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January 20, 2020

Survey Best Practices: How to Get More Replies

By: Kieran McQuilkin

If you are like most business owners, you know that surveys are hard to write and even harder to be compelling enough for people to respond. Creating surveys can be frustrating, especially if you really do care about your customer or employee feedback. Surveys, however, are a crucial part to understanding how people experience your…

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survey-questions-responsesIf you are like most business owners, you know that surveys are hard to write and even harder to be compelling enough for people to respond. Creating surveys can be frustrating, especially if you really do care about your customer or employee feedback.

Surveys, however, are a crucial part to understanding how people experience your business, your brand or even yourself if you are asking for peer-to-peer feedback.

Below we explore some of the best practices for writing surveys to ensure you are getting quality and numerous responses to your next survey.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • How to start with a clear goal
  • The right length for a survey
  • How to write survey questions
  • The importance of personalization
  • How to make the most of your data

Start with a Clear Goal in Mind

The key to great survey writing (and to guarantee more replies) is starting with a clear goal. What are you asking for? Why?

These will be easy for you to answer from a business perspective, but you need to understand how your questions relate to the needs of responders. Your survey should not be solely focused on your business goals. Instead, focus on your customer’s desires to attract relevant, actionable responses.

For example, your goal may look something like: “I want to understand the main reasons our customers would take their business somewhere else.”

This specific goal acknowledges a customer behavior observation and gives them a reason to respond. Unfocused surveys usually lead to confusing answers, or worse, no answers at all, so keep a true north in mind.

As long as you are able to marry your business goal with a compelling reason for your customer to take the survey, you should be on the right track.

Don’t Make the Survey Too Long

Writing survey questions seems easy, until you think of things you want to ask and suddenly your five-question survey becomes 15.

No one wants to respond to a long survey!

You aren’t doing your audience a favor by asking for their feedback: They are doing you a favor by filling out your survey so you can improve their experience with your business. Don’t make it too long or complicated for them to provide you feedback.

If your survey is more than 10 minutes long, you are probably going to want to cut back on questions.

Focusing on the right questions that will answer your clear goal should limit the amount of superfluous questions that will bog down your survey.

Ask Questions the Right Way for Better Replies

There is a reason why research and survey writers have their own niche in marketing and analytics: writing survey questions to get maximum value is hard. It takes understanding of how to use closed-ended questions and properly balance questions to get clear insights and survey responses.

First, don’t write survey questions where you try to lead a survey responder to reply in a certain way – this will lead to inauthentic feedback and potentially ruin their interest in completing your survey.

If you want to make the most of your data, you will want to have most of your response options pre-populated, like multiple-choice questions, which accurately balance every kind of response.

You may want to structure questions something like this:

How helpful or unhelpful were our nurses?

  1. Very helpful
  2. Helpful
  3. Neither helpful nor unhelpful
  4. Unhelpful
  5. Very Unhelpful

You should notice a symmetry in these potential answers and a question that demonstrates a balanced view. If you just asked, “how helpful were our nurses?” you would be implying that your nurses are helpful.

These kinds of questions are also easier for responders to answer, making them a win-win for both the survey creator and respondents.

Personalize Your Email Surveys

Emails with personalized content or subject lines tend to get above average responses.

One of every three people will open an email by subject line alone, so make sure you have a catchy subject line with some personalization thrown in the mix. You want something compelling that avoids using the word “survey.” People may be intimidated by that word alone!

Additionally, your first lines also need to be personalized. Opening with “Hi (insert name here),” is going to work better for you than “Hi, there” or some other generic greeting.

Lastly, if you are sending your survey out via email, make sure you are keeping these things in mind:

  • Make sure your email is branded correctly so they can clearly identify who you are
  • Explain why you want their feedback
  • Explain how their feedback will be used
  • Set expectations on how long the survey will take (don’t lie)
  • Mention what’s in it for them if they fill out the survey
  • Include only one CTA, preferably a button

Always, and we do mean always, preview and double check your email and your survey before you send it out. You don’t want to forget an important question or confuse customers with a typo and lose their trust.

Speaking of trust…

Use the Data You Collect for Good

Do you know what really makes survey users want to respond to more surveys?

Actually following through on their feedback.

If you don’t make the operational, personnel or product improvements your survey responders suggest and then send them another survey, do you think they will take the time to answer it?

Probably not – or at least not positively.

Following through and making the necessary improvements shows you are able to take constructive feedback, can commit to making changes and value your survey responders.

If you want to increase your customer retention and make them advocates of your brand, don’t just ask them questions. Make the changes they recommend.

Get Actionable Consumer Insights Today

At Binary Fountain, we help business owners and managers get the actionable insights they need to improve their business operations.

From online reputation management to storing survey data, we have everything you need to listen to customer feedback and quickly identify the areas where your organization can improve.

For an in-depth look at survey best practices and other customer feedback strategies, check out our on-demand webinar on reputation and listings management.

More on this topic:

Want to learn more about how Binary Fountain can give your online reputation a boost?

Schedule a Demo

 

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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January 16, 2020

Webinar Recap: How Healthcare Systems Increase Transparency Through Star Ratings

By: Kieran McQuilkin

Is your organization looking to boost patient trust and transparency? Publishing survey ratings and reviews on your provider pages is vital to developing a trusted voice in the consumer selection process. In our latest on-demand webinar, Binary Fountain VP of Healthcare Products Chase Ausley and Sales Director Zargham Ghani explore the importance of online physician…

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star-ratings-transparencyIs your organization looking to boost patient trust and transparency?

Publishing survey ratings and reviews on your provider pages is vital to developing a trusted voice in the consumer selection process. In our latest on-demand webinar, Binary Fountain VP of Healthcare Products Chase Ausley and Sales Director Zargham Ghani explore the importance of online physician ratings, along with ways to effectively manage and display your provider ratings and reviews.

In the webinar, you will learn how to:

  • Use new features and functionalities – including an infinite scroll that enables you to access all providers or comments on a single page – that have been added to the platform.
  • Capitalize on optimizations to the user interface, making it simpler and more efficient to manage all your online reviews.
  • Get the most out of our transparency solutions by displaying ratings on your provider pages.

You can find a link to the 30-minute webinar here and at the bottom of this page. Here’s what we discuss:

Benefits of Transparency

For healthcare organizations, a transparency solution is becoming necessary to drive SEO and web traffic.

Prospective patients want to better understand the experience that a provider gives to other patients. Without provider feedback easily available online, those patients have a much lower likelihood of entrusting you with their healthcare.

With a star rating system, you can mark up provider pages so that search engines find first-party ratings on your website. That will result in more prospective patients clicking through to your sites and increase their trust. Since the data you collect from patient surveys is verified and only on your site, your organization can become the authoritative information source for Google’s search algorithms.

Remember: A bad review is better than no review. Even without a perfect five-star rating, a high volume of published reviews immediately validates the provider, and ultimately enables patients to better trust your organization before receiving care.

