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.
12 Ways to Keep Your Content Fresh
While there’s no single strategy that will work for everyone, you certainly could make at least one update every month. Here’s why: Google gives priority ranking to pages with original content. Every time you publish, Google gets a “ping,” so even minor changes give the search engine a new reason to browse and index your pages, which can improve your rankings.
Yes, it’s sometimes difficult to find time every month (or every week, or every day) to make an update, but you can’t afford to let your website performance slip. Businesses that make regular updates are giving visitors reasons to come back, strengthening their loyalty to the brand and driving more conversions.
Refresh healthcare content with these 12 updates:
- Add content to your frequently asked questions (FAQ) page. Search engines love FAQ pages and your customers will appreciate the useful content.
- Stream your social media feeds right on your homepage. This is a very easy update. If you’re using WordPress just install a streaming plugin. Check out the 20 best social media plug-ins for WordPress.
- Make sure your call to action is aligned with current marketing goals. And while you’re at it, see if you can add call-to-action language elsewhere on your site.
- Embed a Google Map of your physical location. In addition to helping customers find your store or office, having a map can boost local search engine rankings.
- Demonstrate your expertise by adding a page to your website. Blog comments and social media interactions offer keen insights into what your audience would like to know more about.
- Create an events calendar. Many calendar plugins include built-in SEO features that automatically optimize words and links in your event descriptions.
- According to experts, case studies and customer testimonials have the best ROI when it comes to adding low cost, highly effective content to your site, according to a TechValidate survey.
- Get rid of your news section. One study found that less than 1 percent of visitors are actually reading press releases. Instead, post this information in your blog or better yet on social media.
- Updates don’t always mean adding content. Optimize white space by removing visual clutter and making sure your content is crisp and to the point.
- No time to write? Update your site with video content. Google gives priority ranking to pages with video over pages with just text.
- A regularly updated blog is a great way to add new content. If you’re pressed for time, ask a colleague or trusted subject matter expert to write a guest post.
- Using SlideShare, you can embed someone else’s presentation on your site. They get wonderful exposure and you get great content. Simply write an introduction, embed the SlideShare and finish with relevant commentary.
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:
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!