This is our first post in our doctor review website series giving best practice guidance to optimize your profile on the most highly trafficked medical review and referral sites. We’re starting with Healthgrades, which according to Similarweb.com stats, averages over 19 million visits per month.
Both you and your medical practice are probably already listed on Healthgrades. It curates information from governmental and commercial sources to build its database. You can claim your profile(s) for free, which we recommend.
Now you control what information appears and how it appears on the website. And you increase the likelihood that your practice will get new patients from this popular doctor review site.
- Upload a headshot. Just like any social media site, profiles with photos significantly outperform those that stick with the creepy default avatar.
- Completely fill out high-interest fields. According to Healthgrades’ research, the fields that get the most interest from patients are Insurance accepted, Conditions treated, and Procedures performed. Healthgrades uses detailed dropdown lists, so select every option that’s accurate. If there’s any condition or procedure you’re do, but want to move away from, then you can leave that one off your list.Conditions and Procedures searches, filtered by zip code, are some of the most common first searches prospective patients and potential referring providers run. Once an initial search results list comes up after a search, site visitors can then filter the list by Insurance accepted.Keeping all three of these fields complete and accurate is critical to making sure the right people who have need for the specific services you provide are finding you. When things change, update your profile. Once you claim it, you can log in to make changes yourself. It takes 1-3 days for profile changes to get published to the public profile.
- Review your profile for accuracy. Other sections on your personal profile include Specialties, Board Certifications, Background Check, Education, Awards & Recognition, Languages Spoken, and Hospital Affiliations. Some of this information comes from those governmental and commercial sources Healthgrades mines. Like your credit report, it’s up to you to make sure the information here is accurate.
- Customize based on what will attract your patient personas. These profile areas give you some room to customize. If you speak another language and provide care in that language, add it to your profile if you’re trying to attract patients from that community. You can post links to your publications in the “Awards & Recognitions” section. Even if your publications aren’t geared towards lay people, they do bolster your credibility.
- Earn a Recognized Doctor Healthgrades has its own internal recognition program, which adds a “Healthgrades Honor Roll” to the “Awards & Recognition” section of your profile. You must be board certified and have no malpractice judgements or adverse actions taken against your license to qualify.
- Align website with your profile. Let’s say you take tip #2 and make sure your Conditions and Procedures sections are complete. So a prospective patient does a search on “Ankle Fracture”, finds and likes your profile, which is ranked as a 90+ match. All sorts of ankle fracture-related items show up under your Conditions and Procedures lists. When the prospective patient visits the orthopedist’s website, the content is all about shoulders and nothing but shoulders.You just got knocked off the short list.Now, this may be alright with you. If you want your practice to focus solely on shoulders and don’t want to see any foot or leg injuries, then you’re fine. In this instance, then I suggest you not add any Conditions or Procedures on your Healthgrades’ profile that you don’t want coming into your office.
If this isn’t alright with you, then I suggest updating your website. Any glaring inconsistency between your Healthgrades profile and your website will be a red flag to prospective patients. Understand that searching a doctor review site is a first step in the patient’s decision process.
- Get those stars! Healthgrades includes five pieces of information about you in a search results list. Your photo, how many miles away your practice is located from the searcher’s zip code, your specialty, your overall star rating (5-star scale), and total number of reviews.Let’s throw out specialty, since that will likely be the same for everyone returned on the search results. That means half the data a searcher has to decide whether to learn more about you is based on your reviews.Once you claim your Healthgrades’ profile, they make a variety of free marketing collateral available to you, all with the goal of getting reviews. These include postcards, business cards, and custom links you can embed on your website, social media, and follow-up emails.
In addition to a general rating, the review survey lets patients give a star rating on four separate issues: Trustworthiness, Helpfulness, Staff, and Scheduling. These other review ratings, along with any comment reviews people have shared, are on your profile.
The quality and quantity (both matter) of your patient reviews is where you really distinguish yourself from the other profiles. If you’re not going to work the star system to get good reviews, then you’re undermining your other profile optimization efforts.