Transparency Workflow: Streamlined Approval and Appeals

A crucial aspect to a successful transparency program is achieving physician buy-in.

It’s natural for leadership to be skeptical at first, and to think providers will push back because transparency makes them more vulnerable. But users of Binary Star Ratings continue to prove that a majority of survey feedback is very positive, leading to prospective patients having higher confidence in them.

The benefit of engaging the provider population before becoming transparent is tremendous. If you establish a clear process for appeals and approvals, your physicians can have a voice in the equation.

Most Binary Fountain clients send out reports to providers with reviews that have been approved to go online. Providers have a set amount of time to review the feedback, communicate back to the appeals counsel, and ultimately decide what will appear online. Most clients will publish new survey feedback and star ratings to their sites on a regular cadence.

Typically, appeals are frequent right when you start a transparency program, but they drop significantly after a couple months as physicians get used to the system and learn the value of displaying ratings – even including negative reviews.

The Future of Star Ratings

Consumers now expect this information on health system websites, so not having star ratings or a similar review-publishing system is a disadvantage. Most of the healthcare market already is employing these solutions, and adoption will continue to grow.

For example, one customer increased 25% web traffic to provider pages within 15 weeks of launching a transparency strategy. For another, customer 92% of appointment requests are coming from providers with published star ratings and comments.

Health systems are also getting more creative with ways patients can navigate this content, such as filtering comments by age, demographic or care type. And technology like Natural Language Processing is leveraging AI to parse through reviews automatically, searching for profanity or PHI.

Success with a transparency solution will come from understanding and displaying that feedback, which can also provide additional layers of content to the rest of your online presence.

Here are other transparency questions that we answer in our star ratings webinar:

  • Where does the survey data come from, and how is it analyzed?
  • Can you combine third-party data with your own first-party surveys?
  • How are star ratings and patient experience scores calculated?
  • How do the reviews and ratings get published to a website/provider page?

Speakers:

  • Chase Ausley, VP of Healthcare Products, Binary Fountain
  • Zargham Ghani, Sales Director, Binary Fountain

To learn more about healthcare transparency solutions and to see why leading organizations use Binary Star Ratings, check out the free, 30-minute star ratings webinar – now available on-demand.

Ready to watch the webinar? Click here.

 

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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January 13, 2020

When and How to Respond to Online Patient Reviews

By: Kieran McQuilkin

There’s no question that online patient reviews are growing more important to healthcare organizations and their providers. Why? Because 95% of patients today say physician reviews online are reliable and over 70% say reviews have influenced their choice of physician. What people say online about your practice or business is crucial to understanding customer perception…

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doctor-patient-reviewsThere’s no question that online patient reviews are growing more important to healthcare organizations and their providers. Why? Because 95% of patients today say physician reviews online are reliable and over 70% say reviews have influenced their choice of physician.

What people say online about your practice or business is crucial to understanding customer perception and what matters most to them. But how and when you respond to reviews can be the difference between growing your business and falling off the map.

Any business without a clear feedback loop is doomed to fail.

In this article, we’ll explain why, when and how you should respond to patient reviews online.

Fixing the Record

When it comes to your healthcare company’s online reputation, you’re the authority. But you’re not the only voice in the room.

Just about anybody can post about your business on the web, so it’s crucial to constantly monitor reviews and respond quickly. That way, marketers and brand managers get the first word when potential patients ask questions, before unverified users get there first.

You might also come across fake reviews, which – luckily – are few and far between. Before you ever confront a fake evaluation, you should understand how the review sites define “fake” and how to appeal. By knowing the rules of third-party websites regarding user-contributed content, you might be able to get a fake review removed.

In other cases, reviewers can cross the line from helpful suggestions to something potentially insulting or slanderous. These situations are rare, but if they happen, you do have some recourse when reviews violate the platform guidelines.

Most of the time, you can flag reviews as inappropriate if they fall within specific guidelines on a given listings site. Google and Facebook are two of the main places where patients can leave reviews, so understanding the rules on each is a good place to start when planning to protect your online reputation.

Keep in mind that even if you flag a review, it doesn’t guarantee Google, Facebook or Healthgrades will take it down. Review platforms are not in the business of mitigating disagreements between a business owner and a dissatisfied patient. They also aren’t in a rush to resolve your specific problem, so flag inappropriate comments as soon as possible.

Responding to Positive and Negative Reviews

The ultimate goal of responding to positive reviews is to evangelize the patient and show that you take feedback seriously. Everyone likes immediate feedback and knowing they were heard, and nobody likes being ignored.

Here are some quick tips on how to reply to positive patient reviews:

  • Thank your reviewer. It’s polite, and showing appreciation will help attract more prospective patients.
  • Make sure you address what made the customer happy and take the time to call it out.
  • Take the time to write a unique response that will resonate more with the user.
  • Promise to share the compliment, and share it with your employees.

Positive reviews are much more common than negative ones – nine times more likely for healthcare providers last year, according to Binary Fountain’s 2019 Healthcare & Consumer Insights Survey. However, while no one wants to see negative reviews about their business, the question isn’t will it happen – but when.

How and when you respond to these comments depends on the severity of the negativity contained in the review. But the first instruction is to breathe.

No matter how bad the content is, you must remain calm and fully analyze a review before considering a response. Your staff would likely remember the interaction they had with the reviewer. If the complaint is about a specific employee, get their side of the story before making a response plan.

Then, promptly apologize to the unhappy reviewer and take the conversation offline rather than risking an online back-and-forth conversation that could worsen the situation.

Here are some quick tips on how to reply to negative patient reviews:

  • Keep calm and evaluate the review from their perspective
  • Address the reviewer’s complaint
  • Monitor reviews, and remove or flag any inappropriate reviews
  • Promise to make improvements to products and services

Remember: Ignoring a less-than-favorable review is rarely helpful to your business, and in fact, could make the situation worse.

Regardless of the comment’s sentiment, if you make responding to patient concerns a priority, you’re that much closer to maintaining a good online reputation.

Increasing Transparency and Protecting PHI

When it comes to managing reviews on your facility’s provider pages, Binary Fountain recommends publishing all verified comments from patient experience surveys, whatever the sentiment. This transparency can give patients confidence in the healthcare provider.

But there are exceptions, for both surveys and reviews.

Often, a patient may disclose some protected health information (PHI) in a complaint about the physician. The physician’s immediate response might be to defend themselves online, but that’s almost never the correct course of action.

Healthcare organizations should establish a process for handling situations where a patient posts an online comment that reveals PHI. Though it is not illegal for a patient to disclose their own PHI, physicians and practices are liable for publishing it. Comments should be monitored for PHI, with the identifying content being removed before it’s published, in accordance with the HIPAA privacy rule.

