Your Practice’s Guide to Online Review Sites

Online review sites are only continuing to grow in popularity among patients. Patients who have had both positive and negative experiences want others to know, and patients looking for a new physician often check these sites as part of the decision-making process.

For these reasons, monitoring online review sites should be an important part of your practice’s reputation management strategy. If you take charge of your online reviews, you can identify potential problems before they get out of hand.

Patients often find links to reviews for physicians and medical practices in Google search results; if your ratings are 3 stars or under, it could certainly hurt the number of appointments you get. Even if your online reviews don’t signal any major problems, they could still indicate what you are doing well and where you could improve to get even better ratings from your patients.

Of course, your practice is probably very busy, and it might be difficult for you to find the time to learn about all of these different review sites. To make it a little easier on you, we’ve created this resource to break down everything you need to know about some of the top review sites for physicians and medical practices.

We also offer Reputation Marketing services if your practice needs help.

Ranking in Search Engines

It’s important to consider ranking of review sites when you’re ready to start claiming your listings –it helps you prioritize your efforts. It’s also a good idea to Google your practice name and individual physicians to see what comes up, but the chart below will help to give you an idea of the popularity of each site.

To get an idea of which review sites are likely to rank the highest in search results, we looked at a few different factors. First, we looked at the Alexa Score. The Alexa Score is a ranking of the most popular and highly-visited websites, based on the amount of traffic the site has. As you’ll see below, Yelp has an Alexa Score of 38, which means that it is the 38th most popular website in the country.

Next, we looked to Moz, an SEO software service, to determine the Root Domains Linking to each site. This number tells us how many outside websites are linking to each website. Finally, we turned to another SEMRush, another SEO tool, to get an estimate of the Monthly Organic Traffic to each review site. These numbers refer only to visitors who found each site organically, rather than through another avenue like paid search or a referral.

Site Alexa Score (U.S.) Root Domains Linking (Moz) Monthly Organic Traffic (SEMRush)
Yelp.com 33 3,156 164,000,000
YellowPages.com 490 7,319 30,600,000
Healthgrades.com 1,396 544 4,400,000
ZocDoc.com 1,641 6,229 2,100,000
Vitals.com 6,439 1,257 741,000
Wellness.com 15,162 533 288,000
RateMDs.com 27,720 107 555,000
UCompareHealthCare.com 38,235 28 93,700
CitySearch.com 60,884 2,636 177,000
Kudzu.com 110,076 1,206 100,000
Doctor.com 143,653 33 22,600
InsiderPages.com 182,363 847 155,000
Suggestadoctor.com 6,526,518 2 165

Basic Information About Each Site

We’ve answered 4 common questions about each review site to help you get a basic understanding of what is required to manage your reputation on each site.

Yelp.com

Can practices have a listing, or is the site just for physicians? The listings on Yelp are a mix of all types of businesses, including both physicians and individual practitioners.

Can physicians set up their own profiles? Yes, users can add their own profiles, and can also claim existing profiles.

Are patients required to create an account to leave a review? Yes, Yelp users must sign up to leave a review.

Is there a cost for physicians / patients to use this site? No, accounts are free for both users and business owners.

Are you able to respond to reviews? Yes.

What can you do about negative/false reviews? You can report a review to Yelp administrators if it is a clear violation of the content guidelines. Yelp encourages business owners to reach out to reviewers to resolve disputes about negative or false reviews.

YellowPages.com

Can practices have a listing, or is the site just for physicians? Both individual physicians and medical practices can have listings.

Can physicians set up their own profiles? Yes. They can claim their profile if it already exists, or set up a listing if it doesn’t exist.

Are patients required to create an account to leave a review? Yes, users need to set up an account or login via Facebook or Google+ to leave a review.

Is there a cost for physicians / patients to use this site? YellowPages.com is free for patients to use, and basic listings are free for physicians and other business owners. More advanced marketing services are available for a fee.

Are you able to respond to reviews? Yes.

What can you do about negative/false reviews? Yellow Pages has a Terms of Use policy that prohibits fraudulent or harassing reviews, as well as reviews submitted by the business itself or a competitor. If you believe a review violates the terms, you may report it to Yellow Pages customer service.

