If you’re a practicing plastic surgeon, you’ll know how critically patients tend to research a clinic or practice even before going for the first consultation. You can’t deny that it’s justified owing to the intricacy of the surgical procedures and the extensive use of technological equipment throughout.
And in the quest of choosing the ideal physician, patients would always zero in on a practitioner who they feel possesses the required expertise, skill, and experience. Online reviews are a major aspect of the digital presence of any plastic surgery clinic and are considered by the majority of potential clients for making the right choice.
In this guide, we’ll explain in simple terms how reviews can help a plastic surgery clinic scale new height and how best you can apply them in your SEO efforts. Read on!
Managing a Plastic Surgeon’s Online Reputation- What does it involve?
People on the lookout for any service nowadays are sure to consult an online source at some point in their search. And they’ll eventually log in to the service website to form a first impression.
Now, when it comes to cosmetic treatment procedures such as plastic surgery, potential patients will naturally take extra caution during the search. Their ultimate aim is to look better by undergoing a surgical procedure, and any mistake may have severe consequences for their health.
That’s why patients will want to ensure they’re opting for the best plastic surgeons as per their needs and preferences. They’re likely to find you through an online directory or might reach your website directly after being referred by a previous patient.
The term online reputation is used to describe the perception of the target audience regarding any enterprise, based on its digital* presence at any point in time. Thus, the online reputation of a business would affect how people may interact with it and think about the quality of service it provides.
So, your online reputation as a plastic surgeon is of paramount importance irrespective of how well you might be performing at your practice.
The way your business is represented on social media platforms, online directories, and SERPs across search engines affects what patients perceive of your practice. Do note that this representation includes patient reviews on trusted online forums, client testimonials, and any other form of feedback by any of your stakeholders.
How do reviews and testimonials help your practice grow?
Positive feedback from your clients can always help build a community of prospects for your cosmetic services. This contributes to creating a positive reputation for the practice in the long run. On the whole, here’s how testimonials and reviews can help expand the reach of your plastic surgery practice:
To earn the trust of more prospects, you’ll have to go beyond the technical elements of online reputation management and Google’s algorithmic properties. It’s essential to nurture the cooperation and trust of prospective patients in the brand, and Google reviews can be of great help in this regard.
A recent survey revealed that 82% of respondents use review sites to evaluate or view ratings and comments of a healthcare provider. Overall, 18% of patients reported they never using online reviews. This suggests that more and more patients are looking at online reviews to understand whether they can trust a healthcare service in the first place.
A positive review that’s realistic and insightful at the same time will naturally seem more reliable to any prospect. Thus, it’s likely to build a good impression of the service in their minds, and they’ll probably interact with your brand soon. The more positive reviews you have on the site and other online directories, the more the chance of plastic surgery patients trusting you before they arrive at your clinic.
Apart from this, you’ll need to ensure the reviews are available on leading platforms such as Yelp, Health Grades, Google, Real Self etc. That’s when your reputation will be visible on the first SERP when patients search for your clinic/practice. All in all, the internet can add a new dimension to your public image.
Improves Search Rankings
Reviews play an important role in distinguishing your service from competitors, both on a local and a broader scale. No wonder search engines consider reviews to be a key factor in their assessment of the best websites for any search query. It’s worth noting here that the majority of patients tend to go for a clinic that appears higher on the search rankings.
As we discussed earlier, potential patients will always want to go for a trusted and credible professional in the field to get the best results. They might also be ready to pay a bit extra as long as they can trust the cosmetic surgery practice.
Notably, a study revealed that merely adding a star to the rating of a clinic on Yelp led to a five to nine per cent boost in its revenue. This shows the importance a patient attaches to positive feedback and makes the quality and reliability of online reviews a decisive factor for a prospect.
Improves Patients’ Experience
On understanding a patient’s impression of your service, you’ll be able to make necessary adjustments to serve future patients in a better way.
Moreover, it’s not possible to conduct plastic surgery treatments without having a clear idea about your patients’ preferences and any health concerns they might have. Reviews provide you with a proper idea about what works best for patients requiring a particular type of treatment.
Only 1% of patients post “very negative” feedback on review sites. In case any bad reviews are posted on a third-party website or social network, you’ll be able to address or remove bad reviews with immediate effect. This can improve the concerned patient’s experience to some extent, providing the impression that you’ll always try to resolve their problems in the best way possible.
Increases Your Ratings
Google your clinic name, and you’ll spot a number of star ratings for the first few results. Before a prospect can go through even one of your reviews, they’re bound to look at those online ratings. And that would be the first impression they’ll have about your practice. As such, you ought to make it good.
To build a respectable image for your clinic, having a greater number of positive online reviews is crucial.
What do patients look for in online reviews?
While searching for a plastic surgeons, patients will prefer a professional with vast and diverse industry experience. In fact, most patients of today go through such information in detail and may even research the same separately. In case they don’t spot any credentials, that becomes a red flag.
That’s why cosmetic surgeons make it a point to list their education and work history on their websites. So, you should go by the norm to avoid falling out of the good books.
Patients always like physicians who are honest and upfront regarding any issues concerning the industry. The elements that they stress the most include the pricing policy, any potential risk during the procedure, and the discomfort it might cause. As such, it’s best to provide an option for consultation before patients book your services.