During a potential PHI exposure, follow a written response procedure that immediately coordinates with legal, patient advocacy and customer care staff. Your response should come within a couple days – hours, if possible. The longer PHI sits exposed to public view, the more troublesome it is.

Fast Replies Boost Your Reputation

Timely, effective responses depend on knowing how staff and review management software are monitoring reviews, who will respond and how to respond.

Time savings is one of the biggest, most tangible results of a review management service. Another is the ability to be aware of what is being said about your provider online. Service recovery in a timely manner is another. Using effective tools like Binary Fountain’s Health Analytics platform can lead to more visibility online, more appointments, more revenue and a better patient experience.

Remember, reviews aren’t just an opportunity to showcase happy customers or to find a squeaky wheel in your business. It’s an opportunity to improve your patient experience, and there’s no time to waste.

 

Want to learn more about how Binary Fountain can give your online reputation a boost?

Schedule a Demo

 

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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January 08, 2020

How Do Companies Use Google Q&A?

By: Kieran McQuilkin

Communication is key in any relationship – even in business. Are your customers feeling heard?  Carefully cultivating and monitoring your online presence is imperative for allowing customers to find your business, along with answers to questions they might have. Google Q&A, a tool within Google My Business, gives you a direct communication path with customers…

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google-qa-questions-answersCommunication is key in any relationship – even in business. Are your customers feeling heard? 

Carefully cultivating and monitoring your online presence is imperative for allowing customers to find your business, along with answers to questions they might have. Google Q&A, a tool within Google My Business, gives you a direct communication path with customers while answering their frequently asked questions. 

This article covers the features of Google Q&A, best practices, and how our customers are taking advantage of the tool. 

How important is the Q&A section of a Google My Business Profile? 

The Q&A section is a prominent feature on Google My Business (GMB) profiles that factors into search engine visibility, so having robust and accurate company information attracts more eyeballs. 

This feature cannot be turned on and off like some other GMB elements. However, you can exercise control over your Q&A info by carefully monitoring its activity and responding to every question and answer posted by customers. Inaccurate information can greatly impact your online reputation and mislead potential customers. 

One of the most common pain points, especially for healthcare and property management firms, involves incorrect business hour information. Someone may ask via Google Q&A when you open, and a customer could reply “9 a.m.” when the correct response is actually “8 a.m.” This seemingly small error may cost you appointments or sales for months to come, if not addressed. 

Who Can Post Questions? Who Can Answer?

For better or worse, anyone can post questions and answers for your business. Fortunately, Google makes it clear who is posting the information.

If you own the business, for example, Google will clarify your position in parentheses. Anyone who signs up with Google’s Local Guide program will have a star and the text “local guide” next to their name.

Q&A conversations are also ongoing, like a thread on a message board. Once the question is asked, answers can continue to pile underneath – so continual monitoring is key for companies, even for older questions. Google now features the most recent question at the top of your GMB profile, so staying up to date on new questions and answers is equally crucial. 

Google’s restricted content guidelines apply to Q&A forms, so don’t lose too much sleep over inappropriate questions or answers. While you cannot remove the content yourself, you can request for it to be taken down by Google. This includes content that is off-topic, fake/spam, offensive, sexually explicit or otherwise not appropriate for the public eye.

If your GMB profile is active, Google will tag you as the brand “owner” and identify your answer as the source of truth. As the business owner or brand manager, you must verify your information before receiving this title. Neglecting this feature is a missed opportunity to steer potential customers in the right direction.

Best Practices for Google Q&A 

The best way to capitalize on Google Q&A is to maintain awareness and stay engaged with every aspect of the feature. Here are some tips on getting the most out of your FAQs.

  • Respond to every single question to provide an authoritative answer for potential customers.
  • Anticipate questions users might ask and post them – along with the answers – to get a head start.
  • Be on the lookout for negative questions and comments or content that violates platform rules.
  • Treat your Q&A section like your Google reviews section. Provide clear and concise responses that address the concern, reaffirm your values and redirect customers to more information.
google-question-answer-cvs
Google Q&A sits just under the company’s basic information.

Seeding common questions is recommended for businesses to get ahead of likely customer inquiries. Examples include details about business hours, parking and location info, services and products, and reservation requirements. If you are struggling to come up with questions to answer, take note of questions you get asked over the phone and in person. If one person wants to know something, others will, too.

So, who is using Google Q&A, and how frequently?

2019 Google Q&A Results 

Monitoring and answering FAQs is just one piece of a winning reputation management strategy – but the numbers are no small matter. Binary Fountain pulled statistics from some of our clients that most actively use our Google Q&A product.

For one major healthcare provider focused on eye care, 148 facilities accumulated a combined 207 questions in 2019. That’s an average of about 1.3 questions per facility, so producing responses to those Q&A submissions is manageable. More than half of those inquiries (114) have responses from the business owner.

Meanwhile, one major U.S. healthcare provider fielded 2,515 questions on the search engine last year across its 860 locations and physicians. With the help of Binary Fountain’s reputation management software, more than 1,000 of those questions have publicly displayed answers.

On the multifamily side, several property management companies using the Google Q&A tool accrued 200-plus questions in 2019. For clients we surveyed, the highest rate of owner responses was 50%, from a business with more than 90 properties. Two other companies monitor reviews and questions from search engines, but have not responded in the Q&A section from their GMB profiles. Even so, about 50% of those questions were answered accurately by community members.

Using Software to Monitor and Respond

Binary Fountain’s Google Q&A product helps consolidate every important piece of this feature into a single platform. It sources data from the search engine and sends real-time alerts whenever a question or answer gets posted on your page.

The software is integrated (at no additional charge) with our Social Compass and Binary Health Analytics platforms. It will give you a quick snapshot of Google questions per location or provider, including the number of unanswered questions. This information is refreshed constantly, giving you a live feed to track Q&A engagement and maintain your SEO rankings.

Here’s some related posts you might want to check out:

Click below to learn more about Binary Fountain’s platform and how to take your online reputation management to the next level.

Schedule a Demo

 

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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January 06, 2020

How Patients Find Out About a Doctor’s Reputation Online

By: Kieran McQuilkin

Most patients today look up your hospital or physician practice on the web before scheduling an appointment. Understanding their perspective – and therefore understanding what brings them through the door – is all about knowing how they find a doctor’s reputation online. If your practice is like most others, you have made educated guesses or…

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doctor-reputation-online-searchMost patients today look up your hospital or physician practice on the web before scheduling an appointment. Understanding their perspective – and therefore understanding what brings them through the door – is all about knowing how they find a doctor’s reputation online.

If your practice is like most others, you have made educated guesses or compiled some data on the healthcare search process, but you might not have the complete picture. More than 60% of patients start their search online, and 40% rely on online reviews to find a doctor, according to Binary Fountain’s 2019 Healthcare Consumer Insight survey. Moreover, a 2018 Patient Access Journey Report by Kyruus reports that 91% of patients conduct research online, even after receiving a referral for a medical provider.

