Attracting patients online requires more than just a pretty website – it also requires well-written, relevant content that engages your online visitors. Why is content so important? Here’s the answer: it’s how you tell your website visitors what your hospital has to offer and why they should choose your healthcare organization over your competition. It’s also how you hook your visitors – you provide them with the information they’re looking for and they’re willing to keep exploring your site.
Producing high-quality online content provides a two-fold benefit. First, it helps you to grab the attention of potential patients and make them more likely to visit your hospital. Second, it can help improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), which could lead to higher placement in online search results. Essentially, better content results in more online visibility for your hospital.
To make the best impact on potential patients and search engines, your hospital website content should be:
1) Informative and relevant: Think about what types of information people will be looking for when they visit your hospital website. In certain areas of your site, such as your Home page and About Us pages, your visitors will likely want to know about your hospital, the general services you provide, and what differentiates your hospital from other hospitals in the local area. Meanwhile, on pages that focus on individual service lines, such as your hospital’s orthopedics or oncology services, patients will likely want more detailed information about those service lines, such as the specific types of injuries or cancers that are treated at your facility.
2) Easy on the eyes & easy to skim: Writing for the web is a lot different than writing for print. People who read online content are generally skimming the page for the specific information they want. Also, online visitors tend to leave web pages pretty quickly if they don’t like what they see. This is why it’s so important to make your content easy on the eyes and easy to skim. Avoid using long walls of text! Instead, try breaking your content up into sections and separating them with subheads. You can also use bullet points and bolding to make the most important pieces of information more visible, and to add more variation to the page.
3) Optimized with keywords: By using keywords throughout your content, you send a signal to search engines that your content covers certain topics. This is a crucial part of SEO that helps determine where your hospital website will show up in search results (if at all). The keywords you choose should be related to the healthcare services offered by your hospital, and they should reflect the types of terms that people actually use when searching these topics. And remember – don’t overload your website pages with keywords or use them where they don’t flow well, or you’ll risk your website looking spammy to the search engines (which could harm your ranking).
4) Up-to-Date: You should be refreshing your hospital website’s content on a regular basis. By failing to do so, you 1) show patients that your hospital is not on top of things, and 2) tell search engines that your content is outdated and irrelevant. With the right content management system (CMS), you should be able to keep your website current.
5) Actionable: Good hospital website content include strong calls to action. These are phrases and sentences that are designed to get your online visitors to take specific actions. Here are a few examples that a hospital might use: “Watch This Video to Learn More,” “Sign Up for Our Newsletter,” “Make a Donation Today,” or “Visit Our Hospital.” You goal shouldn’t just be getting people to your hospital website, but also getting them to interact with the site and with your organization.
For more information about how you can improve your hospital marketing strategy, download our free online reviews guide for healthcare providers.