A special report from Womply Research

How online reviews impact revenue for local healthcare and medical centers

If you've read our full report, you've already got a sense for just how important review sites are for local businesses. But what about healthcare and medical businesses like medical treatment centers, pharmacies, dentists, chiropractors, opticians, counseling and therapy centers, and the like?

Are reviews more (or less) influential on revenue for healthcare and medical centers than other types of local businesses?<

Impact of Reviews on Revenue page masthead graphic. A special report from Womply Research.

To understand the correlation between reviews and revenue for healthcare and medical centers, Womply's data science team conducted an in-depth analysis of transactions and online review data for more than 25,000 healthcare and medical centers in every state.

Key findings include

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Healthcare and medical centers that claim their free listings on 3 or more review sites earn 26% more revenue

Healthcare and medical centers that don't reply to any reviews earn 6% less revenue

5-star rated healthcare and medical centers earn below-average revenue—the sweet spot is 4.0 to 4.9 stars

Healthcare and medical centers with more than the average number of reviews bring in 28% more in annual revenue

Healthcare and medical centers whose total number of reviews are 15 to 20% negative earn 14% more annual revenue than those whose reviews are 0 to 5% negative

Go deeper by reading our analysis for businesses in a different industry.

Claiming free listings

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Healthcare and medical centers that claim their listing on multiple review sites make more money

Key findings include

Healthcare and medical centers that claim their free listings on at least 3 review sites earn 26% more revenue

Healthcare and medical centers that don't claim their listing on any review sites earn 20% less revenue

24% of healthcare and medical centers haven't claimed any review site listings

Google is the most important review site for healthcare and medical centers to claim their listing

The average annual revenue across all healthcare and medical centers (clinics, dentists, chiropractors, treatment centers, etc.) in our study was $199,000. Note: this represents revenue from credit and debit card transactions only.

As with all business in our study, we wanted to start our analysis on the importance of review sites on revenue at healthcare and medical centers by first focusing on simple acts like claiming your free profile on prominent review sites.

As you can see above, claiming listings is extremely important for local healthcare and medical centers. Those who don't claim their profile on any of the major listing sites earn 20% less revenue than the average healthcare and medical center in our study.

Those healthcare and medical centers who claim just one listing earn the same as the overall average center in our study. From there, the more listings a center claims, the more money they earn.

When healthcare and medical centers claim their free listing on review sites, they can reply to reviews, add helpful information about their business, and plenty of other things that clearly make an impact on potential customers and clients.

To see how much of an impact this might make on revenue for healthcare and medical centers, look at the results this way—those who follow the simple practice of claiming their free listing on three or more of the major review sites (Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc.) earn over $51,000 more each year than those that don't claim any.

People frequently use Google to find healthcare and medical centers of all kinds, which is likely why healthcare and medical centers are most severely impacted by claiming or not claiming their Google listing.

But, as you can see, the impact of claiming or not claiming Yelp and Facebook profiles is nearly the same as for Google. It's probably not a stretch to say that healthcare and medical centers who don't claim their free listing on any of the major review sites are leaving money on the table.

Go deeper by reading our analysis for businesses in a different industry.

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Replying to reviews

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People spend more money at healthcare and medical centers that reply to reviews

Key findings include

79% of healthcare and medical centers don't respond to any reviews

Healthcare and medical centers that respond to up to 25% of their reviews earn 24% more than average

Healthcare and medical centers that don't reply to any reviews earn 6% less in annual revenue

Healthcare and medical centers that respond to even just one review earn 10% more than average

It's clearly important for healthcare and medical centers to claim their listings on as many review sites as possible, but they should also focus on engaging with their clients, customers, and patients via reviews.

79% of healthcare and medical centers in our study hadn't responded to even a single review, which goes to show just how few of them are taking advantage of this beneficial practice.

Let's see how responding to reviews impacts revenue for healthcare and medical centers.

