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June 04, 2019

Is Google My Business Going to a Paid Subscription Model?

By: Alex Hay

Chances are, if you are in digital marketing, you’ve heard rumblings that Google may be moving Google My Business to a paid subscription model. Before you panic, there isn’t anything to worry about for your listing. Yet. It remains to be seen if Google will actually go to a pay-to-play model for local businesses, but…

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paying for google my businessChances are, if you are in digital marketing, you’ve heard rumblings that Google may be moving Google My Business to a paid subscription model.

Before you panic, there isn’t anything to worry about for your listing. Yet.

It remains to be seen if Google will actually go to a pay-to-play model for local businesses, but if they do, it creates an interesting pickle for how they will balance paid search results with organic listings.

Let’s break down what we know about Google My Business potentially moving to a paid subscription service and the impact it could have on local businesses.

What Does Google Get Out of GMB Listings?

Google My Business is a free listing service from Google that lets you create a business profile on Google Maps and Google search.

The ultimate goal of this service is to help searchers easily find the goods and services they are looking for and leave reviews of those businesses. On the business side, it also allows you to engage with your customers and provide Google with accurate location information.

From Google’s perspective, it is a way to collect data on customer preferences and serve up the best possible results for searchers by providing them with accurate information and the best results for their questions.

It was also a way for Google to collect local information without having to purchase third-party data.

Despite it being a free marketing tool, many businesses aren’t leveraging Google My Businesses. One study suggests only 44% of small businesses are taking advantage of it.

If you haven’t claimed your business, there’s no time like the present. We cover how to set up Google My Business and how to get the most out of your listing in other blogs.

Is Google My Business Going to Become a Paid Subscription?

Unfortunately, that isn’t entirely clear.

While it is currently a free service, in late April of 2019 many business owners or managers of Google My Business profiles reported Google had sent out a survey asking some interesting questions about how much they would pay for many features already included in Google My Business.

Google also suggested a couple of new features they think “may enhance your business’ presence on Google Search.”

Here are some of the screen grabs from that survey and the potential new features:

paying for google my business

Here are the potential new features:

paying for google my business

So Google My Business is Going to Be a Paid Subscription?

While a lot of signs point to a day when you have to pay to be in business listings, we aren’t there yet.

This raises some really interesting ethical questions about how Google has historically not made businesses pay to appear in search results. They’ve been very careful to make sure organic search is alive and well, even if they have greatly expanded their paid search platform for advertisements through Google Ads (formerly known as Google Adwords).

A change like this would be a serious departure from previous business practices which have always been putting the consumer first, a philosophy that Google has been built on for over a decade. A change like this would certainly be a nice revenue source for Google, but is it best for the customer?

Hard to say without getting a better idea of what a subscription service looks like in their mind.

A Word on Google Reviews

One of the more interesting things presented in the new features area of the survey is the idea of Google automatically responding to customer reviews on behalf of a business with automation.

While it is very unclear what that would entail, it certainly caught our interest at Binary Fountain. We’re excited to see how Google will continue to improve the Google My Business platform and continue to help business owners get found online.

Having said that, we are also going to continue to improve our own platform to give business owners the tools they need to easily take control of their reputation management and respond to online reviews. Much like Google, we will continue to evolve and make improvements to ensure we are serving our customers in the best way possible.

If Google makes a significant change to how Google My Business works, we will make sure to adapt as well.

About the Author

Alex Hay
Content Marketing Specialist

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May 30, 2019

What Practice Managers Should Know About Marketing to Seniors

By: Alex Hay

Even as they focus their efforts on engagement efforts that answer the needs of younger healthcare consumers, practice managers should remember that the Baby Boomer generation is now beginning to require more healthcare services. This population segment brings its own set of habits and preferences to the relationship with health providers.   Marketing to Seniors…

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marketing to seniorsEven as they focus their efforts on engagement efforts that answer the needs of younger healthcare consumers, practice managers should remember that the Baby Boomer generation is now beginning to require more healthcare services. This population segment brings its own set of habits and preferences to the relationship with health providers.  

Marketing to Seniors

Although Boomers are generally healthy and health conscious, their sense of indestructibility is challenged as they begin utilizing healthcare at a higher volume.  

This is according to Louis Levitt, MD, an orthopedist and vice president of the Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics (CAO), in Washington, D.C.:

“The aging process has begun to put them in just a different category,” says Levitt in an interview with PatientEngagementHIT.com. Levitt also points out that this age group has long-standing relationships with providers and are inclined to rely on their doctors for referrals to specialists.

A study published in the journal PLOS One suggests that patients who have more trust in their doctors also have better perceptions of the quality of care they receive, and higher levels of patient satisfaction.  

