Blog | Binary Fountain

Blog

Blog

November 13, 2018

How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

By: Kayla Zamary

What Is Your Google My Business Strategy? Search Means Google – and Mobile When searching for services or for products, people overwhelmingly turn to Google. The volume is staggering with 40,000 searches per second and 3.5 Billion searches per day. And, local search has gone mobile. In 2014, mobile and desktop search were about equal…

Read Full Story

What Is Your Google My Business Strategy?

Search Means Google – and Mobile

When searching for services or for products, people overwhelmingly turn to Google. The volume is staggering with 40,000 searches per second and 3.5 Billion searches per day.

And, local search has gone mobile. In 2014, mobile and desktop search were about equal in annual volume at about 66 billion searches. This year, mobile search volume is projected to hit 127.5 billion, as desktop drops slightly to 62.7 billion.

Local as Anything

Some 33% of all searches are related to location, and 76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day. In October, Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated that local mobile searches are growing even faster than mobile searches in general; these and have increased by almost 50% in the last year. This means your Google My Business (GMB) presence should be one of the most important weapons in your marketing arsenal.

GMB Strategy Webinar

Recently, we hosted a webinar with GMB experts from Rio SEO. Below are key takeaways from the webinar.

Have You Updated Your NAPUCHD Recently?

It is time to claim (if you have not already), update and groom your listing. First off, you may be wondering what NAPUCHD is. It is an acronym (hat tip to Krystal Taing of Rio SEO for coming up with this) for the most basic and important components of your Google My Business listing. 

  • Name – Be sure your business name is correct, accurate and complete. Resist the urge to add keywords to rank for other terms.
  • Address – Accuracy is vital, of course. If you have multiple locations, or several service areas, Google My Business allows you add this information to rank for other service areas.
  • Phone – Make sure the phone number connects precisely with the location.
  • URL – Use a location specific url. For restaurants, Google now allows you add urls for menus or delivery options.
  • Categories – Show what your business does, rather than what your business offers. For example, if you are a hotel you should not add gym as a category. This will confuse the search engine and prospective visitors.
  • Hours – Especially around the holidays, show extra hours, as well as days you will be closed.
  • Description – This field has recently been made owner-editable. It is a space to offer detail, preferably local-focused. Leave URLs out of this section, though.

Photo and Video are Vital

  • An exterior photo is important, both for “curb appeal” – presenting an attractive first impression – and for guiding first-time visitors to your location.
  • Interior photos help the prospective visitor see what they will encounter on their visit, so add images that are welcoming, evocative and accurate.
  • Videos up to 30 seconds long are allowed for the first time. This presents another opportunity to tell your story, and show off your wares, your service or your interior and staff.

Consumers Can Post Images of Business

Consumers may also post photos of your location as long as they are deemed useful and not offensive. Google’s photo ranking algorithm delivers what it calculates to be the most relevant images. If you see something that is really wrong, communicate with Google to report the image, especially if it violates their terms. You may be able to have it removed or suppressed. Tip: This can take some time, so be patient, and make sure you and your staff DO NOT click on the image in the meanwhile, thus unintentionally making it seem more relevant to Google.

Ready For More Advice on Google My Business?

Listen to our Google My Business Strategy webinar with Rio SEO. You will gain actionable insights on topics from initial setup to optimizing your GMB listing, and learn how to

  • Avoid common pitfalls that hurt businesses’ presence on Google My Business.
  • Improve your online review scores and spruce up your Google My Business page.
  • Optimize your presence using time-saving local listing and content tips.
  • Get practical advice for engaging potential new customers, whether you are one location or an enterprise organization.

Our webinar features a panel of top experts:

  • Krystal Taing, Listings Management Product Specialist at Rio SEO
  • Brian Smith, Director of Local Strategy & Data Partnerships at Rio SEO
  • Aaron Clifford, SVP of Marketing at Binary Fountain

Sign up here to listen to the webinar.

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

Collapse

November 07, 2018

How to Build Your Property’s Digital Curb Appeal

By: Chris Huang

What is Digital Curb Appeal? The concept of “curb appeal” has been a fundamental part of real estate marketing for decades. Curb appeal is simply a way of judging how attractive a home or apartment property looks to the prospective resident driving by. The “digital” part is because most consumers looking for an apartment –…

Read Full Story

What is Digital Curb Appeal?

The concept of “curb appeal” has been a fundamental part of real estate marketing for decades. Curb appeal is simply a way of judging how attractive a home or apartment property looks to the prospective resident driving by.

The “digital” part is because most consumers looking for an apartment – 72% according to research by Rentec – begin their search online.

How Do I Improve My Property’s Digital Curb Appeal?

Real estate professionals know that appealing images and descriptions are important for your property’s website, and for your Facebook, Instagram and other social media pages. Online ratings and reviews of your company and its properties are tremendously important too.

How Do Online Reviews Impact Curb Appeal?

Turner Research reports that 75% of consumers look at reviews and ratings multiple times in their apartment search, and 70% choose to visit a property with a better online reputation. Research by BrightLocal says that 68% of consumers feel positive reviews make them more likely to use a business, and 40% say reading negative reviews makes them not want to use a local business.

