Why chiropractors need to get aligned with online reviews
Chiropractor recommendations used to be passed around via word of mouth between friends and family. But as health and wellness have become bigger trends, more and more potential patients are searching online for chiropractors. They’re increasingly relying on online reviews and ratings to make a decision on who to visit. According to research from Software Advice, people trust what they’re seeing online so much that 43% of patients would visit an out-of-network provider if they have favorable reviews.
How important are reviews and ratings for chiropractors? Here are some numbers:
- 70% of all users need to read at least four reviews before trusting a business. (Deloitte)
- One disappointed customer will share their negative experience with 9 – 15 people. (Oracle)
- 70% of consumers trust online reviews and articles more than advertisements when they want information about a business. (Statista)
Since online reviews are patient-generated and seemingly random, getting positive ratings can leave many chiropractors feeling confused and helpless. The good news is that there are proven best practices that can help your chiropractic clinic be well-represented on all the major review platforms.
Review platforms chiropractors need to be on
More and more online review sites have popped up over the years, but knowing which ones potential patients go to most will help streamline your online reputation efforts. While medical-specific platforms (such as ZocDoc and Healthgrades) exist, Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp are still some of the most dominant online review sites.
Here are some statistics on how much the “big three” are used (according to Review Trackers):
- 63.6% of users check Google reviews
- 45.18% visit Yelp for reviews
- 23.14% look at Facebook reviews
What are some of the differences between Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp? Let’s take a deeper dive into each platform:
Google My Business (GMB): With 57.5% of all global reviews, Google My Business is the leader among review platforms. As consumers frequently use other Google products in their daily lives, they trust the Google brand and have an easier time trusting the information they find on Google. GMB is also intertwined with Google Search and Google Maps, so creating a free GMB profile helps your practice gain more organic visibility when patients search on Google or use Google Maps. If your practice information is complete and accurate on your GMB profile, Google can be a big driver of virtual traffic and appointments to your clinic.
Facebook: The biggest social media platform in the world, Facebook connects your practice with potential patients in a place where they are already spending a lot of their time online. Designed as a social platform, Facebook allows you to engage and interact with potential patients beyond reviews. You can post news, read and respond to comments, and use direct messaging to personally communicate with potential patients. However, this level of engagement can be both a blessing and a curse. Ignoring patient interaction or responding hastily to comments on Facebook can damage your reputation and diminish any long-term relationships with patients you’re trying to build.
Yelp: While Facebook and Google were built for a variety of different functions and products, Yelp was designed to be focused on reviews. Yelp results pages are often some of the first that pop up on Google when patients are searching locally, so that means even if your chiropractic website doesn’t show up on Google, they might be visible on Yelp. Because reviews are everything on Yelp, positive ones can be a big boost for your clinic while negative reviews can be a major turn-off to potential patients. Responding to reviews, good and bad, can help offset some of the negative impact on Yelp since it demonstrates you’re making an effort to listen to feedback.
Online review basics for chiropractors
Step one for collecting new reviews and ratings: create or claim your business profile on all major review platforms. There may be instances where sites like Yelp will allow users to create profiles for companies they’ve done business with, so check if a profile already exists for your clinic. Whether you’re creating or claiming a business listing, here are the most important details your profile needs:
- NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number): Make sure your clinic’s business name, address, and phone number are shown accurately. This not only helps potential patients reach you—since search engines often refer to listing details like these for business information, they also give your practice more visibility on searches.
- Business Hours: If your clinic is going to be closed for the holidays or for any atypical reason, make sure your business hours are updated on your profiles. Patients who try to call in during incorrect business hours are going to have a negative experience that will stay with them the next time they’re looking for a chiropractor.
- Business Category: If your clinic does more than just chiropractic adjustments, list all your services on your profile and take off any you no longer do. This prevents any frustration when patients call in to make an appointment.
- Photos and Videos: If you’re proud of the time and resources you’ve invested in your clinic, put it up front and center on your review profiles! Showcasing professional photos and videos of your facilities and equipment will be make a great first impression for potential patients, especially since they’ll likely be encountering you for the first time online, not in person.
- “About Us” Description: This section is a great opportunity to talk about not just the services you provide, but your dedication to patient care and their experience. Patients generally have a choice of several dentists in their local area, so this is your chance to set your practice apart.
Hopefully, these insights into online reviews for chiropractors were enough to get you going. In part two of our blog series on online reviews, we’ll talk about best practices and habits when it comes to getting and handling reviews.