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

time-on-site-increase

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?