A survey of patients at the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Orthopaedic Surgery found that 65 percent of patient satisfaction was attributable to physician empathy. Satisfaction was not affected by appointment wait time, office wait time, time with the surgeon, or other factors surveyed.  

In Binary Fountain’s 2018 Healthcare Consumer Insight & Digital Engagement Survey, 48% of Americans across all age groups reported “a friendly and caring attitude” as the most important factor in choosing a provider. The survey shows that 45% of respondents aged 55 and older rate this quality highest, and 48% of those 55+ place “ability to answer all my questions” at the top of their criteria.

65 percent of respondents age 55 and older report that online rating and review sites have influenced their decision when choosing a physician.  

Now, consider this: Pew Research reports that some 73 percent of U.S. adults ages 50-64 own smartphones.  That puts your ratings and reviews directly in the hands of a patient population that highly values trust, empathy and communication.

Earning the trust of an aging patient population

Have a look at your ratings and reviews. If neutral or unfavorable reviews reveal room for improvement in areas like bedside manner, doctor-patient communications or empathy, you have an opportunity to broaden your engagement and appeal with this important demographic segment.  

About the Author

Alex Hay
Content Marketing Specialist

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May 28, 2019

How to Develop a Listings Management Strategy

By: Kayla Zamary

Consumers want information they can trust to help them make decisions. This means providing accurate, timely information for people to find on their favorite search engine. For example, imagine you need supplies for your kid’s science project on a Thursday night and you find the store you need to go to on Google. The hours…

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listings managementConsumers want information they can trust to help them make decisions. This means providing accurate, timely information for people to find on their favorite search engine.

For example, imagine you need supplies for your kid’s science project on a Thursday night and you find the store you need to go to on Google. The hours look like the ones listed below:

If you went in on a Thursday at 5 PM, you would expect the store to be open. But then, disaster strikes – they aren’t. At your time of need, how would you feel? Would you trust that brand again?

This is why you need to have a listings management strategy.

Once they do find you, most consumers make decisions based on the experiences of others, as reflected in reviews and ratings.

According to Binary Fountain’s second annual healthcare consumer survey, 95% of respondents regard online ratings and reviews as “somewhat” to “very” reliable.

Accurate listings are becoming even more important as healthcare consumerism continues to rise. For example, eighty percent of searches for medical information are online, and in many cases are looking to find a “doctor near me.” And Google is one of their favorite places to start. This is why it is vital to claim, complete and update the Google listing for every service/location you manage.

Inaccurate Online Listings Could Cost You Customers

There is nothing hypothetical about this: We have heard dozens of anecdotes about the consequences of incorrect phone numbers and addresses for local businesses just like yours. If there’s a problem with any aspect of the listing, don’t be surprised if someone highlights it in an online rating or review that can be seen by every potential new customer.

Much like our example above, people expect accurate information when they do their research online. You risk breaking trust with your current customers and turning away potential new ones by not regularly updating your listings.

How to Start a Listings Management Strategy

Take a minute right now to search for whatever your industry is with the phrase “near me” added. Is your business listed, and does it compare favorably with your local competition?

For many staffers responsible for marketing and reputation management, the work of claiming, correcting and maintaining your online listings looms as a tedious and time-consuming chore. The potential negative impact of not doing it, however, is substantial.

Here are some suggestions on how to get started with an online listings strategy and how to make sure listings are accessible and accurate for all of your customers:

Prioritize & Organize Your Data

The work of formatting location and service data for directories and aggregators is foreign to some organizations. Step one is to decide on your preferred user experience. Do you want to direct everyone to your primary location, address, and phone number, or is it better to guide the customer to the specific department and/or product? Tailor your data management strategy accordingly.

Target critical directories and sites for management

Review your site analytics, especially if you offer unique services, to determine where your customers find you before they click to your site. The popular local directories may not be your top referrers.

To get you started, here are some of the top directories you can get listed on:

  • Manta
  • SuperPages
  • Google My Business
  • AngiesList
  • LocalPages
  • YellowPages.com
  • LocalGuides

There are many others, but this should give you a good head start.

Enhance Your Online Listings

Provide helpful, local content such as descriptions, images, attributes, services and appointment links on your listings. This will build trust with your local audience and help you stand out compared to your competition.

When it comes to local SEO, you want to separate yourself from the pack any way you can. Adding unique content will help you do that, regardless of your industry.

Plan for Regular Listing Updates

Knowing that listing management is not a ‘set-it & forget-it’ chore, take a proactive approach to changing details like new hours or locations. Update your listings as soon as information changes so you are able to get ahead of anything that could result in a poor consumer experience.

