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Tag Archives: Online

Las Vegas PD lauded for online response during mass shooting

As a Las Vegas concert turned tragic, many flocked to social media for information.

On Sunday night, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of people attending a concert at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. It is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Paddock, who is now dead, fired shots from the window of his 32nd-floor hotel room at Mandalay Bay Resort before police officers entered the room. At least 50 people were killed and more than 200 were injured in the shootings and resulting pandemonium.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department immediately turned to Twitter to update area citizens and members of the news media:

Other organizations, such as McCarran International Airport, also used Twitter for crisis communications:

How social media has changed news distribution

LVPD also posted its media briefings with Sheriff Joe Lombardo to its YouTube channel and shared updates on its Facebook page:

By posting announcements and press conferences directly to its social media profiles, the police department could spread information more quickly and dispel false reports.

For example, Lombardo said during the first media briefing:

There have been multiple, multiple phone calls coming through and accusations or conjecture coming through social media that there is [sic] multiple shooters at other resorts. That has proven to be false. Additionally, there has been accusations or beliefs that there is some explosives going off. That is also false. The only explosive contained in this event was from our SWAT team breaching the room.

[FREE DOWNLOAD: 13 tips for preparing for a crisis]

LVPD tweeted also information for family members looking to locate loved ones and those wanting to donate blood:

Many people posted videos and updates about the shooting via platforms such as Reddit, Twitter and YouTube.

Though such information is often used by journalists reporting on breaking news, LVMPD highlighted the necessity for organizations to take the lead in disseminating correct information during crises. Doing so can help organize efforts to inform members of the news media, stop false reports from gaining traction and help people to take action, such as donating blood.

From online information to sympathy

LVMPD also tweeted its condolences to the families of the shooting’s victims. It message was joined by a similar tweet from Mandalay Bay Resort:

Jason Aldean, the musician on stage when Paddock opened fire, posted this on Instagram:

Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still dont know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that Me and my Crew are safe. My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night. #heartbroken #stopthehate

A post shared by Jason Aldean (@jasonaldean) on 

Not only can social media provide heavily trafficked channels to disseminate information during crises, but it can also help organizations and people relay messages of sympathy in tragic events.

Reporters, officials must find the proper balance online

Though many PR pros respond appropriately to tragic events, others could benefit from a few crisis communications lessons.

On Monday, People was slammed on Facebook for posting a Live video with the caption, “The latest on the mass shooting in Las Vegas where 50 killed, 200+ wounded at Jason Aldean concert, plus more news from People”:

The show’s anchors shared updates of the shooting in the video, but critics lashed out at the juxtaposition of shooting updates between entertainment news and celebrity stories:

Other reporters were criticized for asking to use videos for their organizations’ stories:

One way to avoid criticism when reporting on breaking news is to take a more compassionate approach.

Heather Mills, an anchor for News 3 Las Vegas, posted the following Facebook Live video to her page:

LVPD, though lauded for its response to the shooting, faced its own problem with online communications—people livestreaming or tweeting information about what its police force was doing to find and catch the shooter:

As social media continues to be where people turn during crises, organizations must become increasingly savvy to navigate potential communications pitfalls and quickly, but accurately, relay information and other messages.

(Image via)

HealthCareCommunication.com

5 Creative Ways to Acquire Online Reviews of Your Dental Practice

5 Creative Ways to Acquire Online Reviews of Your Dental Practice

Patient reviews are powerful. They are quite influential.

Patient reviews are the cornerstones for building a strong online reputation for dentists. Simply put, online reviews tell the world what your patients think of your dental practice. If the online reviews are mostly positive and patients are saying encouraging things about your practice, consider this as excellent news. This means your existing patients are happy with your work and are willing to help you establish a strong online reputation for your practice. On the other hand, if the online reviews are not so positive, they can severely damage your reputation.

Thousands of people around the world have searched for a local dentist at one point in their lives. How do potential patients find a local dentist? In today’s digital marketplace, potential patients rely on online reviews to decide which dentist can cater to their needs. This is where online reviews play a crucial role. Whether people are researching for snow blowers or choosing a dentist, online reviews play an integral role in their decision-making process. In fact, according to research, 92 percent of patients read online reviews, and 40 percent of patients form an opinion after just reading three to five online reviews.

Clearly, patient reviews are important. The question is: How can you generate more of them?

While you are busy running your dental practice, you are primarily focusing on attending to patients, understanding new procedures and managing day-to-day operations. The last thing you want to do is ask your patients for reviews. However, you have to think about ways to generate as many online reviews as possible.
No doubt, asking for online reviews is difficult. Partially it is because your staff members do not want to take any more of a patient’s time after an appointment. Alternatively, maybe your staff is afraid of appearing pushy, or maybe they do not have the needed training to discuss this topic. Once a patient walks out the door, you have missed the bus. Therefore, it is important to get patients to write a review of your dental practice while they are still in your practice.

