Key Post Highlights
> Users are spending too much time on your homepage.
> Users lurk on your site and then leave.
> There is a major difference between your desktop and mobile analytics.
If your website is decades old, you’re completely changing your brand, or no one is making it to your site — these are all obvious signs that your website needs a redesign. While these are all important factors to pay attention to, there are less noticeable metrics that can signal it’s time for an overhaul.
Your website is how prospective patients, staff, and donors get to know your organization. It should reflect the professionalism, personality, and overall quality of what you have to offer. If your website isn’t doing that, it’s time for a new look and function.
In part one of this two-part series on website redesigns, CareContent’s, Kadesha Thomas Smith, CEO, and Brandies Meva’a, VP, Client Strategy, discuss 3 surprising metrics that scream it’s time to redo your healthcare organization’s website.
Kadesha Thomas Smith: Hello, Brandies. How are you doing?
Brandies Meva’a: I’m well, how are you doing?
Kadesha: I’m good. So we’re talking about surprising metrics that scream it’s time for a website redesign. So, obviously, our company does a lot of website redesigns, and by the time most of our clients come to us, it’s because they are at their wit’s end with their current website. But there are probably some metrics that they could be tracking beforehand that indicate, okay, we need to be planning for a redesign this year. What would you say is the first one?
Brandies: The first one is that you notice that people are spending a lot of time on your homepage.
The homepage’s whole job is to be a traffic director. It is to get people into the site. So it should be your number one Google organic traffic planning page. And then when people get there, it should take them to where they got to go immediately. If they’re hanging out on your homepage for a very long time, they are lost. Help them.
Kadesha: What is a very long time? Like, what would you see? What have you seen on our clients’ websites to say, okay, this means this is directing traffic well. Or what does it mean pre-redesign when you say, this means we really need to move forward with something.
Brandies: So good design will give them the top three things that most people do right up front at the top. So I would like to see well-optimized home pages get people off the page in 30 seconds or less.
But sometimes your website is more like the flagship company site, you might be headquarters and you have a lot of different things that people can do on your brand. Even that should not exceed 60 seconds. So they should be able to get to see the breadth of things that you have to offer and get where they have to go because it’s optimized for that kind of movement.
Kadesha: All right, what would you say is the second metric?
Brandies: The next thing is time spent going from one place to the next. So I call it the wander kind of problem. You have people just kind of lurking on a site for a really long time and then they leave. So you don’t necessarily know what they were doing.
Sometimes we think that if we build it and people can clearly see our services or they know how to take action, we have to tell them what to do. And so you can actually see how they’re moving. If your site is not designed, it says for every single service, there needs to be a call to action so that I can actually measure how people are moving through my site and if they’re doing what I want them to do, you’re going to lose users. And I think it’s really important to have that in mind when you’re designing your site.
Kadesha: And I love how when you’re doing a content strategy, you classify it as — is this a high lift call to action or is this a low lift call to action? Low lift meaning, download something, sign up for something. High lift meaning, make an appointment.
Kadesha: Third thing.
Brandies: The third thing is taking a look at how people are interacting with the site around desktop versus mobile.
Desktop and mobile should yield hardly any difference in terms of time spent on page, how many pages they come on the site to visit, what calls to action they engage with. If you notice there’s a stark difference, meaning people on mobile are not spending as much time, they’re leaving right away, they don’t ever take advantage of calls to action, that tells you that you don’t have a site that’s optimized for mobile.
We know that mobile — everything is on our eyes. People have phones, tablets — people have these hybrid models. So we want to make sure that we don’t have a different user experience for our mobile users. Back in the day, you used to literally have a mobile site. Now your single site should be mobile-optimized.
Kadesha: I’m going to add one that’s not so much driven by analytics, but more by just process management. If it takes too much time to update words and pictures — you call this growth-driven design. Tell me why that’s a metric people should track.
Brandies: So growth-driven design is about the opportunity cost too. So if you build a site this year and then Google changes its algorithm, the way you optimize pictures, for example, or images, you need to go in there, overhaul that work, you want to be able to keep the same website. You want to keep the same shell. You shouldn’t have to throw the whole CMS away and all of your different page layouts. You should be able to literally change it. So you want to pick a good CMS that’s fluid enough to evolve at the times.
