The Importance of Google Reviews for Your Physical Therapy Business

Google Reviews Feedback

SEO Google Reviews

 

Google reviews. Merely reviews on Google, right? 

Wrong. 

What was once a beneficial exercise for smaller businesses now has far greater importance. 

Reviews of your business remain hugely important for Google’s local SEO results. Not only do consistent, healthy testimonials bring credibility and trust, but Google considers the review process to be one of the most influential ranking factors available. 

Boiled down, the benefits of gaining positive customer Google reviews far outweighs that ‘nudge’ required to prompt a customer to write one in the first place. By acquiring testimonials, you are gaining material to trumpet in your marketing campaign. You are also gaining an understanding of what needs to be adjusted or changed. 

However, the most significant impact is upon your visibility through search rankings. Y’know, that little SEO aspect that helps customers find you in the first place. 

It’s no secret that Google is paranoid. It’s no longer sufficient to leave SEO to chance. Unless you follow the regulations and adhere to the countless algorithm updates, potential customers will never find you – even if you are their best fit. That’s where the review process works hand-in-hand with your SEO campaign. Let’s delve in for an explanation.

1. Google Reviews Build Trust 

SEO Google Reviews

Accumulating genuine (and honest) Google reviews of your service is critical for survival. Even if you don’t pay heed to SEO as the algorithmic-based overlord that it is, never underestimate the power of patient testimonials upon potential customers. It’s all about trust!

You can scream about how friendly your staff are, or how you have the best service in the region, but until an unbiased third party confirms these aspects, then most clients will scroll on past.

How do people know that they won’t wake up in a bath of ice minus their kidney upon walking through your front door? If swathes of positive Google reviews counteract a world that’s brimming with mistrust by promoting your friendly professionalism, then you’ve already got 90% of people’s attention. 

Don’t believe us? Check out any study on the subject that you wish. Results point to the humble customer review as the most powerful of purchase influences. Consumers will almost always consult reviews before making a decision or purchase. 

2. Google Reviews Help SEO

SEO Google Reviews

Google’s primary goal is to match a search query with the best answer/result. However, through a constantly changing SEO landscape, Google is driven in pursuit to deliver only the most relevant and trustworthy products/services. While it used to be enough to inform Google about what your business does, now you must also display how your business is perceived. 

It is common sense to seek a bulletproof website and impenetrable SEO strategy. Still, if your competitor also boasts these aspects, then Google will use reviews to decide who ends up on top. Google Maps states that the ‘highest-rated’ businesses near your location will be returned when searching for local companies and services. 

Suppose your clinic boasts of 180 Google reviews for an average 4.4-star rating, and your closest competition holds a less ‘impressive’ result. In that case, your business is regarded as the most trustworthy. You clearly don’t steal kidneys. Google says so. Hurrah!

The result? By being atop of the search results, more clicks/visits will be coming your way. Suppose you have the onboarding process for a new client already nailed. In that case, you can expect an increase in customer revenue. Not just that, but more customers translates into more reviews – keeping you on the top spot. So long as those reviews are consistently positive, of course. 

3. Google vs Other Review Websites 

SEO Google Reviews

Your clients will probably review your establishment regardless of how they perceived their visit. However, not everyone will post reviews to Google. Popular review sites also include Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Facebook (alongside other social media sites). We’d advise that you claim these listings so that you can gauge all reviews, rather than just through one channel. 

Despite an ever-widening array of search engines, the majority of people still opt to use Facebook and Google for searches. To maximise the effect of your reviews, we’d advise prompting customers to leave their thoughts on your GMB (Google My Business) listing. 

As a secret tip, remember to reply to all of your reviews. The majority of client testimonials go unresponded, yet Google pays attention to those who complete the package and thank their clients for their feedback. By doing so, you’ll place yourself in the 10% of businesses that do respond, and give yourself an advantage when Google decides who should be favoured on a local search. 

However, several sites (such as Bing and Yahoo!) scrape Yelp and Tripadvisor for reviews to display through their own medium – so don’t ignore them, even if the reviews are negative. Speaking of which… 

4. Never Fear That Negative Review!
1-Star Google Review

One of the fears realised by business owners arrives in the form of that dreaded ‘1-star’ review. It’s the biggest hesitation in soliciting online feedback. Yet, the odd negative review need not be the end of the world.

Actively replying to grievances gives the impression that you are looking to resolve a situation rather than ignore it. Responding to negative reviews also demonstrates an aptness for online diplomacy, which can build trust and illustrate your mantra for customer care. 

Try to use a bad review to your advantage. That may sound like mad business practice, but various studies have found that negative Google reviews offer a 67% increase in conversation. If someone slings you a poor review, there is no reason why you can’t use that space to display your customer serviceability. 

5. Getting Customers To Write Reviews

Google Reviews Feedback

Arguably, this is the trickiest part of the entire process. Unless you visit your customer and force them to write while holding their family hostage (not recommended), it can feel awkward when pushing for feedback. More importantly, you must ensure that the patient has enjoyed a positive experience in the first place!

So, how can you gain reviews without begging? Easy! Have an active strategy in place that encourages Google reviews from both existing clients and new customers, rather than waiting an indefinite amount of time for them to appear naturally. 

These strategies can take various forms, but remember to make it as straightforward for the client as possible. The more immediately you request a review after an appointment, the more likely it is you’ll get published feedback. 

Have a peek at some example feedback strategies.

6. A Warning On Google Reviews…

Buying fake Google ReviewsNever pay for reviews. Various companies offer services where – for a nominal fee – they will submit Google reviews for your business, but steer well clear. No matter how tempting it may seem to start with, this act is going to destroy all future SEO progress.

Remember how we said Google was a paranoid being? Well, the G-forces are going to notice an influx of reviews from IP addresses that contrast with your local area. Google knows of these companies offering ‘review’ services. Buying reviews goes against Google’s terms of use, and it won’t take them long to track your activities.

Google will then penalise you for trying to play the system and apply a massive SEO black mark. Your rankings will be subjected to the eternal sin bin. They may even take your kidney. You have been warned!

Want to talk shop about the importance of Google reviews, or simply seeking further help? Reach out to us. We’d be happy to help and advise! Get in touch with us through our DRPT contact page.

About The Author

Calum Brown

Calum has worked with SEO for the best part of a decade and is proud of it! He previously created and led Bauer's SEO strategy for their digital classic automotive portfolio and helped to launch America's largest collector car site for SpeedDigital. Having come from an SEO, marketing and editorial background, and having studied Business Information Systems at Edinburgh Napier University, Calum now dedicates his time to all things SEO. He takes great pride in helping Physical Therapy businesses find their perfect (local) clients and drinks copious amounts of tea doing so. Best not to feed him after midnight.