Healthgrades.com

Can practices have a listing, or is the site just for physicians? Both individual physicians and group practices can have listings on Healthgrades. Individual physician listings can even be linked to group practice listings.

Can physicians set up their own profiles? Physicians and practices should already be listed on the site; Healthgrades uses hundreds of government and commercially-available sources to obtain information about practicing physicians. However, physicians and practices can update and add to the information to their profiles.

Are patients required to create an account to leave a review? Patients are not required to create an account on Healthgrades, but they must submit an email address or mobile phone number to confirm the review.

Is there a cost for physicians / patients to use this site? Healthgrades is free for both physicians and patients. Paid advertising opportunities are available for physicians and practices.

Are you able to respond to reviews? Yes.

What can you do about negative/false reviews? If you suspect a falsified survey, you can report it to Healthgrades for further investigation.

ZocDoc.com

Can practices have a listing, or is the site just for physicians? ZocDoc only offers listings for individual physicians through its appointment scheduling service.

Can physicians set up their own profiles? Physicians must partner with ZocDoc to be reviewed on the site.

Are patients required to create an account to leave a review? Yes.

Is there a cost for physicians / patients to use this site? ZocDoc is free for patients to use, but physicians must pay to be listed on the site.

Are you able to respond to reviews? No.

What can you do about negative/false reviews? Patient reviews are tied to appointments booked via ZocDoc, so it is very rare that a review is fraudulent. However, they will remove reviews that make claims about the accuracy of the treatment and diagnosis.

Vitals.com

Can practices have a listing, or is the site just for physicians? Vitals specifically focuses on individual physicians, so practices cannot have a listing.

Can doctors set up their own profiles? Vitals aggregates physician data from a number of sources, including state boards of medicine, hospital websites, publication databases, and award sites, so most physicians are already listed. You can contact Vitals if you are not listed, however.

Are patients required to create an account to leave a review? No. Patients do not need to create an account or even leave a name to submit a review on Vitals.

Is there a cost for physicians / patients to use this site? No, the site is free for both physicians and patients, although Vitals offers paid options for physicians with additional features.

Are you able to respond to reviews? Yes.

What can you do about negative/false reviews? Doctors are allowed to suppress two comments on their profile, and they can report false reviews to the Vitals team.

Wellness.com

Can practices have a listing, or is the site just for physicians? Both individual physicians and group practices can have listings on Wellness.com.

Can physicians set up their own profiles? Physicians and practices can claim their profiles if they exist already, or they can set one up if they aren’t already listed.

Are patients required to create an account to leave a review? Patients are not required to set up an account, but they are required to submit an email address for verification. However, patients must set up an account or login via Facebook or Google+ to read reviews from others.

Is there a cost for physicians / patients to use this site? Wellness.com is free for patients to use. It is free for physicians and practices to set up a listing on Wellness.com, although additional features come with a cost.

Are you able to respond to reviews? Yes.

What can you do about negative/false reviews? Wellness.com will only remove a review if it is defamatory or violates their review guidelines.

UCompareHealthCare.com

Can practices have a listing, or is the site just for physicians? Listings are for individual physicians, although they can show hospital associations on their profiles.

Can physicians set up their own profiles? UCHC compiles data for physicians from several independent sources, including both federal and state governments and third-party sources. In most cases, a physician will be listed and can claim his or her profile or request to be included.

Are patients required to create an account to leave a review? No, patients do not need to create an account to leave a review.

Is there a cost for physicians / patients to use this site? The site is free for patients to use. Physicians can update their basic profiles for free, and additional services are available at a cost.

Are you able to respond to reviews? No.

What can you do about negative/false reviews? The terms of use for UCompareHealthCare state that users are liable for any reviews that are false, intentionally misleading, or defamatory.

RateMDs.com

Can practices have a listing, or is the site just for physicians? RateMDs is for both physicians and practices (RateMDs calls practices “Facilities”). Practices can link individual physician profiles to the listing for the practice.

Can physicians set up their own profiles? Physicians can set up a profile if they are not already listed. Users can also add physicians to RateMDs to leave a review.

