When struggling with an aching tooth or a child with the flu, patients want immediate help from a doctor or dentist they can trust. But where do they start their search for a trustworthy practitioner in the area? With hundreds of recommendations now at their fingertips, they turn to online reviews.

Online reviews are important for any business but what’s unique to medical practitioners is that customers often search for your practice when their need is urgent. It’s crucial that when they first come across your practice, they also see positive reviews.  Positive reviews, built from patient feedback, are powerful and help portray a caring and credible business. WebMD helps by aggregating stellar feedback from your current patient base, and you can build a trove of online reviews primed to grow your practice. 

While your SEO strategy helps new patients discover your practice on search engines like Google, they turn to specialized medical review databases like WebMD to find reviews and ratings before making a decision., WebMD’s Physician Directory is a go-to source for patients––over 14 million visitors each month come looking for reliable feedback from other patients on local doctors. 

Alongside online reviews here are 9 Metrics Every Healthcare Marketing Executive Should Track.

What is WebMD?

While most people know WebMD for its symptom-sleuthing reputation, WebMD also hosts one of the largest listings of physicians available on the web. From dentists and dermatologists to pediatricians and neurologists, prospective patients can find local practitioners of nearly any specialty. WebMD’s database can be browsed by condition, procedure or location, so there are plenty of ways for patients to find precisely what they’re looking for. 

The importance of WebMD reviews

Each practice listed in WebMD’s directory includes a comprehensive profile that offers far more than just basic contact information. A profile features a doctor’s education, a practice’s accepted insurance plans, and an appointment request portal. Highlighted beside the practice’s name is a billboard with a one-to-five star rating. While you, the practitioner, fills out your profile with  comprehensive details that create a snapshot of your practice, WebMD invites patients to rank the profile and provide feedback on your practice using the following questions:

  • If they received attentive follow-up after their appointment
  • How well you answered their questions and concerns
  • Office cleanliness
  • Courteousness of your staff
  • Average office wait time

This mix of outward-facing patient reviews and credible business details is what makes WebMD so popular. Remember, the directory draws nearly 14 million medically-minded patients per month––if you’re looking to grow your practice, here’s where you need your best foot forward. 

How to get WebMD reviews

In order to leverage that WebMD database you have to start by making a profile. And making a brilliant profile can be done by following a few easy steps.

1. First, find out if you’re already listed.

Start by visiting the Physician Directory page and searching your name and location. 

WebMD pulls in commercially available data to populate listings, so whether or not you’ve actively managed your profile it’s likely already there, as a general business listing, pulled from information lurking in search engines. This is what potential patients will come across, so it’s imperative that you pack it with updated information and beaming 5-star feedback.

2. “Claim your profile” 

When you find your listing, click the “claim your profile” button. This will take you to a page where you can fill out the basics of your practice: name, location, phone number, and email. Once you’ve proven that it’s yours, you’ll submit it to WebMD and wait for approval. When your  ownership is granted, you’ll be ready to make the powerful edits that will attract new patients. 

3. Create a well-written, comprehensive profile. 

Sparse, inaccurate information is a huge customer deterrent. You want to use this space to tell a compelling narrative about your practice. Does your care focus on a particular health modality? Do you have a unique mission or story to tell? Why would a patient choose your practice over a competitor? 

Highlight what sets you apart from other local healthcare providers. The more you’re willing to share with potential patients about yourself and your staff, the warmer and more inviting your practice will feel. 

4. Upload a profile photo.

Would you rather book an appointment with a featureless blue blob or a smiling, kind physician? In an ocean of generic blue avatars, a bright and vivid headshot stands out from the crowd. 

Not only does showing your face help you to visually stand out, it lets you show a little personality. This is the very beginning of building a personal rapport with patients, who are likely nervous about visiting a new doctor. .  A photo will do a lot of work for your profile, because patients will attach associations to your image: clean, competent, caring, kind. 

5. Request reviews from patients. 

Once your profile is ready, it’s time to start growing your slate of positive reviews. Since 60% of patients say they select new physicians based on positive customer testimony, this is arguably the most important section of your profile page. 

Start by providing satisfied patients with a link to your WebMD profile. Beside your star rating is a  “Leave a review” button, where patients can go to pack your page full of glowing feedback. 

Podium Reviews can be a key partner in your review collection strategy. Instead of manually handing out your profile link through email or on postcards, Podium Reviews fuels the process for you by automatically distributing review requests after each and every appointment. 

Podium Reviews also helps you keep an eye on negative feedback. By streamlining your collected testimonials, funneling them into one place, you can immediately address any concerning feedback before it has an adverse impact on patient perception. 

Frequently asked questions about WebMD reviews

  • What are some other ways my WebMD profile can stand out from the competition? 

WebMD offers “Enhanced Profiles” for practitioners looking to get an extra edge. These profiles offer a host of upgrades like higher search placement and improved SEO performance. Activating the enhanced features sends your profile to the top three results listed on a page when patients search for a local doctor with your specialty. 

One of the most powerful tools in the Enhanced Profile toolbox is the Appointment Request Form. This lets patients request appointments directly from your profile. You’ll also be able to track incoming calls received from your online listings. 

  • How can I remove competitor ads from my profile listing?

By default, profiles will include information highlighting similar practitioners in your area. An Enhance Profile removes these competitor listings.

Building a robust profile on an influential site like WebMD is a powerful investment. Your profile becomes a tool that serves your patients as well as your business––by earning patients’ trust while attracting them to your pipeline. 

If you’re in healthcare you’ll want to make sure you are ready to manage communication effectively.

Bryan Oram
Bryan Oram AVP of Healthcare Enterprise Sales

Bryan Oram is a Healthcare professional at Podium, the leading messaging platform that connects healthcare businesses with their patients.

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