The Huge Impact of Reviews on Google Rankings and Client Decisions
Long before the Internet even existed, physical therapy clinics gained new customers through positive word-of-mouth marketing. In today’s digital world, that same principle is still in effect but in a slightly different form. Instead of sharing their experiences with different businesses around the water cooler, today’s consumers turn to high-traffic online platforms in order to leave their feedback.
If your physical therapy clinic plans to acquire new clients through traffic from search engine results, those reviews could either bring welcomed improvements, or they could have severely negative ramifications on your SEO efforts.
Negative Reviews Can Kill Your Results
In recent years, Google has worked very hard to develop its service into the most used search engine in the world. It retains this title over its competitors because of its sophisticated system for deciding which websites to show to its users in the search results. One way that Google does this is by determining how relevant a website is to the query being conducted. Your web presence’s relevancy is determined by a complex algorithm incorporating countless factors, with one of the most important being real client feedback.
If your physical therapy clinic has received negative feedback through Google reviews, the search engine will consider you less able to fulfil the needs of your clients, and thus less relevant. One or two negative physical therapy reviews out of a sea of positive feedback won’t do much harm, but if the majority of comments from clients don’t portray you in a good light, your search engine rankings may drop significantly.
Positive Reviews Can Boost Them Up
Luckily, just like the way that negative reviews will harm your physical therapy SEO rankings, having a plethora of positive accounts of your clinic’s great service can play a big part in determining where you show up in the results. When your clients are so satisfied with the quality of service you offer that they’re willing to leave favorable thoughts on the experience, Google takes notice. In the search engine’s eyes, your clinic’s ability to make your clients happy means you’re providing them with an extremely relevant service.
This relevancy is the single most important variable looked at by Google, and improving your perceived relevancy is one of the fastest ways to move up in the results.
Just like with less-than-stellar feedback, simply having a few positive physical therapy reviews will do little for your website ranking. Instead, you should strive to receive a consistent flow of positive reviews over time. If Google’s physical therapy local search is inundated with a ton of feedback all at once, it can look a bit suspicious. Encouraging a steady flow of client feedback is the best way to manage your Google review efforts.
One effective strategy for providing your clinic with a source of constant feedback is to email patients after discharge with a carefully crafted message. This email should be focused on directing them towards the review link. Be sure not to ask patients to leave a review from your office – Google may view it as cheating and penalize your clinic’s rankings if a majority of your feedback comes from the same IP address.
Clients Actually Read Reviews
On top of the great SEO benefits your physical therapy clinic receives from having positive reviews, they also pay off in another way – through their intended purpose. Google reviews gain so much weight from the internet giant because they’re actually useful. Since the internet is where most modern feedback is shared, it’s also where customers go to find the reviews they’re seeking.
The first place they usually begin? A Google search.
Regardless of whether your physical therapy clinic’s Google reviews are positive or negative, there is one thing for certain – people are reading them. These people could be your current clients or your potential ones, but either way your reviews can have a major impact on whether they patronize your business in the future. Having positive reviews not only affects your search engine rankings – they also have a direct effect on your revenue and bottom line.
Reviews on major platforms like Google can have a huge impact on your business’ performance. They can affect your search engine optimization efforts and influencing your long-term influx of web traffic. Perhaps even more importantly, they can directly sway your potential clients towards or away from your clinic. If you’re not taking the time to focus on and managing your physical therapy clinic's online reviews, you’re leaving an enormous facet of your clinic’s future in the hands of the internet community