Who should ask patients to post reviews?

Before considering how to ask, we must decide who should ask patents for reviews.
It is obvious that the person who has the closest connection to the patient should ask for the review. Often, this person is the staff coordinator. Coordinators spend the maximum time with patients, understand them on a deeper level, and therefore patients are much more likely to respond positively to their request. If someone who is not a familiar face asks patients, they may ignore the request. Personal relationships will play a crucial role here.

What to say to patients?

It is best to break the ice by asking if the patient is satisfied with your services and the overall experience. This should be a plain, simple question.

Here is how the staff coordinator can phrase this question:

  • We appreciate your business. Do you mind leaving an online review?
  • Your feedback is important to us. Would you mind sparing a few precious moments to leave us an online review?
  • Have you read our online reviews? Would you mind posting your feedback?

How to ask?

To help you get started, here are the top five ways to generate more reviews for your dental practice:

1. Be direct: The best way to ask for reviews is to approach the patient directly. Most of your patients will happily take the time and make an effort to leave a review of your practice on your website or a third-party review site. You can display a patient review form on your website and post an update on your practice’s social media page that requests patients to leave their feedback. You may personally contact patients who are enthusiastic about your practice. Most often, a direct question such as “Do you mind reviewing us online?” will earn you a review.

2. Make the review process easy: Regardless of how great your customer service is, not many patients will be willing to go out of their way to rate your dental practice. It is unfair of you to expect patients to remember to review your practice when they get home or post a review where you want them to. For your patients to post a review, you will have to make the process easy for them by giving them step-by-step instructions. You can also send them a link to your social media page or URLs to specific sites.

3. Send personal emails: Personalized emails to patients thanking them for their business are an excellent way to stay top-of-mind. Instead of sending an automated email for gathering patient feedback, consider calling them or writing them handwritten notes. This is an effective method as it can also help you extend your reach. Emails will not only enable effective communication but will also add a personal touch to the entire experience, which may earn you positive patient reviews. However, be sure to keep the email professional and to the point.

4. Offer incentives: Though it is considered unfair to offer freebies or bribe a patient for writing a review, you may offer incentives in the form of entry into a contest to anyone who leaves you a review. You can also offer discounts and gift coupons to encourage patients to express their opinion. You can consider announcing a plan where you will extend discounts or priority passes to patients who will take the time to rate your dental practice online or post a review on different sites.

5. Provide excellent customer service: This is the most important factor. If you expect your patients to post encouraging feedback about your dental practice, you will have to give them an unmatched customer service. The way you make your patients feel will leave a lasting effect on them. You must train your employees to extend an excellent service to every patient. Small gestures will help your patients feel more connected to your practice and assist in generating positive reviews.

5 Creative Ways to Acquire Online Reviews of Your Dental Practice

Remember these rules

Growing your dental practice with patient reviews is a team effort. You must schedule team meetings to help each member understand the impact and importance of patient reviews on your ROI and online reputation. Remember, if you do not consistently ask for reviews, you may not get any.

If you are sure that you have provided an unmatched patient experience, you can confidently ask your patients to become your brand ambassadors by leaving an online review. Just keep the following rules in mind:

1. You should never ask every patient for a review: During your team huddles, pull up patients’ appointment schedule and see who is coming in. Identify some of your patients who like your work and would be happy to post a review.

2. Train your staff: You should never set them up for failure by asking for too many reviews. Instead, designate one of your team members to do this job of asking for reviews and have them document it on a daily basis. With time, you will know which employees are good at this task. Impart proper training and set them up for success.

3. Set a goal: If you or your team members are not comfortable with being direct, you can request your loyal patients to “help your practice reach review goals.” This minor change may make it easier for your staff to handle the matter.

4. Offer an incentive to employees: You can consider offering incentives to your team members for generating reviews. This may motivate them to ask more patents for reviews. You can consider giving out awards or rewards to your employees as your practice reaches different milestones.

5. Launch a campaign: Instead of instructing your employees that you are looking to generate more reviews, you can create an environment for success by making it a full-scale initiative. You should schedule regular team meetings specifically to talk about reviews, progress and strategies. Online reviews can make your dental practice much better, so make it a big deal.

Online reviews and HIPAA

Most dental practitioners are concerned about privacy laws dictated by HIPAA.
Asking your patients to post unbiased reviews is not a violation of privacy laws. However, if you are trying to contact patients via email or text, do so with patients who have agreed to receive marketing communications from you.