Five Tips for Improving Your Property’s Online Reputation

Understand where people search, and where they post reviews. Binary Fountain’s survey of more than 41,000 reviews reveals that in the past year, Google is the top review site for multifamily residential properties, with 50% of all reviews. The top five sites also include Apartment Ratings (18.4%), Facebook (13.4%), Yelp (13.3%) and Apartments.com (3.2%). One feature that makes Google valuable to prospective residents is that they can filter the star ratings to show them the highest-rated results.

Here are five things you can do to make sure that reputation is helping to boost your digital curb appeal:

  • Google your property – try an “apartments for rent near me” search, and see how your property compares with others for star ranking, accurate information, images, and so on. Do the same thing with the other rating and review sites that your search returns, to figure out where to concentrate your efforts.
  • Monitor your ratings and reviews as they’re posted. Reputation management solutions can make this much simpler, with alerts on review postings, sorting and filtering options, and a dashboard that makes it simple to keep track and respond to reviews without spending time you don’t have. Of course, we recommend Binary Fountain’s Social Compass solution, which adds efficiency, and a wide array of tools for keeping track of reviews, responding in a timely manner, and tracking the results of your reputation management program. Even before you begin responding to them, share reviews with staff and management. Celebrate the positive reviews, and commit to improving areas that negative reviews indicate are in need of attention.
  • Devise a consistent voice, and a rapid response program for responding to every review, positive or negative. Remember to thank everyone, positive or negative, for taking the time to post their thoughts. Your reputation improves when online visitors understand that you are paying attention to reviews, and working to improve resident service.
  • Ask residents to post their reviews right after interactions that please them: After they renew their lease; when a maintenance request is handled promptly; when they refer a friend to the property; or when they stop by the office to pick up a package. Our experience shows that sending a text or email asking for a review, with a link, is a way to increase the number of posted reviews, and the percentage of positive ones.
  • Monitor and communicate your performance with regular progress reports and staff communications.

Learn More About Building Digital Curb Appeal

Here are two resources to help you improve your property’s digital curb appeal:

Listen to our webinar How to Build Your Property’s Digital Curb Appeal, moderated by Paul Rosta, Executive Editor at Multi-Housing News, with expert panelists Emma Cook, Senior Digital Media Specialist at Gene B. Glick Company, and our own Senior Sales Director, George LaDue.

Download our case study showing how Gene B. Glick Company increased reviews, improved overall experience scores and boosted response rates.

About the Author

Chris Huang

Collapse

November 05, 2018

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

By: George LaDue

How to Respond to Negative Reviews Negative reviews. You never want to see them on your site or on a third-party review site like Google. While no one wants to see harmful reviews about their business, the question isn’t will it happen – but when. What’s worse, negative reviews could hurt your websites rankings with…

Read Full Story

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Negative reviews. You never want to see them on your site or on a third-party review site like Google. While no one wants to see harmful reviews about their business, the question isn’t will it happen – but when.

What’s worse, negative reviews could hurt your websites rankings with Google’s search algorithm. That means one disgruntled customer could greatly impact your ability to show up when potential customers are searching for your services online.

We’ll walk through how to respond to negative reviews and some steps you can take to turn those negative reviews into a positive outcome for your business.

7 Steps for Responding to Negative Reviews

  1. Keep calm
  2. Evaluate the review
  3. Address the reviewer’s complaint
  4. Remove/Flag any inappropriate reviews
  5. Make improvements
  6. Monitor new reviews
  7. Continue to improve

Should I Respond to Bad Reviews?

Before we cover how to respond to bad reviews, you probably want to know why you should.

Ignoring a less than favorable review is not an option and in fact, could make the situation worse.

Think of it this way: If you had a customer complain to you in person, you would do anything you could to smooth over the situation. You should treat feedback online with the same level of concern.

Plus, replying to bad reviews shows potential new customers who are looking at your profile that you are willing to accept feedback and are taking steps to ensure the problem won’t happen again. 

Keep Calm Before Replying

By far the most important step on the list is to keep calm before replying. No matter how bad the content is in a review, you must remain calm and not respond in an aggressive or hostile way. Coming across as unreceptive to feedback will only damage your online presence.

While negative reviews aren’t good, they also aren’t the end of the world.

Before responding to a review, make sure you are in a calm, rational place and not lashing out.

If the negative review is about a specific staff member, don’t immediately accuse them of any wrongdoing, especially if this is their first time receiving criticism on their customer service.

Evaluate the Review

When you get a negative review, it should be taken seriously and treated as genuine and not brushed off as made up. When evaluating a review, make notes of:

  • When they visited your business
  • If they mention a specific staff member
  • What kind of product/service they experienced or purchased
  • Has this complaint been made before
  • Check your records to make sure the person did visit your business

If most of these check out, talk with your staff. Chances are they will remember the interaction they had with the reviewer. If the complaint is about a specific employee, get their side of the story before judging too harshly.

Remember, a negative review isn’t just an opportunity to find a squeaky wheel in your business, it’s an opportunity to improve your customer experience.

Rants vs. Constructive Criticism

Often times, it’s better to respond directly, but sometimes no response is the correct response.

