Recently I had the privilege of attending An Event Apart in Chicago. After every conference I walk away with amazing ideas and new things to try, but Eric Meyer’s presentation “Designing for Crisis” hit home, hard.
Imagine you’re a parent. Your son or daughter is in a terrible accident on their way home from a school football game. You get a phone call saying your son or daughter is being transported to the nearest hospital (which you may or may not be familiar with) and that’s about all you know.
You’re in complete shock. You can hardly focus, tears streaming down your face as you imagine the worst. You have no idea where to go or what to do. All you want is to get to your child as fast as possible, but it’s late at night and everything in the hospital is closed. Where do you turn for answers?
Naturally, most of us would turn to the hospital’s website.
Provide Alternatives for Time-based Media
Time-based media is prerecorded or live audio-only, video-only or both together as synchronized media. Providing alternatives for these media types will enable millions of people who are deaf or hard of hearing to benefit from the content within your media. It also helps people who need to access the media but are in a quiet public space with no headphones. Plus it gives a way for people on devices with too low of bandwidth to play the media to still read the content. When you provide text transcripts, search engines will index the content making it searchable by all.
The beauty of the web is in its flexibility to transform to meet individuals’ needs. But it takes due diligence on our part as developers and content editors to make sure that content is provided in a way that assistive technologies can use to present the information in different ways. If done properly, this ensures that all information you provide on the web is available to everyone regardless of physical, cognitive, or technological limitations.
SEO v. PPC
Our webinar focused almost exclusively on inbound marketing strategies – organic SEO, social media, and how to focus the experience that consumers get after arriving at your website. We did, however, get some questions about the role of paid advertising in building provider visibility. Continue reading
As consumers of many products and services, we want to know our options to make informed decisions. We compare big-ticket purchases like cars and houses as well as every-day items like laundry detergent and food to make sure we get the value we want.
So why wouldn’t we compare doctors also?
Do you have stakeholders in your organization constantly asking to be featured on your site’s home page? Well, the trick may be on them!
The truth is, users find their way into your website in many different ways. While the homepage may be a popular entry point, if your search engine marketing tactics (search engine optimization, pay-per-click ads, etc.) are working properly, users are finding their way to the exact landing page on your site that can answer their question. They may never see the home page!
So what makes a great landing page?
Healthcare systems are messy. Think about the growing number of different facilities and the departmental divisions that aren’t meaningful to patients but very meaningful internally. Consider the various groups battling with one another over the same patients, or the lack of a consistent philosophy and approach for a given service or procedure. It’s easy in the day-to-day operations of a health system to ignore the complexity of our organizations. I find that when we work on the website we’re pulling off the band-aid and exposing all of that mess.
Have any of these ever happened to you?
- You discovered new content (or entire websites) halfway through a project?
- You struggled to decide what content was in or out of scope for a project?
- You were afraid to look at some of the content on your site out of fear of what you might find?
- You’re constantly debating whether you have too little or too much content?
- You spent more time developing content than anticipated?
If you’ve worked with websites for more than a couple of months, you can probably relate to some of these situations. If you’ve been around for a couple of years, you’ve probably experienced them all. If these problems are so common, how do we wind up in these situations?
Imagery is an important part of your hospital’s marketing. It supports your branding. It tells your organizational story.
Consider your healthcare organization’s website. What story are you really telling? The cancer service line landing page displays a picture of a doctor consulting a patient in a treatment room. Does the doctor resemble any provider in your organization? How about the treatment room – is it an accurate representation of your facility? Visitors to your site take notice of these types of things.
It’s human nature to group like things together. At home, the coats go in the coat closet. Cars go in the garage. Milk goes in the fridge and dirty clothes go in the hamper. But when you’re in a rush, you park on the driveway, throw your coat on the couch, set the milk on the counter and leave your clothes on your bedroom floor.
Likewise, on your website everything has a home. And site visitors go where they are familiar to find information about your healthcare organization, your doctors and services, your locations… to find out about you. If you’re sloppy about your content organization, you can easily create quite a mess for your Web audience.
At Geonetric, we take careful consideration of these issues in the content strategy phase with every site we evaluate, and certainly with every site we restructure. We look deep into the organization’s structure to help guide the organization of content but, more importantly, we look at the needs of your audience and identify the gaps in the user experience.
And then we work to solve those problems. One increasingly common way we solve this problem is by providing system-wide structure for content.
I’ve had a lot of questions lately about remarketing (sometimes known as retargeting), a marketing technique that targets your site visitors with ads for your organization AFTER they’ve left your website. For example, I shopped for lamps last year on Overstock.com and then, for weeks afterwards, it seems like every site I visited presented me with ads for Overstock.com, many with the specific lamps I’d viewed!
You’ve probably experienced this yourself and realized that these ads are no coincidence but rather an aggressive marketing tactic by which one site follows you around the Internet with ads after a single visit.
I don’t like remarketing (so much so that I sometimes find myself writing snarky poetry about it like this). I find it to be annoying, intrusive and clumsily heavy handed. While remarketing is less intrusive when shopping for lamps – for something truly important and personal, like my health, it would be more than annoying. It would be downright creepy!
As a consumer, I don’t like remarketing and have steered clients away from the practice. But, as my friend Linda’s coffee cup reminds me on many a Monday morning, “Your opinion, although interesting, is irrelevant.” A quick Google search shows that many healthcare organizations are using remarketing today. As a technique, remarketing works for many advertisers or it wouldn’t be gaining in popularity.
Keeping physicians happy, adhering to brand standards, and making a site user-friendly can sometimes be a balancing act. But Avera Health has accomplished all three items with its updated provider directory.
Geonetric worked with Avera Health take VitalSite’s already advanced provider profiles a step further. We gave the physician profiles a facelift adding in more interactive features such as videos and a dynamic blog feed that pulls in blog posts written by that specific doctor. The location information (including secondary locations) are clearly displayed to make it easy for visitors to find a provider in a certain area.
We also simplified the physician search results by changing the layout and indicating physicians that have a video. A print button was also added that allows users to print their search results.
Making a few changes can have a big effect! Feedback has been very positive, a win-win for users and providers!
Are you ready to dust off your provider directory and spice it up? Not sure where to start? Let us know – we’d love to help!
Who actually likes to fill out a form? What if that form is five to eight pages long? Would you finish it?
Online forms are created to gather information from a site visitor. It can be anything from a contact us form to a pre-registration form. Getting this information should be easy and seamless. Unfortunately, a lot of hospital websites out there throw an eight page form at the potential patient. Many site visitors will not even get to the last page to submit the form and either end up calling, or worse yet, go somewhere else for the same service you provide. We don’t want this to happen to you!