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Physicians – How Important Are Local Reviews?

February 15, 2013


I’m very excited to be covering this subject today for Quaintise! Regarding Search Engine Optimization and Marketing, localization is HUGE, especially for physicians, and yet it is still an overlooked and often unrealized SEO strategy. Acquiring local citations, reviews and testimonials should be an integral piece of your overall SEO puzzle – increasing your brand visibility, your brand credibility, and your online reputation as a local expert physician.


Local Citations

Local citations in the SEO realm are basically sites like Yellow Pages, Yelp, Healthgrades, etc – sites that list your business, showing your business Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP). There are literally thousands of citation websites around the web, each one showing pertinent information regarding your business. These citation sites show up in Google search rankings, Bing and Yahoo search rankings, and all over mobile search rankings, which is why it’s crucial that you systematically go through each and every one of the sites to correct any NAP misinformation.


Simply speaking, if a web browser happens to come across your doctor’s office on one of these citation websites and calls the wrong number or visits the wrong address listed, you have not only lost a potential patient but you’ve lost a potential advocate for your practice. Making sure that all NAP information is identical across all of these sites can eliminate this potential problem.


Secondly, Google takes into account how accurate your NAP information is across every citation website, so if you have a few addresses or phone numbers out there that do not match the ones provided on your website, Google will penalize you for it and it could adversely affect your search rankings.


Local Reviews

A majority of consumers (61 percent) consider ratings and reviews an important factor in selecting a business, according to the 2012 15miles/Neustar Localeze Local Search Study conducted by comScore.


Reviews and testimonials online are a goldmine. The simple proof is in the fact that businesses across the entire globe pay hundreds and thousands of dollars for these reviews, whether they are fake or real. Reviews are a huge business, and there are many companies out there who would love to sell you 5-stars. However, this is strictly against Google policy and will not only end up in getting your local listings banned from Google Maps, you also run the risk of having your website blacklisted as well.


For Los Angeles and Phoenix physicians, nothing beats a powerful review. And while there are hundreds of websites that allow guests to leave reviews, there are just a few that you need to be aware of right now – Healthgrades, Vitals, RateMDs, ZocDoc, Angie’s List, Yelp, and Google. These are the websites that most often appear in doctor searches online. They appear with star reviews, which catch the attention of web users, and they have a strong brand presence and credibility with those seeking out local physicians.


Positive reviews are a wonderful way for physicians to cut through all of the noise and confusion on Google. When a user runs a search for a local physician, your doctors better be at the top of that Phoenix list with 5-stars next to every single citation that appears with them.


Quaintise now offers local citations and reputation management for all of our clients. From monitoring your online reputation across citation websites to increasing reviews and improving brand visibility, we provide innovative and unique strategies to engage your audience on local listing sites. Give us a call for more information.



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