Most reviews are going to be level-headed and factual, but sometimes you may get a review that feels like an angry rant with very little information or substance. You’ll have to use your best judgment when replying to harsh reviews.

Sometimes saying nothing is better than saying the wrong things, especially in these types of situations.

How You Should Handle Fake Reviews

Luckily, fake reviews are few and far between. Most consumer feedback is genuine and should be taken seriously. If you have fears about potential fake reviews, check out our article about how to respond to fake reviews.

Address The Reviewer’s Complaint

If your organization doesn’t have a response plan, you should start by developing a process to address negative reviews.

When responding to an online review:

  • Keep your response brief
  • Respond quickly
  • Provide contact information if they want to follow up about their experience
  • Remain neutral
  • Don’t make excuses
  • Thank the reviewer for bringing up their problem
  • Promise to resolve the issue
  • Apologize, even if you don’t think your business was in the wrong
  • If there was a reason why their service wasn’t satisfactory (accidents or situations happen) be honest and promise it won’t happen again in the future

Remember, a good reply should thank the reviewer for providing feedback, address any specific concerns and promise to resolve the issue in the future. When you respond to a review, you are talking to everyone that reads the review, not just the original reviewer, so make sure you are putting your best foot forward.

The best possible outcome you could hope for is that an unhappy customer revises their review after seeing your response or is willing to try your product or service again. You can turn a negative review into a positive asset for your online reputation.

Remove/Flag Inappropriate Reviews

Negative reviews are bound to happen, and having an action plan that covers how to respond will prevent you from further damaging your online reputation.

Sometimes, however, reviewers can cross the line from a helpful suggestion to something potentially insulting to outright slanderous. These situations are rare, but when they do happen you do have some recourse when reviews violate the platform guidelines.

When it comes to online reviews, Google and Facebook are two of the main places where customers can leave reviews. Each of these feedback platforms have their own set of guidelines and procedures for handling negative reviews, so understanding the rules on each is vital to your ability to protect your online reputation.

Here’s a look at how both of these review platforms handle negative reviews and what you can do to improve your online reputation.

How to Remove Negative Reviews on Google

Google reviews are highly visible and can even impact your ability to show up in local search results, making them extremely valuable to any business. Out of all the review platforms, Google does the best job in allowing businesses to take action to combat inappropriate reviews.

A negative review isn’t the worst thing in the world. The best thing you can do is follow the steps we detailed above. If you feel like the review is overly aggressive, you can try to flag it.

Before you try to flag a review, Google has guidelines that have to be broken in order to invalidate a review.

Prohibited and Restricted Reviews on Google Include:

  • Reviews that are written by a competitor or people with a conflict of interest
  • Irrelevant or off-topic reviews
  • Use of offensive language and/or personal attacks
  • Sexually explicit or illegal content
  • Any impersonation or false representation

Even if you flag a review, it doesn’t guarantee Google will take the review down. Even if you strongly disagree with a review, Google is not in the business of mitigating disagreement between a business owner and a dissatisfied customer.

How to flag a review on Google

To report an inappropriate review on Google,

  1. Sign in to Google My Business.
  2. Click “Reviews” from the main menu.
  3. Find the review you’d like to flag, click on the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner of the review, then click “Flag as inappropriate.”

If you want Google to take your concerns seriously, don’t treat Google like the judge of a conflict, but rather as a search engine meant to help people find useful reviews (both good and bad).

For more information, view Google’s guidelines.

Google’s flagging process can take some time. You can add a brief response that you are looking into the problem while you wait for Google to respond. You can always expand the reply later if Google refuses to remove the review.

Get More Positive Reviews on Google 

While you may be able to resolve some negative reviews, the majority will remain on your Google listing. Following the guidelines for responding to negative reviews outlined above, you should be able to turn some of those negative reviews into positive ones.

Of course, getting more positive reviews can’t hurt either!

Unlike other review sites, Google doesn’t prohibit business owners and marketers from asking for reviews. As long as you follow Google’s rules and don’t filter user feedback, you should be able to ask customers for reviews.

Getting more positive reviews will not only bury a negative review, but it will also help your business appear at the top of local search results.

How to Remove Negative Reviews on Facebook

Unlike Google, Facebook is a huge social media platform, meaning users are more engaged and more likely to share their feedback not only on your page, but also with their friends.

Facebook users also have the potential of being more aggressive in their feedback than Google users, making it even more important for you to actively respond to negative reviews and try to smooth things over with upset customers.

Here are the crucial steps you need to take to respond to or remove negative comments on Facebook.

How to Respond to Negative reviews on Facebook

As previously mentioned, Facebook users tend to be more active (and have the potential to be more upset) than their Google counterparts. Therefore, it is important to make sure they feel like you have taken the time to read and reply completely and take their suggestions seriously.

5 steps for replying to Facebook reviews:

  1. Start with their name
  2. Thank them for the feedback
  3. Apologize
  4. Assure them that you are taking steps to correct the problem
  5. Encourage them to come back.

By following this formula, you are showing them that you value their opinion and that customer happiness is your top priority. You may just win a lifelong customer.

