Do Google Reviews Help SEO? #101 – Podcast

Justin Knott
Nov 5, 2019

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How Do Google Reviews Help Boost SEO?

What are patient reviews, and where do they rank in the overall healthcare marketing strategies that you must-have for your practice? Do new Google reviews help SEO rankings? Can you increase your website traffic simply by gaining new patient reviews? We are going to investigate in today’s podcast.

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What is the importance of reviews on SEO?

[00:02:10] Reviews have arrived. They’ve been here for a while now. I’d say two to three years of really prominent importance of reviews when it comes to Google. But as far as 2019 and beyond, which is what matters most, is reviews have arrived and reviews are here to stay. I would rank it as one of the most critical components of a healthy, profitable healthcare marketing strategy.

It is something that cannot be ignored with as localized as Google’s search has become, both on mobile and on desktop. There is no denying that Google has spoken and reviews matter substantially when it comes to growing your practice and getting your physicians found online. Also, the most significant other thing is I wanted to bring up is if you’re not doing it or choose to ignore it, you’re going to get crushed. I know that’s an extreme statement. However, people like myself are talking to your competitor about this. They will do it, and if you don’t, you’re going to see your rankings fall, especially when we move into 2020 as Google’s algorithm continues to shift. Right. So it’s wildly important. It just I can’t tell you enough how important it is.

What is the role of online reviews in SEO?

Google is in the search experience game and why they’ve put such prominence on reviews is that reviews tell a story very easily. I mean, you go on just like 80 percent of Americans are doing now. When you go to research something, whether it’s a product on Amazon or it’s a provider, you go and read what other patients are saying about whatever it is your that physician, physician or whatever in your looking for things like is it a long wait time? Is it a good doctor?

The three of the essential components that make up the pie chart of 100 percent of what matters the most to Google are proximity, relevancy, and reviews. Proximity being if you search for an orthopedic surgeon or primary care doctor near me, you’re going to get somebody that’s generally within a five to 10-mile max radius of where you’re sitting, when you do that search. Right. So proximity is number one. That’s what matters the most is where you’re at any given time. Second is relevancy is…Are you an orthopedic surgeon? I mean, right. If you’re not, you’re not going to get a coffee shop in your search result for an orthopedic. Right. Google is picking up on Google’s algorithm, is highly intelligent. They’re Rank Brain is incredibly accurate. Online reviews, not only do they pray prominence just because of the positivity of having a high review score of a 4.9 out of 5 right at these reviews, it feeds back into relevancy. So it’s a double win.

If you search orthopedic surgeon near me, more than likely in that local three-pack, which is those three Google my business listings that are attached to the map kind of toward the top, you’re going to see in that orthopedics search result. Either one of two things. It’s either going to say their website mentions orthopedic surgeon or there will be a snippet of one of those providers that’s in that three pack one of their reviews and in bold orthopedic surgeon will have been extracted out of their page by Google’s algorithm. Also, that right there speaks volumes for the prominence that Google is saying: how critical reviews are.

How critical are reviews for patient social proof?

Testimonials have been around for a long time. Reviews are another form of a first-party testimonial.

[00:10:41] Absolutely. I mean, I gave a speech in early June at a healthcare marketing symposium in Atlanta and talked about this just showed one simple graphic because I think most people listening have had reviews beaten into their head at some level. They need to know at least, OK, I get it. It’s important, right? So we’re trying to break through the why here. It’s important. All I did was show a straightforward graph that broke down eight different specialties inside of healthcare. One of them being surgeons. The statistic was 79 percent. So essentially, we’ll call it eight out of 10 patients read online reviews before ever booking an appointment. That’s a staggering number if you’re listening to those and hoping it goes away, that will go to 82. Then 84, then 86 percent. That will only continue to increase.

[00:11:38] Not only should you physicians be paying attention, but my physician liaisons. Listen to that. We are in the field busting our but yet making these referral relationships; we may take it 90 percent of the way. If our review game is not strong, we could lose a lot.

To have your provider’s reputation trip them out the finish line. That’s what’s unfortunate in a self-referral world that continues to grow. Even if it’s not a direct line self-referral, say you’ve done your killer job, you met with the referral coordinator, they gave the patient a card before they ever book an appointment. Even if it’s kind of a slam dunk, quote-unquote, because they’ve been given the card, they’re probably going to go online and do it at least their own little bit of kind of market validation.

What is the problem with reviews in Healthcare?

The landscape of healthcare is very different from the majority of other industries is we see many providers lose control of their reputation without any fault of the actual one to one patient care, which is what matters the most.

So again, for any of you listeners out there, it is 100 percent normal, not only to be a little bit. What would you say? Hesitant to jump on the review board. Also, let me tell you, I don’t think we have a single health care client that doesn’t have a negative review about an insurance policy issue, where a patient feels so jaded because they didn’t understand their insurance policy and now they have this bill. So you guys, that is normal. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t jump in the review game, and it is about building positive reviews and managing this reputation.

What is an excellent example of review generation & positive SEO?

[00:17:43] So we got a client, a very large orthopedic practice in the southeast. They’ve been having fantastic success over the years. They’ve grown substantially. They just brought in four new surgeons over the last only six weeks. And they’re in the fight for their lives, so to speak, from a digital standpoint with the other major orthopedic player in the space in their kind of region.

What about HIPAA concerns with Reviews?

[00:23:29] The biggest thing that where HIPAA can enter the world of review generation, where they need to be careful really comes down to review response.

Google’s best practice policy is always to respond to reviews, both positive and negative. It increases your trust score with Google and shows that you’re proactive and engaged. Statistically, it’s shown about seven out of 10 patients create a better know, like, and trust relationship with a company that responds to reviews.

So first and foremost, you should always respond. However, when you keep hip in mind, things that you need to consider is you want to frame your review never to put the patient inside your office. That sounds very confusing to me. Give us an example. Yeah, absolutely.

How do practices implement a patient review generation process?

[00:31:36] Three main things. As far as the biggest advice that I have for now that we talked about, get out there and start doing it. Is your competitors are doing it. So you need to get out there. I mean, it just kind of drives home again is why you need to get started. The biggest thing is, don’t overcomplicate the process of implementation, especially if you’re looking at a review generation software, which I do highly recommend.

What are some of their questions? I know the one that I want you to answer. Is this affordable? Because we’ve talked about this, and sometimes people get confused. Does this require a huge budget or is this something affordable? We work with small practices to large hospital systems. It’s effortless to implement.

How are these listeners going to connect with you?

I put together a very in-depth downloadable e-book or guide, however you want to call it, about localized SEO specifically for medical practices so they can read more.

It is called The Local SEO Guide: How to Skyrocket Google My Business Rankings.

[00:40:00] All right. Thank you guys, again for listening. Until next time.

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Thanks for listening. Kelley Knott

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