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

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May 23, 2019

4 Ways to Include Patient Engagement in Your Healthcare Marketing

By: Alex Hay

As a healthcare provider, your success depends on the satisfaction of your patients. Providing current patients with the best experience possible, then, should be any provider’s primary goal. But why is patient engagement important in this equation? The more engaged patients are with you as their healthcare provider, the more likely they are to remain…

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patient experienceAs a healthcare provider, your success depends on the satisfaction of your patients. Providing current patients with the best experience possible, then, should be any provider’s primary goal. But why is patient engagement important in this equation?

The more engaged patients are with you as their healthcare provider, the more likely they are to remain loyal and refer you to others. This increased patient engagement helps build your brand’s reputation and online presence. It also gives you valuable insights into the patient experience. Ultimately, this engagement helps providers acquire and retain more patients while providing them all with a better experience.

With that in mind, all healthcare providers and marketers should focus intently on patient engagement this year and beyond. Here are four ways to include patient engagement in your healthcare marketing.

Create Health and Wellness Campaigns

As health information becomes more accessible online, consumers are taking their health into their own hands. Healthcare marketers are in the perfect position to provide useful guidance for this audience.

Consider creating both short- and long-term health and wellness campaigns to increase patient engagement and loyalty. For instance, a campaign might suggest daily, weekly, or monthly nutrition and exercise regimens to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Many participants will remain actively engaged with your campaign through its duration, giving you the opportunity to convert them into new patients.

These health and wellness campaigns may be generalized or catered more specifically to target audiences, such as middle-aged women, elderly men or millennials. You can distribute and boost these campaigns on your website and social media pages, providing additional links to relevant resources.

Develop a Reputation Management Strategy

Increasing patient engagement relies heavily on improving patient experience. Potential patients care about a healthcare provider’s reputation, seeking out online reviews and ratings. And current patients will leave one provider for another if they are unsatisfied with the care they are receiving.

Healthcare marketers need to pay close attention to all the feedback their brand receives. You must also open a line of communication with your patients to address their concerns and gain valuable insights that will drive operational change and improve brand reputation.

Online reputation management services will allow you to access all reviews and ratings across multiple platforms. Natural language processing (NLP) algorithms can quickly analyze data from text-based forms to uncover common issues that require attention. By having these reviews and insights in one centralized location, you can effectively respond to all reviews, increasing patient engagement and loyalty while also building brand awareness.

Focus on Content Marketing

Informative, optimized content has become a valuable currency for all online marketers, boosting a brand’s online presence and encouraging consumer engagement. Therefore, you should focus on developing different kinds of content for all channels, including featured news articles, blog posts, infographics, case studies, patient stories, and more.

This optimized content should include some kind of call to action to encourage users to follow a link, join a mailing list, or simply share the post to their social media page or blog. Content marketing also plays a part in reputation management, helping your brand become more of an authority in the industry. The more useful and targeted your content is, the more people it will reach, building patient trust and loyalty.

Do Social Media Right

Many healthcare providers still struggle to fully leverage social media to increase patient engagement. To take full advantage of these platforms and their algorithms, you should create posts on a regular basis and actively engage with your community by replying to and liking comments, creating surveys, and asking questions.

Additionally, invest in targeted advertising campaigns, with content specifically aimed at key demographics. The more personalized this outreach, the better. Users will more likely engage with your content and website if your social media ads are relevant to their interests, concerns and age group.

These four strategies will help you engage with your current patients and acquire new ones. People will continue to look for health advice online from reputable sources. Meet them where they are by providing informational, authoritative, engaging content on all channels, and be a part of their lives.

About the Author

Alex Hay
Content Marketing Specialist

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May 21, 2019

How to Benchmark Your Review Success

By: Alex Hay

If you’ve read our content before, you know that paying attention to your online reviews is important. You may already know that online reviews and customer testimonials influence almost 90% of purchasing decisions. You may have even made the commitment to monitor and manage your online reputation to ensure you are an active participant in…

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review successIf you’ve read our content before, you know that paying attention to your online reviews is important. You may already know that online reviews and customer testimonials influence almost 90% of purchasing decisions.

You may have even made the commitment to monitor and manage your online reputation to ensure you are an active participant in the conversations people are having about your brand.

But how do you know if your voice of the customer campaign is successful? What goals should you be setting for your practice? How do you know if you are getting the maximum ROI?

How do you know if you are winning?

It’s important to set the right expectations for a reputation management program and to set your sights on the right target. Business and development coach Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”

Here’s how to benchmark your online reviews to make sure you are seeing the results you need to drive your practice forward.

Benchmarking Results for Physicians and Practices

The healthcare industry has been revolutionized over the last few years by the introduction of online patient reviews, with patients trusting online reviews as much as a doctor recommendation.

