skip to Main Content
Yes, People Look For Doctors On Yelp Too

We’re on to Yelp in our series on the various medical practice review sites. Yelp is the first one we’ve added that isn’t purely a medical review site, but a general business review directory. (Don’t worry, our “Google My Business” post is coming.)

Averaging around 170 million visits per month, Yelp shouldn’t be ignored. But it’s important to understand how not being a medical review site per se makes Yelp different from the other sites we’ve discussed.

First, a bit more than half of Yelp usage is done on mobile, not desktop, including 75% of its searches. So regardless of what your Yelp profile says, your orthopedic practice website must be mobile optimized. If people can’t comfortably read and navigate your practice site on mobile, you’re going to lose out on getting the Yelp referrals. This also means have other mobile functions, like “click to call,” on your mobile website so interested people can call you just in the moment they’re acting on finding an orthopedist.
3 out of 4 searches on Yelp were done on mobile device

The second distinguishing factor of Yelp is that a good portion of people will find the practice reviews by doing just a general Google search looking for an orthopedist, rather than going to the site directly to run a search. For example, multiple searches in Google for “orthopedic surgeon in Dallas” or “orthopedist in Dallas” return results like these:
Yelp image #2

For the sake of space, I cut out the very top, where Google presents its ads. Next comes the map. Then the first organic result is the Yelp page. Other review sites will be further down the page. My point here is that regardless of whether people think of Yelp to find a doctor, the Yelp site will probably find them. So you can’t overlook it.

Last, most the medical profiles on Yelp are for the practice, not a specific doctor. There are doctors’ profiles on site. Yet when people are scanning a Yelp results page, they will see primarily practices listed. Remember Yelp is a business review site, not a professional review site. The take away from this point is that you should claim your practice page. Claim all of them if you have multiple locations, as Yelp will have created separate pages for them.

Do a search to see if someone has already created a personal profile for you. Yelp does allow people to create a business page even if they’re not the business owner. If you are personally listed as a separate business, claim that page so you can control it. If it’s not there, it’s probably not worth adding if you’re working your Yelp practice pages.

Alright, on to the Profiles

Compared to the other view sites, you won’t have much room to create a unique profile. Yelp is squarely focused on what your patients have to say about you, not what you want to say about yourself.

Does this mean you can ignore Yelp? Absolutely not.

You can only respond and challenge reviews on Yelp if you claim your business. That right there is reason enough to claim your practice’s page. Yelp doesn’t like to take down reviews. It’s certainly not going to take a review down simply because it’s negative. But there are things you can do to limit damage a bad Yelp review might do. Check this post out for tips on when and how to respond to a bad Yelp review.

If you do choose to respond to a negative review, obviously be careful not to violate any HIPPA or other confidential laws in your response. Here’s an example of a good response one practice posted.

Yelp image #3

The patient posted a negative review of a clinic based on a bad ER experience. You’ll notice that the practice never addresses the patient’s personal situation, so avoids any risk of sharing confidential information. However, the practice owner does clarify the patient’s misconception. This review response is now attached to the original complaint. Any searcher who reads this negative review, will see the explanation right along with it. The practice owner also made clear he was reaching out privately to resolve the patient’s specific issues. This is a great response to a negative review all around.

So what can you do with your Yelp profile? First, you can make sure the logistical information is accurate, like phone number and hours of operations.

It also allows you to add some substantive information like your practice specialties, bio of the owner, and history of the business. Yelp doesn’t make this information easy to find. Users will have to find and then click the small “Learn more about XYZ practice” link in the right sidebar. If they do, a popup window opens, also in small font and unappealing layout.

Even so, fill it out. First, you will be claiming your practice profile, right – so you can manage your reviews. Second, you’ll already have created great profile content to use in the more comprehensive, medical review sites, RIGHT? You can easily modify some of that content to top off your Yelp profile.

How’s your medical review site profile project going? Check back as we have more review site reviews coming up. If this is the first one you’ve checked out, here are a couple of our earlier reviews.

Garrett Smith

Garrett is the Founder, and Chief Marketer at InboundMD. Garrett has been successfully leading internet marketing campaigns for health care practices across the US for almost a decade. He's a frequent speaker at events, and author of "Book Now! Internet Marketing for Healthcare Practices", and the host of The Practice Marketing Podcast that details how successful practices are winning online.

Back To Top