How Your Online Presence Wins and Loses Cosmetic Patients [Download Free Guide]

April 15th, 2015 by Search Influence Alumni

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Want tips, stats, and strategies about how to take charge of your practice’s online presence? Fill out the form below to download the free guide, “Attracting Patients by Proactively Managing Your Online Reputation.”

Consider this: one person wrote a negative online review for a plastic surgeon. In the next few months, the practice’s online leads and Internet referrals mysteriously plummeted by 28 percent. Coincidence? Don’t bet on it. Even if that single negative online review only contributed to the decrease, that drop in leads translated to the loss of literally hundreds of potential customers.

If you think your practice’s online presence doesn’t have the power to attract—or repel—patients, think again. For physicians in the cosmetic medicine industry—whether plastic surgery, dermatology, or even cosmetic dentistry—a practice’s online presence is a powerful tool. And if it is left uncultivated, it can be dangerous.

Search Influence details this pressing issue and its real-world implications for your cosmetic medical practice in a new guide, “Attracting Patients by Proactively Managing Your Online Reputation,” available to download for free by filling out the form below. The guide was produced with input from Richard M. Escoffery, an attorney with the law firm Elarbee, Thompson, Sapp & Wilson, LLP.

Patient Reviews … Haunting or Rewarding?

In the digital era of online marketing, even when a cosmetic surgeon is heavily recommended by a friend, coworker, or family member, 94 percent of people still take to the Internet to perform secondary online research before making a commitment, according to our free online guide. What’s even more astounding is that 72 percent of all consumers give an online review the same weight and credibility as a personal recommendation, the guide reports.

For example, here’s a general view of how customers typically find many plastic surgery practices online by using organic (or free) search methods:

  1. Potential patients research the procedure they want.
  2. They research the cosmetic and plastic surgeons in their area, usually looking through numerous review sites.
  3. They start searching for their surgeon of interest by name, which is often termed a “branded organic search” in the online world.

Paging Dr. Google

Yes, this means patients are “googling” the cosmetic procedures you offer and your practice. How high a practice’s site ranks on search engines has a lot to do with the amount of website traffic the practice receives. And the very first search result in a Google search typically receives a third of the traffic share. Having your practice show up as a top search result for targeted keywords ranging from “breast augmentation” to “tummy tuck” takes not only cultivation, but also online marketing expertise.

In the free “Attracting Patients by Proactively Managing Your Online Reputation” guide, you’ll find more important takeaways. For example, Google and other search engines give higher ranking to such sites as Angie’s List, Yelp, RateMDs, and the like. These sites not only perch atop search engine rankings due to Google’s algorithm updates, but they also often feature regularly updated content, which, in search engine terms, is an important indication of reliability.

In other words, patient or customer review sites have all the makings of a search-engine friendly site. So, negative online comments and an uncultivated online presence can literally tank a practice’s website traffic.

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