Reviews help boost a practice’s reputation and are one of the biggest ranking signals for Google’s MAP Pack. The three business profiles that appear beneath the map in a Google business search aren’t there by chance—they’re there because Google’s algorithm determined they were the best option to meet the searcher’s needs.
Strengthening your overall practice reviews can help bring in new patients, but you’ll want those reviews listed on your primary Google My Business (GMB) profiles. Let’s look at what can happen when a practice’s business listing and a practitioner’s personal listing compete for the same potential audiology patient.
Practice vs. Practitioner
Reviews help a profile rank for related searches, and the keywords in those reviews matter. A specialty practitioner who receives GMB profile reviews that mention audiology, hearing testing, hearing aids and other terms might display for terms like “audiologist near me” or “hearing aids for sale” before the listing for the practice they work at if their personal profile receives more hearing-related reviews.
Searchers who see that practitioner listing and make a phone call are still being treated by the practice, but what happens if a longtime practitioner with positive individual reviews on their own GMB profile decides to change career paths or no longer works at your clinic?
Keeping Tabs on Data
Randi Gibbons, Reputation Management Specialist at Fuel Medical, says it’s important to remember that the review data your practitioners receive are just that: they’re specific to the practitioner profile and have no bearing on the data related to a practice listing. Dr. Who’s Google My Business profile doesn’t share reviews with Tardis Spacetime Hearing Service’s GMB profile, and vice versa.
Practice managers need to remember that as soon as a practitioner leaves, those individual reviews go out the door with them.
“They cannot be migrated to the practice’s listing,” Gibbons said. “They will essentially just disappear.” That means all the key terms in reviews that helped their GMB profile rank and brought in new patients for the practice disappear too.
What’s Best for Your Practice?
It’s important to remember the following if you choose a practice-first approach to patient reviews:
- Reviews on your GMB practice profile stick around, even after certain practitioners leave or retire.
- You’re more likely to find new patients who are comfortable accepting care from any one of your practitioners if they discover positive patient reviews that mention your entire office.
- Encourage practitioner reviews to help your own staff craft their own successful path, but do not solely rely on them in place of comprehensive practice reviews.
That’s why Gibbons says it’s important to consider the following when deciding on practice versus practitioner reviews:
- How long has the doctor or medical practitioner been with your practice?
- Are they someone who plans on sticking around for at least a couple of years?
- When someone departs, is your practice’s GMB profile ranking in the MAP Pack for their specialty services already, or do they take that ranking and your future patients with them?
Ultimately, it’s up to you whether to direct review gathering efforts towards individual provider reviews or set things up to be practice-oriented. But remember this: the more positive reviews your practice has, the more likely you are to show up in the MAP Pack and in front of someone who is just discovering your practice for the first time.