook than on Google.
- On ratemds.com people can leave anonymous reviews and there is no way to respond. What do you recommend for sites like that?
- ALL my reviews on FB and Yelp are 5-star. They are all genuine. Anything I can do to assure folks they’re not fake??!
Unfortunately, no. Most of the major review sites do not want businesses offering any type of incentive for reviews, whether they’re positive or not. We highly recommend adhering to this as the consequences of having your reviews removed could result in a significant loss of new patients.
It’s better to err on the side of caution where confidentiality is concerned.
In this case, we suggest simply sharing the review with the patient’s first name and not tagging them, thus identifying exactly who they are.
We’re not sure how they are doing this but our guess would be one of two ways: Excellent service and a long-term consistent approach asking the patients for reviews, or… They bought them. (Not good.)
They can’t suppress negative reviews so, it’s likely that they haven’t had any and possible that they only targeted their review strategy to patients that they know are happy.
Yes. we would suggest keeping an eye on your Health Grades listing and responding to reviews.
This is a tricky one because no one really knows for sure what factors actually impact Google Algorithm but we’d say yes, Facebook reviews indirectly impact your Google ranking. Google crawls all the directories your business is listed in and Facebook is where people most frequently review businesses.
People are already on Facebook so it’s very easy to review there. More importantly, the reviews are a way to help convert more patients. Often a website visitor will head over to your Facebook profile to get to know the practice a little more personally and once there, those reviews can easily help them make the decision to pick up the phone and make an appointment.
Businesses have more reviews on Facebook than Google in general so we can see why there would be more negative reviews. People are already on Facebook giving their opinions so it’s easier to review there. We would suggest leaving the reviews open.
Anytime you can get feedback about your practice, positive or negative is going to be a good thing to help improve. As we discussed in the webinar, it’s not necessarily the negative review to be concerned about but it’s more about how you handle a negative review. A proactive resolution to a patients concerns shows an engaged and caring practice.
It looks like there is a way to reply to a review. Here’s a link to the FAQs that might be helpful: https://www.ratemds.com/about/faq/ It appears you need to claim your listing to be able to reply. Here’s a link to the free option.
In general, for websites where you cannot claim and reply to a review, we’d suggest reaching out to the directory to request this feature be added. Then we would encourage patients to leave reviews on that website to help bury the bad review.
That’s ok! (Way to go!) Most people reading reviews can tell by the way they’re written if they’re genuine or not. It’s the businesses with hundreds of 5-star reviews that sound robotic or scripted that raise the most red flags. Keep doing what you’re doing