You must be very careful of privacy laws when replying to online reviews posted about your dental practice on various social networks. In other industries, it is considered acceptable to respond to an incorrect review by mentioning the facts. However, in the healthcare community, you cannot risk revealing a patient’s identity or any personal information or details about them on social networks. So, bite your tongue if a patient writes negative feedback about your dental practice online.

Key takeaways

Gathering patient reviews for your dental practice is hard work. In fact, almost 78 percent of patients will never leave a review for practice, and about 16 percent of patients will post a review occasionally. However difficult it may seem to gather patient reviews, they play an integral role in how new patients perceive your practice. Remember the key points:

  • Optimize your dental practice for reliability, knowledge and competence.
  • Implement a process for delivering and measuring customer service, and make it a fundamental part of your patients’ experience.
  • Do not stress over the number of reviews. The quality of reviews is more important than the number of reviews.
  • Obtaining patient reviews is a continuous process. This is not something you can wake up to once every few months.
  • Provide your patients the option to post comments on multiple sites that support both mobile and desktop users.

While it is true that generating reviews is significant for your success, remember that the quality of your dental practice and the way you make patients feel is what matters most. You must balance your focus on practice management and review generation. This way, you can ensure that you are not missing something important that can make your dental practice grow even better.

Are you looking for a creative way to market your dental practice and generate patient reviews? We can help you discover innovative ways to attract more patients to your dental practice with our proven strategies. To learn more about how we improve online reputation for dentists, call us today.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Want to Increase Your Website’s Online Visibility? Medical SEO Is the Answer

Want to Increase Your Website's Online Visibility? Medical SEO Is the Answer

For any medical practice with an online presence, the goal is to rank high in search engine results. If your website lands anywhere past the second page of Google, potential customers are unlikely to find it in their search. So, how can you increase the online visibility of your healthcare website? The answer is – search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO is an effective way to increase your website’s search engine results page (SERP) rankings. The higher your website ranks, the more likely it is that potential patients looking for a healthcare provider will see your listing rather than your competitor’s. First-page ranking for your medical practice website is crucial because not many potential patients will search past the first two pages of search results, and almost none will click past the third page.

The goal of medical SEO is to get your practice website, blog and social media posts to show up when a potential patient enters a relevant keyword.
Medical SEO drives organic traffic to your website
There are two ways to be on the first page of search engine results: paid and organic. When you pay to have your practice listed near the top, you appear as one of the first three results at the top of the page. This is the fixed placement for paid results. According to research, merely 33 percent of searchers click on paid results.

The other type of search result is the organic result. These results are the web pages that Google considers the best in a given market or industry. According to research, almost 90 percent of searchers click on these results.
You must make sure that every part of your online marketing strategy is directed toward improving your organic search results. Whether it is optimizing your website’s keywords, targeting your blogs or creating social media profiles, you should always be looking to expand and enhance your online footprint.

The more you optimize your website for medical SEO, the more potential patients will click on it and the higher it will rank on Google.

Want to Increase Your Website's Online Visibility? Medical SEO Is the Answer

Finding the right keywords is critical

A strong healthcare SEO strategy starts with identifying the most relevant keywords to incorporate into your online content. This is much more complex than simply mentioning the types of services your practice offers. In addition to identifying and mentioning your unique services, you need to include your office location and the type of patients you are trying to attract.

It is critical to invest a considerable amount of time in identifying the most relevant keywords that will launch your website to the top of search results. This process involves researching your medical practice and analyzing what strategies your competitors are executing.

Incorporating the keywords into your strategy

Once you have established the keywords, you need to learn the science behind incorporating them keywords into your marketing strategy. For every blog post and landing page, there is a method of tagging keywords and incorporating them into your website so that search engines can quickly find your content.

There are subtle and natural ways to incorporate keywords into content. You can consider naming images and focusing on keyword saturation and tagging. While these processes may seem technical, they play an important role in the SEO marketing.

Post useful content

Google’s algorithm rewards websites that have fresh and extensive content with higher search rankings than competitors. In order to make the most of your SEO strategy, you must create engaging content that will connect with your target audience. It is important to post useful content because the algorithm is designed to search for keyword stuffing. This means you cannot overuse the keywords within a small text block just to trick the algorithm into giving you a better ranking.

Creating engaging and relevant content is an art. It is important to create content that connects with your target audience and helps your website rank at the top of search engine results.

Medical SEO strengthens your online marketing efforts

SEO is an essential component in your healthcare marketing plan. Your website design, social media posts and advertising campaigns must be designed with an aim to enhance your practice’s online footprint. When you choose a marketing firm to guide you through this process, it is important that you find an organization that takes a comprehensive approach to healthcare marketing.

Your practice vs. your competition

While you are executing or paying an agency for your practice’s SEO, remember that your competition may be doing the same thing.

