Online Reputation is essential these days. Just like 75% of people don’t scroll past the first page of search results on Google – they won’t scroll much farther on sites like RateMDs. This can have a detrimental effect on your practice and can cost you your clients.
RateMD is a great way to showcase your positive reviews and build your online reputation but unfortunately unlike Google, it has a pay to win strategy. This means that if you pay for one of RateMD’s monthly plans you are able to hide potential negative reviews as well as potentially boost your profile closer to the top. This isn’t always an option, however, especially to those who’ve just started their own practice and are investing in more important things.
Luckily, there are ways that you can ensure your profile is high ranking on RateMD without paying a dime. So, let’s take a look at what you can do to become ranked #1 without having to pay.
Make Sure Your Profile Has Been Properly Claimed
Primarily, creating your own profile is essential – 84% of patients use both offline and online sources for hospital and doctor research, so without a profile, you only stand to lose potential patients.
Secondly, just because you don’t have a profile, doesn’t mean one hasn’t been created for you. When certain patients want to leave a review, be it positive or negative, they find a way to do it.
It’s not uncommon for those patients to create a doctor’s profile on websites like RateMDs. Of course, those profiles are often incomplete and filled only with the basic information that can be found about a specific doctor online. This means that you might already have a profile without even being aware of it!
To prevent this from happening, or to take over a profile that has been pre-made, you need to create or claim your own profile. This way YOU are in control of your account and the information that is shown about you.
To do this you will first need to create a FREE RateMD account and then prove to them that you are exactly who you say you are. Typically this would require you to provide a copy of your driver’s license, as well as a piece of mail that links you to the address of your practice.
Professional / High Quality Headshot
It’s pretty straightforward why a professional headshot is a must – it makes you appear more trusting and of course… professional.
On the other hand, a blurry, cropped photo from your family picnic 10 years ago will not convey the best first impression with those looking to learn more about you.
Whether we like it or not, we all do judge a book by its cover, and most of your patients will judge you based on your profile picture.
It takes about 50 milliseconds to leave a good first impression online. The first thing that your patients will notice when they take a look at your profile is your picture, so you have to ensure it leaves a good impression.
It’s also important to note that your headshot has to be recent. When new patients come into your office, they’ll feel more comfortable if they can recognize you immediately, and you can foster a better doctor-patient relationship this way.
An outdated photograph that doesn’t match your current appearance will leave the impression that you’re untrustworthy and unreliable and will start the dentist-patient relationship on the wrong foot.
So, to be ranked #1, you’ll want to invest a bit in a high-quality headshot.
Fill Out As Much Information As You Can
Most people these days are concerned about their online privacy, but your profile on RateMDs isn’t where you want to conceal information.
Your whole professional background will instill more trust in your patients, and they’ll be more likely to book an appointment with you.
The necessary information that you should include is:
- Your education
- Any languages that you speak, as this can attract more patients
- A short biography
- Your expertise(s)
- Any awards that you’ve won
- Any publications you have written
- Your specialty (this is how you will be sorted on Rate MD so it is essential that this properly reflects what you want to rank for!)
The more information there is, the more interested your potential patients will be in you. Essentially, you should think of your profile as a kind of CV, and those that view your profile as your prospective employees.
This means that you should include all the information that makes you stand out, that makes you unique in your medical field.
Link Your Profile to Your Practice
Linking your RateMDs profile to your practice will primarily lend credibility to the profile itself. It’ll be easier for people to find you, learn more about you and your practice, and you’ll be able to earn their trust more easily.
It’s recommended for all your colleagues to do the same, as this will build your practice’s reputation.
Linking your business social media accounts in your profile is beneficial as well, as it will undoubtedly increase your following. You’ll be able to engage with your patients more often through your posts, and you’ll stay at the top of their minds.
There’s one thing to remember here, however. If your business accounts aren’t active, if you haven’t posted anything in countless months, it’s probably best to avoid linking them until they have been updated.
Reviews, Reviews & More Reviews!
While all the aforementioned things will undeniably help you rank higher, nothing is as important as reviews.
85% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, if not even more, and if you want to be number 1, you need to have great reviews.
The first step to collecting more positive reviews is to ensure your patients are ACTUALLY having a positive experience. There are many ways that you can improve the overall patient experience at your practice, but that is for another blog!
The second thing is to ask your patients for reviews. Most are uncomfortable doing this, but it’s essential.
Unfortunately, the majority of those who will take action on their own to leave a review are the ones that have likely not had the best experience. Your happy patients are not always driven in the same manner to go out of their way to leave a review. Therefore going out of your way to ask is the first step to having them go out of their way to leave a review.
No matter how great you are, you’ll probably encounter a few negative reviews as well. To ensure a better reputation and a higher ranking, responding to them in a professional and respectful manner is a must and then having them drowned out by positive reviews is the best route to follow.
The Bottom Line
To be ranked #1, you don’t have to pay RateMD on a monthly basis, all it takes is a little bit of time and effort. Your online reputation will have a huge influence on you and your practice, and following these steps will help you on your path to success. As we have proudly been able to grow Argyle Associated from unranked to #1 across all medical facilities on RateMD, you can assure we know what works!
If you want to learn more about how we can help you grow your dental practice, check out our Dental Marketing Overview.
Contact us today to have a chat and start the process of improving your own personal online reputation. We’d love the opportunity to connect you with more patients!