How to Report a Review on Facebook  

Like Google, Facebook also has community standards reviewers are required to follow.

These standards include:

  • Any comment threatening violence or another user’s safety
  • Hate speech
  • Nudity/sexual content
  • Spam
  • Misrepresentation
  • Violates Intellectual Property

If you believe that a review has violated any of Facebook’s standards:

  1. Go to the review and click the three horizontal dots in the top right corner of the post
  2. Click “Report post”
  3. You’ll be prompted to select an option that best addresses your concern with the post. Pick the one that best fits your situation

After completing the prompt, your report goes to Facebook for review. They will remove the review if they agree the disputed post doesn’t follow their guidelines.

Disabling Reviews on Facebook

Though highly not recommended, you can disable user feedback on Facebook using the reviews tab. If you choose to do so, you are eliminating the chance for people to leave glowing reviews about your business and getting critical feedback to make business decisions in the future.

You are always better off following our steps for responding to negative reviews than you are removing the function entirely.

Make Improvements

Now that you have gotten all the feedback you could possibly ask for, it’s time to put it to good use for your business. The best outcome for your business after you receive a bad review is to act strategically, not brush it under the rug or overreact.

This can be as simple as reviewing cleaning habits to making difficult staffing choices.

Again, make sure you are making thoughtful decisions based on consistent feedback before making any huge changes.

Monitor New Reviews

Once you’ve made your improvements, it’s time to monitor the results of your hard work.

Pay careful attention to new reviews. Are people still raising concerns about the same problem? Are they commenting on how that problem has gone away?

Chances are, if you’ve taken the appropriate steps, reviewers won’t make negative comments about the issue again. In fact, they may even praise that one area that was once a weakness as a strength for your business.

Go back and look at those old negative reviews. Engage with the reviewer and let them know you have taken the steps you promised them and invite them back. They may just take you up on the offer.

Continue to Improve

Don’t stop there! Continually monitoring and working on your online reputation can have a massive impact on your bottom line.

Negative reviews are never part of your business plan, but they don’t have to derail it. With these steps, you can fix your customer service and have positive reviews drown out the bad.

Binary Fountain Can Help Improve Your Online Reviews

Dealing with negative reviews can be time-consuming and Binary Fountain is here to help. We help healthcare organizations and multi-family facilities effectively and efficiently manage their online reputation with our integrated review platform.

Sign up for a webinar today!

About the Author

George LaDue
Sales Director

George helps healthcare organizations better understand their healthcare consumer challenges and needs, in order to efficiently manage and improve patient satisfaction.

Collapse

November 01, 2018

How to Use Google My Business

By: Kayla Zamary

How to Use Google My Business When was the last time you Googled something? Google processes about 40,000 searches every second1, so chances are pretty good you’ve googled at least one thing today. From the phone number for the nearest physical therapist to reviews for the newest restaurant in town, chances are good that your…

Read Full Story

Google My BusinessHow to Use Google My Business

When was the last time you Googled something? Google processes about 40,000 searches every second1, so chances are pretty good you’ve googled at least one thing today. From the phone number for the nearest physical therapist to reviews for the newest restaurant in town, chances are good that your customers are using Google too. So why not leverage Google as a tool to improve your online reputation?

To make sure your customers can quickly and easily find accurate contact information, hours, and reviews it’s important to take advantage of Google My Business. In just a few steps, you can get started and take advantage of this easy-to-use tool, which makes responding to online reviews easy.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free tool that allows business owners to manage their presence across Google domains, from Search to Maps. It helps your customers easily find your phone number, directions to your location, business hours, website, and more. Google My Business also gives customers the opportunity to leave reviews, and businesses with verified accounts and respond to those customer reviews.

How to Create a Google My Business Listing

You can create a Google My Business listing in four easy steps:

  1. If you don’t have a Google Account for your business, create one.
  2. Login with your Google Account, then visit google.com/business. Click “start now.”
  3. Answer some simple questions:
    • What’s the name of your business?
    • Where are you located?
    • What is your business category?
    • What is your business phone number?
    • What is your business website?
  4. Choose a method to verify your Google My Business listing. You can choose to verify your account by postcard, phone, email, instant verification (available if you have already verified your business via Google Search Console), or bulk verification (if you have 10+ locations).

It is important to verify your Google My Business listing because it proves that you own your business website, and give you access to private search data, as well as affect how high you rank in organic search. It can take several days for Google to review and verify your business.

You also have the ability to let several people at your business share responsibility of managing your Google My Business account. Google will let you have three different types of users:

  1. Owners, who have the most privileges and access, including the ability to add additional owners or managers.
  2. Managers, who can edit business information, Google Hangouts, and view insights.
  3. Communication managers, who can interact with customers by posting photos and responding to reviews.

How to Optimize Your Business on Google

It is easy to customize the information your customers can find on your Google My Business listing. By adding details such as photos, hours of operation, you can help your customers choose your business.

While logged into your Google My Business dashboard, select “info” on your listing, and add additional information, such as whether or not you offer free wi-fi, the year your business was established, and more.