Personalized and targeted marketing is one of the most talked-about search ranking factors in 2017. If you are running a medical practice in a competitive city, you will need to localize the content to a specific audience while analyzing competitors with a micro-focus. Your competition will be conducting similar SEO strategies to rank better in search rankings. The first page of Google search is a constantly shifting and moving target.

Are you looking for the best digital healthcare marketing agency?

If you want to make sure your hard-earned dollars are not going down the drain, you must ensure that the digital marketing firm you choose has an established track record of serving other clients in your industry. At Practice Builders, we know the healthcare industry like the back of our hands because we devote time and resources to helping customers grow their medical practice.
When you trust the team at Practice Builders for your medical SEO needs, you can rest assured that you are putting your online marketing in experienced hands.

To find out how the dedicated and experienced team at Practice Builders can help your medical practice attract new patients and improve online presence, download your free copy of The Complete SEO Guide For Healthcare Practitioners.

You can also contact us for a free consultation on how SEO can improve your medical practice and how we use our decades of experience to give your medical practice the boost you have been waiting for. When you choose Practice Builders as your digital marketing partner, you will get years of medical SEO expertise behind your website.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

10 Online Reputation Management Rules for Physicians

10 Online Reputation Management Rules for Physicians

With the rise of the Internet, medical practices have to change the way they manage their online reputation. A massive amount of information gets shared on the Internet every day, which makes it very difficult to monitor what is being said about your practice. How can medical practitioners sort through the social noise and identify relevant discussions about their practice, products or services?

It is no wonder that so many practices are looking for innovative ways to establish, improve and protect their online reputation.

Before potential patients call your office to book an appointment, they often go online to gather all the information they can about your practice. According to a study from Digital Assent, 85 percent of patients are not comfortable choosing a healthcare provider with a one-star rating for more than 10 percent of the reviews.
Patients now are conscious, make informed decisions and have more choices now than ever. It is essential, therefore, that practices act in a way that gives them the best possible online reputation.

Managing your practice’s online reputation is an ongoing process. In order to establish and protect your reputation, there are a few rules you should follow to ensure you are not sabotaging your brand image or letting a tainted reputation go unchecked.

10 Online Reputation Management Rules for Physicians

While a physician’s primary concern should be the quality of his or her work, it would be a blunder to turn a blind eye to one’s online reputation. As a healthcare provider, it is your responsibility to make sure that online information about you and your practice is accurate and informative.

Follow these ten basic rules to establish, maintain and protect your online reputation:

Rule #1: Everyone has an online reputation. Every healthcare provider has an online reputation to maintain and protect. Your online reputation is an extension of your medical practice. In order to understand what you need to focus on, you must know what is being said online about your practice. Put your name in the major search engines and see what comes up. Is the information that you find about your practice accurate and useful? You can also set up a Google Alert on your name in order to keep track of any new mentions.

Rule #2: Be proactive, not reactive. It is essential to own your reputation, and do not allow it to own you. A spark is far easier to manage than a firestorm. It is much easier and safer to be proactive than reactive when handling matters that concern your online reputation. You must effectively communicate with your team and those involved with your practice’s brand image. Keep all stakeholders on the same page in order to avoid sending out mixed messages.

10 Online Reputation Management Rules for Physicians

Rule #3: Listen to what your patients are saying. Social media is one the most popular and effective ways to hear the unedited voice of your patients, especially the unhappy ones. But how can you find all those posts, sift through the relevant ones and address those that need your attention? You can achieve this by using a social listening tool that searches for mentions of your practice, services and related keywords. These tools search the usual social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook and use crawlers to discover new sites and online forums. The idea is to listen to the feedback you are collecting about your reputation. Try to listen for trends, opportunities or even complaints. When you actually listen to what your patients are saying about your medical practice, you do more than just fix a problem. You will try to fix the underlying issue that created the problem in the first place.

Rule #4: Always respond to reviews, and be prompt. Nearly 70 percent of patients who post negative feedback tend to feel positive if their concerns get noticed and resolved. Your patients want to hear from you, and they may not wait patiently for days and weeks at a stretch. Almost 42 percent of users who post online reviews expect a reply within an hour, and 57 percent of users expect a response even outside of normal business hours. Even if you do not immediately have information to share or to resolve their concerns, do not ignore the reviews. Acknowledge the complaint, let patients know you are looking into the issue, and assure them that you will get back to them.

Rule #5: Spread the positive word. Negative publicity is bound to happen. The majority of healthcare providers end up with a negative online reputation because they made it that way. They either posted the inappropriate content or they allowed things to get out of control. If you want a positive online reputation, then you have to work hard to build it. You will have to consistently post relevant and positive content. The more wisely you share content online, the more stellar reputation you build.

