Using fake reviews to help market your practice? Better think again!
Trusting online reviews has always been a little bit unreliable. But recently we found out just how unreliable it can be.
Online directory Yelp has decided that it was a big enough issue for them that they decided to start suing those felt had been using this tactic.
According to ABC News, Yelp is suing a San Diego law firm for creating fake reviews for itself on Yelp. Yelp claims that the law firm created false reviews to help increase its position in the online directory. This was done in an effort to market the practice online and to help direct more potential customers to the practice’s site.
In addition, the New York State Attorney General’s office launched an offensive to combat the practice. According to the New York Times, the AG’s office setup a fake yogurt shop and targeted companies what were selling false reviews.
How important are reviews when you market your practice?
Reviews will encourage or discourage patients from choosing your practice. A recent Harvard Business School study found that when businesses where able to raise their ranking by just a single star, revenues increased by 5 to 9 percent. A nearly 10% increase for just a single star makes a big difference. It takes time and effort to collect these reviews yourself and the sheer number of sites that your practice can be listed with only creases the problem. Sites like Google Places, Yelp, Angie’s List, Merchant Circle, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, Health Grades, RateMD, and Vitals.com. Each of these sites needs to have a good number of reviews posted to be an effective marketing tool for you.
Why use fake reviews to market your practice?
As more and more users move to the Internet to do their searching for services such as physicians, competition has stiffened up. The importance of online directories such as Google and Yelp has increased dramatically over the last few years. Many practices know just how tough it is to collect the necessary reviews for all of the important sites. Because of this, some take the easy shortcut path to help bolster their rankings with fake reviews. It is just too strong a temptation for some and most consider it harmless.
Using fake reviews can seem like an easy and free way to market your practice online, but as enforcement gets tighter, the penalties make it just not work trying. Instead consider a dedicated medical marketing plan that will help your practice get the necessary reviews the legitimate way. collecting these reviews doesn’t have to be a chore, and a medical marketing plan can help you do just that.
If you would like more information on creating your own medical marketing plan for your practice, please contact Iron Comet at 1-855-476-2668 or visit our site at www.IronComet.com.