Healthcare Content Overhauls
When Google ranks your website for a search query, it’s actually ranking your content. When analytics tracks how your website’s traffic, it’s actually tracking how your content is performing. When people share your links on social media, they’re sharing it because of the content.
Content is the reason your healthcare organization’s website is meeting your goals — or not.
High-quality, user-focused content is at the heart of every successful website. Visual design will grab a user’s attention, but excellent content is the reason they’re there.
Does Your Organization Need A Website Content Overhaul?
You know the main signs that your healthcare organization’s content needs an overhaul: it’s out of date, boring, and duplicated (either from your own website or another source).
But there are less obvious signs that it’s time for a content overhaul:
Your Content Is Way Above Audience Comprehension
Only 12% of people in the United States can readily understand and engage with health information. For everyone else, it’s a struggle that could lead people to skip preventative health services and seek medical care when they are sicker, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When it comes to health and medicine, many topics are complex and difficult for non-medical experts to understand. As a healthcare organization, you have a responsibility to help people understand the diagnoses, services, and treatments you’re giving them.
Your Providers Don’t Like The Content
Your healthcare organization’s web content should be a source that your colleagues can share as needed. Your human resources team should be able to confidently point people to content about your organization’s culture. Your providers should be able to point patients and referring providers to content about the new procedure. Any of your key audiences should be able to come to your healthcare organization’s website to get their questions answered and complete their tasks.
The Target Audience Was Not Involved With Content Development
It is extremely important to include your target audience in the content strategy and development process. Without their input, you could miss key information that they’re looking for, and create huge gaps in your content.
When these audience members look through your content, they can point to places where you may have missed an opportunity to answer questions or provide more thorough information.
You Need A Website Content Overhaul — Now What?
The first step is a content strategy that outlines the following:
- Who is our audience? (e.g., patient, parent, referring provider, everyday consumer)
- What do we want the visitor to do after coming to the site? (e.g., schedule an appointment, buy a product, refer a patient, register for a membership, etc. )
- How should the content be organized so people can easily find it?
- What knowledge do we want the reader to walk away with? (e.g., the definition of cerebral palsy, the importance of handwashing in hospitals)
- What message do we want to send? (e.g., “You don’t need to let cerebral palsy stand in your way.” or “We are the best place to go for cerebral palsy management.”)
If you’re looking for the content to fit within an existing website, you’ll want to do a content assessment before content development begins.
Who Should Be Involved In This Process?
When you’re doing an entire website overhaul, you may be tempted to hire different vendors for different jobs (SEO, design, etc.). That strategy is not generally recommended, but it isn’t necessarily completely awful, either.
However, when it comes to content creation specifically, hiring more than one vendor can be the kiss of death. A number of problems may arise, from inconsistency in writing styles to each company being unaware of what the other one is doing.
Only hire one content creation partner, preferably the one who did the content strategy and content assessment.
Members Within Your Organization
Members of your organization’s marketing team will likely play a key role in a content overhaul. This is because they have a detailed understanding of your organization’s identity, brand, and strategic goals.
Senior leaders and clinicians — the ones who have power to approve or veto content ideas and strategies before time is spent creating them — should also have a say in the content strategy that will guide the content overhaul.
In a healthcare organization, care providers probably don’t have much time to sit down and crank out high-quality material. However, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be involved in the process at all.
Since it’s important for your care providers to approve of the website, ask them to take a peek at the stories, or provide quotes or interviews. They don’t have to do this for every single piece of content, but they will appreciate having their voices heard — and having their input can definitely make your site more unique and valuable.
Which Vendor Should You Choose?
Deciding you need a content overhaul is one thing. Finding the right partner for the project? Now that’s a whole other ball game. As a healthcare organization, here is what you need to look for when choosing a partner to help you with your content overhaul:
An Agency That Specializes In Healthcare
If this isn’t already the #1 spot on your list of priorities, then grab your red pen and move it to the top.
When a company doesn’t have this foundation, the writers might not be able to explain information about health and medicine well, since they don’t understand it well themselves. There can be too much of a learning curve, and it can take them a long time to get up to speed.
On the other hand, a company that specializes in healthcare knows basics about health and medicine, and understands how healthcare organizations are structured. They have a solid foundation. There are very few topics that will be new to them. And if they do run into new topics, they know exactly how to do the best research and become instant experts.