10 Online Reputation Management Rules for Physicians

Rule #6: Apologize genuinely and refrain from arguments. If you or your staff make a mistake, it is critical to own up to it and make a genuine apology. A sincere apology can work wonders in diffusing a delicate situation and can help toward fixing the relationship. Try to make amends unconditionally. Regardless of who is right or who started it, you will be tagged as unprofessional if you engage in mudslinging. Do not allow your emotions to take control as you may end up saying and doing things that damage your reputation. The best approach is to remain calm and polite at all times and to try to take the conversation offline. Staying professional may win more patients than being “right” in an online dispute.

Rule #7: Encourage and train your staff to provide unmatched service. Often, dissatisfied patients will not complain but will stop coming to your practice in the future. Such patients, in addition to not returning to your practice, will tell their family and friends about their bad experience. The ripple effect of one dissatisfied patient can be detrimental to your online reputation. Make sure your employees are trained in providing outstanding patient care. Not only can your employees help improve your online reputation, but their strategic presence on relevant social media platforms will also help position your practice as an active member. This activity can deflect negative feedback and drive more traffic and leads to your website.

Rule #8: Build a strong social media presence. Social media is vital to your reputation management as it gives you a quick and effective way to stay in touch with current as well as potential patients. It is critical to create social media accounts and keep them updated. If you already have social media pages for your practice, be sure to update them with positive content. These profiles are a reflection of your practice and your reputation, and you must make sure they show you in a positive light.

Rule #9: Encourage and monitor online reviews. The best way to protect and enhance your online reputation is to take an aggressive approach. It is important to encourage your patients and employees to write reviews online. The goal is to have more positive reviews than negative ones so that the bad feedback will be diluted by the happy experiences. You can easily monitor online conversations about your practice by using tools like Google Alerts and Social Mention. By monitoring your online reviews, you will be better equipped to turn any negative feedback into a positive comment by responding quickly and professionally. In addition, reading and responding to reviews will help you understand gaps or improvement areas in your service. Online reviews are the most important way to improve your online reputation. It is sad, but happy patients rarely write positive reviews, but a disgruntled patient will smear your brand name any opportunity he or she can get.

Rule #10: Claim your online listings. Managing your online reputation starts by claiming your listings on key online directories and social networks. These directories and networks allow you to share information that presents your practice in the best light. You must control the official voice of your practice on public platforms. One of the best things about online directories is that they occupy a lot of search results and tend to push negative reviews off the first page of search results. You can claim your online business listings by maintaining active, up-to-date profiles on popular websites and interacting with patients who post to those sites. Responding to both negative and positive reviews is an excellent way to stay engaged with patients.

10 Online Reputation Management Rules for Physicians

Conclusion

In order to keep your online reputation intact, you must be upfront with your patients. If you happen to make a mistake, admit it, apologize and try to fix it. Never try to cover up your errors, and always be honest about what happened. Being transparent also requires direct communication with patients, which means allowing them to complain about your products, services or even staff. Unless the feedback is offensive, let it stay online. You should respond to negative feedback with an apology and explanation. Deleting online reviews will only add to the damage to your online reputation.

As a healthcare provider, your online reputation can position you as an expert, determine the success of your practice and help you connect with patients, peers and leaders in your field. Take full advantage of various tools and strategies while protecting your online reputation from potentially damaging information online that you cannot control. Online reputation management for physicians is a worthwhile investment that will pay off professionally and personally. This is why most healthcare providers choose to hire professionals to help them build and improve the online reputation of their medical practice.

If you need help creating online reputation management strategies for your medical practice, Practice Builders is an award-winning marketing agency offering SEO, social media marketing and reputation management solutions. Contact us today for a free demo.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Google Local Search Update: Why Online Reviews Matter for Your Practice

Google Local Search Update: Why Online Reviews Matter for Your Practice

Google’s latest local search update has highlighted the importance of online reviews in a customer’s decision-making process. Your practice’s online reviews are one of the most reliable ways for potential patients to determine whether your practice is good or not. Reviews are often so reliable that 91 percent of potential customers read reviews before making a buying decision, according to a BrightLocal survey.

As the world’s top search engine, Google is constantly striving to enhance and simplify the user experience. Google understands that one of the first things potential patients do when searching for a local healthcare provider is to read its online reviews. Knowing this, and understanding just how powerful reviews are, Google has now made it even easier for users to find them online. With the new update to Google’s local panel in mobile search results, potential patients can easily navigate to see all your practice’s online reviews. This will help them make quick and accurate decisions.

Being a healthcare provider comes with a lot of responsibilities. One responsibility you cannot afford to overlook is online patient reviews. Recent studies by BrightLocal.com reveal that nearly 84 percent of customers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Also, more than 54 percent of customers will visit the website after reading positive reviews online about the business. Combine these findings with the fact that Google now includes your practice’s reviews on searches, this makes your online reputation even more
important.