What does this mean? Consumers want access to convenient, quality care and are willing to do their own research to find it. Though a search may start by asking a friend, patients are finding doctors’ reputations online before scheduling an appointment.

How much would it help your facility to fully understand how patients are finding physicians through an online search? The short answer: a lot.

In this article, we’ll cover all the ways that patients find out about a doctor’s reputation online, preparing you to build a strategy for managing and improving those reputations.

Search Engines

Consumers want to know what people are saying about their experience at your medical facility and the quality of care you provide.

In general, patients look at online reviews at see how you are rated in the following areas: Quality of care, cost, wait times, experience with staff, ease of booking appointments, accuracy of diagnosis, and amount of time spent with patient.

Google uses online reviews to determine what businesses and services will take the best care of their users and are more likely to show those organizations in local searches. Many variables impact local search engine result pages beyond the number and quality of doctor reviews, but having quality patient feedback will help your practice rank in search results.

Google’s algorithm is specifically looking for:

  • Number of patient reviews
  • Recency of reviews
  • Overall star rating
  • Proactive engagement by business owners (responding to reviews)

Google already knows that most users want local results, especially when it comes to medical services, and will automatically display the most locally relevant providers above all else.

Supplying this data can help you appear in search results and will also help you attract new customers, because healthcare consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal referral. You should takyour online reviews seriously and monitor them often to understand which operational improvements you can make to increase patient satisfaction.

Doctor Review Sites

Healthcare-specific review sites are among the most important places to monitor as you build a complete picture of your doctors’ online reputations. Create and maintain profiles on the most popular doctor review sites such as Healthgrades, Vitals and ZocDoc, as these platforms have massive reach and factor into your search rankings.

ZocDoc

ZocDoc allows patients to find providers, book appointments, fill out health forms digitally and leave reviews and ratings. While providers cannot know whether patients will always leave positive online reviews, this site helps doctors gain reviews by requesting feedback from every patient after a doctor visit.

Vitals

Vitals also aims to be a single source for health information, with over 1 million physician profiles currently on the site. Upon finding a physician, the patient can view their profile, book an appointment, read more about the provider and view the provider’s reviews. The platform currently boasts over 9 million reviews and ratings, making it a treasure trove for nailing down a doctor’s reputation.

Healthgrades

Healthgrades is similar to Vitals in many ways, allowing users to categorize their search and containing a comparable number of reviews and profiles on its platform. It also has resources to help providers increase positive online reviews by sending postcards and emails to previous patients, encouraging them to leave a review on the site.

RateMDs

One of the more intuitive doctor review sites, RateMDs, has a knack for knowing what patients truly care about. In addition to having more than 1 million reviews, its five-star physician rating system is broken into categories like Punctuality, Helpfulness and Knowledge. Patients can chime in specifically on things like cleanliness, treatment from the staff and overall value, too.

CareDash

On CareDash, patients can browse doctor profiles and compare doctor ratings and reviews, as well as leave feedback from their own experiences. Claiming your CareDash profile will help you gain trust from potential patients and nudge them toward booking an appointment with you. Through a partnership with Binary Fountain, patient experience (PX) scores are now featured on its nationwide network of physician profiles.

Wellness.com

What Wellness.com lacks in elegance, it makes up for in information and functionality. Online users can find everything they need when looking for providers and doctors on this platform, from accepted insurance to education history to special services. Wellness.com also offers tools for featured advertising, boosting search engine presence and reputation management.

Social Media

According to a 2014 survey from Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, more than half of Americans focus on personality and relationships when choosing a physician. And personality shines on social media.

To cross paths with potential patients online, your organization should have a presence on major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram.

While healthcare providers should certainly maintain social media profiles for their business, and make sure reviews are up to date, individual physicians could also benefit from a social presence.

With a rise in the number of doctors using social networking sites, it’s easier than ever to use social media to determine the personality and attitudes of a doctor before meeting them. Giving your patients a view into your providers’ social media pages increases transparency and builds trust. 

Other Platforms

Physician reputations are displayed all over the web, far beyond Google, Healthgrades and Facebook.

Many private or nonprofit sites provide information at no cost to patients. These range from professional boards that certify doctors to those that are advertising-based or charge fees to doctors and practices to be listed.

On the profit-making side, insurance company sites attract high traffic from patients searching for care. Several health insurance organizations have built doctor reference sites for customers to use. With doctors adding and dropping plans as often as they doyou should update insurance information for your practice frequently. But don’t fret: In a 2019 Software Advice survey, nearly half of respondents said they would go out of their insurance network for a provider with favorable reviews.

Government sites also provide information about doctors licensed in their states. For example, the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) website lists basic data through its DocInfo.org search function. You will find the doctor’s board certifications, education, states with active licenses and any malpractice-related actions against the physician.

Boost Your Reputation and Get Found

Physicians with the best online reputations don’t wait around for a five-star rating. Showing that you are an expert in your field and active in the medical community will go a long way to building trust for a perspective patient.

Here are some quick tips for proactively maintaining your physicians’ online listings:

  • In addition to establishing expertisetry to win the local SEO battle for your specialty. This means focusing on search engine optimization tactics to get your practice on the first page of Google, Yelp and the rest.
  • You may not be able to change the physical location of your facilities, but you can make sure your phone numbers, locations and hours of operation are all correct, so patients know how to find you.
  • If your practice has claimed a Google My Business profile, you should also build out the Q&A section, providing common questions and answers users might type in a search query.

Generally speaking, the more reviews you have, the stronger your doctor reputations will be, even if some reviews are negative. Do your best to obtain more reviews for your practice, and be sure to respond to negative reviews in a way that’s helpful and authentic.

Don’t wait for your doctors’ reputations to build themselves. Be proactive, monitor your listings and dominate local physician searches to stand apart from competitors.

Want to learn more about how Binary Fountain can give your online reputation a boost?

Schedule a Demo

 

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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January 02, 2020

How to Use Social Media to Improve Your Online Reputation

By: Kieran McQuilkin

Social media plays a pivotal role in how other people perceive your business, as one of the major purveyors of your online reputation.  From building relationships through direct communication with your fans to building a consistent brand image for your business, social media helps connect companies with millions of people each month. How people perceive you on social…

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social-media-messagesSocial media plays a pivotal role in how other people perceive your business, as one of the major purveyors of your online reputation. 

From building relationships through direct communication with your fans to building a consistent brand image for your business, social media helps connect companies with millions of people each month.

How people perceive you on social media is reality, which is why you need to create and maintain a positive image of your brand and make sure any negative perceptions are taken seriously and acted on. Social media is the most direct way for people to interact with your business online, and their feedback matters for both retaining current customers and attracting new ones.

This means that social media plays a vital component in your online reputation and brand perception.

Here are some ways you can use social media to improve your online reputation and key indicators to monitor along the way.

