Are there pages you’ve barely touched since your last site redesign? Do most of your updates go into news releases, but not foundational webpages?
If your web copy isn’t getting the attention it deserves, your organization is likely missing out on valuable marketing opportunities. Read on for signs your website could get a boost from content development, and learn some quick ways to get your content performing again.
1. You create or update content only when someone in your organization asks.
A reactive approach to copywriting may placate the squeaky wheels in your organization. But it leaves behind audiences — who don’t have a direct line to your team — as well as departments with less-vocal stakeholders. Good content results from a proactive approach that answers questions before they’re asked. It makes your website as useful as possible, putting it in a stronger competitive position.
To guide content development:
- Do user research to learn what information target audiences want and need
- Interview subject-matter experts to get that information
- Check in regularly with stakeholders across departments, uncovering problems copywriting (and other digital marketing tactics) may help solve
If content gets neglected due to lack of time or staff, explore options for outside help. When evaluating agencies and freelance writers, ask targeted questions to find the right partner for your specific needs. Even if your budget is limited, you should be able to find help with key pieces of the copywriting process, such as prioritizing content, writing a few core sections, or providing editing and feedback.
2. Organic traffic is low.
Organic search is usually the largest driver of traffic to the websites of hospitals and healthcare systems. If you’re not seeing much of it to webpages that should perform competitively in search, there could be problems related to on-page, off-page, or technical SEO. Ask your digital marketing agency or web vendor for help pinpointing possible causes.
If it turns out that on-page copy needs work, you may want to:
- Make the page content more informative
- Write in an engaging way that answers questions users search for
- Add high-volume keywords targeted to your region and user intent
- Optimize metadata to help users understand the purpose of your page and the benefit of reading it before they leave a search engine results page
3. Different pages sound like they were written by different people.
Content tone and reading level naturally vary by topic and audience. But if some of your patient-focused webpages read like excerpts from a medical journal, while others sound like they’d fit in a health guide for middle-schoolers, it may be time to reevaluate your messaging.
Inconsistency can pose problems for both your organization and your readers. From a marketing perspective, it means you’re not conveying a singular brand. Users may have trouble understanding content that uses long, complex sentences or is filled with medical jargon. Or they may be turned off by copy that doesn’t sound like it was meant for them. All these scenarios can translate into lost opportunities for your organization and your audiences to connect.
If you don’t have an established voice, tone, and style guide, now’s the time to develop them.
If you do have writing guidelines, but people don’t consistently follow them, consider a training or refresher course for your internal team and any contract writers. Group exercises and peer editing activities can be great ways to help all writers develop the same “sound” to represent your organization.
Once your writers have thorough documentation and training, maintain control of the process with a solid content governance plan.
4. Your competitors’ websites have much more content about their services and programs than your site.
Healthcare decisions are big. That’s why almost half of patients take more than two weeks to research options before booking an appointment, according to a 2012 Google/Compete, Inc. hospital study.
Patients want to be convinced you’re their best choice and understand what to expect when they visit you for care. If your website doesn’t give them enough information to feel confident choosing your organization, they may go to a competitor who does.
Cover the who, what, where, how, and especially why of getting treatment at your clinic or hospital. When highlighting your organization’s strengths, consider:
- Approach to care
- Ease of access
- Quality measures
- Staff experience and qualifications
- Support services
- Typical outcomes
Most importantly, explain how patients benefit from anything you promote. Maybe a new surgical technique means they’ll recover sooner. Or care navigation services mean patients can focus on getting well instead of figuring out how to schedule their next test.
Need help getting started? Reach out. Geonetric’s writers have crafted copy for many healthcare organizations like yours and can help you make the most of your content.