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Top 5 reasons you should beat Healthgrades for the #1 spot on Google

Your physician directory is the front door for prospective patients who are looking to book an appointment. And, with 77% of patients starting their search online, it is more important than ever to occupy the top spot on relevant Google search results.

But for many health systems, there is a single hurdle standing in their way of attaining this goal: third party review sites. It’s time to start fighting fire, with fire – by publishing your own ratings and establishing ourself as credible, or more credible than websites like Healthgrades.

Adding star ratings to a health system’s physician directory often gives these profile pages the final push they need to appear at the top of search results ahead of third party review sites. But why?

5 reasons why star ratings push you ahead of third party review sites:

  1. Search engines love reviews. Review content is often given higher priority in web searches. If you Google one of your physicians today, you will not be surprised to see the majority of top listings are review sites.
  2. Google wants you to win. Your hospital website has the potential to be the best source of truth about your providers, but it’s not updated frequently enough to be the top spot in search results. Google knows that nothing is more credible than a hospital’s own website about the care its physicians provide, but in the absence of reviews, this content gets stale and is often just duplicated across many provider pages.
  3. Review content is unique. The comments and ratings you receive are exclusive to each patient’s experience with a specific provider at your organization. This content is yours and yours alone, i.e. it won’t appear anywhere else on the internet. As your marketing department probably knows, the creation of unique content is often the hardest – but most rewarding – task in digital marketing. Posting patient reviews equates to more unique content, and that spells more credibility in the algorithms of the search engines.
  4. Review content is updated frequently. Patient comments can be published daily to your website meaning your profile pages are constantly relevant and won’t get stale. Search engines reward sites that are updated frequently with unique, new, and rich content.
  5. Reviews contain rich information that is genuinely important to the web user. Patient comments are written in “their own words” by your patients, and this natural language is filled with rich keyword content. All the language pertains to the provider, his/her care, your health system, the care setting, and healthcare in general. Google wants to help the web user (your prospective patient) find what they’re looking for. You could try to guess what keywords would resonate with patients, or you could leverage the language that other patients have already shared with you in their survey responses. The more reviews you publish, the better chance you have of “getting a match” between what a prospective patient wants to find and what an established patient has already said.

So far in 2017, NRC Health has had a new health system go live EVERY WEEK using our star ratings technology.  If you want to learn more about how we could help your organization, please contact us today.

– Steve Barton, Product Manager – Transparency

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