Focus on Engagement as Your Primary Metric

If you’re a marketer, you’ve probably heard, “but social media doesn’t make us money!” from an executive or business owner at least once.

Being a savvy social media marketer, you know that the power of social media is connection, not conversion.

When using social media for reputation management, you are still looking for a level of community engagement from your audience and the definition of “conversions” slightly changes from your normal e-commerce or appointment scheduling.

To truly engage with social media followers, you have to be willing to listen to what they say, even if it isn’t positive. This means you need to understand the sentiment of their posts and know how to respond to them.

To build trust, your brand can’t use social media only to push marketing efforts. Social media is supposed to be a two-way communication, not a dark void to deposit a one-sided conversation. You can’t be afraid to respond to both the positive and negative feedback that your customers offer. 

People not only will feel better, but also trust your brand more if they see you taking the time to respond to both good and bad reviews. It shows that your business cares about its customers and that you are willing to make the changes necessary to improve their experience.

Responding to Negative Social Media Reviews

Here’s a quick guide for how to respond to negative reviews on social media: 

  • Listen to the customer’s problem and take it seriously 
  • Confirm the interaction with your staff before responding
  • When responding, thank them for the feedback and tell them you take it seriously
  • Provide a solution or point of contact for the problem they encountered
  • If they ordered something, give them a status update on where it is
  • Invite them to try your service or product again

For a more in-depth look at responding to negative reviews in general, you should check out our complete guide on how to respond to negative reviews.

Bad reviews are going to happen. When they do, you want to make sure you have the right plan in place to continue to build positive community engagement.

Build Your Brand on an Emotional Level

Maybe you’ve heard that people buy through emotions, not through wallets.

Social media is no different.

To stay on the top of your customers’ minds, you need to build more than a brick-and-mortar complex where you are conveniently there to sell them something. You have to transform yourself into something much larger, something emotional.

Why did that Olympic commercial by PNG work so well? Because it had such an emotional payoff that people still talk about its impact years later.

If you are trying to improve your online reputation or going into crisis mode to combat a negative reputation, you will want to include emotional elements in your social media strategy. Telling success stories of your customers, humanizing your staff and solidifying yourself as a member of your local community will help you cultivate a positive brand sentiment.

You may even want to get involved with social activism or responsibility. If you are making new efforts to protect the environment, talk about it online. When you support the local animal shelter, show your employees volunteering there.

Measure the Right Things

When it comes to knowing your numbers, you want to make sure you aren’t just tracking vanity metrics on your social accounts.

Focus on customer sentiment metrics (through social listening tools), the number of reviews on different platforms, the volume of quality reviews and online community engagement. Followers, impressions and other surface-level metrics don’t tell the full story.

You don’t want followers. You want engaged fans.

Improve your Services and Products

The most important part of using social media to improve your online reputation management is to provide the best possible products and services for your customers. That means when you don’t deliver on customer expectations, you own up to it and promise to do better… and then do it. 

Your company might have a bad reputation for customer service, products or otherwise, whether it’s deserved or not. Social media can provide the feedback you need to fix what people dislike about your offerings.

Your social media account also provides a great way for you to communicate changes to your customer service or products. If you notice a lot of similar complaints, make the changes necessary and then communicate them to your social media followers. They will appreciate the transparency and honesty.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I take customer feedback seriously?  
  • Are we responsive and helpful when customers have valid complaints? 
  • Do we make the improvements they ask for?
  • How can we create a great customer experience? 

If you can answer all of these questions positively, you are on the right track!

We are Here to Help You Improve Your Online Reputation on Social Media

If you run the marketing or customer experience teams for your business, you need a great online reputation, and social media is just one of the places for customers to provide reviews.

At Binary Fountain, we’ve developed the perfect reputation management software to make it easy for companies to take control of your online presence across all of your social media platforms and website listings. Discover the valuable customer insights you need to improve your business, all in one place. 

Download one of our e-books or watch one of our free webinars today to learn more about online reputation management.

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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December 30, 2019

Local SEO Strategies for Multiple Business Locations

By: Kayla Zamary

Local search engine optimization (SEO) strategies can be complicated for any business to implement, especially if you have multiple locations. From owning your business listing on Google My Business to paying close attention to your online reviews, you’ve taken painstaking efforts to improve search results for your local area. Whether you’re a local food chain…

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local-seo-searchLocal search engine optimization (SEO) strategies can be complicated for any business to implement, especially if you have multiple locations.

From owning your business listing on Google My Business to paying close attention to your online reviews, you’ve taken painstaking efforts to improve search results for your local area.

Whether you’re a local food chain with a few locations across a state or an enterprise business spanning the entire country, you will want to ensure each individual business location gets the attention it needs to be successful in a local search. 

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is the practice of using techniques that will help your website rank when people are searching for your product or service within a specific locality. The ultimate goal of local SEO strategies is to rank better for a local audience rather than a global one.

We have a comprehensive guide to dominating your local search results if you want tactical steps to take to expand your visibility in your market – if you have a single location. 

Using these strategies will improve your online rankings in search engine result pages (SERPs) and increase the likelihood that your intended audience will find your location.

Why Does Local SEO Matter?

According to Hubspot, half of consumers who search for a local store via their smartphone visit that store within a day. That’s a fact that can have an immediate impact on any business, regardless of the industry.

For brick and mortar locations, local SEO is necessary in today’s digital world if you are interested in customers finding you online. 

How Does Local Search Work? 

Google uses many factors to determine local search results. While it is almost impossible to know exactly how the algorithm works, one thing you can bet on is that Google is getting smarter and faster at serving up the best possible results for its users. 

You will want to put your best foot forward and make sure you are following Google’s guidelines and playing by the rules.

Another thing to consider is that Google is using the searcher’s geolocation to return useful results.

For example, you wouldn’t see results in Dallas for “bakery” if you were searching on your phone from Washington, D.C. That would be a poor user experience. 

How to Optimize for Local Search

If you are interested in optimizing for local search, here are seven basic things you can do to get started:

  • Claim your Google My Business account if you haven’t already 
  • Optimize your website with geographical keywords that best describe the location of your business 
  • Make sure you have a contact page with location name, address and phone number 
  • Generate the right Schema for a local business 
  • Make sure your website is mobile friendly and is meeting Google’s page speed standards 
  • Optimize your metadata to include enticing title tags and descriptions that users will want to click on 
  • Get a ton of quality reviews on your listings (Facebook, Google etc.)

How to Optimize Local SEO if You Have Multiple Locations

Optimizing for local search results when you have multiple locations is not too different from the above, but there are a few distinct nuances.

First, you will want to make sure that you have a specific landing page on your site for each of your locations. SEO experts have a saying that “one page, one purpose” always works better.

By creating specific pages for each location, you can optimize each for local search in those areas rather than trying to get one page to rank for everything.

