Every single person reading this has looked at a Google review… It is one of the most powerful weapons in your marketing arsenal, and you should strive to utilize the power of Google reviews as much as possible!
Most businesses in this country, including medical practices, have a Google My Business Listing. If they do not, they are either owned by very old people or people who refuse to get with the times. This is very foolish and do not fall into that category: YOU NEED A GOOGLE MY BUSINESS LISTING.
Your businesses online presence starts with its website and Google listing. If you refuse to do ANYTHING else online (such as social media pages, digital advertising/marketing, etc.), you cannot forgo your website and your Google My Business Listing.
Why is the Google My Business Listing so important? Because it is how 90% of the population finds new businesses, looks up business locations/directions, and reviews those businesses. That 90% of the population will make up 95% of your patient base if you are operating a niche medical practice.
If you are starting a new business, you better get your Google My Business Listing up and running ASAP. All you do is go HERE to sign up. I really cannot stress getting this done ASAP when you are first starting. It takes Google a week to mail you a post card that contains a verification code. Your listing will not be active until you input this verification code into your Google My Business Listing account. If you have an established practice and have no listing, you better hurry and get one going!
Moving on from the listing component, why are Google reviews so critical? They are critical because a large percentage of potential patients will look at your Google rating and base their decision to call you based off it alone. Patients who are wanting to make an informed decision will read over those reviews to determine if your practice is worth their time and money.
They will also compare your overall rating to those of your competition. Who would go to the 3-star rated practice vs the 5-star rated practice? Think about how important those ratings are to your decision-making process. When I go on vacation, I make my decision to eat out at a particular restaurant based mostly off their menu and Google rating. If I wanted Asian food and 4 restaurants come up on the Google search on my phone, I am probably going with the 4.6 star rated restaurant vs the 3.4 star rated restaurant. Those ratings are typically pretty accurate about the service and quality you can expect.
Additionally, Google will rank the higher rated businesses before the lower rated ones. What does this mean? Potential patients will see you first! THAT IS CRUCIAL! My medical cannabis practice is busy mainly because I rank number one on Google searches. This is through the search engine optimization I have done on my website, but most importantly, it is because I have over 60 Google reviews and my rating is 4.8. I rate higher than my competition, so I am listed first. This is a DOUBLE win: I rank first in the searches and I have the highest rating. What does this mean? I get more phone calls and ultimately appointments.
So, how do you get your Google review rating up when you are first getting started? It can be hard to get those Google reviews rolling when you start because your patient volume will be low. Those first 10 reviews are very important to start “putting you on the map.”
The best way to get Google reviews is to simply ask every single patient you have to leave you a rating. Many people will not, therefore you must incentivize them to do so. Offer them free services or products. This can be anything from a free B12 injection, to a shirt, or to a free visit. Yes, I am talking about giving away products and services in exchange for Google reviews, they are that important! The key here though is to only give away cheap products and services.
A B12 injection literally only costs you $.50… That is a STEAL for a 5-star Google review. A free 15-minute weight loss consultation could potentially lead to more sales of medications or services, therefore, that is a STEAL for a 5-start Google review. You could even consider a discount off their next purchase also… You need to be clever here and choose your battle wisely with what you give away for free. The last thing you want to do is give away $100 worth of services or products for a Google review.
If you are providing VALUE, convenient care, and excellent customer service to your patients, they will likely just leave you a positive review without even asking them. Those are great wins for your practice and should put a smile on your face! I know they certainly do for myself.
Your ultimate goal is to have as many 5-star Google reviews as possible. The more you have, the more a negative review will be diluted. For example, if you only have 6 5-star Google reviews, and someone leaves you a 1-star review, that is going to decrease your total ranking by almost 0.5. That is a lot when it comes to your rating. You want as close to that 5-star rating as possible. On the other hand though, if you have 40 5-star Google reviews, and someone leaves you a 1-star rating, it only goes down by 0.1. Listen, negative reviews WILL happen, you can’t get around it. There are too many assholes out there that get their jollies off by leaving negative reviews. The best way to mitigate this is by having a high baseline rating.
Do everything in your powers as a practice owner to get your Google Review rating as high as possible and as fast as you can. It is a FREE source of marketing and brand awareness. The higher the rating, the more organic traffic you will have to your practice that will ultimately lead to a conversion (a paying patient). Implement an incentive program and try to obtain as many reviews as you can from your patients. It will pay off significantly!