July 2nd, 2013

The Top 3 Lines of Defense For Protecting Your Reputation Online


#1 Having Your Own Website

Online websites rating patient satisfaction have grown in prevalence and in popularity in the technological age (zocdoc, vitals, healthgrades, ratemds, drscore, etc.). The increased visibility of these detailed reviews for potential patients browsing the web has great relevance to your reputation and that of your practice and therefore demands engagement. In order to best control the online conversation regarding your practice, the number one defense for protecting your online reputation is having a website. A website with a clean aesthetic design and user-friendly interface best facilitates your voice in the online community and allows potential patients a point of reference besides solely the above mentioned patient satisfaction rating websites.

When addressing reviews from online rating websites, possible constructive responses your practice may benefit from include:

  • Preemptively soliciting structured patient feedback in the form of private surveys
  • Looking to improve your practice’s functionality by incorporating the informative portions of patients’ observations on your website.

#2 Search Engine Optimization

Coauthors Kevin Pho and Susan Gay of Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation define Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as “the way you market yourself or your practice on the Internet so that you show up high in search results for either your name, the name of you practice, or keywords describing your practice.” The best way to improve the ranking of your website in search engine results and therefore strengthen your practice’s online presence is to utilize the principles of SEO. The prominent Internet search engine Google now rewards physicians who choose to include content rich posts that are updated regularly and link to other reliable sources of information.

Key Ways to Improve the Ranking of Your Practice in Search Engine Results

  • Strive to produce content targeted toward the interests of your patients. Directed content will gain your website high ranking in search engine results.
  • Post with regularity to raise the ranking of your website in search engine results.
  • Use Google Analytics (a free application that Page Penguin has built into its web design) to track your website’s activity. Some data collected by Google Analytics include page views, visitors’ searches and the keywords that directed them to your website.
  • Title and add descriptions to all pages (also possible through Page Penguin) to allow users to easily search by keyword. Using Google Analytics results, you can further tailor your content to meet the interests of your visitors by matching those most searched keywords to the titles and descriptions of your content.


#3 Social Media Optimization

Pho and Gay also define Social Media Optimization (SMO) as “the process of improving the discoverability and usability of your presence in social media.” Unlike SEO, which focuses on increasing your practice’s online presence through improving search engine results, SMO relates more specifically to “building your own brand” by increasing the number of social media connections potential patients make in visiting your website. Abiding by the principles of SMO is the best way to broaden your practice’s online presence and accelerate the sharing of links between patients and potential patients in a quasi-online referral system. Similar to the value of rich content in the principles of SEO, Google now values information and links shared through social media to be extremely relevant to searches regarding your practice. This trend draws a connection between building a large social media presence and a high ranking of your practice in search engine results.

 Key Ways to Maximize Your Practice’s Social Media Presence

  • Standardize your name, photograph, and logo to create a brand identity across social media platforms.
  • Utilize media (images, videos) in social media communications.
  • Allow patients to more easily share information about you and your practice across social media platforms by including a navigation banner linking all your social media profiles on each of your social media websites. As an example, you can include Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Yelp icons on any Page Penguin website.


For a more in depth look at these concepts, stay tuned for my next post!


POSTED BY Dan Luzarraga AT 06:42 pm

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