One important thing to remember, however, is that every page has to be unique and can’t just contain the same content with a different geographical location. When creating these pages think about what makes them unique, like:

  • Location name, address and phone number
  • Descriptive content that’s specific to a location, like the staff, neighborhood and history 
  • A Google Maps widget with the exact location 
  • Current images of the location 
  • Special events unique to that location
  • Unique testimonials from real customers

Make Sure Site Navigation Matches

When you build these unique location pages, you will want to make sure your URL names make sense for each.

For example, your URL structuring may look something like this:

www.companyname.com/location_name_1

www.companyname.com/location_name_2

www.companyname.com/location_name_3

Or a more realistic example:

www.bestrestuarentever.com/Denver

www.bestrestuarentever.com/Boulder

www.bestrestuarentever.com/Fort-Collins

All of these pages should be accessible through your main website navigation, or if you have a ton of locations, through a store finder.

Additionally, if you operate only a handful of locations, we recommend including a link to the contact page (or location page) for each one in the footer of each page of your website. 

A Word on Site Structure

One of the most common mistakes is URL structures that don’t make sense with site architecture. Creating a consistent, user-friendly URL structure makes it easy for search engines and users alike to understand the variation in each location.

This will increase your odds of ranking for each local market! 

For example:

yourbusiness.com/colorado/mercy-hospital 

yourbusiness.com/colorado/charity-hospital 

yourbusiness.com/utah/st-mark-hospital

Some business, however, may be more complicated and have multiple kinds of locations in the same city that go by the same name.

For situations like that you may want to try: 

yourbusiness.com/locations/minnesota/duluth/location-name1 

yourbusiness.com/locations/minnesota/duluth/location-name2

And so on.

If store No. 1 is located in a shopping center called Great Oaks, your URL could be:

yourbusiness.com/locations/minnesota/duluth/great-oaks

Whatever way you decide to structure your URL’s, make sure you are consistent! 

Further Optimize Each Location for Local SEO

After you create these individual pages, you will need to create meta descriptions, tags, and other content with location-specific keywords just like you would if you had a singular location. 

You will also want to leverage SEO best practices on the page, including:

  • Having the location in the title (h1 header) of the page 
  • Subheads with relevant keywords 
  • Avoiding keyword-stuffing by speaking like a user would, rather than what you think a search engine wants to see
  • Keeping load times minimal
  • Adding alt text to images
  • Making sure the content is unique to each page
  • Use unique local business schema for each page

Create Multiple Google My Business Accounts

Much like if you had one business location, you will want to claim/create a Google My Business listing for each of your locations to show up on Google Maps. Claiming multiple locations on Google My Business is a relatively easy process because the program enables you to add any new locations you may have or use bulk verification to verify all sites at once.

You should use the individual URLs (or pages) you have created so customers can quickly get to the information they want about a specific location.

Here’s a quick recap of Google’s verification process:

  • Verify each location using the code Google emails you (it will take about a week) 
  • Post the unique hours for each location (if they vary) 
  • Choose the same category for each location
  • Add unique images for each location

Generate Quality (and Quantity) Citations

One of the many ranking factors for local businesses is having quality links to your website from trusted sources. This has been an important ranking factor since as early as 2005, with some key changes.

First, Google now penalizes websites that purposely spam links. If you ever get a call from an “SEO expert” that wants to sell you 10,000 links for websites to improve your rankings, hang up the phone and block their number. They aren’t selling you a valid solution for your SEO needs. 

Instead, focus your efforts on making sure your business listings online are accurate across all the major citation networks.

Here are a few places you’ll want to check:

  • Facebook 
  • Yelp 
  • Bing 
  • Google 
  • Mantra 
  • Better Business Bureau 
  • Angie’s List
  • Yahoo Local
  • Foursquare
  • Yellow Pages 

Each of these locations needs to have the correct name, address, hours, and website. Do not, however, add the location to its name if it’s part of a larger franchise (for example, “Optometrists of Nashville,” located in Brentwood, should not be listed as “Optometrists of Nashville of Brentwood”). This would be seen as an inconsistency if that isn’t the actual name of the business, and could hurt your local SEO efforts.

If you find any inconsistencies in these listings, you will want to correct them to make sure search engines and customers aren’t confused. This can be extremely tedious, but it could be disastrous if your business is not paying attention to them, especially across multiple locations. 

There’s nothing worse than a customer trying to shop at one of your locations only to find out the location they went to is closed, but the one across town is open.

Find New Places to Add Citations

Additionally, you will want to find new opportunities for creating citations across the web, especially within your industry.

Some examples may be HomeAdvisor for contractors or Avvo for lawyers. Chances are, if you think about it, you probably already know what these sites are for your specific industry.

Because quality links help build your website’s authority and give Google a better idea of the types of relevant keywords, businesses with an industry-optimized footprint on specific directories stand a better chance of ranking in Google for industry terms than businesses that don’t. 

Build Quality Links to Each Location Page

We briefly mentioned buying links is bad for SEO (and it most certainly is) but that doesn’t mean links aren’t important.

Links remain a major ranking factor and finding ones that make sense for your business is one of the best ways to increase your odds of appearing in local search results. In particular, local directories also add credibility, especially if each of your location pages has their own unique backlink profile.

You may want to partner with local resources like Chambers of Commerce and local charities, or host events at your businesses that give you a chance to attract links to your specific location pages.

You could also reach out to local bloggers in the area and see if they are interested in sharing your content or let you promote your business on their site.

Take comfort in knowing you don’t have to become an SEO expert to improve your business’s organic search. It just takes a little time and creativity to find the right places for your business to be listed.

Get Quality Reviews

The last step for using local SEO strategies for multiple locations is maybe one of the most important ones: generate online reviews.

Online reviews are crucial to local SEO because they show search engines and directories the overall quality of a business. Users are less likely to trust search engines if they provide poor recommendations, which means the search engines don’t make money from advertising because users will stop using their service.

This means search engines like Google are more likely to show businesses that have earned positive customer reviews. This doesn’t just mean reviews on Google either. You want to have quality reviews across all consumer feedback platforms, like Facebook and Bing, as well.

Getting quality reviews (and a lot of reviews) is important for any business, but it’s particularly important for businesses with multiple locations because every location needs to be generating location-specific reviews to improve their individual SEO.

If you need help with your online reputation and generating quality reviews, we are here to help!

Binary Fountain Can Help Manage Your Online Reputation

Keeping track of your online reviews can be difficult, especially if you have multiple locations.

Binary Fountain makes managing your online reputation easy, allowing you to view and respond to all of your online reviews in one place – giving you insights on how each of your locations are performing.

Interested in learning more? Here are some other materials that may help:

You can also check out one of our free webinars or case studies to learn more about how Binary Fountain is helping businesses just like yours take control of their online reputation.

