Is caring for your website on your spring to-do list?

A website is a living thing. Like a garden, it needs regular care in order to grow and thrive. Periodic maintenance and regular updates will help keep your website fresh and at the top of search-engine results.

At this time of year, many of us are thinking of ways to get things in order and refresh our personal and professional lives. If you’re planning to do some tidying this spring, add your hospital’s website to the to-do list.

Trim the old and make way for the new

An experienced gardener knows that rose bushes need to be pruned every year to make way for new blooms. This is a good way to think about your website. Trimming the old content and removing the unnecessary stuff are important steps to take before adding something new. Old content can stack up over time, leaving you with a cluttered homepage that is difficult to navigate.

Now is a great time to determine what can be removed. Broken or old links are a good place to start. Check each link to make sure it works. Unpublished pages, or pages for physicians who have moved on, also need to go on the chopping block.

Practice the two Rs

There are two Rs to remember for a website refresh: Rearrange and Repurpose. These are especially important to remember when caring for your website.

Rearrange. We often rearrange our furniture to fit different seasons or to make the living room more harmonious with the addition of a new easy chair. Websites also need to be rearranged as content is added and the hospital adds new services. Analytical data can help you determine which parts of the website are most popular and should be featured more prominently.

Repurpose—Some older content can be turned into new content with just a little refresh. For example, a press release announcing the addition of a service to the hospital could be repurposed as a dedicated page or a blurb in your newsletter.

These are two quick and easy ways to get more from your content and to keep your website fresh.

Mobile optimization

If you haven’t done so already, make sure your website gets a clean bill of health on mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets are fast overtaking desktop computers as the primary way patients get information online. Mobile optimization can be as simple as updating your content- management system to a later version. However, if your website is a bit older, you might consider a redesign by a professional. Websites that are mobile-optimized score lower in search engine results and can frustrate those who access them on portable devices.

Taking your website seriously and putting some effort into keeping it fresh will help improve your reputation online and will improve your marketing effectiveness. If you are ready for a redesign, talk to SRJ Marketing Communications.

The Web team at SRJ has years of experience working with hospitals to develop websites and online marketing tools that work. For a free consultation, please call 528-214- 5775 for a free consultation.