As you can see above, healthcare and medical centers who don't respond to reviews earn 6% less than average. Healthcare and medical centers who respond on a more regular basis, up to 25% of the time, earn 24% more than average.

As the reply rate climbs to above 25%, the increase in revenue dips slightly to 17% more than average. This is likely because healthcare and medical centers with larger response rates are either newer or smaller centers with fewer total reviews than centers with a much higher number of total reviews.

This becomes clear when you look at revenue by total number of review responses:

Healthcare and medical centers that respond to at least 1 review respond to a total of 12 reviews on average. But, as you can see, healthcare and medical centers only stand to benefit by engaging with their customers online.

Those businesses who respond to even just one review earn 10% more than average, and you can see the averages climb quickly the more often a healthcare and medical center responds to reviews.

By the time you get to centers who reply to more than 30 reviews, they are earning an impressive $99,000 more each year than average.

When it comes to responding to reviews, it's clear that healthcare and medical centers should focus primarily on giving genuine responses to both negative and positive reviews.

Go deeper by reading our analysis for businesses in a different industry.

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Star ratings

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How much does star rating impact revenue for healthcare and medical centers?

Key findings include

Healthcare and medical centers with a rating between 4.0 and 4.9 stars earn the most revenue

5-star healthcare and medical centers earn 13% less than the average

Healthcare and medical centers with a 4.5 to 4.9-star rating earn 20% more than average

10% of healthcare and medical centers have lower than a 3-star rating

Now that we've discussed things that a healthcare and medical centers business owner can control when it comes to review sites, let's examine the effects of the reviews themselves. We'll begin with what many healthcare and medical centers consider the most important part of their online presence—their overall star rating.

The chart below illustrates how much the average star rating matters to revenue at healthcare and medical centers.

As you can see, healthcare and medical centers appear to be more heavily impacted by negative reviews than many other industries. With that being said, however, average star rating isn't necessarily the clearest indicator of revenue.

Healthcare and medical centers with a 4.5 to 4.9 rating earn by far the most, 20% more than average, and 4.0 to 4.5-rated centers are the only other group to earn above average revenue.

Centers with a star rating of 2.9 or lower earn the least, 16% less than average. But, on the other end of the spectrum, healthcare and medical centers with a perfect 5-star rating earn 13% less than average.

This is likely due to a number of factors such as 5-star centers being newer or less established, but a perfect rating can also make a healthcare and medical center appear untested even like they're using unscrupulous methods like purchasing fake reviews.

73% of healthcare and medical centers have a star rating between 4.0 and 5 stars, further suggesting that customers browsing online review sites consider many factors in order to choose between several similarly-rated healthcare and medical centers.

Go deeper by reading our analysis for businesses in a different industry.

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Number of reviews

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How much does the number of reviews matter for healthcare and medical centers?

Key findings include

Healthcare and medical centers with more than the industry average of 27 total reviews earn 28% more in annual revenue than average

Healthcare and medical centers with fewer than the industry average of 27 total reviews earn 9% less in revenue than average

Healthcare and medical centers with 200 reviews or more earn 55% more than the average

An above-average number of reviews on Google has the largest positive impact on revenue of all review sites

Healthcare and medical centers often stress about their star rating, but as we explain in the section above, chasing a perfect star rating isn't necessarily the best way to increase revenue.

On the other hand, our findings suggest that healthcare and medical centers should perhaps focus on getting more reviews than just about anything else.

Healthcare and medical centers in our analysis average a combined 27 reviews per location across all review sites. So we started by analyzing revenue at healthcare and medical centers whose review counts fall above and below that average 27-review threshold.

As suspected, the total number of reviews a healthcare and medical center has appears to have an impact on revenue. Those who have more than the average 27 reviews earn 28% more in annual revenue than the average healthcare and medical center.

Those with fewer than the average total number of reviews, meanwhile, earn 9% less.

