Your foundation for healthcare access and service is no stronger than the content you create – especially on your website and physician pages.

As I blogged recently, about nine out of 10 patients use Google when they look for healthcare, and 83 percent visit your website before booking an appointment. You need to publish accurate data – such as name, address, phone number, and office hours – to be found. But you also need descriptive content to be considered.

By descriptive content, I’m referring to the in-depth information that goes beyond basic physician and location data. Descriptive content provides a deeper level of insight into a healthcare system’s services and assists a patient in obtaining service. Examples include:

  • A video or written description of physician’s mission statement and personal biography.
  • Descriptions of a healthcare system’s areas of specialty.
  • A blog that provides insights into topics such as common sources of back pain or the importance of getting flu shots.
  • Visually compelling information such as diagrams that explain concepts such as orthopedic care.

Creating great descriptive content for your website and physician pages makes intuitive sense, but I think it’s important to spell out some of the benefits at a time when healthcare marketing budgets are under close scrutiny:

Findability: good content directs more targeted and descriptive searches reach your website (“I’m looking for pediatric care” or “I’m looking for information on how to treat a sore upper back”)

Increased transparency: when patients seek care, the more you tell them about who you are, what you do, and why you do it, the more likely patients are going to trust you.

Consideration: content helps patients decide whether you are the right fit for them after they have found you online. Strong content on your website acts as a digital front door to care by giving people the information they need to choose your healthcare system.

To strengthen your foundational content, I suggest that you:

  • Do a content audit to ensure you understand all the places people interact with your brand such as your website, physician pages, and social media.
  • Put a premium on bolstering your website, which the jumping off point for discovery after patients find you online. Most patients go to healthcare provider’s website before booking an appointment. Your website needs to be your digital front door to care.
  • Optimize content for each channel and device. Make sure that your content is optimized for all the ways people find care, including their mobile phones.
  • Optimize content for searches – not only your keywords for text-based searches, but more descriptive keyword phrases for voice-based searches.
  • Use the right content management tools to create and share both text-based and visual content on the digital properties you manage.

If you want to talk more about creating better patient access and engagement with content, contact us anytime. SIM Partners provides the technology, business intelligence, and consulting to manage your digital operations.

In addition, I’m going to be discussing this topic in more detail at the annual Health Internet Conference (HCIC) in Austin.  If you are at HCIC, please come see me on Tuesday, October 24 at 3:30 PM as I co-present with our client, Moira Green, the Web Project Manager at Bellin Health. We’ll discuss turning your hospital website into an effective digital front door that acts as a foundation for engagement and care, and content will be an important part of our discussion. Moira will share her experience with managing a hospital website and how that experience has improved the patient experience. Click here to view the session.

I hope to see you there.