Maximizing your content strategy starts with remixing your content. Here’s how the one idea-five format approach can help.
Chatbots have the ability to improve user experience on healthcare websites.
Key Post Highlights
> Blogs provide readers with the information they actually need.
> Blogs connect you with your audience.
> Blogs create leads.
The amount of information available with the click of a few buttons is nearly endless — especially when it comes to information about your health.
For better or worse, Dr. Google often replaces an actual conversation with a healthcare professional. People are looking for answers to anything from “Am I having a heart attack?” (4,400 monthly searches) to “Why is my hair falling out?” (22,200 monthly searches) to “How to stop hiccups” (60,500 monthly searches). Where readers find this information, of course, depends on what appears on the search engine results page.
The first step is getting your healthcare organization to show up on the results page with a good distribution strategy. Once readers get there, your blog sits at the center of an integrated healthcare marketing strategy.
While blogs date back to the mid-1990s, they have since become a crucial part of any healthcare organization’s website. Here are 3 roles blogs will play in healthcare marketing in 2023.
1. Healthcare blogs provide readers with accurate (and unique) information.
There’s no doubt that readers are searching the web for information about their health, whether it’s preventative, diagnostic, or therapeutic. The problem lies with where they stumble upon the information they’re searching for.
As a healthcare organization, you play an essential role in providing accurate and easy-to-digest information. Some would even argue that it’s your responsibility to do so.
What’s more, you can provide specific information that’s tough to find elsewhere. Forget the disease 101 stuff. Not only does that not cater to your specific audience, but it doesn’t showcase your organization’s expertise. By giving readers information that only you can provide, you’re delivering a much-needed service and becoming a thought leader in your space.
Not only does a blog benefit your patients, but it also promotes your specific services by explaining how they can support your audience’s health.
2. Healthcare blogs allow you to connect with your specific audience.
A good healthcare website has varied content. You have your pillar (or static) content, which highlights services, providers, and other relatively unchanging information.
But you also need an outlet for more specific information and a way to connect to your current and prospective patients.
Fluid content — such as the content on your blog — allows you to connect with patients, providers, and other people in your ecosystem. It’s precise communication tailored to your audience’s values.
From age to geographic location to socioeconomic status to race, there are many factors that you need to consider when relating to your audience and providing useful information. A blog is a space for exactly that.
3. Healthcare blogs create leads and boost your business.
Whether you’re looking to bring in new patients, promote a service line, recruit new providers, or do something else entirely, blogs are a place to make this happen.
The more active your blog is, the higher your site’s chances are of showing up on the search results page, being shared on social media, or being linked to from another page. In fact, companies with blogs have 97% more backlinks to their sites.
Once people make it to your website, they can see your calls to action, share your content, make appointments, and apply for jobs. These leads turn into tangible results for your organization.
Blog Your Way Into 2023
It’s never too late to start a robust marketing strategy that includes a blog. With a well-thought-out content calendar, engaging writing, and useful information, you can provide your audience and your organization with what it needs most this year.
At CareContent, we know blogs. Not only do we maintain the blogs of numerous clients, but we manage our own. Our newly reimagined blog, Bookmarked, provides even more useful, timely, and actionable information for our target audiences.
Ready to begin, enhance, or completely reimagine your healthcare organization’s blog? Let us help!
Key Post Highlights
> Talking to your key audience is one of the most critical steps in developing a digital marketing strategy.
> Content needs to meet your business goals.
> Don’t forget to plan for content distribution.
Well, it’s very likely that your hospital’s digital marketing strategy isn’t exactly where it should be.
Here are 5 reasons why your digital marketing strategy just isn’t working.
1. You didn’t talk to a key audience: patients ...
We can’t stress this enough: Talk to patients. Current patients, former patients, potential patients, patients who considered your hospital but decided to get care elsewhere. All of these perspectives are crucial for creating a strategy that actually meets audiences’ needs and keeps them coming back.
At CareContent, we tend to break up discovery interviews with patients into several buckets: needs, fears, frustrations, and motivations. Often, we break them up further so that we cover both their care and the website. For example, we might ask them about what they need from their providers in order to feel more comfortable with a diagnosis, as well as what types of information and functionality they need from the website.
If you skip this step, you’re not doing your patients — or your hospital — any favors.
