Posted On
November 17, 2017

Yes, People Look For Doctors On Yelp Too

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The majority of online review websites that we’ve featured have been inclined toward the medical industry. Yelp is the first one we’ve added that isn’t purely a medical review site, but a general business review directory that you absolutely want to have on your radar.

Averaging around 170 million visits per month, Yelp shouldn’t be ignored. But it’s important to understand how this site not being a medical review site per se makes Yelp different from the other sites we’ve discussed.

First, a bit more than half of Yelp usage is done on mobile, not desktop, including 75% of its searches. So, regardless of what your Yelp profile says, your orthopedic practice website must be mobile optimized.

If people can’t comfortably read and navigate your practice site on mobile, you’re going to lose out on getting the Yelp referrals. This also means you should have some other mobile functions, like “click to call,” on your mobile website so that interested people can call you then and there.

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Yelp is one of the most popular review sites, so it’s no wonder that a good portion of people will find the practice reviews by doing just a general Google search looking for an orthopedist, rather than going to the site directly to run a search. For example, multiple searches in Google for “orthopedic surgeon in Dallas” or “orthopedist in Dallas” return results like these:

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For the sake of space, we’ve cut off the top of this image, where Google presents its ads. Next comes the map. Then the first organic result is the Yelp page. Other review sites will be further down the page. With such high rankings, it’s true that, whether or not people think of Yelp to find a doctor, the Yelp site will probably find them.

You should also keep in mind that most of the medical profiles on Yelp are for entire practices, not a specific doctor. Though there are doctors’ profiles on site, the majority of Yelp search results are primarily practices. Remember, Yelp is a business review site, not a professional review site. To get the best handle on your reputation, you will want to claim all of your profiles. If you have multiple locations, Yelp will have created separate pages for them so those must be claimed as well.

Let’s Talk About Profiles

Compared to the other view sites, you won’t have much room to create a unique profile. Yelp is squarely focused on what your patients have to say about you, not what you want to say about yourself.

Does this mean you can ignore Yelp? Of course not.

You can only respond and challenge reviews on Yelp if you claim your business. That right there is reason enough to claim your practice’s page. Yelp doesn’t like to take down reviews and it’s certainly not going to take a review down simply because it’s negative. This means you’ll want to keep an eye on your Yelp reviews and direct new reviews there to create a layer of protection against bad reviews.

If you do choose to respond to a negative review, obviously be careful not to violate any HIPPA or other confidential laws in your response. Here’s an example of a good response one practice posted.

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The patient posted a negative review of a clinic based on a bad ER experience. You’ll notice that the practice never addresses the patient’s personal situation, so avoids any risk of sharing confidential information. However, the practice owner does clarify the patient’s misconception. This review response is now attached to the original complaint. Any searcher who reads this negative review, will see the explanation right along with it. The practice owner also made clear he was reaching out privately to resolve the patient’s specific issues. This is a great response to a negative review all around.

So what can you do with your Yelp profile? First, you can make sure the logistical information is accurate, like phone number and hours of operations.

It also allows you to add some substantive information like your practice specialties, bio of the owner, and history of the business. Yelp doesn’t make this information easy to find. Users will have to find and then click the small “Learn more about XYZ practice” link in the right sidebar. If they do, a popup window, that features small font and unappealing layout, will open.

Even so, you’ll want to fill these sections out.

At RepCheckup, we understand the importance and need to manage your online listings and reputation. How’s your medical review site profile project going? We’re always here to help!


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Nathan Miloszewski
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