Google Local Search Update: Why Online Reviews Matter for Your Practice

A positive online reputation is one of your most powerful assets for attracting potential patients. The social proof contained within reviews and ratings helps potential patients make decisions faster and with greater confidence. Google continues to recognize and emphasize the importance of online reviews and has included a more substantial component of its Knowledge Panel called “Reviews from the Web.” This new section will feature customer reviews and ratings of businesses from third-party sites such as Facebook, Yelp and TripAdvisor.

Reviews from the Web is Google’s attempt to give businesses a way to display user-generated content. This new section acknowledges that customers care about a business’s reputation on trusted third-party websites.

How does this update impact your practice?

Likely rolled out as an extension of Critic Reviews, Reviews from the Web gives you the opportunity to showcase positive patient feedback and attract more patients.
With reviews from Google as well as other third-party review sites displaying directly in local search results, it is faster and easier for patients to find everything people are saying about your practice online. Do a quick online search for your medical practice to see what searchers are reading about you.

This update provides users exactly what they want: quick and easy access to your online reputation. It also highlights just how important online reviews are in a patient’s decision-making process and places a practice’s reputation into the limelight for everyone to see. You just cannot avoid it. Potential patients are going to read your reviews. Updates like these emphasize the importance of monitoring your online reputation and ensuring that your reviews outshine your competitors’.

Your practice’s local search ranking will benefit indirectly from more reviews because potential patients will be more inclined to click on practices with more positive reviews, which will lead to higher click-through rates.

Google Local Search Update: Why Online Reviews Matter for Your Practice

However, practices without a patient review strategy or unclaimed listings may find themselves at a disadvantage. Not only are patient reviews a ranking factor, but an influx of bad reviews is likely to drive away potential patients. For practices that have plenty of positive reviews to display and share, Reviews from the Web provides a valuable source of unique content that will engage patients and help attract more leads.

With Google displaying customer reviews from a number of external review sites, if you have been concentrating your review marketing efforts on a single site, now is the time to expand. Moreover, if you have not been considering a review marketing strategy, this is the time to plan one. You should focus your efforts on popular third-party sites such as Healthgrades, Vitals, Yelp and Facebook.

It is time to take control of your online reputation and begin asking patients for online reviews.

Improving your online reputation

Improving your practice’s online reputation and gathering more reviews is one of the most efficient ways to take your practice to the next level. However, establishing and maintaining your practice’s online reputation does not happen with a snap of your fingers. It requires an active approach to generate more reviews, improve star rating and respond to online reviews.

Regardless of the specialty or size of your practice, your potential patients are going to read and trust the feedback that your previous patients have given you. Moreover, if your reviews slant negative, most of your potential patients will go looking for your competition instead.

So, how can you turn around your online reputation?

1. Evaluate your patients’ experience: The best way to generate positive reviews is to ensure you are giving patients a positive experience. If you are consistently delivering good services, your online reputation will reflect it.

Tips to improve patients’ experience:

Take a good look at your recent patient feedback. Look for common issues, and take them seriously. Have many patients mentioned the rude staff, long waiting time or high prices? Identifying a few areas for improvement might be useful.

If you do not have a lot of online reviews, or if the reviews do not give you any helpful ideas for improvements, reach out to patients directly. Ask loyal patients for honest feedback about your services, staff attitude, prices and other important factors.

Another approach is to ask for feedback at the end of every consultation. You can ask insightful questions like, “How can we serve you better?” or “How has your experience been today?” You will be surprised how direct questions yield honest answers from your patients. You should train your staff to ask such questions, as well. When patients see that you care, they will be willing to share their feedback online as well as offline.

2. Ask for reviews: Getting reviews is as simple as asking for them. Most patients will gladly write a review when asked to do so. You can make this request at the end of every consultation. Based on the patient’s feedback, it will be easy to determine if he or she is happy with your services.

3. Follow a systematic approach: No doubt online reviews can make or break your online reputation. If patients see mostly negative reviews about your practice, they will be more likely to choose your competitors. Positive reviews signify a brand that patients can trust. However, positive reviews do not just happen overnight; they are the result of great patient experiences delivered consistently. If you are treating your patients the way they deserve to be treated, they will end up spreading the good word about your practice to their friends and family.

4. Respond to negative reviews: Most healthcare providers do not just sit back when a patient leaves a negative online review. Instead, they take the time to reply to feedback and attempt to resolve the conflict. By responding to a negative review, you show the unhappy patient that you care about your patients’ experiences and are continuously striving to improve your services.