Patients will get annoyed when they can’t find the information they’re looking for the most — like if you take their insurance or if your providers offer after-hours care. Annoyed patients look elsewhere.
Health systems have a responsibility to provide their patients with the tools they need to improve their health and wellness. If you’re not utilizing your digital presence for this, you’re missing out on key opportunities to fulfill this responsibility.
2. … Or your other key stakeholders.
Since digital presence is a communications tool, the marketing and design teams are obviously going to be heavily involved. And we’ve already mentioned how important it is to talk to patients. But make sure that you’re not missing out on talking to other people who can provide valuable insights.
You wouldn't host a clinical trial by yourself. You’d go through all the proper channels. You’d work with researchers, physicians, funders, pharmaceutical companies, federal regulators — you name it. It’s the same with your marketing strategy. You can’t just pull things together by yourself and hope it works. It takes many perspectives and insights to create a successful strategy.
Don’t forget to talk to:
- Providers: They can tell you what patients frequently ask them — as well as the questions they should be asking, but aren’t. They can also inform strategy for provider-facing content, like pages about careers or educational opportunities.
- Call Center Employees: They get overworked and frustrated when they’re answering the exact same questions every 20 minutes, when those answers could easily be on the website. This also creates a back-up of people who actually need to get through on the phone lines.
- The Higher-ups: C-suite. Board members. Find out exactly what they’re hoping to grow over the next year (and beyond) so that you know what you should be writing and posting about. Which leads us to …
3. Your content doesn’t actually match your hospital’s business goals.
Your digital presence’s strategic goals need to align with the health system’s strategic goals. Otherwise, you’re not really moving the needle anywhere.
If the hospital wants to bring in more patients to the cardiology unit, but you’ve focused most of your content on oncology and women’s health, you’re not targeting the right people. If the hospital is trying to book more appointments all around, but you haven’t provided the right number or put the “Make an Appointment” button in a place that’s easy to see, you’re making that a lot more difficult.
4. Your content is stale.
The content on your site can’t just be informative. It has to be engaging, interesting, and shareable.
This is why we recommend blogging. A lot of people freak out when they hear the word “blog,” because they view blogging as a rigid chore. So instead, they create “content hubs” or “resource centers.” Totally fair.
No matter what you call it, erase the idea that blogging is a burden and embrace the blog approach:
- Post frequently and on a regular cadence. Make a content and social media calendar ahead of time so you don’t post too sporadically or suddenly post every hour.
- Tailor content to align with specific services that advance your hospital’s strategic goals (see point #3)
- Create evergreen content. This is content that isn’t time-sensitive, and can keep on bringing in traffic long after it’s published. Remember: You can always reshare this content, or go back and edit it.
- Also create timely, relevant content. Mix it up. In between your evergreen content, write about the issues that people want to know about right now, in this moment. These posts can easily bring on the clicks and shares when posted on social media.
5. You didn’t include distribution in your strategy.
Okay, so you’ve read this list so far, and you’re thinking, “Wait…but I did all of that!”
If so, it might not be a problem with your content creation strategy — it could be that you forgot about distribution.
You can create all the amazing content you want, but it won’t get results if it doesn’t get into the hands of the right people.
Social Media Distribution
Social media is a must — 57% of consumers report that a hospital’s social media presence would strongly affect where they choose to receive care. However, you don’t need to be on every single platform. Put your energy into building a strong presence on the channels that will help you meet your goals and reach the right audiences.
That means doing your research. The social media landscape is always changing, so be sure to check current trends for the most used and fastest-growing platforms (Those are Facebook and TikTok, respectively, right now). Find the platforms where the user base’s demographics match those of your target audiences. It’s also a good idea to ask your audiences during discovery interviews about the channels they use most frequently.
Also Read: What’s Your Social Media Style? [QUIZ]
Newsletters are a great way to ensure that your audiences aren’t missing out on valuable content. A newsletter doesn’t need to be old-school newspaper style, with articles and columns made specifically for it. It can simply be a round-up of new content. Depending on the platform you’re using, you might be able to make newsletters customizable so that audiences can choose the type of content they want to receive.
Bonus #6: You didn’t get help from CareContent.
Why You Should Care About Your Healthcare Organization’s Environmental, Social, And Governance Efforts
Healthcare organizations have always made caring for patients and saving lives a priority. But recent studies suggest they need to take a step further with transparent social, environmental, and governance initiatives.
