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?
Advocate Medical Group (AMG) wanted to give consumers the opportunity to take an active role when choosing a physician. So we helped them add functionality to their website allowing health consumers to compare physicians. When looking at a physician’s profile, consumers are able to answer:
- Is this physician accepting new patients?
- How many years of experience does the physician have?
- Where does that physician practice?
- Does this physician speak my native language?
- Is the physician board certified?
- What is the physician’s philosophy of care?
With the ability to look at doctors in parallel, consumers can choose the doctor that best meets the needs of their family. Most importantly, they are able to request an appointment and easily complete the task they set out to do.
Want to learn more about Geonetric’ s provider directory? Check it out.
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?
- Clear Call to Action: What do you want the user to do? Register for a seminar, submit a story or schedule an appointment? When the user gets to your landing page, make it very clear what action they should take next, and keep it simple. A short form right on the landing page is often most effective and involves one less click for the user, removing a potential barrier for converting.
- Solid Content: Keep your content concise and be sure it answers your site visitor’s question. Don’t confuse or distract the user with noise.
- Consistent Branding: The landing page should visually match other marketing pieces used in the campaign. Users will leave the landing page if they are confused by inconstancy between where they heard of your campaign and the landing page they come to.
- Strategy: Don’t let your campaign’s landing page be a last minute addition. When you’re planning a campaign remember that the Web component is one of the most important piece – and often the conversion! — so make sure it’s not an afterthought.
A well thought out landing page can make or break a marketing campaign. Start with what action you want the visitor to take in order to accomplish a pre-determined goal and include the other elements listed above.
Putting it in Practice
For a great healthcare landing page example take a look at the Restore Campaign at Owensboro Health. Owensboro Health does a great job of implementing the tips mentioned above. The page is highlighting not only a specialized, minimally-invasive service, but also the top-notch physicians. The appointment request is a short, simple form and acts as a clear call to action.
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!
As we explored options, we could have taken a more traditional approach to this request. Instead, we found a unique solution that allowed Dean to put together a section of content that resembles a blog. Using a product called Disqus, we are able to add a commenting feature to any page the custom template is applied on. Dean wrote the content on these pages to resemble blog posts. Because the Disqus code has been added to a VitalSite template, Dean was also able to take advantage of VitalSite’s SmartPanels to cross-promote other meaningful content within these pages.
A few years ago Alicia Jansen, associate vice president at MD Anderson Cancer Center had a problem on her hands. As she explained at the SHSMD Annual Conference, potential patients were having a hard time getting that first appointment. In addition to being scared and emotional with a new cancer diagnosis, they had to jump through a lot of hoops to get something scheduled. There was a lot of back and forth as well as repeated paperwork. So Jansen decided to take on the project and make the experience better.
After analyzing the procedures and talking to the call teams, she decided to create an online experience that would make the process easier on patients and the clinics.
With the new site live and performing well, Jansen shared these keys to engaging and empowering patients online – and provided lessons learned:
Using online Voice of the Customer (VoC) panels help improve consumer satisfaction by fostering collaboration with a customer through online surveys and communities to uncover sentiment, satisfaction and loyalty. As healthcare marketers we are no stranger to focusing on the entire consumer experience, not just one piece of the pie. With quite a few healthcare organizations moving towards expansive, integrated delivery networks, it’s no surprise that continually measuring consumer interactions have become increasingly important.
What stood out most to me at SHSMD’s Annual Conference was the focus on improving consumer satisfaction. The topic of how to improve the consumer experience was repeatedly incorporated into the sub-text of each conference breakout session conversation during lunch, one-on-one conversation and client dinners. Companies with consistently high customer satisfaction like Amazon.com, Marriot International and Southwest Airlines view great service as a continual challenge.
Apple’s much-debated mobile operating system refresh has been in our hands for a few days. While there has been a lot of commentary about the new interface, it’s come mostly from hardcore early adopter-types. I’ve been curious about how more casual users would take to the new changes, so I did a quick poll of iOS users around the office to get their thoughts and first impressions. Here’s what I heard: