Meet Dakota Eye Institute
Based in Bismarck, North Dakota, Dakota Eye Institute has provided best-in-class ophthalmic care to its community since 1989.
With several locations throughout the state, Dakota Eye proudly offers a full spectrum of care and treatment options, with 15 providers offering medical, surgical, rehabilitative, and urgent care ophthalmic services.
In early 2022, Dakota Eye faced a frustrating problem: despite having a stellar 4.93 overall star-rating, the practice’s online listings struggled to compete in local search results, routinely ranking below other practices with more robust and polished online images.
Recalling their difficulties in 2022, Dakota Eye’s Marketing Coordinator, Kennon Kirwan, said, “We were feeling lost in the sea of competitors, and we quickly realized high star-ratings alone weren’t enough to keep up. It felt like a needle in a haystack situation — how could potential patients find us amidst dozens of options? We couldn’t continue to lose patient acquisition opportunities to ophthalmology clinics with listings more optimized than ours.”
While Dakota Eye’s primary Google listings for practice locations boasted abundant, high-quality patient reviews, their listings for individual providers told a different story. In focusing primarily on promoting their location listings, the practice’s provider listings were overlooked, meaning their overall patient-facing image was unbalanced and incomplete. With dozens of provider listings in need of optimization, Dakota Eye was missing out on countless opportunities to get in front of, attract, and acquire new patients.
Ranking below their competitors meant Dakota Eye rarely appeared in relevant Google 3-Packs (the top 3 listings Google selects to recommend to local searchers). With over 50% of search results traffic going to those coveted positions, Dakota Eye’s lower-ranked listings received significantly less web traffic and fewer booked appointments than expected, leading to lower patient acquisition and retention rates.
To become the clear choice for patients in the competitive Bismarck market, leadership at Dakota Eye knew they needed to optimize their provider listings to match their locations, and enhance their overarching online image to boost visibility in key searches such as “best ophthalmologist near me.”
After evaluating options to enhance their online image, Dakota Eye’s leadership team made the decision in April 2022 to join rater8, the leader in healthcare reputation management (HRM).
Recounting the decision, Kirwan shared, “I cannot emphasize enough how valuable rater8 has been for our practice. From the moment we started using rater8, we saw a drastic improvement in both the number and caliber of our online reviews. It’s like they have a magic wand that turns satisfied patients into raving fans! The review builder, post-visit surveys, and the exceptional one-on-one support have taken us to new heights that we never thought possible.”
In launching rater8, Dakota Eye gained two critical new marketing benefits: 1) Reputation SEO, which boosts a practice’s ranking in search results and aims for Google 3-Pack domination, and 2) trust marketing, which establishes trust and confidence with patients through the transparent sharing of feedback from others.
Dakota Eye’s partnership with rater8 brought them several solutions, including:
Online Review Builder
Fully automated, real-time online review requests that prompt patients to rate Dakota Eye’s providers and services with a single click or tap. Integrated with the practice’s EMR system, ModMed, rater8 sends requests directly to verified patients via text or email after checkout.
To maximize Dakota Eye’s online presence, rater8’s pollin8™ algorithm intelligently distributes reviews, directing each patient to the listing and review platform that needs the most attention.
Patient Satisfaction Surveys
Fully automated, post-visit satisfaction surveys delivered to patients via text or email. Designed to gather comprehensive feedback on the patient experience, rater8’s ergonomic micro-surveys cover the full spectrum of topics, including waiting room experience, staff performance, and more. With a customizable ratio, Dakota Eye can grow online reviews and receive patient feedback simultaneously.
The rater8 Platform
A unified dashboard that consolidates every satisfaction survey and online review to a single screen — for every listing, from every significant healthcare review site. With unprecedented visibility, Dakota Eye can easily monitor, analyze, and respond to reviews, and view advanced reports to evaluate the strengths and gaps in their patient experience.
Reflecting on their first year with rater8, Kirwan said, “Ever since we joined rater8, our online reviews have experienced an incredible boost and continue to flourish. Both our location and provider listings now accurately portray our real-world reputation and appear at the top of search results, showcasing the high level of patient satisfaction we strive for. Thanks to rater8, we have gained remarkable visibility and are able to effectively connect with patients who are seeking top-notch care. We are incredibly grateful for this game-changing solution!”
With rater8, Dakota Eye has experienced many successes, including:
Increased online reviews by 291%
The impact of adopting rater8 has been nothing short of remarkable for Dakota Eye. In just one year, their online reviews have nearly quadrupled, highlighting their positive patient perception.
In 2021, their last full year without rater8, Dakota Eye built a modest 320 online reviews across their various listings. Good, but certainly not reflective of the number of satisfied patients that come through their practice. With the implementation of rater8’s cutting-edge technology in April 2022, they were able to surpass all expectations by accumulating an impressive total of 1,252 online reviews in just one year, representing a 291% increase.
By harnessing the power of rater8, Dakota Eye has successfully elevated their online presence and solidified their position as a trusted leader in eye care. With such remarkable results achieved within a short period, it’s clear that joining forces with rater8 was an invaluable decision for Dakota Eye’s continued success and growth.
Google 3-Pack domination
From the beginning of their partnership with rater8, Dakota Eye’s goals were simple: improve the visibility of their listings by optimizing their online presence and maximizing their Reputation SEO, compete more effectively with other regional ophthalmology groups, and accurately showcase their quality of care online.
Just over a year later, they have accomplished all of those goals. Adding an abundance of positive reviews resulted in a flawless online image that quickly suppressed their competitors’, elevated their visibility, and enhanced their trust marketing. Further, their provider listings now flourish with 5-star reviews, putting forth a balanced reputation that patients can trust. Continuing with this strategy ensures Dakota Eye will maintain these key competitive advantages.
Overall, these efforts have led Dakota Eye to become a dominant online presence in Bismarck’s highly competitive market, positioning them in the Google 3-Pack for nearly every relevant search result. For example, the practice holds all three spots for one of the area’s most lucrative local keywords: “best ophthalmologist in bismarck.” In earning these coveted positions, Dakota Eye is effectively guaranteed to receive more actions (website visits, calls, and direction requests) on their listings.
Today, 86% of patients read online reviews when searching for a healthcare provider, a number that increases every year. By positioning themselves at the top of relevant searches throughout the area, Dakota Eye is maximizing one of healthcare’s most prominent local decision-making methods, driving long-term growth in patient acquisition, conversion, and retention.
Increased Google listings views by 20%
Since Dakota Eye’s initial surge in online reviews, the group has continued to benefit from a constant influx of high-quality reviews. Their greater online visibility continues to drive more patients to view and take action on their online listings, ultimately leading to more booked appointments and an excellent return on their rater8 investment.
Indeed, in the past year with rater8, Dakota Eye has seen a 325% increase in online reviews, correlating to a 20% increase in Google listings views.
With rater8, Dakota Eye will continue to collect timely, high-quality reviews, maximizing their Reputation SEO and fostering patient trust in perpetuity. Overall, rater8’s leading HRM solution has become an integral part of Dakota Eye Institute’s operation, providing the insights they need to deliver and showcase their exemplary patient care.