We know that the change makers and the benchmarkers come out with all the rules. They’re like, okay, you can’t do this, you need to do this. How many times have we come to a client and they’re like, oh, yeah, just need content. And we realize that their site is not actually designed for growth. It’s not prepared to handle the changes that it needs for the client to meet their business goals.
And so you want to make sure — vetting your CMS is everything. It’s not about what’s on trend, either. Just because everybody else in the healthcare space uses this CMS or this seems really, really secure, and we want to sound like the most secure hospital or health system or association possible, doesn’t mean that this website, your content-based website that engages with your audiences, has to tick all those boxes. What’s most important is that it’s able to communicate with your audiences and get them toward your business goals as quickly as possible.
Kadesha: We want to be able to help you with the strategic changes that really help you drive growth.
Brandies: Yeah, that’s the opportunity cost, right? Like even when you look at your staff, how long does it take you to do something that should take 10 minutes? How much more could they be doing for themselves, the business, and their own happiness, if they weren’t, you know, going through the heck and a hard fraught path through your hard CMS?
Kadesha: All right. Thank you so much.
Key Post Highlights
> Women make up 70% of healthcare workers, but they make up only 25% of healthcare leadership.
> Women leaders can help support women’s health initiatives.
> 31% of women leaders compared to 19% of male leaders are reported to provide emotional support to employees.
I believe in data. In the NBA, the data shows who the best players are. In content creation, the data points to what people are searching for and what they really care about. In healthcare, the data shows what’s effective in promoting quality healthcare — and what’s not.
In the case of women leaders in healthcare, the data has historically been a letdown. While women make up 70% of healthcare workers around the world, they make up just 25% of healthcare leadership.
This shouldn’t be a shocking statistic. If you’ve been in healthcare for any length of time, you’ve probably seen or even been a part of this uneven makeup of healthcare leaders.
This International Women’s Day, let’s look at why women are so underrepresented in healthcare leadership, why this is a problem, and why it’s important to support women as they climb their ladders of success.
Why We Need Women Leaders in Healthcare
Other than the obvious factor of women facing an unequal amount of hurdles when it comes to their career success, a lack of women leaders in healthcare is problematic for the health of our country, too.
Having too few women in healthcare leadership means the patient population isn’t accurately reflected in decision-making roles. This causes women to have a limited ability to influence health policies that are based on their lived experiences (not to mention the lived experiences of half of the country).
Women experience unique health issues, ranging from pregnancy to menopause to emotional challenges, like postpartum depression. Problems that are unique to women may not get the attention they deserve if women aren’t in a position to change how things are done.
For instance, American women are three times more likely to die in childbirth compared to women in Norway or Sweden. They also report being more emotionally distressed compared to women in Germany or France. With the right resources and support, women’s health issues might take more of a priority, benefitting the health of all women.
What’s more, women offer a unique — and beneficial — approach to leadership compared to their male counterparts. Women are reported to be more:
- Considerate of the well-being of their employees
- Engaged in providing emotional support
- Supportive of a work-life balance
- Focused on preventing burnout
Women leaders are also more likely to spearhead diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
Burnout, emotional distress, a lack of work-life balance, a lack of diversity — these are all common challenges in healthcare. With women in leadership roles, there’s more of a chance they’ll be addressed. In turn, more supportive work environments can lead to happier employees and higher retention rates, which leads to better patient care.
The Future of Women in Healthcare Leadership
The solution to this problem is straightforward — hire more women and support them as they grow in their careers. This doesn’t mean giving them more opportunities than men, but it means evening out the playing field.
Provide reasonable support for working moms, talk about and address gender biases within your organizations, and appoint qualified and deserving women to leadership roles.
As for the next generation of women leaders, here’s my advice to you: Plan your life.
Don’t think that things are just going to fall into place. Plan when you want to have kids. Plan at what point in your career you want to focus on those kids. Plan when in your career you want to grind and try to crash through the glass ceiling.
Remember, life is about using our talents and gifts, but it’s also about being spiritually and emotionally fulfilled. That typically requires making sure you hit several high notes in your personal and professional life.
This International Women’s Day and every day, let’s celebrate all women — working women, women who are the primary caregivers for their children and other family members, and women who inspire other women. It’s together that we will achieve the most for ourselves and the people around us.
Many physicians who work with predominantly Black American populations do not understand our beliefs and behavior because they haven’t educated themselves on the history
Key Post Highlights
> Ross Simmonds and strategic content creation
> Andy Crestodina and the value of organic search
> Blippi and creating a recognizable brand
> Pauleanna Reid and the power of storytelling
In the past couple years, we’ve seen so many personal, professional, and business interactions move online. With 2023 already here and happening, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we all are continuing to hopefully cope and innovate around these never-ending digital changes.
It’s important for all of us to stay on top of the way that the marketing industry, trends, and best practices are evolving. With the launch of CareContent’s new-and-improved blog, I’m going to be sharing some of my thoughts in bite-sized, packing-a-punch posts as a part of the series “CEO Vitamins.”
Like a vitamin, I hope this series supplements your regular learning diet and can give a boost to what we all think is possible.
I thought I’d kick these posts off by sharing 4 of my favorite digital marketing influencers.
1. Ross Simmonds
He gets content creation. He understands that it’s a strategic asset, not just something you drop on a treadmill and start pumping out.
My goal is to always be looking at how we can help our clients meet a goal. How can we help them do something that matters to their business as well as to their audience? Ross Simmonds provides great insight and understands the power of content as the centerpiece of any digital marketing effort. There’s something we can all take away from his expertise.
2. Andy Crestodina
The second digital marketing influencer I follow is Andy Crestodina. Andy Crestodina is a thought leader on content marketing and web design who I have admired since I started this company. I love his 13 point guides to a homepage and a newsletter and stuff like that. I like him because he gives such actionable steps for how you rank well in organic search.
Your healthcare organization needs its web presence to reach patients, providers, and healthcare professionals.
I’ve unofficially adopted him as a mentor. I used to do office hours with him when I was really starting out, and he basically helped develop the templates we use and the rules that we follow around SEO.
I call him every now and then and have meetings with him just to pick his brain. His company, Orbit Media Studies, is up in Ravenswood in Chicago, but he’s a nationally known keynote speaker at international conferences. I’m honored he still takes my phone calls.
The third digital marketing person isn’t in healthcare and he’s not corporate, but I’m just amazed at what he’s done and how well he’s done it — it’s damn Blippi.
If you have a child, then you have heard about Blippi. Blippi is a Hollywood exec turned children’s YouTube character who generated $20 million in revenue off his YouTube channel, affiliated merchandise, and live shows — just by creating a bunch of videos on YouTube that kids are basically addicted to.
This is a man who knows what he’s doing, and I loved reading the story in Forbes about how meticulous he was when crafting his persona so that kids would know how to easily say his name. A name like Blippi — it works. Kids don’t stumble over it, they memorize it. It’s very recognizable.
Blippi was deliberate with everything, from how he crafted the colors of his clothing to the cadence of his voice. I am amazed at how his presence has grown. He has a very sticky factor among children that has allowed him to branch out into merchandise, book bags, toys, downloadable content on his website, and even live shows.
Plus he has like a billion followers. He’ll make a video — like “Everything Kids Should Know About Dump Trucks.” This video will be 2 hours long, and these kids will sit there and watch this for 2 hours and literally become experts on dump trucks. They’re not just idly watching; they can recap key messages and retain the information. It’s very fascinating how he’s managed to do all of that.
4. Pauleanna Reid
A fourth digital marketing influencer — who’s actually very new to me — is Pauleanna Reid. She writes about women leaders for Forbes, but she also has her own agency called Writer’s Block where she ghostwrites for celebrities. And not just ghostwriting books, but also speeches and presentations.
I’m really interested in her take. I follow her YouTube channel where she shares videos ranging in length (from one minute to one hour) and content. She covers everything from making sure that content creation becomes a brand asset to how you tell your story and drive your brand. I’m loving her so far.
Why Follow Influencers In 2023?
There are a lot of influencers online that I just don’t understand — and don’t plan to follow. It seems like anyone with a smartphone and a pretty face can get famous on Instagram. I’m not here for the people who are influencing me to buy the newest skin care product or TikTok-trending leggings.
I’m here for the people who are really influencing the marketing industry. Whose expertise and guidance can help us connect people with the content that can change — or save — their lives.
Digital marketing influencers are the people to watch when it comes to how trends are changing and where the field is going. By keeping our eye on what these influencers are doing, we can all learn something and push the envelope on what is possible.
Our new website reflects who we are as a more grown-up, full-service company.
I rarely go into stores. Ever. If I can get it on Instacart, I will find $30 worth of stuff to buy, just to get my order delivered. Thanks to the pandemic, I think I’m allergic to walking into a store — except for Target.
Target is the only store that I look forward to going to. It’s the only store that my kids look forward to going to. And the reason I still enjoy going there is that Target has taken what would be a mundane experience of running errands and turned it into something special.
It’s hard to put into words exactly what that special something is, but I think most working moms walk into Target and they feel this instant sense of peace. A feeling like everything is going to be okay. It’s always so clean. Everything seems perfectly organized.
We could all learn a lesson from Target — and especially hospitals. Here are some things that I think hospitals can take from the Target shopping experience and make it a part of the patient experience.
1. Anything that can be done at home should be done at home.
Even before the pandemic, Target had this brilliant drive-up service, allowing you to shop in their app, make your purchase, and then pick up your order in the parking lot.
Hospitals, in turn, are learning something from this approach — or rather, they’re remembering something. Before hospitals became the norm in the early 1900s, most medical care was given at home.
We’re going back to this approach in large part because of the pandemic. When no one was able to visit the hospital, the only way certain patients could get certain services was to have those services done at home. As a result, hospital administrators discovered that this led to better outcomes, lower costs, and better patient satisfaction.
Many services can be moved to the home or car space. When you’re having a baby, for example, you have to get blood pressure checks that could be done in the parking lot. No one who is 9 months pregnant should have to ask themselves, “Why did I have to get out of my car for this?”
2. Show — don’t tell.
Target’s desktop website, mobile site, and app all do an excellent job of showing a shopper everything they need at a glance. This is something that all companies can learn from.
Typically, when our clients call us for help with their web content and content strategy, one of the big issues is that everything on their site is buried. The content that consumers really would be looking for is buried. It takes three clicks. It takes several. You have to scroll and scroll and scroll, which is not necessary.
There are different ways that a hospital’s website could be more like Target’s web experience, where they present you with as many options as possible at a glance. With just a quick scan, you can see what you’re looking for, see what you want, and put it in your cart.
Focus On These Website Features
- Mega menus: Users should find exactly what they are looking for — without having to scroll.
- Fat footers: When a user makes it to the bottom of a page, there should still be somewhere to go.
- Tiled landing page: If a user can see it, they can easily click on it.
Retail websites make it easy for the user to do what they went there to do — and what the company wants them to do as well: buy things. By tapping into the web conventions consumers are already used to from their retail experiences, your healthcare website can be more usable and more successful.
3. Brag about your diversity.
When I walk into my Target, they have an entire shelf of beauty products that are created by women-owned companies. They have a display of products from black-owned, black-women-owned companies, Latina-women-owned, and LGBTQ-owned companies.
If you are interested in supporting a certain group by buying their products and services, Target makes it easy. Hospitals could take a cue from that and start to really promote the administrators and clinicians who reflect the groups you most need to reach.
There’s no reason somebody should come to your website and see only white male doctors, or worse — standard stock photos of a bunch of skinny smiling people. If you have a diverse team, broadcast it. Put it out there front and center. Let your patient audience know, “We have people who can relate to folks from all different walks of life, who can connect with your lived experiences.”
4. Show me how beautiful you are.
Target can make anything look beautiful. I mean, they have toilet scrubbers that are just gorgeous. They have storage bins that are stunning. And when you actually go to the store or onto the website, the space where Target displays these products looks a lot like a living room or a kitchen. They don’t simply show you the product, they show you how beautiful this product would be in your own home.
Many hospitals have made a lot of capital investments to increase the beauty factor of their physical location. But how many times do they hire a professional photographer to help them show that beauty off?
If you have invested in sprucing up your space, the next investment should be hiring a photographer or videographer to create some kind of virtual tour of that space. Patients shouldn’t need to come into your hospital to know how beautiful it is.
In healthcare, we could all learn a thing or two from Target. With just a few changes, the patient experience on hospital websites — and in the actual hospital — can be elevated from just so-so to the Target experience.
Looking to beautify your hospital’s website? CareContent can help with content strategy, creation, and promotion.
