Want influential content? Start by defining your purpose and user goals.
From a marketer’s perspective, good web content does two things:
First, it helps people find you. Google and other search engines rank only pages with valuable, relevant, high-quality content.
Then, it drives action. Or, in web speak, it converts. It turns your site visitors into patients, donors, job applicants — or whatever else fits your specific goals.
The benefits of good content are clear. But what is good content? How do you know what to include? Where do you start?
The good news is, when it comes to improving content, you don’t have to tackle your entire site at once. Pick a single section — or even a particular page — and start there. Follow these five steps to maximize the power of your content.
1 – Define a Purpose
You’re already setting goals for your website as a whole. That big picture strategy is important. But don’t stop there. Drill down to the page level. Know why you’re creating (or maintaining) each page of content. Maybe you want to boost registration in your pregnancy classes. Or recruit new physicians. Or ease patients’ anxiety by telling them what to expect at an upcoming medical appointment.
Before you type a single word, ask yourself: What am I trying to achieve by publishing this content?
2 – Focus, Focus, Focus
Once you’ve defined the goal for a page, consider what information needs to be included to reach that goal. Usually that means asking yourself:
- What does the user want to know?
- What do you want or need the user to know?
- What do you want the user to do next?
Write to answer those questions, and only those questions. Anything else clutters up the page and distracts from your main message. And that hurts your return on investment.
3 – Include a Call to Action
You know what you want your users to do after visiting your web page. How do you guide them to that action? Don’t leave them hanging. Tell them. Include a call to action. It’s the single most effective tactic to convert your website visitors into customers.
Make that conversion easy for your users by presenting just one call to action. You’ll avoid losing them to decision fatigue or confusion over what to do next.
4 – Explain Yourself
When you encounter health care terminology day after day, it’s easy to forget that not everyone understands the industry and its terminology the way you do. Always take time to tell your readers exactly what you want them to know.
Use language that’s easily understandable and add clear explanations to medical terms. When you highlight advanced technology, a new treatment option or a prestigious award, do it in a way that focuses on the benefit to your users. Tell them what’s in it for them.
One way to pinpoint the benefit is to put yourself in the user’s shoes and continually ask yourself: “So what?” Or “What’s in it for me?”
For example, let’s say your orthopedic surgeons offer minimally invasive knee replacement surgery.
So what? What does that mean?
“The surgeon doesn’t have to cut as much of the tissue surrounding your knee.”
So what? What’s in it for me?
“As a patient, you’ll experience less pain and scarring, and recover more quickly.”
Now you’ve hit on the user benefit. And you’ve changed your focus. You’re speaking directly to your users, writing about what’s important them.
If you can’t figure out a way to tell your users “so what,” it probably doesn’t belong on your web page.
5 – Write for the Web
Finally, if you want to create content that converts, you have to create content that people are going to read. That means following general best practices for writing for the web. Learn more in our eBook, Web Writing for Healthcare.
Or get in touch with our team of expert content writers and strategists for help creating content that engages and converts.