In fact, almost 35% of consumers say a doctor’s ratings online are very important, higher than any other industry professional. This means paying attention to online reviews isn’t optional for healthcare providers or practice managers if they want to stay competitive in their local market.

So how can you tell if you are doing a decent job, even if you haven’t started a reputation management program at your practice?

Just start by Googling your practice and see what people are already saying about your facility and your caregivers. That will give you a good indication of where you currently stand, without putting in any effort.

You will also want to look at your competitors and see what people are saying about them. Pay particular attention to:

  • What are they saying about the front office staff?
  • What are they saying about wait times?
  • What are they saying about the level of care they receive?
  • What are they saying about caregivers?
  • What are they saying about the affordability of care?
  • What are they saying about the ability to schedule appointments?

According to the Society for Participatory Medicine, these are some of the most common things that matter most to the patient, particularly their one-on-one interactions with their physician.

Chances are, if you are behind your competition in one or more of these areas you are probably graded lower than your local competition.

But how do you figure out how off the mark you are? You need to understand both what customers expect and have a road map on how to get there.

Here’s an example roadmap for benchmarking your reputation management program:

  1. Identify what “above average means”
  2. Clearly define what success looks like
  3. Set realistic expectations
  4. Implement and iterate

What is the Average Rating for Physician Practices?

To know what you should be aiming for, you need to benchmark your expectations for online physician reviews.

According to a study done by The National Center for Biotechnology Information in 2010, an average rating for a physician website was 77 out of 100 for listings using a 100-point scale and a 3.84 for sites using a 5-point scale.

A more recent study done by Yiwei Chen with Standford University found that an average physician rating was around 3.62 on a popular listings website using a 5-point scale. This is well above the national average for many other industries. This particular listing website tends to have lower ratings overall than other sites like Google and HealthGrades.

What Average Rating Should You Go For?

The rating you will want to obtain will obviously vary from site to site, but most studies have shown most patients want to see at least a 4-star rating on Google, one of the most common ways patients find doctors.

Ultimately, you want to shoot for the highest rating possible, but identifying what customer expectations are is extremely important. It doesn’t matter if you have an internal goal of 3.5 stars if consumers expect higher. You can start at a lower level to slowly build traction, but your ultimate goal should be to meet expectations for attracting new patients.

How Should you Measure Success?

You will also want to make sure you are setting goals that make sense for your organizational priorities. Are you trying to leverage online reviews to increase in SEO [CR6] or increase your star rating to improve patient satisfaction and loyalty?

All of these things can be tracked, and a good reputation management program will succeed at both, but zeroing in on what matters most to your business first will help you better define your KPIs.

Here are some of the major KPIs we recommend looking at when evaluating a reputation management program:

  • Average ratings across multiple platforms
  • Number of reviews
  • Recency of online reviews
  • Trends in key areas of focus (opinions on wait times, staff and bedside manner among others)
  • Patient engagement

This helps you get a clear picture of how a program is doing.

Once you figure out what you want your goals to be, it really comes down to identifying your current baseline and measuring against it during the life of the program both internally and externally. This means looking at all of your online reviews as well as at internal reporting metrics like patient satisfaction surveys to better understand your customer’s experience.

Binary Fountain has many free case studies to help you understand and project the potential impact of a reputation management program for healthcare providers.

You will also want to measure your success against your competition. Are you starting to get more positive attention online? Are your reviews more recent? All of these are good indicators you are doing a better job at managing your online image.

Benchmarking Also Means Setting Realistic Expectations

If this is the first time you are exploring a reputation management program, you may have a hard time knowing what kind of results to expect from your efforts.

Some questions to ask before starting a program may include:

  • Do you have the tools your organization needs to be able to execute a reputation management campaign?
  • Once you begin collecting data, do you have the right personnel in place to measure success?
  • Do you need a third-party solution?
  • Do you have the data infrastructure you need in place?
  • Do you have the ability to automate the process to remove the human element from measuring reviews?
  • Do you have buy-in from executives who have the influence needed to make organizational change happen?

How you answer these questions will greatly impact what kind of goals you should set for your organization, especially the last one. If you don’t have the proper buy in from the leaders in your hospital or practice, you will have a hard time making the sweeping changes needed to improve your reviews.

Many times, practice managers or marketers will be given instruction to improve a facility’s online presence, which usually includes reviews. While this goal is ambiguous, it generally revolves around what people are saying about you online and the only way to fix that is to improve the areas that patients have issues with.

By listening to patient feedback (both from online reviews and internal methods of gathering data) you should be able to better understand what areas your organization needs to improve on in order to better meet consumer expectations.

These can either be really easy things or extremely complicated problems that could take months to fix. In order to gain as much traction as possible, we recommend focusing on things that patients care about most.