The easiest way to optimize your listing is to add photos. According to Google, businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location, as well as 35% more clicks through to your website.  At minimum, add a profile and cover photo of at least 720 pixels wide by 720 pixels tall in either JPG or PNG format. Google also recommends optimizing your profile with interior, exterior, product, and team photos.

Google My Business also allows your customers to leave reviews, which can serve as an online version of word-of-mouth marketing, helping new customers find you. When you post replies to these reviews publicly as your business, it helps build trust with new customers by showing that you value your existing customers. Your business needs to be verified to be able to respond to customer reviews.

You can also let customers message you. This allows you to quickly and easily answer your customers’ questions they may have about your business. If you turn this feature on, it is important to remember to be responsive (as customers can see your average response time) and to avoid sharing sensitive information via messages with your customers, such as their payment or billing information.

It is important to keep your business information up to date, so that your customers have the correct website or phone number when people find it on Google.

How Does Google My Business Affect My Online Reputation?

A verified, optimized Google My Business listing can affect your organic search ranking. By having clear, easy-to-find information in Google Search, more customers will be able to find your business. However, it is still important to monitor your Google My Business dashboard from time to time, as anyone can “suggest an edit” to your business’s information, giving the possibility that someone could add incorrect information.

If you have optimized your Google My Business listing by responding to your customer’s online reviews, it can serve as a basic version of online reputation management, allowing new customers to see the customer service offered by your business.

Managing your online reputation doesn’t have to be complicated. Take your online reputation management to the next level with Binary Fountain’s single integrated platform that makes it easy to manage your online reputation.

For more information, register for our webinar with Rio SEO on Google My Business strategy.

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

Collapse

October 31, 2018

Binary Fountain’s Director of IT Security on Protecting Patient Data

By: Kayla Zamary

Healthcare Data Security is Vital to Protect Patient Data Recently, Healthcare Analytics News posted an article written by Mark Beckmeyer, Binary Fountain’s Director of IT Security, that opens with two sobering statistics: In the past three years, healthcare entities have sustained 955 data breaches. All told, these incidents have resulted in the exposure or theft…

Read Full Story

Healthcare Data Security is Vital to Protect Patient Data

Recently, Healthcare Analytics News posted an article written by Mark Beckmeyer, Binary Fountain’s Director of IT Security, that opens with two sobering statistics: In the past three years, healthcare entities have sustained 955 data breaches. All told, these incidents have resulted in the exposure or theft of a staggering number of medical records: more than 135 million in all.

The damage from the exposure of so much patient data – both personal health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information (PII) – is nearly impossible to calculate. But looking at the effect on individuals and their worries over patient data security, it’s clear that healthcare data should be a security priority and a reputation management priority as well.

Patient Data security – goes beyond HIPAA

Most people who work in marketing and reputation management are familiar with HIPAA. And many have helped frontline staffers with guidelines that help to keep PHI out of reviews, testimonials and any online interactions between providers, staff and patients. Fewer of us, however, are familiar with the more robust security frameworks in the data protection arsenal.

HITRUST, TSC, SOC 2 – Oh My!

Mark describes current frameworks for establishing and maintaining stringent patient data security standards, and lays out three steps to assessing need, defining necessary steps and evaluating security readiness.

Support patient data security

Reputation managers recognize that well implemented and maintained security is an investment worth making. Beyond protecting PHI, a good reputation for security can offer a competitive advantage for attracting new patients. With so many people affected by recent breaches, we can expect that nearly every patient, old, new and prospective, is aware of security as a risk factor in healthcare, and that everyone probably knows someone who has been affected. Reputation managers may not need to be security experts, but it’s useful to be familiar with the latest developments, to help keep your organization and its patient data safe and secure.

As Mark Beckmeyer writes, “Data security needs to be taken seriously and should be a high priority for healthcare organizations.”

Learn more

You can read Mark Beckmeyer’s HCA article here. For more on patient data security, have a look at Mark’s Binary Fountain blog posts, Healthcare Security – Corporate Culture and IT Security and Cybercriminals, Ransomware, PHI Exposure, Hack Attacks and Other Things That Keep Healthcare IT Security Executives up at Night.

Contact Binary Fountain

Ready to learn more about reputation management? Contact Binary Fountain for a demo today.

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

Collapse

October 24, 2018

What’s Your Listings Management Strategy?

By: Brian Williams

Listings management and reputation management go hand in hand Consumers need information they can trust to help them make decisions. This means providing accurate, timely information in the places people do their search. Once they do find you, most consumers make decisions based on the experiences of others, as reflected in reviews and ratings. According…

Read Full Story

Listings management and reputation management go hand in hand

Consumers need information they can trust to help them make decisions. This means providing accurate, timely information in the places people do their search. 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.

This is becoming even more important as healthcare consumerism continues to rise. Eighty percent search for medical information 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 physician and office location.

Inaccurate listings can cost you patients

There is nothing hypothetical about this: We have heard dozens of anecdotes about the consequences of incorrect phone numbers and addresses for physicians’ offices. 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 seen by every potential new patient.

How healthy are your online listings?

Take a minute right now to search for a doctor near you that offers your practice’s specialty. Is your practice listed, and does it compare favorably with competing practices?