Images Proving the Results
A visual element on an online source is sure to enhance its reliability and provide patients with a better idea of the quality of your work. So, adding videos or photos to a couple of reviews can put you at an advantage over your competitors*.
Make sure to conduct before and after photo sessions for all your patients, and if possible, record the entire procedure.
Training and Qualifications
It’s no secret that conducting cosmetic procedures needs extensive training and expertise. As such, potential patients are likely to consider your qualifications and training before opting for your services. Don’t skip mentioning your qualifications on the review page as well as your online listings.
How to use reviews for your SEO strategy
Include Reviews Strategically
In the case of plastic surgery reviews, you’ll also need to be cautious about where you’ll have them posted. Position them strategically on the homepage of your website and other pages that witness a higher flow of traffic such as the contact page or individual service pages. Including a few reviews on the corresponding service pages (for example, a page on surgical rhinoplasty) can help you rank for queries on the treatment procedure.
Additionally, you’ll need to have reviews on reliable and high-ranking online directories to expand your reach further. Make sure to conduct proper research before you zero in on the sites where you’ll list the clinic. A site should be credible and should rank high on leading search engines such as Google and Bing.
Do note that people are more likely to respond to social proof, that is, by relying on the opinion of other patients. There might be a few negative online reviews for some clinics as well, which would make it even more important to push more positive ones.
A positive review that provides several valuable insights into a service is, of course, beneficial for your practice.
But that isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of achieving a good SERP rank. You need to provide a proper response to each and every review by gauging the reviewer’s expectations going forward.
Related – Your Easy-to-Follow Guide to Plastic Surgeon SEO
Markup Your Ratings & Reviews using Schema.org
Schema is a sharable markup vocabulary tool which eases the process of defining content assets for an admin and boosts their ranking efforts for Google SERPs. Such functionality has prompted search engines to provide a sharable collection of Schemas that admins can use to their advantage.
Notably, this collection contains a review markup for the review of a movie, store, or restaurant, along with an aggregate markup which is an average of multiple ratings or reviews.
Have An “All Reviews” Page
If you’re concerned about the adverse impact of too many reviews on the UX framework of the page, it’s best to start planning for a “View All Reviews” page on your site. This will allow you to include reviews on your clinic as a whole in addition to the individual services. You can also add links to your service pages on the “view all reviews” page.
On a side note, remember to optimize the page on a regular basis to enable proper traffic acquisition
Check If Your Reviews Appear in The Code
We’d suggest conducting a test in this regard by disabling CSS and JS for the browser and checking if the review content is visible.
Utilize Google’s Markup Helper
A structured markup helper can suggest ways to update the site so that Google understands the data contained therein. Once Google comprehends the information, it will be able to present the data in a visually appealing manner within a Google SERP.
For example, a great way to reply to a satisfied customer would be to encourage them to avail of a regular check-up facility at a reduced rate for the first few months after the surgery. Alternatively, you can add a line urging them to speak to your experts about any other queries they might have.
Adverse reviews are more tricky to respond to. Approach such reviews by expressing concern for the inconvenience caused to the patient and suggesting them a possible remedy based on their complaint.
Things To Avoid by Plastic Surgeons
As a plastic surgeon, you’re surely confident about your expertise in the field and will want potential clients to witness your best work. A site which has hardly got any information on the plastic surgeon’s experience in the field and the reputation of the clinic won’t seem trustworthy to the clients.
Make it a point to include enough information to demonstrate such achievements on the relevant pages of your website. Describe the types of cosmetic surgeries you’ve handled and the most in-demand treatment procedures at your clinic.
Do note that prospects might use resources such as the website of the American Board of Plastic Surgery to find locally practicing, board certified professionals during their search. Thus, maintain clarity in your certifications wherever you mention the across the website.
While you need to put forth your achievements across the website and on other sites, it’s equally important to avoid speaking too highly of yourself. For the review to be credible, follow a balanced approach and avoid bragging about any aspect of your service so that prospects know you aren’t biased with your services.
Q1. Why should you hire online reputation management services for your plastic surgery clinic?
Businesses need to maintain a sound online reputation to grow and thrive in today’s world. And when it comes to plastic surgery clinics, this amounts to following a patient-first approach. It can ultimately help clinics sustain high patient retention rates and build a respectable image in the long term.
Patients often delve into the details of their experience while reviewing a plastic surgery clinic, including aspects such as how the staff treated them, how painful the procedure was, or how they liked your work. If you’re the sole owner of your clinic and handle most activities on your own, it can seem mind-boggling to survive amidst the tough competition.
When there isn’t any efficient system to take care of it all, the results may not match your expectations. Moreover, building an online reputation and managing your SEO can seem time-consuming and requires a high level of expertise for achieving the desired results. That’s why you should definitely consider hiring a third-party organization for the job.
Q2. Which certification is considered most credible for a plastic surgeon?
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the leading organization for certified plastic surgeons across the world. Comprising over 11,000 representatives worldwide, the society is considered a leading informational source on reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery.
In a nutshell, managing your online reviews effectively is key to establishing your clinic as a trustworthy name in the industry. Reviews help earn referrals that can fetch more leads and help achieve better ratings as well.
So, if you haven’t taken review management seriously till now, it’s time to get the ball rolling.
Start by preparing a thorough report on your current online reputation with inputs from your SEO team. It’s important to choose a reputable and experienced online reputation management services to ensure that your online reputation is effectively managed.