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The 5 DOs and DON’Ts When Redesigning Health Care Websites

Takeaways from the 20th annual Healthcare Internet Conference

There was much discussed at this year’s Healthcare Internet Conference (HCIC) in Las Vegas. At a glance, it seemed like the topics did not closely relate, but they blended together wonderfully throughout the course of the three days.

We left the conference able to string together across many sessions some key takeaways for website development in health care. Approach and plan your website redesign with eyes wide open with these 5 DOs and DON’Ts:

  1. DO reduce the time and turmoil spent on your homepage. Only 12% of people will enter your site through the homepage, yet homepages tend to draw the most focus and energy in development. Spend more time focusing on your global navigation and the content and experience of your real destination pages like service line overview pages and physician bios.
  2. DON’T expect patients and patient prospects to flock to your website just because you have a new one. This means that you shouldn’t reserve 100% of your marketing budget for a new website with nothing left in the tank to support it using paid media and other communication efforts.
  3. DO take the time to incorporate meaningful personalization into your website and all of your brand’s online experiences. You don’t have to be Amazon – show that you can listen by optimizing the user experience and content based on consumer engagement and feedback.
  4. DON’T approach security like we did a decade ago with bolt-on software and techniques. Data breaches in health care totaled over 112 million records in 2015, and it only takes a small window in an ad hoc application for hackers to enter your systems. Build security into the upfront requirements of 100% of your web properties and applications before any other planning and development occurs.
  5. DO honor your health care brand across your website and all your digital channels. There is no need for a separate brand for digital, and if you think there is, then perhaps it’s time for an overall brand optimization. The most success comes with determining which benefits and messages are most salient across your patient prospects and allowing them to permeate all channels, online and off.

Like all of your marketing communication efforts, the most important thing is to have a plan for optimizing or redesigning your website and online presence, and to make it less daunting by executing it in segmented, manageable efforts.

What other DOs and DON’Ts have you learned in health care web optimization? Share now in the comments below!

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