A deeper look into the numbers helps further clarify the relationship between review count and average revenue for healthcare and medical centers.

Healthcare and medical centers with 10 reviews or fewer earn 15% less than average, while those with 10 to 27 earn slightly more than average.

Once healthcare and medical centers get into the 50 to 100-review range is when revenue starts to increase significantly above the average. To emphasize how important a lot of reviews can be for healthcare and medical centers, those with more than 200 reviews earn $110,000 more in annual revenue than average healthcare and medical center in our study.

This strongly suggests that when a customer searches online for healthcare and medical centers such as dentists, chiropractors, clinics, therapy centers, and the like, a large number of reviews may outweigh a high star rating.

Once again Google is clearly the most important review site for healthcare and medical centers, as those with an above-average review count on the site earn 27% more than average.

Either way you look at it, though, healthcare and medical center owners would be wise to get as many reviews on as many sites as possible.

Some healthcare and medical centers might be concerned that pushing for reviews may expose them to getting more bad reviews, but as we'll explain in a section below, bad reviews can actually be a good thing.

Go deeper by reading our analysis for businesses in a different industry.

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Fresh vs stale reviews

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Fresh reviews are crucial for healthcare and medical centers

Key findings include

Healthcare and medical centers average 4 fresh reviews (posted in the last 90 days)

Locations with 4 fresh reviews or more earn 20% more than average

Healthcare and medical centers with no fresh reviews earn 10% less than average

Healthcare and medical centers with more than 20 fresh reviews earn 36% more than average

The number of reviews a healthcare and medical centers business has on review sites is clearly important, but how important is the "freshness" of those reviews?

The average total number of fresh reviews, (defined as reviews posted within the past 90 days) per healthcare and medical center in our analysis was 4.

In order to see how much fresh reviews affect a healthcare and medical center's revenue, we analyzed healthcare and medical centers that had received fewer or greater than 4 reviews in the past 90 days.

As you can see above, getting new reviews is perhaps even more important for healthcare and medical centers than amassing a lot of total reviews.

Healthcare and medical centers who don't bring in any fresh reviews in the past 90 days earn 10% less revenue than average. Getting more than the average number of new reviews, on the other hand, correlates with a 20% increase in revenue.

A more detailed look emphasizes the importance of fresh reviews for healthcare and medical centers.

A little can go a long way when it comes to fresh reviews. Healthcare and medical centers that get even just a couple of fresh reviews earn near average revenue, and those with 2 to 4 fresh reviews earn 9% more than average.

Healthcare and medical centers with more than 4 fresh reviews all average significantly more than the average healthcare and medical center. And by the time you get to those with 20 or more (only 6 to 7 fresh reviews per week!) earn $72,000 more than average.

The takeaway here is that healthcare and medical centers should focus on getting a steady stream of real, recent reviews rather than trying to chase a perfect star rating. And, even a handful of fresh reviews clearly holds more weight than a lot of glowing reviews from a year or so ago.

Go deeper by reading our analysis for businesses in a different industry.

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Impact of negative reviews

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Customers expect to see negative reviews for healthcare and medical centers

Key findings include

19% of the average healthcare and medical center's reviews are negative

Healthcare and medical centers whose reviews are 5 to 10% negative earn 24% more than average

Centers whose reviews are 0 to 5% negative earn 3% less than average

Healthcare and medical centers whose reviews are 20 to 25% negative still earn more than average

It's clearly important to get a steady stream of fresh reviews, but how important is the ratio of positive to negative reviews?

On average, 19% of the reviews posted about a given healthcare and medical center were negative, which is right on par with the average across all industries in our study.

Does this mean revenue at healthcare and medical centers is more or less impacted by a large number of negative reviews? Let's find out.

As the charts above reveal, healthcare and medical centers appear to be slightly more impacted by a large number of negative reviews than other industries.