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. Read on for expert advice on how to create and execute a strategy that works.

Recommendations

Krystal Taing, Listings Management Product Specialist at Rio SEO, offers some suggestions on how to make sure your organization’s online listings are accessible and accurate:

Prioritize & organize your data. The work of formatting location and physician data for directories and aggregators is foreign to some healthcare 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 patient to the specific department and/or physician? 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 patients find you before they click to your site. The popular local directories may not be your top referrers.

Enhance your data. Provide local, and helpful, content – descriptions, images, attributes, services and appointment links

Plan for 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 new location. Update your listings as soon as information changes. This avoids conflicting or inaccurate information, and the resulting poor patient experience.

Join us to learn more

Do you want to learn about developing a listings management and reputation management strategy for Google My Business? Register now for our upcoming webinar on November 8th, 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET.

About the Author

Brian Williams
Sales Executive

Brian helps healthcare organizations better understand their healthcare consumer challenges and needs, in order to efficiently manage and improve patient satisfaction.

Collapse

October 15, 2018

Marketing to Millennials

By: Kayla Zamary

Are you marketing your healthcare services to Millennials? If you aren’t, you should reconsider. According to Pew Research, the U.S. Census Bureau predicts that in 2019 Millennials will surpass Baby Boomers as the largest living adult generation. Millennials are different Many traits and behaviors distinguish the generation born between 1981 and 1996 (sometimes referenced as…

Read Full Story

Are you marketing your healthcare services to Millennials? If you aren’t, you should reconsider. According to Pew Research, the U.S. Census Bureau predicts that in 2019 Millennials will surpass Baby Boomers as the largest living adult generation.

Millennials are different

Many traits and behaviors distinguish the generation born between 1981 and 1996 (sometimes referenced as between 1980 and 2000). These 22-37 year-olds are diverse and inclusive, well educated and much more comfortable with technology than earlier generations. Surveys show that over 50% of younger Millennials would rather lose their sense of smell than their handheld technology. As consumers, 47 percent of Millennials are influenced in their purchases by social media.

Marketing to Millennials as Healthcare Consumers

Here are a few data points and insights to consider, several of them courtesy of our recent webinar on marketing to millennials as healthcare consumers:

More than a million Millennials are becoming mothers every year – there are more than 17 million Millennial mothers already.

Because they’re tech-oriented, they check in with “Doctor Google” first.

Millennials often don’t have a primary care provider and sometimes choose to visit urgent care facilities because they find it more convenient and they tend to diagnose themselves.

They equate healthcare with wellness and might choose to spend more on specialized fitness classes like a cross-training or yoga.

When it comes to medical instructions, Millennials show a preference for treatments that feel “necessary” and are easily understood.

Their healthcare experience matters. They want their health provider to help them be healthier every day, but they definitely do not like traditional appointment setting.

Millennials prefer digital exchange of information that is paperless, and phone call-free. They are more likely to respond to an app, text or email.

97% of Millennials find online physician ratings and reviews somewhat to very reliable.

51% checked the ratings and reviews of a doctor/specialist after receiving a referral from a doctor.

Get more advice on marketing to Millennials

Does all this seem like information overload? Well, that’s the Millennial experience, and they are more likely to research their health online than older consumers. They aim to be very educated when it comes to making decisions about their own healthcare. 

Listen to our webinar

For more information on all these points and more, sign up for access to our recent webinar Marketing to Millennials as Healthcare Consumers. Binary Fountain’s SVP of Marketing Aaron Clifford hosts, featuring:

  • Kelly Kavanaugh VP and Chief Strategy Officer at Dayton Children’s Hospital
  • Jordan Howard VP Marketing & Strategy at OM Healthcare

Sign in today for Marketing to Millennials as Healthcare Consumers.

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

Collapse

September 25, 2018

Healthcare Consumer 2018 Survey: Key Points

By: Kayla Zamary

Binary Fountain has just released its second annual healthcare consumer survey. Its goal is to provide an updated view into how patients search, evaluate – and share – their experiences with their healthcare providers. Aaron Clifford, Binary Fountain’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, says, “This second annual healthcare consumer survey clarifies important action points for…

Read Full Story

Binary Fountain has just released its second annual healthcare consumer survey. Its goal is to provide an updated view into how patients search, evaluate – and share – their experiences with their healthcare providers. Aaron Clifford, Binary Fountain’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, says, “This second annual healthcare consumer survey clarifies important action points for providers who regard online reputation as a vital part of their efforts to improve patient experience and increase patient acquisition.”Healthcare consumer insight survey ebook

Below is a quick review of key findings.

Increasingly sharing healthcare consumer experiences

One compelling result of this year’s survey is just how comfortable Americans are with sharing their healthcare experiences online.