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

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December 26, 2019

Ask the Experts: Tips on HIPAA Compliant Reviews with Hannah Borchik

By: Kieran McQuilkin

Anyone managing a healthcare organization’s online reputation knows that responding to patient reviews is a must. But in this industry, not just anything goes. HIPAA-compliant reviews are the law of the land. Under HIPAA Privacy Practice regulations, the onus is on doctors, providers and practices to protect their patients’ privacy while responding on public forums….

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Anyone managing a healthcare organization’s online reputation knows that responding to patient reviews is a must. But in this industry, not just anything goes. HIPAA-compliant reviews are the law of the land.

Under HIPAA Privacy Practice regulations, the onus is on doctors, providers and practices to protect their patients’ privacy while responding on public forums.

Hannah Borchik
Hannah Borchik

In brief, HIPAA applies to protected health information (PHI), defined as “independently identifiable health information.” It encompasses most data that relates to a patient’s physical or medical condition in the past, present or future. PHI also covers basic identifiers, including name, address, birth date, and social security number – it even covers the acknowledgement of a patient receiving care.

That’s a lot of PHI to consider when you’re replying to public reviews of your organization. We asked resident expert Hannah Borchik, customer success manager at Binary Fountain, for some tips on HIPAA-compliant responses to online patient reviews.

Make a Response Plan

The first step is to collaborate with your marketing and patient experience teams to form policies around your replies that follow HIPAA guidelines. Track your online reputation to identify the different types of patient reviews and test your policies and responses to all scenarios. Then create response templates that your colleagues can customize for individual reviews.

“It’s very important for businesses to have a scaled review response strategy,” Borchik said. “Every single person potentially responding to reviews needs to operate under the same guidelines as everyone else. Make sure you collaborate with each other and that the business has one voice.”

Borchik says strategy comes first, and brand managers shouldn’t freely respond to reviews as they come in. She recommends creating a list of 20 compliant responses to positive comments and 20 compliant responses to negative comments.

“Having that in front of you brings together the organization’s strategy,” she said, “and makes you sound.”

Protect Patient Information at All Costs

The most important part of any response to a HIPAA-compliant review, Borchik said, is to keep the patient’s privacy intact. Here are general guidelines for avoiding the disclosure of PHI:

  • Do not acknowledge a reviewer as a patient – not even confirming or denying that they visited you. That means don’t acknowledge them by name, don’t tell them to feel better, and most importantly, don’t talk about their specific health concern.
  • Even if a patient reveals their diagnosis in a review, healthcare providers are violating HIPAA guidelines if their reply mentions the diagnosis.
  • Don’t respond defensively, even if you’re trying to be helpful. Any specific services or policies you mention could violate HIPAA guidelines.

Many of these obstacles have simple alternatives. For example, if a review says their doctor was rude about their diabetes treatment, you should not respond that the doctor is sorry about being rude about their diabetes. You should respond that your organization is very sorry about the experience.

“Be as broad in your response as possible,” Borchik said. “Instead of, ‘We’re glad you had great experience in the office,’ say, ‘We’re glad you had a great experience.’

“Being too canned is also a no-no,” she continued.”Using the same response every time can hurt your SEO and doesn’t make patients feel very heard. It makes it sound like a robot is responding to reviews, not a human.”

Here’s an example of a review response that violates HIPAA:

Click to enlarge

And here’s an example of a review response that is HIPAA compliant:

Click to enlarge

And being careful doesn’t mean being cold, Borchik reminds us: “Make sure it is direct, warm and open, but does not acknowledge the illness they’re talking about.”

Take it Offline

In your responses, especially to negative reviews, invite reviewers to reach out to address their concerns through private channels, like a phone call or email. That way, you will avoid unwanted disclosures or breaches of patient privacy.

But wait, there’s more. HIPAA’s Security Rule says that all ePHI (electronically protected health information) is free from the standard violations mentioned earlier. But social media messaging services violate its standard for compliance, and should never be used to distribute patient data or documents.

“Take the conversation fully offline, meaning no private messages and no direct messaging – there’s always a chance that it’s a HIPAA violation,” Borchik said. “If you share any part of that medical information without their consent, even if you’re responding directly to them, that’s a HIPAA violation. So instead, say, ‘Here’s our email or phone number.’

“If you really want to have full service recovery, it’s about calling that patient or having them get in touch, in order to fix that issue or to make organizational changes.”

Interested in learning more? Here are some other materials that may help:

Also, check out our free webinars or e-books for more information and case studies about how we have helped businesses around the world manage their online reputation.

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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December 23, 2019

Google Places: How to Show Up in the Right Place

By: Kieran McQuilkin

In the last decade, Google has become a powerhouse for businesses and customers, transforming from a web search engine to a household verb and ever-present companion for planning and navigating our daily routines.   The convenience of digital maps, like Google Maps, along with the rise of the smartphone and other tech advances, have fundamentally…

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In the last decade, Google has become a powerhouse for businesses and customers, transforming from a web search engine to a household verb and ever-present companion for planning and navigating our daily routines.  

The convenience of digital maps, like Google Maps, along with the rise of the smartphone and other tech advances, have fundamentally changed how customers interact with companies. From discovering locations and planning routes to sizing up a business’s value, the importance of Google Maps and Google Places – and how your business is listed, managed, and perceived on these platforms – is immeasurable.  

Here’s what you need to know about Google Places and Google Maps and how to leverage your business listing in the right way.

A Brief History of Google Maps

With more than a billion users, and millions of miles of streets captured around the globe, Google Maps has become an interface between the physical and the digital world.

But it certainly didn’t start that way. Google Maps began as scribbles on a whiteboard in Sydney, Australia. Google transformed a vision originally cast by Where 2 in 2004 and ultimately led the charge to make mapping available on the web.

And with that, Google Maps was born. 

By 2005, Google Maps was released to the public with a map of the U.S. 

Over the next two years, the internet giant began testing on mobile platforms and adding public transit schedules to the product. By 2007, it had launched Maps in 60 countries and integrated Maps directly into Google.com search results.

Once a standalone application, Google Maps quickly evolved into a much more sophisticated and customizable tool, dramatically helping both customers and businesses.

Today, Google Maps offers integrations to applications like Google Places, allowing businesses to provide detailed information about who they are, where they are, and what they do, and to upload images and videos.

What Is Google Places?

No matter your industry, it’s vital in today’s digital world that your business is listed online and easily findable. With Google Places, creating a listing is free and is especially important for businesses whose customers are local or are searching within a specific location.

Google My Business, which supplies data to Places, is an added feature to maps where business owners can claim their business listing and engage with potential customers researching their options.

On your business listing, you can provide data on your address, ratings, contact information, and general atmosphere, as well as monitor your customer reviews. You can also input opening hours and specify your service areas.

You’ll want to have a comprehensive marketing strategy when thinking about your Google My Business profile in order to maximize your local SEO efforts and your online reputation.

