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Online Reviews for Veterinarians

Vet cat care
Kenny Wu

Online Reviews for Veterinarians

Why online reviews are crucial for vets

Veterinarian recommendations can be highly personal since they involve a family’s beloved pet. While friends and family used to be the biggest and most trusted referral source for pet care, online reviews and listings have caught up. As spending on pets and pet care has increased over the years, more and more pet parents are searching online for veterinarians and making a decision based on online reviews. According to BrightLocal, 72% of people will not make a purchasing decision until they read some reviews.

Here’s a look at some other statistics around reviews and buying habits:

  • 70% of all users need to read at least four reviews before trusting a business. (Deloitte)
  • 70% of consumers trust online reviews and articles more than advertisements when they want information about a business. (Statista)

  • One disappointed customer will share their negative experience with 9 - 15 people. (Oracle)

We’ve heard many veterinarians say getting online reviews feels unpredictable and difficult. So, we wrote this blog to highlight some of the best platforms and best practices for veterinarian reviews and listings. Our hope is that you’ll feel more informed and equipped to showcase your clinic and the experience and care you provide to potential clients.

Review platforms for veterinarians

There’s been an increasing number of review sites over the years. Knowing which ones to be on can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re focused on what you do best—caring for animals. But having an idea of which platforms are most impactful will help make your online reputation efforts more efficient. Amidst the rise in review site competition, Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp are still the leaders in online reviews.

Let’s take a look at how many users check these specific review sites (according to Review Trackers):

  • 63.6% of users check Google reviews

  • 45.18% visit Yelp for reviews

  • 23.14% look at Facebook reviews

Here are some of the key nuances and differences between the three:

Google My Business (GMB): Google My Business leads all review platforms by accounting for 57.5% of all global reviews. As a well-known brand that produces well-used products, Google has earned the trust of many consumers all over the world. As part of the Google product ecosystem, GMB is linked to Google Search and Google Maps, meaning a free GMB profile can help your clinic be more visible organically when patients use Google Search or Google Maps. Google can ultimately drive a lot of virtual traffic and appointments if your practice information is complete and accurate on GMB.

Facebook: Being the largest social media platform in the world means Facebook can help you reach potential patients where they’re already spending a lot of their time and attention. As a social platform, Facebook gives vet clinics like yours the opportunity to interact with potential clients beyond just reviews. You can share posts, engage with comments, and communicate directly with potential clients through direct messaging. With this opportunity also comes expectation, which can be a double-edged sword. You can damage your reputation and relationships built with clients by failing to respond or responding too hastily on Facebook.

Yelp: Facebook and Google are platforms that house a variety of functions and applications, but Yelp was designed to be focused on reviews. Because reviews are paramount on Yelp, they can be more extensive and in-depth than on other platforms. In fact, consistent reviewers are rewarded for being thorough in their reviews. This emphasis on reviews means positive ones can be a huge boon for your clinic while negative reviews can actually turn away many potential clients. A good practice as a clinic would be to respond to both good and bad reviews as it demonstrates you’re actively listening to criticism.

Online review basics for chiropractors

The first step to collecting new reviews and ratings is to sign up for or claim a business profile on the major review platforms. Some sites like Yelp will allow users to create profiles for companies they’ve done business with, so checking to see if a profile already exists for your clinic will eliminate duplicate profiles as well as any potential confusion. Here are some of the most important details your profile needs when you’re creating or claiming a business listing:

  • NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number): Check that your clinic’s business name, address, and phone number are listed correctly. Search engines often use listing details as a source of business information, so they give your practice more visibility on search engines while ensuring potential clients are able to reach you.
  • Business Hours: Making sure you have the right hours listed will help prevent client frustration and bad experiences, especially when you have special hours or are closed around the holidays.

  • Business Category: If your clinic provides a variety of veterinary services, list all of them on your profile so that your practice pops up for local searches on review sites. Removing services you no longer provide prevents any potential frustration patients might experience when they call in.

  • Photos and Videos: Vet clients care about where they’re sending their pets and want to see that the clinic they choose is clean and well-equipped. Posting professional photos and videos of your equipment and facilities will go a long way for them, especially when they’re making an appointment without ever stepping into your clinic first.

  • “About Us” Description: The quality of care for patients matters just as much as what kind of services your clinic provides. Vet clients aren’t just checking boxes off when it comes to choosing a clinic, so use this space to tell your practice philosophy and brand values. This will help set you apart from other clinics in your area.

With this intro to online reviews in mind, check out part two of our blog series on online reviews, where we’ll talk about what to do and not do when it comes to getting and handling reviews.