SEO is so much more than your website content—there is one major factor that plays a huge role in your SEO performance and how patients find you. Can you guess what it is? If you guessed online reviews, you win the prize! Reviews play a major role in how your business is found and performs online. Here is how and why you should use reviews to give your business an SEO boost.
- Get more good reviews and improve your review score.
According to the Google My Business (GMB) help guide, one of the ways Google ranks local search results is by considering the “prominence” of the business. Prominence refers to how well-known the business is, and this is directly related to how many reviews your business has and what patients have to say about you.
So, the goal is to get more reviews—and to have those reviews be good! In addition to boosting your local search ranking, more good reviews are also important to potential new patients. Nearly half (42 percent) of internet users in the US report that reviews from other customers are the feature that would most increase their likelihood of buying a product. Furthermore, 52 percent of consumers surveyed say they would not consider visiting a business with a review rating of fewer than 4 stars, and they note the star rating as the most important review factor.
- Respond to all reviews—both positive and negative.
Responding to your patients’ reviews shows that you care about what your patients have to say about their experiences at your practice. Google has confirmed that responding to reviews plays a role in SEO. Plus, it matters to new patients! They want to know that you value your patients and their feedback.
If you’re just starting out in responding to reviews, start with the negative ones first. Once you’ve responded to those, you can start on the positive reviews. To make it easier on yourself, consider making a few templates you can use to respond to reviews—both positive and negative.
- Consider review volume.
If you were looking for a new restaurant to try out, would you be more likely to go to one with ten reviews or with a hundred reviews, assuming the overall star rating is the same? If you’re like most people, you’ll choose the one with more reviews. The same goes for your patients! (And search engines like Google, too.)
To get more reviews, ask your patients! Make it a habit for your team members to ask your patients to leave an online review when they are finishing their visits at your office. Consider placing a QR code in your waiting room that patients can scan to leave a review. In your follow-up emails and texts to patients after an appointment, include an invitation to submit an online review.
- Don’t forget about review velocity.
In addition to the number of reviews you have, the velocity is important to consider, too. Review velocity refers to how frequently your business receives new reviews. After all, would you trust a business whose most recent review was left two years ago? Consumers tend to place more emphasis on more recent reviews, and so do search engines. Forty percent of consumers say they only look at reviews of local businesses that were written in the last two weeks, and 85 percent report that they don’t consider reviews older than three months to be relevant.
Again, the best way to increase your review velocity is to ask your patients to write a review. The optimal time to ask for a review is right after their visit to your practice, while the experience is still fresh in their minds.
- Look at the review content.
Review content isn’t only about whether the review is positive. Google places importance on the information given in reviews like where the practice is located. Although you cannot dictate what your patients write in their reviews, it can be helpful to ask them to include the location they visited. Including the name of your town or the street your office is located on can boost local search relevance.
Reviews are essential to both new patients and search engines. To learn more about the importance of online reviews and how to get more reviews for your business, we welcome you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus.