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How Often Should You Refresh Your Healthcare Content?

Ahh. That’s your sigh of relief after your hospital website rewrite or redesign is complete. Enjoy basking in the glow of that sleek, SEO-infused site.

So check that project off your to-do list but maybe not in permanent marker. You WILL need to refresh your content again — and you may need to do it sooner than you think.

Updated Copy Builds Trust

The world of healthcare is always changing and moving, so your website must too. Consumers come to you to find out about the care you can give them or their loved ones.

When you have the most accurate and up-to-date information available, people are more likely to turn to you and trust that you can help them.

5 Signs It’s Time to Rewrite your Healthcare Website

So how do you know if a refresh is in order? These are the 5 times you should consider an update:

1. Health recommendations change

When a new health guideline makes the news, first talk to the appropriate department heads to ensure your hospital is following the new practice. Then start editing that web copy.

Example: Colorectal cancer screening

In May 2018, the American Cancer Society lowered the recommended age for colorectal cancer screenings from 50 to 45. If your web content covered colorectal cancer recommendations, it was crucial that you updated your site.

By leaving your content alone, you may:

  • Spread misinformation, increasing the likelihood that people who should be getting screened aren’t
  • Appear out of touch

2. There’s a new form of treatment available or new standard of care

Keep your treatment copy up to date:

  • Get rid of the old: If a drug, surgery or therapy is no longer available or recommended, remove it from your website.
  • Bring in the new: If there’s a new treatment on the scene, and your organization offers it, include information online. Potential patients need to know you can perform the procedure. And if they Google it, you want your site to pop up.

Example: TAVR surgery

Recently, the New York Times reported that the standard of care for people that need heart valve replacements might change from open heart surgery to the less invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). This development is something that all cardiology departments and heart surgery centers should be watching closely.

3. Your staff changed

Did a top oncologist join your team? Did the staff of your pediatric emergency department double in size? These are news items you want to promote and include on your site.

Consumers want to know about the distinguished doctor now practicing at your hospital or that their ER wait times will be shorter. And if staffers left your company, remove their information from your website quickly.

4. Your last website rewrite was 2 – 3 years ago

A lot can happen in that time. Your facility added a new building. Your physicians have access to better equipment. And website best practices likely evolved and changed.

If you haven’t been consistently making updates and improvements, the 2- to 3-year mark is a good time for an overhaul.

5. Google’s algorithm changed

Don’t just look inward at your organization’s changes. Look at Google’s changes as well. Google is constantly tweaking its algorithm to ensure consumers can find the relevant content they’re looking for. A few times per year, Google performs large updates that could affect where your site shows up in search results.

The most recent Google algorithm update was in March 2019. In general, quality, keyword-rich content that’s updated often is more likely to show up in search. Pay attention to specific changes, and update your website accordingly.

The Bottom Line on Healthcare Website Rewrites

Your website needs to accurately reflect your organization as it is now. If your physicians are using new treatment techniques, if your building got a redesign, if you’ve got new diagnostic equipment … or if it’s just been a while, then make plans for a refresh.

Use these strategies to update your healthcare website:

Why Your Power Content Is the Most Important

The 3 Hallmarks of Bad Content

Why Answering Your Consumers’ Questions Is Critical

 

Having trouble staying on top of these changes or lack the bandwidth to make the updates on your own? Talk to us. We can help!

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About Jessica Wozinsky

Jessica Wozinsky

Jessica has over ten years of experience as a writer and editor. A former magazine editor, she’s been on staff at Rachael Ray Every Day, Weight Watchers Magazine and Parade. She’s written about health, fitness, food, beauty and interviewed hundreds of celebrities.

While at Weight Watchers International,... More >