How To Revamp Directory Listings and Online Reviews To Grow Your Practice
Do you already have a solid therapy website? Love to maximize your reach? Want to attract more traffic to the site you’ve heavily invested in with your time, effort, and money?
Great! This post will show you how to do just this by maintaining online directory listings and reviews.
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See, building a practice website is incredibly important. But, it’s the initial step; a necessary foundation. Next, you must attract eyeballs, build rapport, and convert visitors into clients.
The first piece of the puzzle — attracting eyeballs — requires effective traffic-building strategies. Creating attractive directory listings and revamping your online reviews are key aspects of this approach.
So, how do you make the most of directory listings and online reviews? Let’s take a look…
SEO-friendly directory submissions
Listing on reputable search engine optimized (SEO) directories places you in front of your ideal clients, on a platform that lends you its credibility through association. These platforms provide visitors and the perception of trustworthiness, a combination that can aid the growth of your practice.
Build your listings once, and they can provide a stream of clients for years to come. But, we recommend that you update them whenever appropriate. Completed a new course, gained fresh accreditation, published a book? Add these to your listings.
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Tip: Remember, every step you take online should be search engine friendly. It’s never wise to amass black marks that harm your site’s ranking ability. So, aim for established, quality directories.
How can you find directories that might be worth pursuing?
Make a list of your niches; the conditions or challenges you enjoy treating. Type these into your search engine along with your location.
Let’s use “depression therapy New York” as an example.
Image: results for a “depression therapy New York” search
Under the Google Business Profile listings (we’ll tell you how to grab yours shortly) and common questions, you’ll see a list of results. Take a look. The third and fifth — PsychologyToday and GoodTherapy — are directories.
We know they are SEO-friendly because Google themselves have ranked them highly. You, as a qualified therapist, can join these directories.
Becoming a listed member of PsychologyToday or GoodTherapy, for example, gives you access to the benefits of their SEO and reputation.
Most directories allow you to create a profile where you can insert keywords or phrases and a link back to your site. The potential may exist to write a blog post for them, garnering more eyeballs.
Grab your Google Business Profile listing
This is a “must-have”.
Most web users use Google as their search engine. So, claiming your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) provides the information Google needs to tell the world about you. And tell it, they will; good or bad.
Let’s take a look…
If we search for “therapist New York” as an example, Google provides a list of results, with practice name, contact information, opening details, a rating, directions, and a link to a website, where possible. This type of listing allows you to be easily found. Which is great!
Image: results for a “therapist New York” search
When we click on a red marker, we are shown more information about that specific practice. Your practice should have its own red marker! Particularly because Google Business Profiles sit at the top of the page. The first place searchers look. You are hampered without one.
And there’s more to the story.
Google Business Profiles also include reviews. We’ll talk more about reviews shortly, but take a look at the two practices below. Ask yourself; which practice would you choose?
Image: example one of a GMB listing for a New York therapist’s practice
Image: example two of a GMB listing for a New York therapist’s practice
I’m guessing your answer will be example one. In both, being listed by Google shows a searcher that the businesses are real. But, the reviews pack a punch when it comes to perceived expertise and trustworthiness.
Can you see why a business listing with compelling, authentic reviews can help to grow your practice? This single step is powerful.
If you haven’t claimed your practice’s Google Business Profile listing yet, our article, “Dear BV: How Do I Get a Google Business Profile Listing for My Private Practice?“, walks you through the steps. Check out our Google Business FAQs page for more answers to questions commonly asked by therapists.
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Harness the power of positive reviews
The above example provides a stark reality, doesn’t it? Reviews matter and are crucial for your reputation. Like it or not, online reviews sway perceptions and decisions. As an article published on Qualtrics.com pointed out, a significant number of people (yes, including your potential clients) read reviews to help them make a purchasing decision. Bad reviews absolutely turn people away.
BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey revealed much about the current review landscape. They found:
- A staggering 98% of people read reviews for local biz
- 82% of searchers pay attention to healthcare-related reviews
- 47% of people searching for a healthcare provider say reviews are “very important” in their decision-making process, while a further 35% say they’re “important”
Given almost four in five people use the internet to find information on neighborhood businesses, reviews are a potent tool when wielded well.
Referring back to the Qualtrics article, the author noted that great reviews:
- Increase trust
- Can boost search engine rankings
- Encourage action
- Boost profits
Whereas bad reviews have the opposite effect in that they:
- Reduce trust
- May make it more difficult to find you (through poorer SEO)
- Can convince a potential client to avoid your practice
- Can deeply harm your bottom line
It’s not surprising. Reviews act like digital word of mouth, particularly for younger generations.
So, how do you harness the power of positive reviews?
The easiest way is to ask your happy clients for a review. You can do this face-to-face, through newsletters or emails, or in a multitude of other ways. Breathe… You are more likely to pick up positive reviews. 34% of people only leave positive reviews, compared to 7% who stick to negative reviews.
Heading back to BrightLocal’s research, 88% of people said they were “likely” or “highly likely” to leave a positive review if “the business went above and beyond to ensure you had an exceptional experience.”
Your job, then, is to ensure your service is a standout.
You can also ask those in your professional network to pen authentic reviews. But remember, potential clients have an incredible internal lie detector. Never use fake reviews!
Tip: Non-niche platforms like Yelp and Facebook are important.
The hidden value found in reviews
Monitoring your reviews is essential for a range of reasons, including that they present the opportunity to improve. Here, you will find a bucketload of useful insights. In fact, monitor your competitors’ reviews as well.
- What are people saying?
- Where are you (or your competition) going right and how can you double down on the positive?
- Where do you (or your competition) have space to improve? In short, what are reviewers complaining about, and how can you fix the problem?
If you take heed, this is practice building gold! They help direct improvement.
Remember, people who left a review were sufficiently motivated to do so. Whether a review is positive or negative, always take the time to respond promptly and thoughtfully.
For a positive review, reply to acknowledge and thank the reviewer.
For a negative review, respond in a caring, empathetic way and seek to resolve their complaint. Know that responding to a negative review is powerful. BrightLocal’s research found that a whopping 80% of clients would leave a positive review if they had “initially had a negative experience that was turned into a very positive experience.” So, the ball, as they say, is in your court.
How can Brighter Vision help?
Now, if you don’t have a website, or you don’t regularly interact with your potential and current following online, it’s difficult to take advantage of the power of reviews.
At BrighterVision, we have a wealth of experience supporting therapists — just like you — to grow their practices. We look forward to supporting you too!
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