There are two ways that physicians can establish their online reputation. The first way is to use existing physician rating sites. What physician rating sites will do is create a profile page of every single doctor in the United States. This profile will have your name, your contact information, your board certification status, your hospital affiliation, and, of course, some of them allow patients to rate doctors online.
These pages are backed my companies who are experts in search engine optimization, SEO. (That’s the science of ranking high on Google.) Unless you already have a prominent online presence, these pages that get ranked high when your name is Googled can be patients’ first impression of you online. It’s important to go on these sites, claim your profile, make sure that it information is accurate.
A second way to establish your online reputation is to create content about yourself on the web. If you look at a sample Google results page, there are studies showing where readers click on that page.
About a third of readers will click on the very first result. Another third will click on the second or third result. Fewer than 10 percent of readers will even go on to the second page of results, so it’s important to control those top listings of Google when your name is searched for.
We need tools that are powerful in the eyes of Google and allow us to create content about ourselves online. Today, we’re in luck because we have those tools available to us. They are social media platforms: blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube. They get ranked high in Google search engines and give us the flexibility to create content about ourselves online.
Defining ourselves online with social media is the most powerful way to establish our online reputation.
Kevin Pho is an internal medicine physician and co-author of Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation: A Social Media Guide for Physicians and Medical Practices. He is on the editorial board of contributors, USA Today, and is founder and editor, KevinMD.com, also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.