Yelp, is it for health care?
Absolutely! You may find yourself wondering if Yelp is a good fit for your practice. Surprisingly, Yelp extends beyond the restaurant/retail industry into health care and beyond. If you search for an ENT, audiology or allergy service in your local market, there is a good chance that Yelp will appear in the organic search results. Most likely near the top!
Why does Yelp regularly appear in search results for health care?
Websites like Yelp hold a lot of authority with search engines. Due to the large number of health care provider listings, the site consistently maintains top search results throughout the country for related search terms.
Contributing factors to Yelp’s success:
- It has a long-standing history on the web.
- The site operates as a health care directory nationwide.
- It provides localized content, relevant to the consumer’s search.
- Search engines understand the importance of online reviews in the consumer’s decision-making process.
Your practice’s website competes for search engine results with review and directory websites. Take advantage of the opportunity to expand your digital footprint.
Long story short, don’t overlook the power of Yelp in your digital strategy.
How do I optimize my Yelp presence?
There are two opportunities to gain exposure on Yelp. The first is by having a business listing. It is free to set up for each office location. The other option is paid advertising.
Claim Your Yelp Business Listing
There is a chance that your practice may already exist on Yelp, even if you did not set the listing up yourself. If you are uncertain, visit yelp.com or use this link to begin the process. A complete profile should include a business category, general location information, hours of operation, a short business description, logo and images; providing consumers with this information is key to your success.
Once your business listing is set up, obtaining reviews will help set your practice apart from the competition. Ask your patients to provide feedback if you know they are active on Yelp or savvy internet users. Fuel offers tools to assist with online review generation.
Demonstrate to prospective patients that you are engaged and respond to reviews. Always be mindful of HIPAA when communicating on a public forum. Avoid any language that would suggest that the reviewer is a patient. A simple “Thank you for your feedback” is an appropriate response. It’s best to engage with negative feedback offline.
Paid Yelp Advertising
After claiming your business listing, there is a good chance you will receive solicitation calls to advertise with Yelp. Before you dismiss the idea, give it a shot in your market. Yelp advertising has proven effective for many practices.
Yelp ads can be a powerful way to drive new patients to your practice. By the time a consumer lands on Yelp, they are often at the decision making point of their journey. Since Yelp searches are localized, your practice page may not appear in search results for markets you are pulling patients from because you are not as geographically convenient.
Yelp advertising allows you to expand your reach by targeting specific geographic locations. Prominently placed, paid Yelp ads will appear at the top of results pages when consumers search relevant topics nearby. Ads may also appear on similar business pages, such as other health care providers or even competitors.
Before You Start
Prior to running Yelp ads, it’s important to understand your existing Yelp presence in comparison to your competitors. Take some time to search for relevant services in your local market (ENT, audiology, hearing aids, Balloon Sinuplasty, allergy, etc.). If the reviews on your Yelp page are not favorable, make a conscious effort to improve your rating. Engage with reviewers and thank them for their feedback.
- Set up your free Yelp business location page(s).
- Continually monitor and engage with your reviews.
- Always be mindful of HIPAA.
- Explore Yelp advertising in your local market.
Have more questions about Yelp? Interested in advertising on their platform? Fuel is an agency partner of Yelp. Connect with your Fuel Regional or Account Manager to learn more about ways that Fuel can support your Yelp reputation and provide cost savings on ads.