Take a look at your hospital’s website. Does the content seem a little stale? When was the last time you updated it? When people look at your hospital’s website, they build a mental image about the kind of facility they are going to find. If the content looks outdated, they will assume that you run an outdated hospital. That is why it’s so important to keep your website current and fresh.
Not only is it important to make good impressions, but keeping your website fresh means that it will be easier to find by using search engines. When they rank results, popular search engines take into account how recently a website has been updated, which means that neglected websites fall further down the list.
Updating a website may seem like a daunting task, but if you follow just a few simple steps, you can make your site fresh and content-rich.
Include your website in your marketing plan
This step is crucial. With the Web so integrated into our daily lives, your hospital’s website provides the first impression that many people will have with your facility. Thus a website cannot be an afterthought. Make a point to keep your website a key element in your marketing strategy. This means ensuring that the content is regularly updated—calendars, phone numbers, staff lists, and important dates.
Provide fresh news about your hospital
Many hospitals distribute newsletters that include announcements about new doctors, upcoming events and changes in services. All of this information should also be a component of your website. If I see that the last announcement on your website was posted in 2012, I will assume that nothing has changed in three years! Incorporating announcements can be as simple as adding information to a “news” section.
Provide detailed and useful information about your services
It is crucial that small hospitals show and explain what kind of care they offer. If someone goes to your website to see whether you offer physical therapy but doesn’t find information about it, this person will assume that you don’t offer it. Don’t forget to update the information about your hospital regularly, and let people know when services are added.
Establish a blog to share information and build a reputation
Blogs are an easy way to keep your website updated. You can quickly add a post to keep your community informed about what’s new at your hospital. You don’t have to be a professional writer to do this. In their simplest form, blog posts can be as simple as a short blurb that gives some quick information to keep patients and the community up to date.
A blog also offers an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge about specific fields. Giving patients useful information about health trends and care options will help establish you as an authoritative voice in healthcare. As any physician can tell you, there is a lot of bad information about healthcare online. Why not establish yourself as a trusted source of such information?
Integrate your website into your social-media strategy
A good website is only one component of an online strategy for your hospital. Leveraging social media and using these sources to complement your website give users a fuller experience and help them engage with your facility.
Websites are not static advertisements. They are a living piece of the marketing puzzle. Good websites provide current, relevant information for patients and people considering their healthcare options.
To learn more about how better content can help your online strategy, get in touch with SRJ. We specialize in helping hospitals improve their image online through good Web design and engaging content. Call SRJ 214-528-5775 for a free consultation.