New Website and Blog Strengthen Healthcare Brand

Firelands Regional Medical Center
Sandusky, Ohio
3 minute read

A focus on embracing digital and connecting patients with doctors and locations in their region led the purpose of this successful redesign.


Becoming the only full-service medical center in Erie County meant Firelands Regional Health System needed a more streamlined CMS that would help them present a consolidated brand to the market.


The Firelands Regional Health System team launched a new responsive site and content marketing blog that offered impressive functionality and presented a unified brand to their growing market.


After launch in May 2017, provider directory traffic increased by 88% and location directory traffic increased by 122%. In addition, the bounce rate decreased along with improved organic traffic.


“Geonetric did a great job bringing our design up-to-date with our patient experiences in mind. Their expertise in healthcare drove our redesign in the right direction, and VitalSite’s ease of use for our team lets us focus our efforts on connecting patients with the information they need. We’re excited to see how our brand can continue to grow in the future.”

Former Director of Marketing and Communications
Firelands Regional Health System

Firelands Regional Health System is the only full-service medical center in Erie County, Ohio. With that responsibility — as well as serving nearly 80,000-plus residents in the Erie County and Sandusky metro area — Firelands wanted to emphasize their dedication to patient wellness by creating a digital experience that helped connect them with doctors, locations, and services when they need it most.

After researching their options, Firelands Regional Health System’s marketing team chose Geonetric to serve as their digital partner and CMS provider with the award-winning system, VitalSite.

Straightforward Goals to Set the Project Course

Firelands Regional Health System felt their website didn’t match their innovation and dedication to patient care. Its previously disjointed mobile experience was resulting in high bounce rates and its lack of a location directory and outdated physician directory made it hard for visitors to build connections.

The Firelands Regional Health System team also wanted a consistent brand experience among the medical center, foundation microsite, and Firelands Physician Group microsite.

They also had the need to provide dynamic, mobile-friendly and HIPAA-compliant forms that patients could complete to request appointments, medical records, or contact the organization. Geonetric’s Form Builder was a helpful addition for Firelands Regional Health System.

Connect Patients With the Right Content

One of the biggest draws to VitalSite is the ability to easily control providers and locations through the platform’s Provider and Location Directories. Backed with research on how consumers seek new doctors, Firelands Regional Health System built out their provider profiles to include detailed biographies and patient testimonials.

The Firelands Regional Health System team also worked hard on building a better services experience with content. By developing pages and subpages in their Care & Treatment section, they were able to capitalize on services they weren’t previously representing, making some services more easily available to users from organic search. Since they already had a relationship with an SEO provider, they worked with that agency to optimize their refreshed content in VitalSite.

With VitalSite’s taxonomy structure, the service pages now dynamically display related locations and providers to lead users toward conversion, such as requesting an appointment.

And while some healthcare organizations gradually invest in content marketing, Firelands Regional Health System dove right in. Prior to and post-launch, they invested heavily in developing fresh, new content for their Empower blog, featuring patient and employee stories, content about health and wellness, and information for healthcare professionals.

The Firelands-branded content hub, Empower, enables the team to share across their most lucrative marketing channels.

Redesign Results that Shine

With a new, responsive design and consistent branding across their main site and two microsites, both Geonetric and the Firelands Regional Health System marketing team are excited to see it thrive.

Since its launch in May 2017, the websites have seen great results across a myriad of devices. Organic traffic increased by 6% and mobile traffic increased by 20%.

Organic keywords ranked on Google’s first page. An increase by 51% for “Firelands” and 46% for “Firelands Physician Group.”

Social traffic saw the biggest bump post-launch – thanks in part to their Empower blog content – with a 329% boost.

A lowered bounce rate around 31% across the whole site is something to celebrate, but the best news is their improved ability to connect patients with providers and locations: The provider directory saw an 88% traffic increase and the location directory saw even more, with 122% traffic improvement.

An Investment in Marketing Pays Off

The Firelands Regional Health System marketing team has been busy since launch. In 2018, the team received three Gold Aster Awards – one for their physician recruitment advertising, another for an urgent care billboard campaign, and the third for their blog, Empower.

And, they just recently found out the new website took home a Best in Class from the 2018 Interactive Media Awards.

All of these awards and recognitions have helped the Firelands Regional Health System marketing team move up to the top 5% in the nation.

New Website and Blog Strengthen Healthcare Brand