3 Tips for Physician Practices to Manage and Protect Their Online Reputation

When is the last time you Googled your own practice? Do you know what patients (or potential patients) are saying about you? Have you responded to any of the comments? Are your business hours correct or are they even listed? Are your special areas of expertise provided?

Here you’ll find three tips to help you manage (and protect!) your online reputation.

Tip 1. Take Control

Take control of your online reputation by creating profiles on social networks and by reviewing and correcting your profile on reputation websites.

If you’re not yet on Facebook or Instagram or YouTube, you should be! Create your profiles now. On reputation websites like Healthgrades or Yelp, your profile probably already exists, whether you like it or not. Claim your profile and make sure that your information is correct and up to date.

Tip 2. Actively Monitor Your Reputation

Your online reputation is an important tool for improving your practice. Read what patients are saying about you. Pay attention. Take comments seriously and respond appropriately. To do that, you need to monitor your online reputation. Set up a Google alert or use free reputation-monitoring tools like The Brand Grader. What should you be looking for?

  • Influencers: who is talking about you?
  • Top sources: where do most of your mentions come from?
  • Sentiment: is the feedback positive or negative?
  • Location: where are you being mentioned?

Tip 3. Design a Proactive Reputation Strategy

Don’t stand on the sidelines. Get involved in shaping your online reputation. First, encourage patients to review you online. Tell them how much you appreciate their feedback. Second, respond to reviews. Let patients know that you care about their feedback by responding to it, whether the feedback is positive or negative. Third, never try to delete negative feedback. Deal with it. Learn from it. But don’t try to brush it under the rug. Fourth, respond promptly.

The key to building your online reputation is simple: engage with your patients. Engagement will drive business to your practice and increase patient satisfaction. Think of your online reputation as a tool for facilitating a conversation with your patients — a way to help build a real relationship.