Ratings and reviews are a core part of the internet experience: more than seven out of ten web users read customer reviews when choosing a service provider.

So positive ratings and reviews on your health center website increase the flow of new patients.

And you can display ratings in Google search results, improving your click through rate and enhancing your search engine ranking.

The tutorial will show you how.

Choose who will rate you

If you let anyone rate your services, you risk being rated by spammers or competitors. So it is better to only allow reviews and ratings from registered patients.

A good solution is to use a Patient CRM. Using your CRM, you can automatically send a rating request to patients by e-mail or SMS.

The information will be gathered in the CRM and your web developer will be able to use the information to display the ratings on your website.

Once your system is set up, the operation will run seamlessly without any need for work from your staff.

Choose your rating scale

A 5 star scale is the internet standard. Even if you choose a different scale (1 to 10 for example), Google will translate the results to a 5 star scale in its search engine results. So for the sake of coherence, stick with a 5 star scale where possible.

Choose who will be rated

Do you want to display ratings for your center as a whole or for individual practitioners or services? The quantity of votes affects the credibility of a rating. So it may be best begin by asking patients to rate the health center as a whole. This avoids the risk of having votes spread too thinly around a large number of individual practitioners.

Choose your rating and review questions

Keep things simple to begin with and ask one rating question:

“On a scale of one to five, where one is poor and five is excellent, how would you rate the service you received?”

and one review question:

“Tell us why:”

Ratings in Google search results

You want your ratings to appear directly in search engine results, so use the correct markup provided by the search engines.

Ratings in Google search results need to be nested within Rich Snippets, using schema.org taxonomy. So for example, reviews for a practitioner should use the type Physician.

Reviews for a health center should use the type MedicalClinic:

More detailed instructions on Google Rich Snippets are available here.

More detailed information on the Schema.org heirarchy is available here.

For Bing, use MICROFORMATS (HREVIEW-AGGREGATE)


 

My health clinic

 

Rating: ????? (3 out of 5)

 

Total votes: 150 (35 reviews)

 

More detailed instructions are available here.

Choose how to moderate

Do you prefer to allow reviews and ratings to be published immediately or only after moderation? When using a Patient CRM, you will be given the choice.

Allowing immediate publication is less work for you and gives patients the gratification of seeing their comments published straight away.

A daily review of posts is sent to a moderator who retroactively removes reviews that do not conform to guidelines.

In practice, this level of control should be sufficient for health center websites where only registered patients are allowed to post ratings and reviews.

Publish your moderation rules and make sure all decisions conform to those rules. Moderation should never be used to censor negative feedback. However insulting or offensive comment can legitimately be removed, as can spam or phishing content.

Manage negative reviews

If you receive a negative review, respond quickly and politely

  • Show that you have understood that the patient is dissatisfied
  • Avoid detailed arguments over facts. Instead explain the policies you have to deal with the issue raised.
  • Provide statistical evidence to show that this negative experience was exceptional

An efficient reply reinforces your health center’s caring image and neutralises any negative impact of the review.

Conclusion

The benefits of allowing ratings and reviews on your website are clear. Ratings in Google search results will also help with your Google search ranking.

Provide a controlled environment in order to harness the goodwill of your patients and turn it into a force for the development of your activity.

This article has looked at adding reviews and ratings to your own website.

But don’t forget that reviews and ratings of medical services are also published on third party sites such as Google+ and Yelp. It is important to optimise your e-reputation on these sites too.

We will return to this subject in a future article.