This past year has been filled with so much to be grateful for. From the hard work of doctors and nurses to the innovation of scientists to the widespread efforts to protect our communities from an ever-evolving pandemic — it has been a year of breakthroughs and blessings.
But 2021 has not been without its challenges, and it continues to be important to us at CareContent that we take the time to slow down and practice gratitude.
Kadesha — Founder and CEO
I am most thankful for my faith. Being able to pray and read Scripture during these crazy times has preserved my sanity. I’m also so thankful for my family. We’ve remained healthy and supportive of each other throughout this pandemic. I don’t take that for granted because I’ve also been to a lot of funerals this year. Lastly, I’m thankful for my wonderful team here at CareContent. I love the people I work with. They are genuinely super-talented, good people.
Brandies — VP, Client Strategy
Right now, I’m most thankful for being able to spend more time with my family. The pandemic has changed the way we work and live together dramatically. I’m so grateful to have all my loved ones still with me so far and the time that we get to be together — learning, growing, and loving one another along the way. Oh, and that yoga pants are now work-appropriate!
Crystal — Operations and Project Manager
So many things to be thankful for. Healthy family and friends are at the top of the list. A safe and warm home is up there too. The fact that we can share a laugh with someone, anyone really. That’s pretty great. I’m not sure if other living things are able to share that, but I hope so. Laughing makes life so much better. Sunscreen, plants, and beer. All so wonderful.
Lynette — Content Director
Family and physical and mental health will always be at the top of my list of things to be thankful for no matter the holiday. After this past year though, I find myself being thankful for a lot of the small-big things like sunrises and sunsets, ocean breezes, long walks, and just having an overall appreciation for nature — something we often take for granted. This pandemic has made us all slow down and take stock of our environment (or it should have). I am also tremendously grateful for CareContent and our gracious CEO who not only gives us all the flexibility we need but also makes working here feel more like a partnership.
Ros — Content Production Manager
It sounds super cliche, but I really am thankful for the health and happiness of me and my loved ones this year. This past year was challenging in many ways, but we all came through it, and for that I am grateful. I am grateful to live near my parents after many years of being a plane ride away from each other. I am grateful for my cats, Albie and Minnie (who LOVE taking pictures with me). And I am grateful for my work family, too, of course!
Sammi — UX Content Specialist
I was asked to write approximately 100 words about what I’m thankful for this year. I’ve now written 24 words. Here are the rest:
- Safety from COVID-19
- This job and team
- My beautiful cat, Twyla
- Schitt’s Creek — the best show ever made
- Being cast in my first show in 2 years (Schoolhouse Rock LIVE)
- Financial, food, and home security
- My crazy dating stories. They make me popular at parties.
- Going on 13 years seizure-free (knock on wood)
- My faith
- My nephew, Teddy (yes, he’s family, but he gets counted separately because he’s so cute)
Natalie — Lead Content Specialist
I have so much to be thankful for this year. From my family to my friends to my supportive team here at CareContent, I am grateful for all the incredibly special people in my life. I’m also lucky to have my health — both physical and mental. These past few years more than ever, I’ve tried to really appreciate waking up each morning, being able to go for a run, and having healthy food to eat. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention my dog, Arya, who brings more joy to my life than she could ever know.
Meg — Web Content Specialist
This year, I am grateful for so much — my family, my friends, my partner, my health. I am grateful to live somewhere warm and to live with my best friend (finally) after 3 years of a multi-state, long-distance relationship. And this year, especially, I am grateful to have joined the CareContent team. They are smart, funny, and supportive people. Their pun game is unmatched, and they care about the work we do — and doing it well. And above all, they enable and empower me to bring my whole self to work each day.
Nicole — Multimedia Content Designer
This year, I am most thankful for health and science. As the saying goes, health is wealth, and I’ve felt very fortunate to have maintained mine during this time … probably more so now than ever before. And science — well, vaccinations for me and nearly my entire family have allowed us to return to (almost) a normal daily routine. A welcome change, indeed.
Cris — UX Designer/Web Developer
There are many things to be thankful for this year. First would be the health and well-being of my family. Next, the birth of my third child. Yet another would be the “new normal” of adjusting to work from home. Working from home allows me to see my kids throughout the day and be home for those special moments, such as when my 1-year-old daughter took her first steps or being able to walk my 6-year-old daughter to school every morning. It’s the small things that give us moments to be thankful for.