At a Glance
- It’s important for providers to claim and optimize their profiles on sites like Google, Yelp, and Healthgrades to manage their online reputation and help patients find them.
- Providers should search for their names online to find their existing profiles, claim them by verifying their identity, and update incorrect information.
- Optimizing profiles involves adding complete practice information like hours, services, certifications, and photos, and providers should continually monitor and update profiles as part of ongoing reputation management.
Your practice information is out there — even if you didn’t put it there. It’s lurking on different websites, waiting to collect misinformation supplied by robots and strangers. Countless provider profile databases are all over the internet and aim to help patients find new healthcare providers. But if you don’t claim your listings, they could share outdated or incorrect information about your practice. It’s up to you to protect your online reputation.
Dive into your provider listings — the yellow pages of the internet — and discover how to optimize them to amplify your practice’s online presence.
What is a provider profile?
Think of provider profiles as supercharged business listing in the yellow pages. They share your name, business information, specialty, and certifications with potential patients who can also read reviews placed right next to your information. These profiles live on different websites, such as:
- Insurance directories
- Local business directories
The list doesn’t end there. Between review sites and social media sites, patients searching for healthcare providers have a variety of options to choose from.
Why should you claim your profiles?
Try doing a web search for your name and degree right now (e.g., Sarah Singh, MD). You might be surprised how far and wide your online reputation has spread. Many websites will include some of your practice’s information — whether it’s correct or not. Some reviews might already be up on sites like Yelp or Healthgrades.
“If you don't claim your listings, they could share outdated or incorrect information about your practice. It’s up to you to protect your online reputation. ”
Claim your profiles to ensure that your information is correct and complete with all the essential details that make your practice stand out.
Here are some other reasons why you should claim your provider profiles as part of your online reputation management strategy:
- It’ll expand your web presence: Since 77% of patients search online for healthcare information, they need to be able to find your practice online. The more places your practice information is, the more likely patients are to find it. Google also finds review site information highly reputable and sometimes will serve those pages higher than your own practice website.
- It’s how prospective patients evaluate providers: Provider profiles, especially ones with reviews, are highly likely to catch prospective patients’ attention. In Tebra’s 2023 Patient Perspectives survey, 93% of patients said reviews are important to their provider search. And they get more important the younger your patient base is — around 62% of Gen Z won’t even consider a provider with few or no reviews.
5 steps to claim and optimize your provider profiles
Now that you know how important provider profiles are to your practice, what should you do? Here are 5 ways to find, claim, and optimize your profiles:
1. Google yourself and your practice
The easiest way to find your provider listings across sites is to conduct a Google search, just like many prospective patients would. Search for your and your practice’s names to see where they appear online.
“The top 3 listings on the first page of Google are the ones patients will most likely click. ”
The initial search might be overwhelming, depending on how long you’ve had your practice. Your best bet is to start at the top. The top 3 listings on the first page of Google are the ones patients will most likely click.
2. Start with Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile, previously Google My Business, is by far the most prominent listing for your practice. Google Business Profile is a set of tools designed to help showcase your business, and it allows Google to serve people more effectively.
When you search your practice, if there’s a Google listing, you’ll see a card to the right of the search results with some information already filled in (whether correct or incorrect). Simply click “Own this business?” and Google will take you through the claiming process.
If you don’t see a listing, search for “Google Business Profile” to find the sign-up form. Note that you’ll have to create a Google account if you don’t already have one. When you create your profile, it's also worth the time to optimize your practice's Google Business Profile images.
3. Repeat with all available listings
Go through all directories and review sites to claim your listings. Each will have different processes, and some sites may require that you provide some proof of identification.
Fill out your basic information to ensure everything is correct, including practice name, hours, contact details, website URL, and types of accepted insurance. When you’re just starting to tackle your online reputation and presence, it’s best to ensure everything is accurate across top sites and then return to optimize your listings.
4. Optimize your profiles
What do we mean when we say “optimize”? Optimizing your profiles means including all necessary information to make it easy for potential patients to find you and reach out for an appointment.
Here’s what your profiles should include:
- Practice title: Use your authentic practice name across all directories, maintaining consistency to avoid confusion.
- Contact details: List your address, phone number, and website URL consistently on all platforms. Even slight discrepancies can confuse search engines and patients alike.
- About your practice: Share your story and highlight your unique selling points within a few hundred characters. Include common keywords and phrases that patients might use to search for your practice.
- Operating hours: Clearly state your accurate business hours to keep patients informed about when they can see you.
- Additional information: Include vital details like licenses, professional certifications, insurance types, and payment methods you accept.
- Photographs: Images boost views on your business listings and make patients feel comfortable. Include photographs of yourself, your team, and your practice.
5. Continue to check on your listings
Ensuring your online provider listings are fully optimized is an ongoing process, not a one-time task. Regularly review and update your profiles as part of your online reputation management strategy to ensure they continue to provide the most accurate and engaging information to potential patients.
Work with a partner to lighten the load
You can’t sleep on provider listings, but it can be overwhelming. Working with a partner like Tebra can streamline and simplify reputation management, giving you and your team more time to focus on patient care.
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