Recently Amita Health and Presence Health announced a merger that gives Amita the most hospitals of any health system in Illinois. The merger, if approved, will also result in website rebranding. Given the merger/acquisition activity that characterizes all industries, website rebrands are a fact of life. Amita and Presence will need to address myriad issues ranging from updating essential name, address, and phone data to changing the look and feel of Presence’s sites. In addition, a website rebrand is a perfect opportunity to do a check-up on whether their websites and physician pages are optimized for search.

Search engine optimization (SEO) doesn’t sound as sexy as a new logo. But the industry is at an important inflexion point with search at the center. According to Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 72 percent of U.S. Internet users have gone online in the past to do health-related searches, and nearly eight out of 10 of these users say they started their research on a search engine. Optimizing your health content is all about ensuring that your website appears in the top search results.

No matter how on-brand your site is, if you don’t optimize your data and content to be found, you’ll be a voice crying in the wilderness. SIM Partners has been blogging about this very topic recently:

  • In July, my colleague Dave Suffern discussed seven organic tactics providers can take to improve the performance of your physician pages.
  • Senior Vice President of Product Adam Dorfman wrote about how healthcare providers can make your images more findable for organic searches – an important consideration given how often people communicate visually.
  • I have also commented on how to set a baseline of better website performance for search.

If you need more convincing that optimized data and content are at the heart of a more effective website, check out this post from Brian Westrick, an executive in our healthcare practice.

From October 8-11, Brian and I will be at the MGMA 2017 Annual Conference, where I expect issues such as healthcare mergers and digital health to be topics of discussion. If you’re going to be at the event, stop on by Booth #1249. We’d love to talk with you. As always, contact us to discuss how to improve the performance of your own sites.