You can think about Google Places as your business’ one-stop shop for customers to learn about where you are, who you are, and how you operate. Plus, because Google Places uses geolocation and geocoding features in combination with up-to-date data, your business can get customers the information they need, precisely when they need it.

Ultimately, what you need to hear is this: Google Places should be a priority for any business looking to take advantage of the online community, which, in our digital landscape, likely applies to your business.

Google Maps vs. Google Places: Should I Care About Both?

If you’ve used the internet or have a smartphone, chances are you’ve used Google Maps. And because of its integration with Google Places, a user can view local business listings right in Google Maps. 

So how does this work when a user is actually in the Google Maps application?

Let’s say a user searches for a restaurant near their current location. They could search for restaurants in the area and Google Maps would display 20 local restaurants. When a user clicks on a listing, they’ll see information about the business and a small map. So, if you’re a local restaurant, Google Places gives you the opportunity to optimize your business listing.

But how does Google Places interact with Google’s main search page if a user is not in the Google Maps application?

Beginning in 2011, Google started using Google Places listings instead of Google Maps on its main search page. So, if you’re a local business, you definitely want to create an incredible listing with Google Places to bump up your ranking in a user’s search results.

One way to ensure that you improve the SEO (search engine optimization) on your listing is through reviews.

Why Reviews Matter for Showing Up on Google

Google reviews can give businesses a big credibility boost without having to spend big bucks or much time.

Google’s search algorithms are complex, but the simple conclusion in regard to its effect on your business’s success is this: If you take advantage of Google reviews, you’re putting yourself in a position to rank higher in local search results. And the higher you rank, the easier you’re found.

What’s the secret sauce that makes a great review? According to Moz, it’s a well-balanced combination of three “review signals:” quantity, velocity, and diversity.  

  • Quantity: The more reviews, the better; customers start trusting business after 7 to 10 reviews. 
  • Velocity: Create a plan that brings in a steady stream of reviews, rather than adding a bunch of reviews at once, which will actually harm your results. 
  • Diversity: Although your main focus should be on Google reviews (and the other major platforms), don’t forget to ask for reviews on other sites.

Ultimately, developing a plan for generating a steady stream of reviews and focusing on Google reviews can be one of your company’s most successful marketing tactics.

Take Control of Your Online Reputation

If you want to grow your business in 2020 and beyond, make sure you are taking the necessary steps to improve your local SEO and your online reputation. You can take your brand management strategy to the next level with Binary Fountain’s single integrated platform that makes it easy to manage your online reputation.

A great place to start is our free, on-demand webinar on Google My Business strategies, if you want more information.

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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December 19, 2019

Top Review Sites to Monitor for 2020

By: Kieran McQuilkin

If you’ve done research on reputation management, you probably know how important customer reviews are for your local SEO efforts and for your business’s ability to make organizational change that benefits the consumer.  But do you know which review sites you should be monitoring? Everyone knows of Google, Facebook and Yelp, but there are many more review sites that influence consumer sentiment toward…

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If you’ve done research on reputation management, you probably know how important customer reviews are for your local SEO efforts and for your business’s ability to make organizational change that benefits the consumer. 

But do you know which review sites you should be monitoring?

Everyone knows of Google, Facebook and Yelp, but there are many more review sites that influence consumer sentiment toward your business, which could impact your ability to acquire new customers and prohibit you from retaining current ones.

Here are the top five review sites to pay attention to in 2020.

Google 

  • Binary Fountain ranking: No. 1
  • Business reviews for: any business

When it comes to pure volume, no one can get as many eyes on your listings as Google can. With hundreds of millions of people searching for businesses in the U.S. each month, if someone is looking for your service, you want to show up on the first page.

Simply put, owning your Google reviews is extremely important because Google is the king of website traffic. Over 3.5 billion searches are made a day on Google, making it the undisputed king of referral traffic in the world.

Google has also made it easy for users to find and review businesses, making your listing on Google the most valuable you can have on the internet.

According to a BrightLocal study, 49% of businesses received at least 1,000 views per month on their Google My Business listing. That’s a staggering number of eyes on your business and you want to make sure you are putting your best foot forward.

Getting reviews on Google is easier than on other review sites because of its focus on making the user experience easy (and fun with Local Guides). If you haven’t taken the time to claim your business listing on Google My Business, do so now.

Facebook

  • Binary Fountain ranking: No. 2
  • Business reviews for: any business

When it comes to online review sites, Google may be king, but Facebook is definitely the queen.

Facebook has focused on making it easy for users to connect with not only family and friends, but also their favorite brands and businesses. Like Google, you can create business profiles that Facebook users can “follow” and leave a review on to inspire or warn potential customers about your business.

Ultimately, this focus on the user experience has worked, as Facebook became one of the largest global providers of online reviews. Millions of people see business reviews on Facebook each day, impacting customer purchasing decisions every minute.

When it comes to Facebook, make sure you are paying attention to what people are saying and taking the time to thank them for the review, good or bad. Social media is all about building a relationship with your customers.

Yelp

  • Binary Fountain ranking: No. 3 
  • Business reviews for: any business

Perhaps the most well-known name in online reviews, Yelp has over 170 million reviews on its listings. Yelp has lost some market share over the years with Facebook and Google expanding their review capabilities, but it’s still well worth monitoring.

Having a business listing on Yelp is a must, but the platform has nuances that business owners should know if they want to analyze their businesses performance. You will want to make sure you understand some of the difficulties with Yelp while tracking your performance.

Better Business Bureau

  • Binary Fountain ranking: No. 4 
  • Business reviews for: any business

The Better Business Bureau helps people find trusted businesses, brands and charities through a simple A-F rating system. The BBB has been a reliable name in reviews since long before the internet, and is still a place where customers look for business recommendations.

You can claim your profile on the BBB database here. 

Yellow Pages

  • Binary Fountain ranking: No. 5 
  • Business reviews for: any business

Yes, the Yellow Pages do still exist!

These days, Yellow Pages is mostly focused on helping local, small businesses grow through directory listings and trusted reviews. While not as big in terms of traffic or prominence as some of the other review sites listed, you will still want to have your listing live and accurate, especially if you are a local business.

You can claim your profile for the Yellow Pages here.

Industry Specific Review Sites

The sites that we covered in this list are not industry-specific, but industryspecific review sites certainly exist. For example, if you work in healthcare, you will want to make sure you are listed on HealthGrades, Vitals and RateMDs. You should always take time to research where customers in your specific industry are looking for reviews.

Get Your Review Strategy Underway

Now that you know which sites to monitor, it’s time to get your reputation management program going in time for the new year. Binary Fountain is here to help you take control of your online reputation. 

Using a reputation management solution like Binary Fountain allows you to manage your online presence from a single dashboard, including your Google My Business listings, reviews and responses, star ratings and more. We also offer a diverse set of free webinars where you can learn more about reputation management, local SEO and about our reputation management platform.

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

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