This will help you better understand where to focus your efforts and show stakeholders the most ROI. Once you’ve implemented a program, you are ready to start the hard work of making improvements.

Launching a Successful Reputation Management Program

Once you have gone through the process of setting the right expectations, you are ready to launch your reputation management program.

Here are the four steps you need to follow:

  1. Gather customer feedback
  2. Create your response plan
  3. Implement changes
  4. Measure results and report back to stakeholders

Gather Customer Feedback

Any good reputation management program focuses on giving the patient a voice. This means actively monitoring online reviews and asking current patients for feedback. The more opinions you get, the clearer the picture you have.

Look for commonalities in feedback to find the most critical pain points in the patient experience.

Create Your Response Plan

You will need to set up a response plan for reviews, because it isn’t enough to just monitor reviews. You need to be an active participant in conversations about your brand.

Consider the following:

  • Who will be responding to reviews?
  • How should we handle negative reviews?
  • Who is empowered to speak on behalf of the company?
  • Who can field potential issues or questions?
  • Who needs to be aware of very negative comments?
  • Who will be held accountable for providing patient feedback to the organization?

You can’t have a successful program without carefully considering these questions and having an action plan when things get dicey.

Implement Changes

Once you have collected patient feedback, it’s time to take action. This means making the necessary changes to your process, staff or other areas to meet customer expectations.

There is no “easy” way to do this. The entire organization has to shift their mentality to a customer-centric way of thinking, so be patient. It may take a long time, but soon your reviews will be glowing, and your patient acquisition will be humming along.

Measure Results and Report Them

If you’re heavily investing in a reputation management program, you know you need to show the value to your organization. This means you need to proactively measure results and share them with internal stakeholders. As your average review scores improve and the volume of your reviews also increase, you will know you are moving in the right direction.

Armed with this data, you will have no problem showing the value of a reputation management program.

About the Author

Alex Hay
Content Marketing Specialist

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May 16, 2019

How VITAS Healthcare Responds to 100% of Online Reviews

By: Alex Hay

How do you get started with managing your organization’s reputation online when you only have a few reviews—if any at all? In Thursday’s webinar, “How VITAS Healthcare Responds to 100% of Online Reviews,” we spoke with a leading hospice care organization that went from struggling online to generating 20% more reviews year over year, and…

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VITAS HealthcareHow do you get started with managing your organization’s reputation online when you only have a few reviews—if any at all?

In Thursday’s webinar, “How VITAS Healthcare Responds to 100% of Online Reviews,” we spoke with a leading hospice care organization that went from struggling online to generating 20% more reviews year over year, and how their initiatives to build up their online reputation subsequently increased patient engagement.

Here are some of the biggest takeaways from our conversation with VITAS Healthcare:

Optimize listings on Google and benchmark analytics across multiple locations 

How are consumers searching for you and finding your business information? Most of them are finding you on Google, and most of those people that are searching online will not look beyond what is found on a Google My Business profile, ultimately skipping over your website.

According to the search engine tracking site StatCounter, Google currently takes up 91% of search market share. In addition, research from HubSpot tells us that 75% of online searches stop after the first page of results.

People trust Google to put the most relevant information in front of them so they don’t have to spend time digging for it themselves. It makes sense then that when a business puts a large number of information and reviews available online to the public, Google will prioritize them in their searches.

By making Google reviews a priority to their organization, VITAS was able to increase Google reviews by 52% and subsequently increased total positive online reviews by 10%.

Generate more online reviews by experimenting with new patient engagement strategies 

To get more reviews, you have to be open to all channels of communication with your patients–including text messaging.

According to some new reports, text messages are proving to be a much more efficient channel of communication between consumers and providers. Studies show that 90% of text messages are opened, compared to email open rates of only 20%. Likewise, texts will get responses 45% of the time compared to only 6% of marketing emails.

Continue testing different channels to see what works best for your organization and your patients.

No matter what niche your organization serves, reviews will impact your business 

Personal feedback from the people you serve is one of the most valuable pieces of information you can obtain to influence positive change within your organization. Here are some simple ways to increase review volume so you can gain even more insights into your facilities and providers:

  • Create templates for onsite staff – creating an email template for staff to share will take the onus off your marketing team to chase down reviews and gives people more opportunities to respond.
  • Hang posters and distribute handouts with your online profiles clearly displayed – this will increase awareness and provide a reminder for patients to respond.
  • Let customers know that their feedback helps you improve and helps potential customers learn about you.
  • Launch an email or SMS campaign.

To view all of the insights from this webinar, download the presentation here.