At the 2022 American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Virtual Leadership Symposium, CareContent CEO, Kadesha Thomas Smith moderated a session with the CEOs of three healthcare systems discussing the importance of ESG efforts. Included in the session were:
- Michael Dowling, President & CEO, Northwell Health
- Wright L. Lassiter, III, President/CEO, Henry Ford Health
- Johnese Spisso, MPA, CEO, UCLA Hospital System
What Are Environmental, Social, And Governance Criteria?Environmental, social, and governance criteria center around influencing positive change. They show that your company is committed to being responsible for society, which is often a marker for success and strength in a company. While these three categories have the common goal of doing good in the world, they each have slightly different focuses.
Environmental CriteriaFrom your carbon footprint to the use of toxic chemicals in manufacturing, environmental criteria come down to your company’s impact on the environment. In healthcare, organizations are making changes like using compostable cafeteria packaging and decreasing the environmental impact of medical supplies.
Social CriteriaYour social impact exists both within your company and in the broader community. This can include everything from LGBTQ+ equality to racial diversity to involvement in social movements beyond your organization. In healthcare, this may take the form of improving the diversity of your board, prioritizing inclusion programs within your organization, and enhancing workplace safety initiatives.
Governance CriteriaGovernance is about who is in charge of making decisions at your organization. It encompasses factors like diversity in leadership, executive pay, and how well leadership interacts with stakeholders. In healthcare, governance criteria are getting the least amount of love. However, it involves crucial aspects, like the structure of your board, pay equity among your staff, and the prevention of fraud and ethics breaches.
Who Actually Cares About Your ESG Efforts?ESG efforts are more than just another three-letter acronym to pay lip service to. These efforts impact those that have a stake in your company, either literally or figuratively. To be clear — everyone cares about your ESG efforts to some extent. But some groups care a little more (and in different ways) than others.
1. Investors care the most about your ESG efforts.Fighting climate change and promoting diversity does more than just show your company has a strong moral compass — it also suggests that you may offer investors higher returns. For instance, JUST Capital’s JUST U.S. Large Cap Diversified Index (JULCD) found that, between 2017 and 2019, public companies with high ESG scores outperformed similar companies that lacked a clear commitment to factors like the well-being of their employees and their impact on the environment. Investors also know that other stakeholders, like employees and consumers, care about your ESG efforts. This impacts the success of your organization, which has a direct correlation with how much money investors make.
2. Prospective employees care a lot about your ESG efforts.Healthcare is experiencing a severe shortage of employees, from physicians to nurses everyone in between. This creates serious competition for the best talent, and ESG efforts are one way to set your organization apart.
About 58% of health leaders say they plan to increase diversity and inclusion training and reporting in the next year.
How much your organization is dedicated to its environmental, social, and governance criteria matters to those considering working there. These efforts will enhance your reputation, build trust among your employees, and demonstrate what you value — all factors that will either resonate with prospective employees or drive them away.
3. Consumers care moderately about your ESG efforts — but they really care if you mess up.Consumers of healthcare organizations may not be demanding specific ESG information on your website, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care. To start, consumers want to see their values reflected in the organizations to which they give their money. This could mean your commitment to the environment, your role in certain social movements, what your leadership looks like — or all three.
More than 60% of US consumers say they would view an organization more positively if it was taking clear steps to address social determinants of health.
What’s more, consumers are highly sensitive to ESG violations. For example, if consumers get wind that your carbon emissions are high — and your community also has high rates of respiratory issues — that’s a bad look. And as healthcare organizations are being called out for violating best practices, consumers may start demanding access to this information more often.
3 Ways To Enhance ESG EffortsYour environmental, social, and governance efforts play a major role in your healthcare organization’s success. If you haven’t already begun prioritizing these efforts, now is the time to start. Here are 3 ways to improve your ESG efforts and their visibility:
- Incorporate ESG into your strategic goals. Determine how you will put ESG efforts at the forefront — and make it known to your stakeholders on your website, social media, and, most importantly, through your actions.
- Be transparent and stay accountable. Gather real data, ideally using a third-party vendor to ensure neutrality. Track your ESG efforts and share your wins — and where you plan to grow — with your stakeholders.
