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Case Study: Healthcare
Negative search results driving patients away.
We reduced the visibility of negative content that was driving patients away
We leveraged Wikipedia, fresh content, search engine marketing, and public relations to dramatically reduce opportunity loss. Our client is even a little famous now.
When the hospital at which our client worked merged with another, she was laid off because of a frivolous malpractice suit that was later dismissed. Search result descriptions were negative, though if someone read the documents they would see the case had been dismissed. The problem was that few people read the documents behind the snippets. She was assumed to have been guilty by search result snippets alone.
- Industry: Medical
- Entity: Individual
- Issue: Legal document scraper site
- Technique: Mixed: Dilution, Suppression, Protection
- Duration: 8 Months (changes seen after 60 days)
Why healthcare reputation is important
According to a Google study, 94% of people looking for a hospital or doctor look at the provider's reputation. Furthermore, 85% of patients use both online and offline methods to research healthcare providers.
Issues experienced by our client
Our client was a practicing physician in a regional hospital. Legal documents had been scraped by an aggregator site and placed online. Google search results and description snippets were negative, even though the case was a non-starter.
Reputation X was hired to improve medical search results. The aggregator site would not remove the negative content, but we believed we could dilute it in search results. Our mandate was to push negative search results from the first page for our client since it could not be removed at the source, nor form Google.
Our first step was to research our customer and similar doctors. We developed a persona for her representing "ideal" search results. The persona encompassed a compilation of positive search results for doctors like her.
- Suppression of Negatives
- Dilution and Counter-Point
- Protection from Future Problems
Seeding positive content
Our client was a "media-humble" person with little online promotional content about her. We needed citations that reflected her expertise and experience, so we created a number of online profiles on sites topically associated with Doctors. We also brainstormed articles and performed outreach to journalists and bloggers who might be interested in fresh medical-related content. After 60 days, we were rewarded with the first content placements.
Leveraging online citations for Wikipedia
Once citations and references were in place, we created a Wikipedia page about our client. Because journalists had now covered her, she had a level of noteworthiness necessary for Wikipedia relevance. This was a big win on a number of fronts: Wikipedia would be a trusted source of information for prospective patients, it consistently occupies the first page of search results, and it appears in nearly half of all search results, giving stature to her online profile.
She was active with certain national charities. We asked our client to contact those charities with which she'd worked in the past. Following our direction, she asked them to direct links on their sites to other specific sites referencing our client. These links passed link authority, causing our client's web properties to rise to the first page of her search results.
She'd had a number of positive reviews, and it was clear her patients loved her care. However, they didn't yet have the domain authority necessary to rank on the first page of search results, so they languished on pages two and three. We caused a number of relevant medical articles to be placed, each linking to a specific review site. The inbound links caused those sites to rise to the first page where they could easily be seen by the public.
A combination of new content, promotion of existing doctor review sites, promotion of content that already existed, a new Wikipedia page, and fresh social media activity caused the aggregator site to drop to the bottom of page one within seven months. Within twelve months, it was on page two.
Our client now has control of the conversation and her brand on the first page of search results.
Healthcare reputation management FAQs
Why is online reputation important for healthcare providers?
94% of people looking for a hospital or doctor look at the provider's reputation. If people see negative reviews and articles, they will not trust that provider and will instead choose one with a better reputation.
How do you remove medical search results?
In most cases, aggregator sites will not remove negative content. Instead, you can push negative search results from the first page of Google search results by creating positive content to outrank the negatives.
How can a physician improve their search results?
Start with research. Learn the types of content that an ideal physician's search results page has. Then, try to emulate that by creating your own positive content. Leverage online citations for Wikipedia. Contact charities you've worked with and ask them to link to your own website. Promote positive reviews and mentions.
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