About the Author

Alex Hay
Content Marketing Specialist

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May 15, 2019

How to Google Yourself and Improve Your Property’s Online Perception

By: Alex Hay

Have you ever Googled yourself or your business? Chances are, if you are the manager of a multifamily facility, people are talking about you or your business online, even if you aren’t actively looking at what they are saying. But you don’t see customers on a daily basis, so you shouldn’t be worried about online…

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google yourselfHave you ever Googled yourself or your business?

Chances are, if you are the manager of a multifamily facility, people are talking about you or your business online, even if you aren’t actively looking at what they are saying.

But you don’t see customers on a daily basis, so you shouldn’t be worried about online reviews or what people are saying, right?

Consider this: According to Apartments.com, 98% of survey responders (4,000 surveyed) said that they read property reviews before they consider looking at a place to live.

In order to compete successfully in today’s multifamily market, owners and property managers must have a reputation management strategy. One good way to start is by paying attention to what people are saying about you online.

This means you need to pay attention to what people are saying about you, even if it is temporarily painful. The good news is even if you see negative feedback on your profile, things don’t have to stay this way.

We’ll cover how to Google yourself (paying attention to the right things) and what you need to do to improve negative content online about your multifamily unit.

How to Google Yourself: Look at Your Google My Business Account

Now that you understand the value of Googling yourself, it’s time to take the plunge. There are a couple of important things to pay attention to when you Google your business.

First, you will want to make sure you own your Google My Business listing. This is your central hub to be able to see what people are saying about your business on Google as well as enhance your search results. You can learn more about your Google My Business listing here.

The next thing you will want to check is if the information about your multifamily unit is correct, including:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Hours
  • Category
  • Description
  • Website URL

Adding this information to your listings and keeping it up to date ensures that customers who are interested in contacting you are able to do so without confusion or friction. Chances are if this information is incorrect, your reviews aren’t going to be overly positive because expectations aren’t being met.

If You See Negative Reviews or Comments, What Should You Do?

If you notice a bunch of negative reviews or pages with negative content about your facility, the first thing you have to do is not panic or fire off a response. The last thing you want to do is lash out at people. It never ends well.

Instead, look critically at what they are saying. Almost all of the reviews online are left by real people, not robots or fake reviews meant to discredit your business. Are they all saying similar things? What connections, if any, are there?

Looking at reviews objectively can help you identify pain points your renters have and better understand how you can do a better job of meeting their expectations and improving your renter experience. If you are able to do that, you will not only be able to satisfy current renters but also attract new ones due to improved online reviews.

Since you now have a Google my business account, you have the ability to respond to negative and positive reviews.

When responding to an online review from a renter:

  • Apologize and thank them for bringing up a problem (even if you think you are in the right)
  • Promise to resolve the issue
  • Keep your response brief and neutral
  • Provide contact information if they would like to discuss their issue with you directly

Online Reputation Management is about the Good and the Bad Reviews

It’s important to build trust with your current and prospective renters. Service recovery for residents that have a negative experience is essential to keeping your brand in a good light online.

Did you know that reviews account for almost 15% of Google’s ranking algorithm? Like most businesses, you probably didn’t. We’re seeing year-over-year that this number is actually growing, showing that Google is giving priority to multifamily businesses that have positive reviews.

Another estimated 10% of local search rankings are based on activity on your Google My Business account. These are things like click-through rates or mobile click to calls and click for directions.

In addition to responding to negative reviews, we also recommend asking your current renters for feedback. You want to make sure that you’re casting a wide net in terms of asking residents for reviews, so get creative and don’t just ask the tenants you have the best relationship with. You want honest feedback.

An example of this in action is to use what’s called a personal invite, a text message system asking tenants for an online review. You may not be ready for that kind of technology at your specific facility, but you can use email or other methods to ask for a review.

The key here is Google wants to see the quality and quantity of your reviews. If you are able to get quality reviews and a greater quantity of reviews, chances are you will see an increase in positive things being said online about your business.

Interested in learning more? Check out these similar topics:

About the Author

Alex Hay
Content Marketing Specialist

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May 14, 2019

Why All Reviews Matter: The Importance of Review Volume

By: Alex Hay

A common misconception in digital marketing is that online reviews only matter to the most obvious customer-facing businesses, such as restaurants and hotels. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Although it can be challenging to manage online reviews because of the massive amount of time it takes, you should be paying attention to what…

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why reviews matterA common misconception in digital marketing is that online reviews only matter to the most obvious customer-facing businesses, such as restaurants and hotels.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Although it can be challenging to manage online reviews because of the massive amount of time it takes, you should be paying attention to what people are saying about your brand online.

In 2019 and beyond, every business should be actively monitoring, responding to and cultivating online reviews regardless of what industry they are in.

When it comes to reviews, every single one matters, even the negative ones. Many consumers take online reviews as seriously as a personal referral.

