Tag Archives: content marketing

The importance of content for SEO, explained in just TWO graphics

The nature of content you create affects users differently and can be categorized into four distinct categories: entertain, educate, persuade, convert.

Over a decade of testing various types of content with prospective patients has determined that patients who are ready to make an appointment require real reviews from past patients to move forward. The illustrations below further confirm our findings.

Depending on the type of business you have, you may not need all of the elements below. Medical practices, for instance, don’t need games! Review content presented to prospective patients results in a massive increase in conversions, along with content about price/cost. If your website doesn’t have these two content types, get going and add it now.


Brafton's Infographic: Why Content for SEO?

7 Online Marketing Predictions (and 1 Wish) for Plastic Surgeons in 2014


1. Content marketing will be the most important part of your online strategy

seo-monster-is-deadSEO is dead and has been (in its original form) for a while now. If you still think SEO is just a magical secret formula of keywords on a web page and a bunch of inbound links, it’s time to change your thinking.

To remain competitive in 2014, cosmetic practices will need to devote more resources to content marketing. Content plays the starring role in a successful SEO strategy. Yesterday’s keyword-stuffing, city-name-everywhere-on-the-page approach no longer works.

TIP: Choose an SEO team who works in partnership with you to create great content. Remember quality is key, not quantity. Be prepared to help them, they can’t do it all without you.

2. Successful content marketers will leverage reviews to drive conversions

content-monsterReviews build online relationships (i.e. conversions and phone calls) better than any other type of content. Not surprisingly, publishing reviews on your own website can increase conversions by 2x to 8x!*

Would you like to generate 20% more leads from the web than you did a year ago? As a direct result of changing their overall marketing strategy to highlight reviews and other related content created by patients, a practice in a highly competitive California market experienced a 20% increase in website conversions (number of contact forms completed) over the previous year.

TIP: RealPatientRatings.com (and some other review sites) give you easy-to-install embeddable review widgets that keep your website updated automatically with review content that will engage your visitors and increase conversions.

*RPR study

3. Expect doctor reviews to continue exploding in popularity

+52% more people searched for doctor/dentist reviews in 2013 than in 2012 accodring to brightlocal.com. Only restaurant reviews were more popular! We don’t expect this trend to change.

In 2014, consumers will also prefer reviews from trusted sources over older less-trusted websites, and prefer recent reviews older reviews.

4. Doctors will be inundated by salespeople offering newfangled methods of generating reviews

scared-doctorGuaranteeing your patient’s anonymity is the most effective way to generate truly authentic reviews and collect enough reviews to have an impact on your marketing.

All medicine, especially cosmetic surgery, is a highly personal experience and true anonymity is required to acquire honest feedback.

To decide on a system for growing your online reputation, ask yourself these questions:

  • Will your patients feel safe enough to share their true feelings?
  • Will the patient feedback help your practice grow in a constructive way?
  • Does the system truly understand the business of medicine?

TIP: Don’t choose a method of generating reviews where patients write a review while at your office, and avoid any methods that require the patient to post online under their real name.

5. Keyword data will no longer be available to rely on

not-providedIn your Google Analytics reports, have you seen the numbers of “(not provided)” keywords growing like crazy? Changes to online privacy settings mean that our access to keyword data is dwindling and will soon be completely gone.

Although keyword data will be sorely missed by all, once it’s all gone we will have to shift our measurement of Internet marketing success to engagement statistics like pages per visit, time on site, and conversion rates.

(In this SEO’s humble opinion, this is a healthy and positive change.)

TIP: Download an Excel report of your entire keyword history for future use. Do this ASAP before it is gone forever.

6. Trusted sources of web traffic will be more important than ever

Your most important real-world relationships and affiliations will also be your most significant online relationships.

asps-find-a-surgeon.jpgFor instance, a surprising number of ASPS member surgeons have incomplete profiles on plasticsurgery,org. That means the 463,000 people who searched for a surgeon on plasticsurgery.org in the last year* never had an opportunity to see them. It also means these surgeons are missing out on the powerful benefits of links from plasticsurgery.org to their own websites.

TIP: Complete your plasticsurgery.org doctor profile and invest in an Enhanced Profile.

BONUS TIP: There’s only one way to show surgery reviews on your ASPS profile! Our official endorsement by ASPS means that RealPatientRatings members with ASPS Enhanced Profiles can display surgery reviews on their plasticsurgery.org profile for free. This important consumer content is available to help patients find vital information to help them make choices.

**Data collected between June 2012 and 2013. Statistics provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

7. Mobile and tablet users will account for more than 50% of your website traffic

phone-in-bedIf your site isn’t functional on smartphones or tablets, you may not have been affected much yet. This year, you will definitely feel it as the number of people using these devices to engage with content on your website continues to climb.

TIP: You don’t need a separate mobile website any more. Professional web development has already evolved past that! Responsive websites are the new standard and when built properly they automatically display perfectly on any device.

Not so much a prediction, but our wish for the future…
Surgeons will stop worrying about reviews and focus more on patient satisfaction

Everyone will routinely survey their patients

Nearly 80% of medical practices categorized as “better-performers” use patient satisfaction surveys, and send surveys out more frequently than other practices.***

Reviews aren’t something you can buy or beg for, they are a happy byproduct of patient satisfaction. Start by looking inward (surveying your patients is a great place to start) and the reviews will come naturally.