  • 51% of respondents share personal healthcare experiences online.Online sharing via social media and rating and review sites increased from 31% in last year’s survey
  • 70% of millennials have shared experiences online, reporting on hospital or physician experiences
  • 68% of younger millennials,aged 18-24, report sharing healthcare experiences online.This represents a 33% increase over 2017

Relying on online ratings and reviews

Healthcare consumers were near-unanimous in their opinion of online ratings and review sites:

  • 95% of overall respondents regard online ratings as “somewhat” to “very” reliable
  • 100% of younger millennials say they find online ratings and reviews “somewhat” to “very” reliable.
  • Respondents aged 25-34 are close behind, with 97% agreeing

Our 2018 survey respondents look first to a hospital or clinic’s website as the first source of ratings (34%), with Google (29%) ranked second. Next in popularity are WebMD (18%), Healthgrades (15%) and Facebook (12%). For providers, the survey makes clear which sites they should monitor when it comes to reputation management.

Losing patience in the waiting room

On the question of the most frustrating aspect of experiences with healthcare providers, consumers answer loud and clear:

  • 43% chose “wait time” as the most frustrating part of doctor visits.This ranks far ahead of other pain points, such as “cost and payment” and “awaiting lab results,” which both come in at 10%, and “scheduling,” which ranks at 9%.

Young millennials are the consumer segment most likely to express frustration with “having to schedule an appointment.”

Expecting more of care providers

At the point of patient care, healthcare consumers want their providers to be personable, knowledgeable and thorough, rating these qualities highest in our survey. Through a multiple-choice question, we examined factors that matter to a patient when evaluating a provider. Our findings were:

  • 48% selected “a friendly and caring attitude”
  • 47% say “ability to answer all my questions”
  • 45% chose “thoroughness of the examination”

Interestingly, men and women diverge in their opinions of the most important factor in patient care. 45% of men rate “ability to answer all my questions” highest, while 52% of women place “friendly and caring attitude” at the top.

Interested in more findings from our second annual Healthcare Consumer Insight & Digital Engagement survey? Download the free eBook.

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

Collapse

September 17, 2018

Reputation Management for Optometrists

By: Brian Williams

Optometrists and ophthalmologists may be wondering if a reputation management program is cost effective. Want to find out quickly? Google “eye doctors near me.” Look at the online reviews for your practice and for those of competing specialists. For most people this answers YES to the question: Do I really need reputation management? It sounds like…

Read Full Story

Optometrists and ophthalmologists may be wondering if a reputation management program is cost effective. Want to find out quickly? Google “eye doctors near me.” Look at the online reviews for your practice and for those of competing specialists. For most people this answers YES to the question: Do I really need reputation management?

It sounds like a lot of work, identifying and monitoring your online reviews. But a few years ago, only the giants in healthcare could justify a web site that was more functional than just a digital version of a paper brochure. Today, a web presence is much more affordable, and everyone knows they need an online presence – ideally with appointment setting, a patient log-in system, bill pay and more. According to SoftwareAdvice.com, statistics show that more than 70 percent of potential patients search online before making an appointment with a provider.Optometrist with iPad

As the cost of an online presence has dropped, so has the cost of building and protecting your online reputation. There’s a rapidly-expanding universe of sites with online reviews, from Google and Facebook to doctor-rating sites like Healthgrades and Vitals. And, people pay attention: some 85 percent of respondents trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation, according to a 2017 survey by BrightLocal. Eye care providers who want to excel in this environment must implement a practical program for managing their online reputation. Here are three strategies that can help:

Online Reputation Management Includes Asking for Reviews

We recommend you begin building your reputation by asking patients after their visit if they would be willing to provide feedback. Create an automated text message or email to reach patients soon after their visit, with direct links to popular rating and review sites: e.g., Google, Facebook and Healthgrades. By asking permission and making it convenient for patients to post online reviews, you’ll likely get higher response rates.

Consider using signage and handouts in your waiting room that explain how to post an online review. Invite patients to “Share Your Experience Online,” reiterate your commitment to the highest standards, and let patients know their opinion can inform others seeking eye care. When your practice impresses visitors as truly interested and responsive to their opinions, you earn the trust of current patients, and the interest of prospective patients. BrightLocal’s Consumer Review Survey 2017 show that new patients are nearly as likely to trust online reviews as much as referrals from people they know.

How Optometrists can Handle Online Reviews

Negative online reviews are enough to make you wince. Your ophthalmology practice works hard to deliver quality care. How could it be that a patient is outspokenly unsatisfied? Most online reviews, especially those posted soon after the appointment, are positive. But negative reviews happen. So, it’s important to be vigilant about monitoring your online reputation.

In a way, a negative review is a customer service call. Your patient believes there is a legitimate issue. Not responding to an online complaint is like not answering or not returning a phone call. By taking unfavorable online reviews seriously but not personally, you demonstrate that you are listening, and that you truly care about patient concerns.

Dealing with negative reviews

Think through these questions:

  • What’s the best way to respond?
  • What can you do to resolve the issue?
  • What can you learn from it?

First, decide who will monitor and who will respond to reviews, what the initial response message will be, and who will be the point of contact for resolution and service recovery. We recommend responding promptly to all unfavorable reviews, thanking the poster online for their feedback and offering to further discuss the issue offline. Give the patient either a phone number or email address and the name or title of a person to contact at your office. This helps prevent the complaint from escalating online in view of potential customers, and reduces the chance of HIPAA rules.