Here are some of the top reasons why you should encourage and interact with online reviews.

Online Reviews Impact Consumer Behavior

Regardless of what industry you are in, online reviews can greatly swing a potential customer’s opinion about a brand or product.

In a report by Forbes, 90% of respondents said positive online comments influence whether or not they decide to engage with the brand or service. When you take into account that 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, that’s a massive amount of people interacting with online reviews in some capacity.

Simply put, if your business is not investing in some kind of online reputation management, you are ignoring what is most often the first impression a potential customer has with your brand.

Take a moment and look for your business on Google or a different listings site. What do your current reviews say about your business? If you were a consumer, how would those comments inform your buying decisions?

Online Reviews for All

This is a common misconception many businesses have. While there is no doubt that online reviews greatly impact the restaurant industry, they greatly affect other industries as well.

For example, a 2017 survey from J Turner found that 75% of searchers use apartment listing sites during their search and 80% visit the property website before contacting a property.

In fact, online reviews impact almost industry including:

  • Banking
  • Insurance agents
  • Car repair
  • Healthcare
  • Financial advising/services
  • Hotels
  • Home repair

And certainly, many others as well. If you aren’t paying attention to what people are saying about you online, there’s a really good chance your competition is, which means you may be losing ground with customers.

All Reviews Matter: Even the Bad Ones

When consumers are looking for a product or service online, they aren’t just looking for a business with perfect reviews: they are looking at the volume of reviews and how recent the reviews are.

Having a lot of reviews shows that people are willing to take time out of their day to talk about how your product or service either satisfied them or left them disappointed. That shows engagement. At the end of the day, that is what most searchers are looking for.

And they aren’t the only ones.

Google uses online reviews to influence local search rankings including:

  • Number of recent reviews
  • Total volume of reviews
  • Average star rating

In fact, if someone searches “best *insert your industry here* in *insert your current location,*” only businesses with a 4-star rating or higher will show up in the search results if there are enough businesses that fit that criteria.

Negative reviews aren’t something to be taken lightly, but most consumers are smart enough to know that hiccups and negative interactions happen from time to time. According to the same BrightLocal study, only 40% of consumers said that they were influenced by negative reviews.

This means that consumers are more concerned about positive than negative reviews, which is great news for any business.

Negative reviews also give you the ability to identify areas for improvement in the consumer experience. Listening to what your consumers are saying means you have the ability to turn a negative into a positive.

If you are worried about how to best handle negative reviews, we recommend checking out this guide on how to respond to negative reviews.

Get Your Review Strategy Underway

Now that you know why all online reviews matter, it’s time to get your own reputation management program underway. To get started, we recommend looking at our webinars where you can get more information about our reputation management solutions and more information about how online reviews impact your specific industry.

You can also check out our extensive case studies on how we’ve helped many multifamily facilities and healthcare companies improve their reputation management and consumer engagement rates.

About the Author

Alex Hay
Content Marketing Specialist

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May 10, 2019

How Patient Reviews Improve SEO

By: Kayla Zamary

If you are a practice manager or even the primary healthcare provider, the term patient feedback probably brings up some feelings. If you’ve experienced constructive feedback from your patients, chances are you’ve either felt incredibly encouraged or defeated. The reality is when a patient leaves feedback online; it can either be a big help or…

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patient reviewsIf you are a practice manager or even the primary healthcare provider, the term patient feedback probably brings up some feelings. If you’ve experienced constructive feedback from your patients, chances are you’ve either felt incredibly encouraged or defeated.

The reality is when a patient leaves feedback online; it can either be a big help or a major headache for your practice.

In this article, we cover how patient feedback scores can impact your search engine rankings, your ability to acquire new patients and even your practice’s revenue.

How Do Patient Reviews Improve SEO?

Will more patient reviews improve your practice’s organic search rankings? That’s a complicated question that doesn’t have a cut and dried answer.

While everyone knows that patient reviews are extremely important to your online presence, it’s harder to fully understand how patient reviews can impact the organic search traffic to your website. There are a lot of variables at play that can impact the search engine result pages (SERPs) beyond the number and quality of business reviews.

In the simplest answer possible, yes, online patient reviews can have an impact on your SEO efforts. According to the SEO experts at Moz, online reviews are a ranking factor for local search rankings, but they do caution that there are a ton of other factors at play that can influence local search results including inbound links, on page SEO optimization and how users interact with your search results.

While this certainly isn’t a comprehensive list, you can an idea of how much goes into a search ranking. The good news is that patient feedback does act as a signal for search engines to determine authority and trustworthiness about a practice.