- Create a plan you can stick to. Investors, employees, and consumers can all see right through lofty goals that you’ll never meet (and never intend to). Identify a practical plan of action you can adhere to — and get to work.
Do you want to be more transparent about your ESG efforts — or other core pillars of your organization — on your website? We can help.
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.
You may have seen it in the movies, read it in a book, or — depending on your age — experienced it yourself. House calls — when physicians provide acute-level care in a patient’s home — used to be the norm. Rather than schlepping the sick individual into the car and to the office, physicians used to go to where they were needed.
In fact, before 1950, house calls made up nearly half of all physicians’ visits in the US.
Now, house calls seem like a thing of the past. But with hospital at home, we might be heading back to the future — and there are plenty of benefits.
CareContent CEO, Kadesha Smith, moderated a session at the 2022 American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Virtual Leadership Symposium called “Leadership Insights: Hospital-at-Home — Creating Value for Patients and Providers.” Speakers included:
Why Hospital At Home Now?
In the decades that have passed since house calls were the norm, healthcare has come a long way. We’ve overcome issues of the past, like inefficiencies solved by electronic medical records and support from vendors.
What’s more, we’re already seeing this concept in action in other countries. For instance, Cuba’s healthcare system has an emphasis on community-based healthcare. Primary care providers don’t just live in the communities they serve, but they also visit each home at least twice per year to identify health conditions before they get worse.
Finally — and maybe most relevant right now — the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the hand of payers and policymakers. In November 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the Acute Hospital Care at Home Program. This authorized hospitals to care for patients in their homes. It also allowed hospitals to access Medicare reimbursement for at-home care services for more than 60 conditions, like asthma and congestive heart failure.
Hospital at home is a move in the right direction. If your organization offers it, here’s why you should promote this offering and incorporate it into your content strategy. And if it doesn’t, here’s why it might be time to get on board.
5 Reasons Hospital At Home Benefits Patients And Healthcare Organizations
1. It reduces barriers to healthcare access.It shouldn’t come as a surprise that healthcare in the US is nowhere near equal. Hospital at home helps reduce some of the barriers that lead to these inequities. Visiting the doctor takes time and money. You need to have access to childcare and transportation, money to pay for said transportation (and possibly also the childcare), and the time to put yourself first — all of which are privileges not everyone has. Hospital at home is a solution to some of these problems. When the hospital goes to the patient, it helps limit hurdles to accessing quality care.
2. It keeps patients safe.
No matter how many measures you put in place to protect patients, the hospital setting puts patients at risk. It exposes patients to germs, and for those who are more vulnerable, this can be not just problematic, but deadly.
3. It allows clinicians a window into the lives of their patients.Where you live — including your neighborhood, support system, and physical home — all play a major role in your health. And yet, most healthcare providers have no idea what their patients’ lives are actually like. Hospital at home brings providers to patients’ homes, giving them an opportunity to see their patients’ lived experiences. For instance, if a patient has issues with falls, clinicians can identify fall risks in the home. If a patient has chronic respiratory issues, clinicians can pinpoint concerns like pets in the home.
4. It saves healthcare organizations money.Whether it’s a bookstore, school, or hospital, running any kind of brick-and-mortar business costs money. With the COVID-19 pandemic, plenty of organizations have seen how the shift to virtual or at-home services can significantly reduce overhead costs for space and supplies. In fact, pilots of hospital at home have already seen savings of 30% or more per admission — all while keeping up with high-quality care. Major bonus — hospitals that are overcrowded can continue to serve patients and bring in income without needing open beds in their facilities.
5. It helps clinicians connect with caregivers and loved ones.Caregivers and loved ones play a significant role in the health of many patients. However, not all caregivers can make it to healthcare appointments, leaving it up to patients to remember and accurately relay important information. When clinicians go to patients’ homes, they can educate caregivers and loved ones right then and there. This can ensure accurate and timely information gets where it needs to go without the risk of miscommunication.
Hospital At Home: Where The Past Meets The Present And The Future
Hospital at home brings the notion of house calls to future opportunities in healthcare. But it also reflects the situation we are currently navigating — COVID-19.
The pandemic has turned our homes into our schools, workplaces, and gyms. Thanks to this shift, consumers expect everything that can be done at home to be done that way. Hospital at home meets consumers where they are — at home. This convenience isn’t just better for them, it also enhances the patient experience.
