Using The Web To Repair Your Veterinary Reputation

0 Comments Posted by Alyssa Noonan in Marketing, Product Solutions, Search Engine Optimization - SEO on Tuesday, April 14th, 2009.

No matter what you do, you can’t make all of your clients happy. It’s a hard lesson to swallow, especially when you know you’re doing your best to meet the needs of clients and their pets, but some clients just aren’t satisfied. It’s how they express that dissatisfaction, though, that has a bearing on your online veterinary marketing plan. If you’re finding your vet practice’s listing in online directories like Yelp and Citysearch has some bad reviews attached, it may be time to engage in some veterinary online reputation management.

When clients post bad reviews of your practice on the web, what can you do? First, this is a good time to check whether or not your practice is listed on directory sites like Yelp, Google Local, Yahoo and If you aren’t listed, add your veterinary practice’s information! These directories offer free listings; as an added benefit, search engines like Google and Yahoo pull search results from these websites. If your practice is already listed, make sure that your information is up-to-date. Be sure that your address, telephone, veterinary website address, and other information is correct.

Next, start tackling those reviews. According to the New York Times, Yelp now allows business owners to respond to negative reviews about their business (previously, Yelp did not allow responses from businesses). If you’re faced with a negative review and can respond, either directly or through your own posted review do so: explain the situation and especially talk about how you’ve attempted to solve the problem. Most directory sites allow anonymous comments; however, if possible, get in touch with whomever left the negative review and see if you can address their concerns directly.

While you’re on these sites checking your listings, copy the web address for your listing. Keep these addresses saved some place so that you can pass them on to clients and friends. Encourage them to go online and write a few good reviews about your practice. These positive words will help balance out the negative reviews and they might also help further boost your search engine rankings. Many review sites give added weight in their listings to businesses with many reviews.

Finally, if your veterinary hospital has a blog, use it to address some of the concerns raised in the negative reviews. If you’re faced with a pile of negative reviews complaining about prices, for instance, take a moment to explain your pricing, the special features and benefits you provide and how the quality of care you offer differs from lower-priced hospitals.

If online reviews are getting you down, take a proactive approach. Use web directories and social networking sites to your advantage—deal with negative reviews head on and encourage long-time clients to add their own positive comments to the online conversation.

If you need help navigating the stormy sea of online reviews or want to boost your veterinary website’s search engine rankings, contact VetNetwork. Call us at 800-564-4215 to get started.

Written and Copyright ©
Mark Feltz, DVM
VetNetwork, LLC 2010

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