When you Google your business name, information on the first search engine results page (SERP) can tell you a lot about your online reputation. But keep going.

According to experts, 3 out of 4 users click on results within the first 5 results. From indifferent or negative online reviews to blogs that don’t sing your brand’s praises, there really is such thing as bad publicity. Know where you stand by assessing your online reputation.

Before we get started, it’s important to understand the three most significant online reputation influences for medical professionals:

  1. Organic search: This is how potential patients find you. Search rankings are influenced by keywords, traffic, and social shares. Strong content can boost your visibility, but negative content can overshadow it.
  2. Social media: Sites like Facebook and Twitter significantly affect your reputation. Every mention, tweet, or update can have the same impact as your official website content in search results.
  3. Review sites: Google Reviews, Healthgrades, and RateMDs play crucial roles in patient decisions. Reviews on these and other platforms not only guide choices but also impact how your practice appears in search results. If reviews are your main concern, check out an aggregate tool or partners like Rater8 or Press Ganey.

With the dynamic nature of the web, these factors can either strengthen or weaken your reputation quickly. So it’s important to keep a watchful eye on your online footprint.

5 Simple Steps for Assessing Your Online Reputation

1. Go “Invisible”: When you search online, websites remember what you like. To see what others really see about your hospital, sign out of sites like Google – or go incognito. This way, you’ll see things without any personal influence.

2. Start Searching: Type your hospital’s name into Google. Also, type in the names of doctors or services you offer. Look for:

  • What good things people are saying: like “best care at [Your Hospital Name].”
  • What bad things people are saying: like “long wait at [Your Hospital Name].”

3. Look Everywhere: Don’t just look at the main Google results.

  • Check out pictures on Google Images.
  • Look at videos on Google Video.
  • Try other search engines like Bing and Duck Duck Go.

4. Don’t Forget Social Media: People talk about hospitals on sites like Facebook or Twitter (X). But don’t get bogged down in a doom scroll. Use tools to help:

  • HootSuite: Lets you see what people say about your hospital on different social sites.
  • Reviewpush: Shows you if people are leaving good or bad reviews about your hospital.
  • Mention: Tells you what words people use when they talk about your hospital.

5. Think About What You Found: There’s no golden rule in determining whether you have a “good” or “bad” online reputation. Generally speaking, if the top 10 search results for your brand include listings that are either negative or have nothing to do with your brand, there’s room for improvement.

For an online reputation that dazzles, follow our 9 Tips for Online Reputation Management.


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