While you may be tempted to get defensive when a reviewer seems unjustified, it is important to remain calm and look for a solution. In addition, you should offer to fix the problem and invite the patient to give your practice another try in the future. In some cases, a patient may even be satisfied with your response and decide to take down the negative review and leave a positive one in its place.

Conclusion

With updates like these, it is obvious that online reviews are about to become even more important. You must optimize your strategy to attract the best possible reviews for your practice and stay ahead of the competition.

Patients are leaving it up to search engines and third-party review sites to give them a narrowed-down list of the most trustworthy and relevant medical practices in their area. From there, they will take a few minutes to read and compare the reviews for top suggestions and confirm their decision within a matter of minutes. This means, as a practice looking to capitalize on this opportunity, it is your job to become one of the top local medical practices that Google recommends. You can do this by monitoring your reputation, generating positive reviews and taking the required steps to improve your local search rankings.

Schedule your free consultation with Practice Builders to learn how we can help you manage your online reputation and local search to win more patients. If you are struggling to establish or maintain your online reputation, there are plenty of reputation management consultants out who that can help you. The online reputation management experts at Practice Builders can help you gather positive customer reviews. Our experts will monitor your online presence while implementing effective strategies to help you look your best.

Google Local Search Update: Why Online Reviews Matter for Your Practice

Medical Healthcare Marketing

[High Roller Radio] Donald Trump, Sheldon Adelson & the Future of Online Poker in America – John Pappas Q&A (audio)

Source: theppa.org – Wednesday, February 01, 2017
John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), is a leading proponent for online poker in America. The PPA continues its fight for licensed & regulated iPoker in the United States. Here, he talks about Donald Trump, Sheldon Adelson & the political battle. www.highrollerradio.net You will automatically be taken to the article. If […]

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Trump won a rigged debate according to most online snap polls

Source: www.socialanxietysupport.com – Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Trump indeed debated 2 people. Hillary got no follow up questions while Trump was questioned several times by Lester Holt and at different points tried to debate with him. This debate wasnt as rigged as i expected but it was enough to show a clear bias. Only a blind person could not see it. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/in…rticle/2602939 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti…landslide.html http://truthfeed.com/breaking-trump-…ime-cbs/26026/ I think they both did a good job. She did good at flip flopping and pretending to be against things she voted in favor of or supported at some point. And although he did seem more tense than usual to me, i liked how he confronted her about **** the media doesnt want to. just want to add this video for those interested. This guy makes a quick review of this bias process.

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Feds deny marijuana for medical purposes, spurring online backlash

Hashtags (no pun intended) went haywire Thursday after the federal government announced it would not reclassify marijuana.

The decision means patients will continue to be denied the drug for medicinal purposes. Marijuana will remain a “Schedule 1” classification, in the same category as heroin and LSD. Cannabis has had the same designation since 1970, when Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act.

#Cannabismediciinal #NORML, #Alzheimers #LowTHC were among the subgroups most opponents of the news used to express outrage over the decision. Some comments—and even a YouTube video— were laden with offensive language condemning the news. Here are a few safe comments to share:

DEA_ruling_criticaltweets

The Washington Post reported:

In an announcement in the Federal Register and a letter to petitioners, the Drug Enforcement Administration turned down requests to remove marijuana from “Schedule I,” which classifies it as a drug with “no currently accepted medical use” in the U.S. and precludes doctors from prescribing it.

Faced with an escalating opioid epidemic in the United States, President Barack Obama has said he believes marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol. Still, a post from U.S. News & World Report said:

The Obama administration will keep marijuana on the list of the most dangerous drugs, despite growing popular support for legalization, but will allow more research into its possible medical benefits, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced…The agency opted not to reclassify marijuana after a lengthy review and consultation with the Health and Human Services Department, which said marijuana “has a high potential for abuse” and “no accepted medical use.”

DEA spokesman Rusty Payne said: “We are tethered to science and bound by statute.”

The issue has elected representatives fired up, too. More than half the states have legalized pot for either medicinal or recreational use. According to U.S. News & World Report, the National Conference of State Legislatures on Wednesday adopted a resolution asking the federal government to remove marijuana from Schedule I.

[RELATED: Learn new strategies to tell your story with social media, images and video]

Smoke and suffering

Research has shown that a few components of pot are promising treatments for epilepsy and chronic pain. Some people use it to relieve the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, but there has been no proven research.

Dr. Orrin Devinsky of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at New York University Langone Medical Center called the DEA’s decision “deeply disappointing.” He said the scientific data overwhelmingly indicated it should not be listed as such a dangerous drug.

In New Jersey, NJ.com reported:

Limited studies inside and outside the country have shown cannabis can reduce pain, nausea, and muscle spasticity. But it remains taboo among most physicians who want to see more rigorous studies demonstrating its benefits, and fear they’ll jeopardize their license to prescribe medications.

