Identity Enhancement & Reputation Management
Can patients easily find accurate information about you online?
With the majority of Americans using the Internet and their mobile devices to do their research, you can be certain that existing and prospective patients are looking for you online. Internet searches vary from checking your credentials, reviews, hospital affiliations and insurance providers to appointment scheduling and finding directions to your office. It is essential that you control information about yourself and your practice to ensure its accuracy.
Professional Identity Enhancement
Whether you practice with a group or independently, your name is your brand. Patients who have been referred to you by other physicians or recommended by other patients use the Internet to research your background and find your office contact information and directions. When you Google your name, do you like what you see? Can your patients find you easily on the first page of search results? Most searchers rarely go past the first two pages of search results, thus, when your name is searched, you need to ensure that: Accurate information about you and how to reach you is EASILY ACCESSED from these two pages. (Preferably the top of page one) AND that the information showing up on the first few pages of search, such as negative online reviews, articles or public records, is appropriately managed.
The number one way to manage your online identity is to develop a website on a domain with your name in it. Even if your practice has a site, you still greatly benefit from owning your own brand name. Why? Consider the Frito Lay Company. They market all of their brands on their site fritolay.com, but they also have separate sites for each individual brand such as cheetos.com, doritos.com, etc. Search engines algorithms tend to favor a domain name that includes your brand for landing on the first page of search. Even if you put a small patient convenience site on this domain, you are investing in Internet real estate that will stay with you forever. The authority of your site will increase over time as the search engines factor in how long the site has been live as well as how many people have linked to it in determining its ranking. This is your own personal asset for your name brand that can move with you whether you change practices or relocate geographically.
- Interactive Profiles: eMedical Media has designed a list of high-ranking medical and social profile sites which enable physicians to place enhanced profiles on external sites. These strategically placed profiles allow you to control and enhance your image by filling up the first few pages of search with accurate information that you control. This includes 5 search-optimized profiles based on your specialty placed and maintained on medical websites such as HealthGrades as well as non-industry specific profile sites such as LinkedIn. (Sites will vary based on your specialty and needs.)
- Personal Brand Website: Owning you own name is the number one thing you can do to protect your online reputation.
The next time you Google your name or your practice, pay special attention to the reviews that your patients are writing about you. Google business reviews, Bing business reviews and Yelp are common review sites that allow consumers the opportunity to post open reviews about the services they have received. These reviews can be posted at anytime, anonymously and with very little accountability. As a physician, your reviews – whether negative or positive – are a direct reflection of your practice in the eyes of the reader. These reviews need to be maintained and managed so that when a reader or future patient stumbles upon a review about you, it is a true synopsis of your practice. Human nature dictates that dissatisfied patients are more likely to post a review than satisfied patients. eMedical Media can assist you in obtaining and distributing real and accurate testimonials on the Internet.