When it comes to patient reviews, Google’s algorithm is specifically looking for:

  • Total volume of patient reviews
  • Recent reviews
  • Overall star rating (quality matters)
  • Practices responding to online reviews

Google recently confirming online reviews play a role in local search factors means healthcare marketers or practice managers need to be involved in online reputation management as part of their overall SEO strategy.

How to Get the Most out of Patient Feedback

So how do you get the most out of your patient feedback for SEO purposes?

You can leverage patient feedback in many interesting and helpful ways. This includes everything from improving your consumer experience to responding to negative reviews, but two things should come first: being transparent and focusing on the patient first.

When you get patient feedback, you should always take their concerns seriously, even if their criticism feels like a slap in the face. View feedback as an opportunity to improve your customer experience and develop a deeper relationship with your patients and not as a personal attack.

Remember, if one person is saying it online, there’s a good chance many more have the same opinion but haven’t taken the time to post it. Fixing patient concerns should be a top priority.

If you are able to utilize patient feedback effectively, you will be able to accumulate more reviews in the future (increasing your SEO efforts) and increase patient loyalty.

Get more Patient Reviews

Start a customer review campaign with the goal of increasing the amount of reviews and the frequency of them. Don’t worry about trying to only get positive feedback. You want to know what people really think.

Additionally, you should have a place on your website and on your social media accounts where patients can leave reviews.

Patients who leave reviews on your site help by creating unique user generated content that can help you with link building, keywords and other basic SEO best practices.

If you decided to display reviews on your site, remember to leverage microdata and schema markup to highlight your reviews for search engines rewarding rich snippets and other enhanced search results.

Taking all of these steps will help you grow your visibility in search results as well as help you build a good brand image with your target audience.

Respond to Patient Feedback

You will also want to start responding to all forms of patient feedback online. This of course includes Google, but also includes other third-party review sites. Don’t be afraid to respond to negative reviews.

If you see a negative review, we recommend responding to it quickly with a sincere apology and what you are going to do to resolve the situation to meet their expectations. This makes people feel like their voice has been heard and makes them more likely to give your practice a second chance. Then it’s up to you to make sure your staff delivers on your promise to improve the consumer experience.

If you see a positive review, thank them for their review and leave some kind of personal message. Reputation management for practices is all about making the patient feel like they have a voice.

Responding to patient feedback will help you keep your current patients and also improve your SEO.

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

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May 07, 2019

Celebrating National Nurses Week

By: Alex Hay

Nurses consistently rank at the top of the country’s most trusted professionals. And this week, Binary Fountain celebrates them and everything they do for the medical field! National Nurses Week begins on National Nurses Day, May 6, and concludes on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale. National Nurses Week is a time for everyone –…

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national nurses weekNurses consistently rank at the top of the country’s most trusted professionals. And this week, Binary Fountain celebrates them and everything they do for the medical field!

National Nurses Week begins on National Nurses Day, May 6, and concludes on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale.

National Nurses Week is a time for everyone – individuals, employers, other health care professionals, community leaders, and nurses – to recognize the vast contributions and positive impact of America’s 4 million registered nurses.

In honor of National Nurses Week, we’ve pulled together some of the most useful resources for nurses and medical staff:

Building an Employer Brand Through Online Reviews & Job Listings

Online reviews play a vital role in whether or not your organization receives interest from highly skilled nurse applicants. How can you navigate these reviews to determine if and how they can work in your favor? With reviews ranging from insightful to scathing, this does not always appear to be an easy task. This ebook gives guidance for using online reputation to recruit the best employees, including nurses.

5 Things to Know about Social Media and Healthcare

Although some doctors and nurses have made a second career out of building their social media presence, a level of caution must be present to keep things professional at all times. Here are some good tips for nurses to follow when navigating social media waters.

Case Study: Signature Medical Group Increases Patient Experience Scores 20%, Grows Patient Referrals with Digital Patient Feedback

Learn how Signature Medical Group launched a two-pronged initiative using digital patient feedback to better understand patient experience across the organization’s more than 25 practices and 50 offices.

How to Generate Reviews the Right Way: Best Practices for Healthcare Review Platforms

People rely on reviews and testimonials more today than ever before. Whether hunting for a doctor or narrowing a list of potential healthcare providers, we all want to make sure that we are making the best, most informed decisions. In healthcare, this increased attention to reviews can be both a blessing and a curse, especially for nurses, who are often the face of the healthcare service. Here’s how to navigate online reviews and get insights through appropriate and meaningful channels.

Let’s Celebrate the Work of Nurses Everywhere

Reviews can be a great outlet for recognizing nurses that go above-and-beyond for their patients. Learn how reputation management can shine a light on their hard work.

Schedule a demo today.

About the Author

Alex Hay
Content Marketing Specialist

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