As is the case with other industries, however, healthcare and medical centers with a healthy mix of good and bad reviews earn the most on average. The ideal spot is a negative review rate between 5 and 20%. Healthcare and medical centers whose reviews are 5 to 10% earn the most, 24% more than average.

Healthcare and medical centers whose reviews were 75 to 100% negative earn 23% less than average, which is a larger drop than similarly rated businesses across all industries.

Those whose reviews were only 0 to 5% negative, meanwhile, earn 3% less than average. When you compare this to the centers whose reviews were more of a mix of positive and negative reviews, it suggests that people searching for healthcare centers likely expect to see some negative reviews. In fact, many people actively seek out negative reviews first, and a center with little or no negative reviews might appear untested or even a little "too good to be true."

Our takeaway: healthcare and medical centers that focus on getting as many real and authentic reviews as possible reap the rewards.

Go deeper by reading our analysis for businesses in a different industry.

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Kindest and harshest states for reviews

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Where in the U.S. are consumers kindest (and harshest) to healthcare and medical centers in reviews?

Next we analyzed online reviews at a state-by-state level to see which parts of the country are kindest (and harshest) in their reviews of healthcare and medical centers.

rank state positive review rate
FL TX NM AZ AK CA NV UT CO OR WA ID HI OK MT WY ND SD NE KS MN IA MO AR LA MS AL GA SC IL WI MI IN OH TN KY NC WV VA PA NY ME VT NH RI CT NJ DE MD MA DC

North Dakota healthcare and medical centers are the best-reviewed in the country, averaging a positive review rate of 92%. Alaskan centers fall close behind with a 90% average.

Healthcare and medical centers are generally well-reviewed across the country, though. Even the bottom state, Rhode Island, averages a 73% positive review rate among its healthcare and medical centers.

Go deeper by reading our analysis for businesses in a different industry.

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States best at managing online presence

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Where in the U.S. are healthcare and medical centers the best at managing their online presence?

Next we looked at which states' healthcare and medical centers were the best at managing their online presence. We started by analyzing the percentage of healthcare and medical centers in each state that had claimed at least one review site listing.

rank state claimed at least one listing
FL TX NM AZ AK CA NV UT CO OR WA ID HI OK MT WY ND SD NE KS MN IA MO AR LA MS AL GA SC IL WI MI IN OH TN KY NC WV VA PA NY ME VT NH RI CT NJ DE MD MA DC

Alaska's healthcare and medical centers top this list, with 91% of their locations having claimed at least 1 review site listing. Utah and Wyoming centers fall close behind, just shy of the 90% mark.

At the bottom of the list, only 57% of the healthcare and medical centers in our analysis from Delaware have claimed at least one listing.

Finally, we looked at how frequently healthcare and medical centers in each state responded to reviews.

rank state responded to at least one review
FL TX NM AZ AK CA NV UT CO OR WA ID HI OK MT WY ND SD NE KS MN IA MO AR LA MS AL GA SC IL WI MI IN OH TN KY NC WV VA PA NY ME VT NH RI CT NJ DE MD MA DC

Healthcare and medical centers in Utah were the most engaged, with 41% of the healthcare and medical centers in the Beehive State having responding to at least one review.

Mississippi healthcare and medical centers were the least engaged, as only 9% of the listings in our analysis had responded to at least one review.

Go deeper by reading our analysis for businesses in a different industry.

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Conclusion

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Conclusion

In the digital age, online reviews are the new word of mouth. Healthcare and medical centers that engage customers online perform better financially than those that don't.

Specifically, healthcare and medical centers experience the best revenue performance when they:

  • Claim all their free business listings on relevant review sites
  • Are actively responsive to customer feedback posted on review sites
  • Get and maintain a star rating between 4.0 and 4.9 on key review sites
  • Receive a steady flow of authentic reviews from real customers
  • Have an authentic review profile, comprised of about 5 to 20% negative reviews

Go deeper by reading our analysis for businesses in a different industry.

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