Are patients required to create an account to leave a review? No. Patients have the option to set up an account on RateMDs, but they are not required to do so to leave a review.

Is there a cost for physicians / patients to use this site? No, RateMDs is free to both physicians and patients, but there are paid plans for doctors with additional features.

Are you able to respond to reviews? Yes.

What can you do about negative/false reviews? If a physician suspects that a review is false, he or she may flag the review. Physicians who have a paid plan are also allowed to hide up to 3 RateMDs reviews “deemed to be suspicious.”

CitySearch.com

Can practices have a listing, or is the site just for physicians? Both individual physicians and medical practices can have listings.

Can physicians set up their own profiles? CitySearch gets their listing information from a database called InfoUSA. In most cases, a physician or practice will be listed already, so all you will need to do is claim your profile.

Are patients required to create an account to leave a review? Yes, users need to set up an account or login via Facebook to leave a review.

Is there a cost for physicians / patients to use this site? No, this site is free for physicians and patients.

Are you able to respond to reviews? Yes.

What can you do about negative/false reviews? CitySearch removes reviews that include dishonest comments and reviews that appear to be written by the business or by someone hired by the business, as well as slanderous reviews written by competitors.

Kudzu.com

Can practices have a listing, or is the site just for physicians? Kudzu allows listings for both individual physicians and medical practices, so you can choose whichever works best for your practice.

Can physicians set up their own profiles? Physicians can set up a profile if they do not already have a listing on the site, but they must set up an account to do so. They are also able to claim already-existing profiles on Kudzu.

Are patients required to create an account to leave a review? Yes. Only registered users are allowed to publish reviews on Kudzu. Users are also allowed to login via their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Is there a cost for physicians / patients to use this site? Kudzu is free for patients and consumers to leave reviews. Basic account features are free for physicians and business owners, but Kudzu offers paid account options as well.

Are you able to respond to reviews? Yes.

What can you do about negative/false reviews? Kudzu will remove reviews that clearly violate their Visitor Agreement and Guidelines for Writing Reviews. In particular, reviews are not allowed to contain allegations of illegal activity or malpractice, personal information about the reviewer or business owner, offensive language, or hearsay.

Doctor.com

Can practices have a listing, or is the site just for physicians? Listings on Doctor.com are for individual physicians, although physicians can indicate their practice or hospital on their profiles.

Can physicians set up their own profiles? Physicians can claim their Doctor.com profiles to update and add more information.

Are patients required to create an account to leave a review? Yes, although they may post anonymously (more on that in the next section).

Is there a cost for physicians / patients to use this site? Doctor.com is completely free for patients to use, and physicians can claim and update their profiles for free. More features are available to physicians for a fee.

Are you able to respond to reviews? Yes.

What can you do about negative/false reviews? Doctor.com has filters in place to ensure that obviously defamatory reviews are never shown. You can also flag reviews that seem to be questionable, and Doctor.com will review it.

InsiderPages.com

Can practices have a listing, or is the site just for physicians? Both individual physicians and medical practices can have listings.

Can physicians set up their own profiles? Physicians can claim their profiles if they already exist on the site. Insider Pages partners with InfoUSA, so if a physician or practice is not listed, you will need to get the listed on InfoUSA’s Express Update service first.

Are patients required to create an account to leave a review? Yes, users need to set up an account or login via Facebook to leave a review.

Is there a cost for physicians / patients to use this site? Insider Pages is free for both physicians and patients to use.

Are you able to respond to reviews? Yes.

What can you do about negative/false reviews? If you believe a review is fraudulent, you can report it to Insider Pages. However, the review must violate Insider Pages’ terms and conditions to be removed.

SuggestADoctor.com

Can practices have a listing, or is the site just for physicians? Listings are for individual physicians only.

Can physicians set up their own profiles? Physicians can add a listing for themselves if it does not already exist on the site.

Are patients required to create an account to leave a review? Patients do not need to create an account to use this site.

Is there a cost for physicians / patients to use this site? No, this site is free for physicians and patients.

Are you able to respond to reviews? No.

What can you do about negative/false reviews? SuggestADoctor.com only publishes encouraging suggestions about physicians. They do not publish complaints.