Zero Reasons Healthcare Blogs Need A Content Strategy (Part 2)

Last week, we talked about three zeros why your healthcare blog needs a content strategy:

  • Zero bottom-line goals
  • Zero target audience
  • Zero engagement

Here are three additional indicators that show your blog or brand journalism site is begging for strategic direction:

4) Zero to show for the time and money invested

Have you ever been to a hackathon or a Startup Weekend event? It’s amazing to see the incredible brand identities, apps, websites and blogs that a team of passionate, sometimes drunk, designers, developers and marketers can build in three days. (And these aren’t just genius college dropouts. Many of them are working professionals who need a high-paced, creative outlet from their boring jobs.)

Then, I’ll talk to a healthcare organization that has spent six figures and six months on a simple blog or app. And it’s still not launched.

A content strategy is like a blueprint that can help you build and launch faster because you’ve thought through the process. At a hackathon, the best teams have a solid idea and spend at least a few hours researching whether the idea is viable.

Of course, you’ll constantly make improvements, but a content strategy narrows the path towards meeting the healthcare organization’s goals and the patients’ needs. This saves time and money.

5) Zero consideration for search engine optimization

I showed one healthcare organization’s new brand journalism site to content marketing genius Andy Crestodina, author of Content Chemistry. After a 30-second scan of the site’s home page, he said: “This’ll never rank.”

The site’s domain was weak. The URLs were poorly constructed. Tagging was wrong. No keywords anywhere. He went on and on.

As the saying goes: To hide a dead body, put it on page 2 of Google.

22 million unique visits to hospitals sites from search engines

Patients who book appointments do 3 times as many searches as those who don’t book appointments.

“Search is indispensable in the patient journey,” according to “The Digital Journey to Wellness,” a September 2012 study from Google.

Search engine optimization is a science. A content strategy can determine which keywords will push your healthcare organization’s pages higher in the search results.

6) Zero workflow

It’s easy to spot a workflow issue on a healthcare blog or brand journalism site:

  • The blog goes weeks without being updated
  • The brand journalism site is already doing content reruns shortly after launching
  • The site dies altogether, and old content sits there languishing like forgotten leftovers
  • Or the content creators look like that poor girl on the CareContent home page

This shows that the team behind the site underestimated how much time or money would be needed to power the site.

Many healthcare organizations plop web content on top of a pile of other ASAP responsibilities. Eventually, producing excellent web content falls off the radar or just becomes a hassle.

With a content strategy you can map out what it will take to keep content creation on track—who will do what and when. That way you can see whether the site’s demands overstretch your team’s capabilities.