A Team That Knows How To Interface With Leadership
You have to feel comfortable putting people from the company in front of the leaders of your organization. They can’t waste anyone’s time — they need to know your content strategy inside and out, and be able to explain how the overhaul will meet your strategic goals.
They need to represent your marketing department, and show that they know what they’re doing. The questions they ask should be solid and insightful, not ones that could be answered with a simple Google search.
Cross Out The RFP
For some companies, a request for proposal (RFP) is the best option. However, they can lead marketing departments to go with the cheapest option.
Cheap may be good for your bottom line — right now.
But before going with the least expensive option, ask yourself why the company is so cheap. Are they a content factory, churning out high quantity, but low quality, writing? Do they have a specific focus on health and medicine? If not, do they have the skills to write as health and medical experts?
If all of these answers are “no,” then perhaps you’ve hit the jackpot. But if not, you’re most likely going to wind up with content that doesn’t suit your needs or help you meet your goals. You may eventually end up having to do a second overhaul, meaning you will have now paid twice for a project that should have been completed correctly the first time.
Decide: Freelancer Or Content Agency?
Freelancers are self-employed, and may or may not be associated with a larger company. Content agencies are businesses with multiple writers, all working under the same roof.
There are certainly some benefits of hiring freelancers. You may be able to have more direct contact with them, and they may be extremely well-versed in a specific topic.
However, there are some significant downsides:
- You don’t get the benefit of having multiple writers and editors to contribute to the content
- You may have to hire multiple freelancers, since freelancers often have several jobs
- You have to go through the entire hiring and payment process for each freelancer
- As individuals, freelancers only have so much bandwidth
Content agencies can eliminate these challenges. Since they hire and pay their own writers, you will not have to go through the interviewing process or pay anyone other than the agency. A team of multiple writers can often produce content quickly and tackle large projects.
Agencies can also be best for approaching search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing. After all, what good is quality content if it isn’t being seen? Freelancers may not have quite as much knowledge in this field, but an agency with multiple employees is sure to have an SEO or marketing expert on staff.
If you only need one or two pieces written, you may be able to get away with hiring a freelancer. But for an entire content overhaul, an agency is definitely the way to go.
What Factors Into The Cost?
The cost of a content overhaul varies based on your organization’s needs and goals. Ask yourself, stakeholders, and key decision makers at your organization these questions:
- How well-defined is our content strategy? If your strategy is solid, and the content partner can take it and run with it, it will cost less than if the partner will need to fill in gaps and address unanswered questions.
- How much content is needed? This is a major factor in cost. Some organizations need a few dozen pages, while others need hundreds. The higher volume of content needed, the higher the cost.
- Can any of our current content be revised? Some pieces of content may just need some updates and revisions, and then they’re good to go. The overhaul will cost more if the content partner will need to totally redo the content, and start from scratch on every page.
- How quickly do we need this content? There are always a couple of things outside of anyone’s control, like getting responses from interview subjects. But allowing for that, what’s your timeline? Your content partner will probably charge more if you want that first draft ASAP.
Why Choose CareContent For Your Content Overhaul?
As a healthcare organization, your website may be the first stop on a patient’s road to learning about health and medicine. That gives you the responsibility to have an up-to-date website with reliable, understandable, and comprehensive content. You need to provide the right mix of content for consumers, professionals, and clinicians.
We’re With You From The Start
The process of a content overhaul can seem overwhelming, but we will be with you every step of the way.
Every organization has its own goals, so we customize the process to best serve your company’s individual needs and desires.
Each process usually involves:
- Conducting discovery interviews with stakeholders and members of your target audience
- Developing a strategy to discover and address your organization’s needs
- Building a detailed and nuanced content calendar
- Creating well-researched and well-written content
- Receiving and incorporating feedback from your organization
We’re Experts At What We Do
Many companies offer content creation services. So, why should you choose CareContent?
At CareContent, we take pride in the fact our staff members do not just have the skills — they have the passion. Each person on staff has a desire to help others through spreading comprehensive, educational, and engaging content about health and medicine.
Our goal isn’t solely to create content. It’s to create content that can make a difference.
And isn’t that what every health organization wants?
Ready to get started on making that difference? The experts at CareContent are here to discuss your organization’s needs and goals, and to create a one-of-a-kind content overhaul. Contact us.