Addressing negative comments in a timely manner helps the patient and the practice see eye to eye. We often hear from clients about patients who change their negative review into a positive response after the practice quickly resolved the problem. Both the individual who posts the review and the next visitors to your review section will appreciate your caring attitude toward patient concerns.

By approaching them calmly, you and your staff can come to see negative reviews as learning moments on how to improve service. Everyone on the team wants the practice to succeed, so addressing and resolving issues can help prevent the loss of current and potential patients.

What About Positive Reviews?

What’s better than receiving a positive online review? Responding to one. Send a quick note to thank the patient for their feedback and restate your commitment as an optometrist to world class eye care. Prospective patients will notice. And, sharing and celebrating positive feedback with staff is a great way to build morale.

Take a Time-Effective Approach

Owners of smaller practices may believe there isn’t time for reputation management. Where do you start, you might be wondering, and can you even make a difference with a small staff? These time-saving tactics can help manage your online reputation, with the help of some technology.

First, assign ownership to online reputation management tasks. It’s recommended that the owner-senior optometrist be the owner of the program, but notthe person who responds to online reviews. This divide and conquer approach distributes the time needed to manage your online reputation.

Know What to Say

We recommend creating templates for soliciting online reviews, and for responding to them, good or bad. This will save you from reinventing the wheel with every patient interaction. You should add a brief personal comment to responses, so they don’t all sound the same.

Consider Automated Monitoring and Alerts

Managing online reviews can be like herding cattle – or cats. It can be time-consuming to check every review site. You need a centralized solution that can pull in these reviews for you to read and respond. A reputation management solution can help here.

Also consider setting email notifications to come to you when any review – negative or positive – is posted. This will save you even more time. We further recommend prioritizing which online review sites make sense for you to manage. Another Google search can give you an idea of where to start, and you can add more as you go on.

In conclusion, your practice is your business. Your online reputation is the way current and prospective patients perceive your practice and decide whether you’ll get their business. You need to take ownership and figure out the best way to manage it. The know-how and technology is available, and practices across the country use it to manage their reputations.

Is the picture clearer now? Today is the best time to focus on reputation management.

Want to learn more about reputation management best practices? Download our ebook, Building a Healthier Online Reputation.

About the Author

Brian Williams
Sales Executive

Brian helps healthcare organizations better understand their healthcare consumer challenges and needs, in order to efficiently manage and improve patient satisfaction.

Collapse

September 11, 2018

Healthcare Consumers’ Five Demands

By: Chris Huang

It’s no surprise that many healthcare consumers don’t get excited about visiting a doctor or medical facility. It isn’t so much the time spent face-to-face with the physician. It’s the experiences around the edges of the appointment – from finding the office, to parking, to dealing with busy, preoccupied staff, to time spent in the…

Read Full Story

It’s no surprise that many healthcare consumers don’t get excited about visiting a doctor or medical facility. It isn’t so much the time spent face-to-face with the physician. It’s the experiences around the edges of the appointment – from finding the office, to parking, to dealing with busy, preoccupied staff, to time spent in the waiting room. After the appointment, many patients encounter annoyance in follow-up instructions, billing tangles, and the hassles of dealing with provider and health insurance staff to clear them up. If you’ve ever looked at health provider rating and review sites, you know that a problem with any of these elements can inspire a negative review – and hurt your online reputation.

Key Healthcare Consumer Expectations.

If patient engagement and conscientious online reputation management is your objective, you may be wondering what healthcare consumers want from encounters with healthcare providers.

In our recent E-Book, The Seven Essential Habits of Successful Online Reputation Management in Healthcare, we list five characteristics that consumers want from their healthcare interactions:

  1. They want it to be personal. A friendly greeting, a helpful attitude and a sincere “how are you today” are essential. The patient needs to know from the behavior of staffers – at the desk, in the waiting room and in the exam room – that they are regarded as a person, and not merely the 15th patient who has walked in since opening time.
  2. Women using iPhone and chatbot for healthcareThey want it to be simple, seamless and efficient. Healthcare consumers are becoming increasingly digital and are becoming accustomed to receiving timely services. Take advantage of available online tools for streamlining appointment setting, communicating test results and other tasks.
  3. They want to feel like their time is valued. Binary Fountain’s recent consumer survey finds that 48 percent of people aged 25 and above rank wait times as the most frustrating thing about visiting the doctor. A survey from Vitals® reveals that 20 percent of people have changed doctors because of wait times. If something out of the ordinary interrupts the schedule and patients will need to wait, proactively communicate this to them and provide them with options if they need to reschedule.
  4. They want transparency. Patients want details, and they want to know all their options. Most importantly, they want and deserve simple explanations of everything about their condition, their treatment choices, their follow-up, and want to know about all costs upfront.
  5. They want their information to be secure. Healthcare consumers want to trust that every detail they share with their provider will be safe and secure. They want confidence that you have firm control over who has access to their most personal information.

As we know, current online reviews are a very important component of research for your potential future patients. Assess your online reviews and comments. Are any of these concerns showing up as trouble spots? If so, you should take steps to identify and correct the issues that trigger frustration for current patients, and begin earning positive reviews.

About the Author

Chris Huang

Collapse

Request a Demo