Six steps for excellent online reviews and practice website optimization

| | August 15, 2022

Six steps for excellent online reviews and practice website optimization

Technology has transformed the way physicians market their practices and engage with patients. Patients increasingly use the internet and social media to manage their health and make decisions about which physicians to use. This provides new opportunities for physicians to engage and communicate with patients. What are some top tips used by allergy, asthma and immunology practices to ensure success in the digital age?

1. Provide easy access to your website and patient portal

Did you know that mobile devices account for more than 50% of all website traffic? Make sure your website and patient portal are mobile friendly. Check your site at to check that it is easy to view on mobile devices. Also, your website should be easy to navigate; try to make everything only one click away, as opposed to having to click through several pages to get to the desired information.

2. Give patients what they want

Robin Panethere, Allergy Lead, Marketing, at SENTA Partners, encourages practices to address patient concerns through the use of their website and social media. In her experience, patients are looking for education and information, and the College has a wealth of information to help member practices meet this need.

“The College offers a lot of resources that can be used in your practice and help with your marketing efforts,” said Ms. Panethere. The College’s newly updated Marketing and Patient Materials Toolkit has patient education, messaging and branding guidelines, a social media kit, practice website tips, and recommendations for community outreach. Whether it is sharing one of the College’s Facebook posts on your practice’s Facebook page or repurposing a news article on your website, the College has the up-to-date information your patients want.

3. Google yourself and your practice

Like it or not, your online reputation directly influences potential patients: up to 60 percent of patients use online physician rating sites when choosing a physician. Search for your name on all major rating sites, including Google, Healthgrades, Facebook, RateMDs, Vitals, WebMD and Zoc Doc. Also check the Medicare Care Compare website. Read through these sites to get a sense of what you are doing well and where there might be opportunities for improvement.

4. Monitor what others say about you on the web

Sign up for one of the free social media monitoring tools, such as Hootsuite, Social Mention, HowSociable, or Addictomatic and have an associate review the results weekly. Good reviews can be highlighted on your website (following HIPAA) as patient testimonials. The best way to deal with negative reviews is to focus on increasing your volume of positive reviews. Patients don’t expect you to be perfect all the time, and an occasional negative review can help your positive reviews seem more authentic. When you do receive a negative review, don’t argue with the patient or post any private health information online. Instead, encourage the patient to call the office so you can address their concerns directly.

5. Complete rating site profiles

Set up and maintain comprehensive medical rating site profiles. Many sites have errors and old data, so make sure your information is current and accurate. Be sure to upload a professional picture and include a short bio or philosophy of care on each site. Assign someone in your practice to review your medical profile annually for accuracy.

6. Ask satisfied patients to post reviews

Let patients know their feedback is very important to you and ask them to share their positive experiences on medical rating websites. Ms. Panethere recommends creating a card to hand satisfied patients that lists the most important review sites for your practice. The card can say something like “It has been an honor taking care of you! Please help others seeking allergy and asthma care by sharing how our practice has helped you or your family.”