With a few exceptions healthcare websites are plagued by content that is dull, difficult to understand and fuzzy on the value proposition.
Online readers don’t have time for this. In fact studies show that readers will leave your website within 10 seconds unless your web content communicates a clear value proposition to the user.
Compare and contrast
Take a look at United Healthcare which provides a clear value proposition. Users get that UHC provides healthcare plans that are simple and easy to understand. In addition consumers can quickly navigate the site for specific links to:
- various insurance plans
- employer plans
- doctors in the network
- and other healthcare resources
UHC’s clean and clear site is visually appealing and inviting to visitors.
In contrast look at Assurant health which is poorly designed, cluttered, uses a very small font size, and shows no clear value proposition to consumers.
The point is that healthcare consumers are browsers. They visit numerous web sites looking for answers to their problems – and they want those answers fast. Every healthcare organization should be able to capture consumer attention by providing content that is valuable, engaging and easy to read.
Here are 9 ways that healthcare organizations can make their content more compelling and enhance consumer experience on their websites:
Important content above the fold
Healthcare consumers are looking for quick information to help them solve their problems. They will not read your content word for word. Make sure that the most important information is ‘above the fold’ i.e. the point at which users have to scroll down to read more. The more they have to scroll down, the less they will read.
Because healthcare content tends to be intense and difficult to read, create more appeal by adding colorful images, call outs, bulleted text and interesting illustrations.
Speak their language
Healthcare content is notorious for big scary words. Don’t use jargon, abbreviations or difficult words. Keep your content at a middle-school reading level. If you must use scary words, explain them in clear, simple language.
Highlight key words
This is not news. But in addition be sure to link relevant anchor text to other content on your site so that users are encouraged to explore more of your website. E.g Link the phrase, ‘low-sodium diet’ to a previous article on your site titled, ‘How to live a low-sodium lifestyle’. Avoid attaching links to non-specific words or phrases.
Find interesting stories
If you don’t have them, get them from someone else. By licensing content from third-parties you can engage consumers with interesting stories from patient communities (e.g. Cincinatti Childrens Hospital does this well); from other healthcare experts and researchers (e.g. Mayo Cllinic does this well).
Don’t explain everything
Sometimes you should let users experience it instead. Providence St. Vincent Medical Centre in Portland, Ore., helped create this compelling video for breast cancer awareness. Notice that it received over 13 million hits!
Add discussion questions at the end your content to invite users to comment on your blog articles. But make sure that users understand what is expected of them. By displaying your blog commenting policy they will understand the rules of engagement.
Make your content social
Create sharable content such as blog posts, podcasts, YouTube videos, infographics and so on. Again, be sure to create social media guidelines for your brand’s online conversation. If you’re not sure how to do this please hire someone who can help you.
Focus on users
Brand your content from your users’ perspective not from your own marketing perspective. Ask yourself, ‘Does this content provide a clear value proposition to website users?’ If you give visitors what they want, they will see you as a valued resource not just another service provider.
Key take away
As a healthcare organization, your number one priority is to establish your brand as an authority in your category. Authority leads to recognition, opportunities and more sales. However consumers will be attracted to your website if it is educational, engaging and adds value to their lives. If you haven’t already, be sure to review your website and perform a content analysis to ensure that your brand is giving users a valuable experience.
Over to you: Have you noticed any healthcare organizations that are providing consumers with compelling and engaging content?