Bringing healthcare to patient homes benefits patients and healthcare systems alike. As healthcare organizations, policymakers, and payers continue to look at it as a favorable alternative, hospital at home is a way to go back to the future in healthcare.
At CareContent, we help healthcare organizations promote services like hospital at home. Let us know how we can help you meet your organization’s goals.
Gone are the days when patients would ask a doctor for a referral and make a phone call to get their appointment set up. Now, patients head to Google to search for information on illnesses, providers, and healthcare organizations.
What does this mean? Your organization needs to consider how prospective patients want to access information online — and that involves so much more than setting up a website.
Only about 28% of healthcare organizations have a content strategy, but 66% of people online search for healthcare information.
Source: The New York Times
If you aren’t staying current with digital marketing for your healthcare organization, you may be missing out.
Patients expect educational articles, social media updates, and provider profiles from your content. It can be challenging to keep up with current healthcare marketing trends, but knowing a few marketing terms may help.
Here are 15 digital marketing terms to add to your vocabulary.
Reach Your Audience
Your content needs to reach audiences, and this can be done through posting your own strategic content or through patients sharing and creating content about your organization.
1. Earned Media
If a patient gives a great recommendation on Yelp or if the local newspaper highlights a new program your organization launched, you earned attention without extra work or money.
2. Shared Media
When someone shares your content, such as a blog article or Facebook post, to their friends or followers, it’s called shared media. It can gain you more views and, hopefully, more patients every time your content is shared.
Increase Your Exposure
It helps to know who your ideal audience is, where they look for information, and how they search for it.
3. Target Audience
Before you create content, you have to know which patients you want to reach — your target audience. Different target audiences need different types of content and platforms to access it. For example, retirees looking for diabetes management and college students wanting the same information may look for the content in very different places.
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
People don’t always (and often don’t) land on your website pages by typing in the URL. Google, the most popular search engine, uses search engine optimization (SEO) to try to make an educated guess about what the user is trying to find when they type in a few words.
Keywords are the words and phrases you use in your content to ensure your target audiences see your content in their search results.
A free or paid keyword search tool can show you what keywords you should be using, and how high those keywords are ranking.
6. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is when you overstuff your content with keywords to fill a made-up requirement. This is exactly what you don’t want to do when creating content. Natural writing, great titles, relevant content, and headings with keywords will reach your target audiences better than content unnaturally stuffed with keywords.
7. Content Strategy
Content strategy is a plan that identifies how you will use your content to reach your business goals. It lays out what already exists on your site, what should be created, and why. If you don’t have a content strategy, it’s like having all your bags packed, your car gassed up, and no GPS signal — a surefire way to not reach your destination.
8. Engagement Rate
The engagement rate tells you how much your audience is interacting with your content. For social media, this means they are sharing, commenting, or liking your content. With websites and other content, your audience may be booking appointments or leaving comments.
Use The Right Content Type
You can have great information, but if you don’t deliver it in an interesting way on the right platforms, your patients will never see it.
9. Visual Content
Visual content — such as infographics, videos, and pictures — rules in the online world. Many people read on their devices, which makes long form text-based information less effective than image-based content.
Visual content engages your audiences across all their devices and is helpful when they are short on time.
10. Video Content
Video content includes any kind of videos you include on your site. Some organizations create videos on platforms like TikTok or YouTube and then share them to their social media channels or simply upload videos directly to their website.
11. Interactive Content
Interactive content gets your patients to do something — take a quiz, read an e-book, or click on an interactive infographic, such as a map.
Measure Your Success
There’s only one way to know if your content strategy is a success: Do some measuring.
After you update your website or post social media content, you will want to see how well your content is performing by using your website or social media management tools. This is called analytics.
13. Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
A SERP is the page of results you’re given when you enter a search into Google. Google knows which results to display by looking for information on your website as well as your page URLs, images, and content. You’ll want to make sure your website is optimized so you show up in patients’ search results.
14. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
The click-through rate tells you how many people selected the link they’ve seen. For example, if there’s a Facebook ad, the rate is determined by dividing how many people clicked on it by the number of people exposed to the ad.
15. Bounce Rate
Someone may click on your website or link, but if they hop off of it without doing anything else, you could end up with a high bounce rate. Analytics will tell you if patients are interacting with your webpage by clicking on a link to another article, taking a quiz, or making an appointment.
Digital marketing is always evolving — and so is its terminology. Just as you stay on top of marketing trends, do your best to keep up with new digital marketing terms that might impact the way you create and promote your healthcare content.
Contact us to create a healthcare content strategy and engaging content personalized for your organization. That way, you can focus on what you do best — serving your patients.
Imagine you’re stepping into an elevator on your way to the 62nd floor for a big interview. Maybe you’re running a few minutes late, and you’re extra nervous. You have a coffee in one hand and your portfolio in the other.
You go to push the button for floor number 62 and find … Instead of going in an order that makes sense — 1 … 2 … 3 … — with the higher floors at the top of the panel, all of the numbers are out of numerical order.
Thankfully, elevators don’t work this way. We have expectations for how an elevator is set up, and these expectations allow us to get in and out effortlessly. And when there are changes, we hope that they make our experience easier — not harder.
In general, people want to be able to get things done — to accomplish the tasks that they set out to do. This is true whether they are trying to get to their interview on time or to make an appointment with a provider through your healthcare website.
Making these tasks easier is where user experience comes in.
What Is UX — Or User Experience?
So, what actually is user experience? Also called UX, and user experience design, you may have heard a wide range of terms and buzzwords attempt to explain this field.
When trying to understand what UX is, it can be just as helpful to understand what UX is not.
User Experience (UX) Is Not:
- Visual Design
- Graphic Design
- Customer Experience
- Service Design
User experience isn’t just making stuff pretty. It also isn’t even just making sure everything “works.”
At its simplest, user experience is how a person experiences a specific product, like your healthcare website. User experience design is when we center that user experience — the users’ abilities, limitations, needs, and values — in our design processes from beginning to end.
If you’ve read some of our other posts on the CareContent blog, you’ll know we love a good bee metaphor. Queen bee roles, anyone? That’s why we love the honeycomb model of user experience.
There are seven facets that make up the user experience honeycomb. Your healthcare website should be:
In this model, it’s important that good UX goes beyond our ideas of just “usability.” User experience is made up of multiple parts— like a honeycomb. When fit together, they provide a strong foundation for user experience.
But they are also worth examining on their own, meaning with limited resources or budget, you can still choose one meaningful facet of UX to focus on and see meaningful results.
Why UX In Healthcare Matters
Understanding UX is one thing, but being able to understand why it matters — and express that to the powers that be — can be a little harder.
Bad UX is Bad For Business
In a 2020 survey, 50% of healthcare consumers said that their whole experience could be ruined by a bad digital experience with a provider — and 26% would switch to a new provider if it meant a better digital experience.
The elevator example is easy to understand, especially because it’s a task we do often enough to be able to see where a breakdown in ease or experience happens. But we take a lot of what we do for granted with digital tasks. Digital technologies have become so sleek (and minimalist) that we don’t always reflect on how they’re actually working.
Except we do notice when they’re not working.
You notice when an online form is hard to fill out — even if you can’t put your finger on why. You may get frustrated if a website loads really slowly or if the colors are particularly harsh on your eyes. Your whole experience with a healthcare organization can be defined by one bad experience with their online scheduler.
“User experience is understanding the business needs, user needs, and the data, so you can play with tangible variables to obtain the desired results. A UX designer understands those business needs and user needs — and is able to find the sweet spot in that Venn diagram to create the best user experience.”
Having a good user experience is key to any product, service, or website — and this is even more true when it comes to healthcare.
People who come to your healthcare website may be looking for health information or a provider. They may want to feel comforted or assured. The appointment they’re making may be something they need to get done on their short lunch break or it may be something that they’ve been building up the courage to do for a long time.
Whatever the case may be, ensuring a good user experience will help them accomplish their goals.
Make Good User Experience A Healthcare Priority
While incorporating user experience design into your digital strategy can feel like a big task, ultimately, it’s important to remember that — like anything else — it’s a process. It takes time to get things right. Just making changes that you or your organization think will create better UX solely for the sake of making changes won’t get you where you want to go.
It’s important to leave room to ask yourself questions about the changes you’ve made and to measure their impact.
Are people clicking on the buttons you’ve designed?
Are users accomplishing tasks more efficiently — and have you asked them?
From testing to designing to measuring results, centering users and their experience at the heart of your work will lead to better outcomes for you and your patients.