Hundreds of people commented, with a wide range of opinions:

DEA_ruling_NJcomments

The one change the DEA did approve Thursday involves research. The agency will end its decades-old monopoly on marijuana production for medical research. The Los Angeles Times said the DEA would begin allowing researchers and drug companies to use pot grown in places other than its well-secured facility at the University of Mississippi.

The American Medical Association media reps offered this brief statement about Thursday’s news:

The DEA’s decision to provide an additional supply and variety of marijuana to support research needs can assist in the clinical study of cannabis for medicinal use. The AMA supports this approach, as well as easing administrative barriers to conduct research on cannabis.

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HealthCareCommunication.com

Why Online Content Is Important for Marketing Your Healthcare Practice

Why Online Content Is Important for Marketing Your Healthcare Practice

Do you have a content strategy in place for your healthcare practice? Even in 2016, content still ranks high as an effective healthcare marketing strategy. If you’re looking for ways to use content to draw potential patients to your website, here are the main benefits that original content can provide your site:

Keep Your Audience Engaged

Developing your own content, whether it’s a blog post or an online video, will help keep your audience engaged when they visit your site. Providing original content allows you to showcase your expertise and cover the specific topics that your patients are interested in. It also gives you the opportunity to create posts that your competition doesn’t have, potentially increasing your ranking on search engines because of your unique content.

Content Matters for SEO

In 2016, content matters even more toward your SEO standing. Google has changed its algorithms to include bounce-back rates. If your audience doesn’t find what they’re looking for on your site and goes back to the search engine results, it will negatively affect your SEO ranking. Original content on your site will help answer queries from potential patients so they can find what they’re looking for on your site.

Link-Building Opportunities

It’s actually okay to reference other articles and data in your own content – provided you give credit where it’s due, of course. Linking to other articles on your practice’s website can also help your SEO ranking through link-building. Link-building can help increase your SEO ranking as long as it’s natural and relevant. Learn more about link-building for SEO here.

Increase Your Social Media Presence

You may not go viral, but creating your own content gives you the opportunity to increase your profile on social media. Original and unique content can potentially get more shares or retweets from your followers than repeated content can.

Do you want to increase your current original content creation output? Are you not sure where to start? We can help! Contact one of our healthcare marketing consultants today at 800.679.1262 or info@practicebuilders.com for more information on how to develop original content for your healthcare practice.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

How to Find Out What Your Patients Want Online

How-to-Find-Out-What-Your-Patients-Want-OnlineBIG

Did you know that 77% of online health seekers began their last session on a search engine? When you’re marketing your healthcare practice online, it’s important to anticipate what your patients are looking for – that way, they find you and your practice online! As with any business, having an idea of what your customer needs and wants makes it easier to create an effective online healthcare marketing plan that will get you the results you want. But is it possible to really know what your patients want from their healthcare provider online? Here are a few tips to help you answer that question:

Stick to Your Expertise and Services

Whether you run a medical, dental, physical therapy or veterinary practice, no one knows what you can offer better than you. Start by promoting your own knowledge and services to help attract the patients you want online. If you find that patients want more than what you offer, you can consider expanding your services and expertise then.

Pay Attention to Online Reviews, Questions and Comments

If you’re on an online review site like Yelp or have a business page on Facebook, be sure to pay attention to the comments and reviews you receive. Did anyone leave a follow-up question on an article you posted? Has anyone asked if you provide a certain service that isn’t explicitly promoted on your site?

Reviews, both positive and negative, can also provide insight into what it is your patients are looking for. Paying attention to them gives you the opportunity to tailor your content to what your patients want and add SEO optimized content to help more patients find you online.

Poll Your Audience

The quickest way to find out what your patients want from you online is to ask them. Poll your patients on what specific content they’d like to see more of or see if there’s a specific medical topic that you haven’t covered that they’d like to learn more about.

Know Your Competition

Another way to find out what your patients want online is to see what your local competition is offering. Check out the websites and social media pages of other healthcare practices in your community – what do they offer that you don’t? And is it something that patients in your area are looking for? Most importantly, is it something that you can offer them? If so, then you know how you should tailor your content going forward to attract those patients.

Create a Brand

Developing a brand identity and establishing who you are as a medical practice will, in a way, give your patients what they want. Having a clear message about your practice will help you establish who you are to your patients and give them a clear perspective of who you are, as well. When we’re choosing a business to go to, we do so because they represent something that we’re looking for. Having your own clear message will help you attract the patients that you want online.

At Practice Builders, part of our many services is to help our clients establish a brand identity. If you’d like to learn more, contact one of our healthcare marketing consultants at 800.679.1262.

Medical Healthcare Marketing