In this blog post, Tyson Downs of Titan Web Agency interviews CareDash CEO, Ted Chan. CareDash is a healthcare website that helps connect patients with the best doctors in their area.
Tell us about CareDash – why did you start it? What’s the inspiration for the site?
The seed for CareDash grew from a personal experience that I had when finding care for a loved one. Like almost any consumer today, I first turned to the web to research before committing to any product or service, which in this case, was medical care. Many of the reviews and much of the content I saw on the web in the healthcare space didn’t pass the sniff test for me. There were a lot of fake reviews, especially positive review spam. In addition, the user experience wasn’t cohesive– researching, deciding eligibility, and booking all felt much harder than in other popular digital markets. It seemed wrong to me that I had better tools to book a hotel room or make a dinner reservation than I did to find trusted medical care for my family.
How has progress been?
Great! We launched the site in 2016 and last month we had over 1 million healthcare searches on the site. As for content, we’ve got over 150,000 reviews now, each one ensured by our team for honesty and accuracy. That’s some pretty rapid progress considering that we also require a registered login for each doctor review (many similar sites don’t).
How can dentists work with CareDash?
First and foremost, they can claim and complete their profiles. More complete profiles that display elements like headshots, personal bios, and appointment links get far more clicks than do those with only the bare minimum. It’s a great citation and backlink to have for SEO.
In addition to claiming and personalizing one’s profile, we also have a sponsored listing model for any dentists looking to really accelerate attracting new patients. This being said, sponsored listing or not, a well-reviewed dentist with a complete profile will end up on the screens of many potential patients browsing online.
Do you have any SEO advice?
CareDash is actually the 3rd business I’ve built using SEO! It’s a passion of mine.
I’ve got lots of advice, but seeing as there’s a lot out there on the topic already, I’ll talk about one thing that I don’t think gets talked about enough in the SEO world —trust.
Trust really does matter, and not just trust in the sense that your site looks reliable enough to pass Google’s manual quality rater test. What I mean is trust in the sense that you’re truly giving the site your all. Consumers visiting the site need to be able to rely on the fact that they are going to benefit from the content and the experience that your site is providing. Today’s consumer can tell the difference.
In practice, this might mean taking something off the table if it detracts from that sense of trust, even if it has the potential to make you more money sooner. It can sometimes be hard to imagine how this trust would translate into the success of your business, but the proof is in the backlinks or testimonials you’d never have gotten otherwise.
Why are reviews important in today's digital world?
Something like 70-80% of people Google their healthcare providers at some point. This is especially true of people who are in-market and making buying decisions based on the online reputation of a dentist or other healthcare provider. When people are searching for providers, strong, genuine reviews stand out and leave an impression.
You also have to take Gen Z into account– they will be the next generation of people searching for healthcare professionals and surveys are pointing towards them being a review driven generation that turns to the web for answers to their healthcare needs. The demand for honest, trustworthy reviews is only going to grow with that generation.
What is the number 1 piece of advice you would give dentists when it comes to the digital world?
I’m amazed by how many of our users leaving dental reviews preface themselves by saying that they dread visiting the dentist. However, it's important to note that in the same breath these reviewers are thanking their dentists for easing their fears in shining reviews. Attention to details and empathy outside of the realm of the immediate treatment translates into positive reviews, and ultimately, into more patients coming through the door. Being able to investigate a dentist on CareDash before a visit and see positive feedback from others could certainly help to eliminate some of the unknown that feeds into such fear of a trip to the dentist’s office.
Ted Chan is the CEO of CareDash.com, a healthcare provider directory and review website. Ted is a serial entrepreneur who started two companies before CareDash. Ted received his Bachelor of Arts in History and Psychology with High Honors from Swarthmore College, and his MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.