And stop trying to control the system

Doctors and consumers both truly hate the review sites that are suspected of gaming the system, and yet they still want to have control over the reviews that are published.

Just like SEO, there are no tricks or magic bullets to get solve the problem of meeting your consumer’s need for authentic reviews.

More resources:

Inc.com: 7 secrets to getting positive online reviews

KISSMetrics: The Future of Content Marketing: Trends and Predictions for 2014

Forbes: The Top 7 Content Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014

EHR Intelligence: Most better-performers use patient satisfaction surveys

Mashable.com: Why 2013 is the Year of Responsive Website Design

Can I get an “amen”? Building inbound marketing assets are not the same as marketing expenses

Marketing evangelist David Meerman Scott echoes today on his blog a principle of internet marketing that we firmly believe here at RealPatientRatings… that certain kinds of content on your website are assets that grow in value over time and generate highly qualified inquiries. This concept guides the creation of all the features we create for our members to help grow their practices.

The 3 Most Important Marketing Assets for a Plastic Surgery Website

On a plastic surgery practice website, your photo gallery, blog, and comments from patients are your three most valuable assets. If you were to analyze the specific sources of your online conversions, you would most likely find these three areas of your website at the top of the list.

photos1. Photo gallery

The size of your photo gallery is an indication of success. Subconsciously or consciously, the visitor makes assumptions about how long have you been in practice, how happy your patients are, and how much surgery you have done.

Grow the gallery by including multiple angles of each case, details of the patient, and including the capability of filtering the cases.

2. Blog

blogOn your blog, follow the simple concept of answering questions that your patients ask. Understanding that a blog post can hold value indefinitely will make you think differently about the subject matter. Quality is always better than quantity. Don’t post junk for the sake of posting. Don’t auto-post to Facebook.

3. Patient-Generated Content, or “Word of Mouth” Content

We all agree that no greater form of marketing exists than the word of mouth referral. The next best thing is what we like to call “Word of Mouth” content, which is anything created by your patients that can be posted on your website.

Examples of “WOM content” include thank you notes, testimonials, video reviews, and of course, patient review feeds from RealPatientRatings.


Conversion data from a wide sample of practice websites shows a 2x to 6x increase in the number of contact forms completed when visitors have engaged with this “word of mouth” content. Even if adding these features to your website is time-consuming, the ROI is so high that it is always worth the investment.

Why plastic surgeons should publish patient reviews on their own website

Some internet marketing consultants are telling surgeons there’s no SEO value in having patient reviews on your website. We don’t agree. We the have facts to prove it.

If the ultimate goal of SEO is to increase conversions, this is all you need to know:

After surveying over 6600 patients from 130 practices, we know that prospects are 49% more likely to schedule surgery when they have read reviews or testimonials prior to consult. Shouldn’t you make finding these reviews as easy for them as possible?

Google Analytics data has been graciously shared with us by RPR members all over the country. Back in June, we shared stunning data from a NYC plastic surgeon’s website. He had a 1500% increase in the number of users find his website using the word “reviews” in their search.

RealSelf.com also recently supported our findings (see “Doctor Websites Get More Traffic By Adding Patient Reviews“) Like RPR, RealSelf provides doctors a widget that embeds patient reviews directly on your website.

User engagement – connecting with real patients – is the goal

It’s more than SEO. There’s an art to inspiring prospective patient to connect with you online. Is there a limit to how much patient-generated content should go on your website? Absolutely not! Forward-thinking surgeons like Chicago plastic surgon Dr. John Cook are embracing the idea and adding entire sections to their websites to feature patient-generated content.

How the data tells us if one user is better than another

A person looking for reviews about a surgeon is actively engaged in the decision making process.

User engagement statistics such as pages per visit, time on site, and bounce rate give insight to the engagement level of your website visitors. To learn more about our visitor, we simply isolated users who arrived on their doctor’s website using a keyword combination that included the word “review.”

According to our data, users looking for reviews are pure gold:

  • Increase in average pages per visit was as high as +49%
  • Increase in time on site ranged from 90 seconds to 2:30 longer than the average visitor


Reviews are a unique and distinct competitive advantage

Consider Beverly Hills, where there are roughly 300 surgeons competing for the same patients. Driving traffic to websites in this market is challenging, time-consuming, and costly. Here more than anywhere, the easy visibility of patient reviews is a significant competitive advantage. Prospective patients who have read reviews or testimonials about you prior to consult are 48% more likely to schedule surgery.

Most plastic surgery review sites are inconsistent due to low volume

You are already painfully aware that plastic surgeons don’t have enough legitimate sources of reviews. Do you believe what you read about yourself on Vitals, RateMDs, Healthgrades, Angie’s List, Yelp, Citysearch… and on and on?

At RPR, it’s our goal to do something about it by giving plastic surgery practices an affordable, high-impact delivery system that allows only your real patients to share their experiences.

Consulting insights may be helpful, but your patients’ opinions are invaluable

Patient experience data is the heart and soul of RPR, and we share this information with great care and thoughtfulness to help improve future patient experiences. Founded by Marie Olesen, who was first in the nation to use patient survey data to improve care, RPR’s approach to measuring the patient experience is tried and true.

What we’d like to know from you…

  • Does your SEO provider see higher conversions when review pages (or any patient-generated content) is included on your site?
  • Do patients tell you that they read your reviews?
  • Do you use patient-generated content to your advantage?