In a world filled with terms ranging from search-engine optimization to cloud computing, it’s easy to lose sight of the stuff that really matters. Here are five key elements every hospital website should incorporate:
- Street address. Sounds pretty basic, huh? Ideally, the address of a hospital or clinic should be displayed prominently on the home page of your website. If you work for a health system, clearly display a link to maps and directions on your home page.
- Contact information. If Web visitors want to make an appointment, do they have to dig for this information, or is it easily viewable on your website’s home page (and, ideally, every page)? If it isn’t, make it your top priority to find a place for this information.
- Mobile optimization. Some experts estimate that more people will access the Web via mobile devices than by computers by 2015. While your website may be mobile friendly (viewable on any mobile device), it may not be mobile optimized (easy to access on a mobile device).
- Content written at a sixth-grade level. There’s a reason The Joint Commission is turning its attention to health literacy. Consumers simply don’t understand doctor talk. Before publishing content to the Web, be sure to run readability statistics. Readability statistics show how easy it is for someone to read your copy and even provide the grade level at which your copy is written. This is a simple setting in Microsoft Word. The lower the reading level of your copy, the better.
- A regularly-updated blog. “There’s no better way to create a social media hub than to maintain a blog on your website,” said Charles Collins, Core Creative’s digital services director. Some simple rules do apply. Make sure your blog has fewer than 300 words, addresses your target market and is written in the first person. Update the blog a minimum of twice a week.
I know the list doesn’t stop here. What are some basics you recommend to hospital marketers?
Stephanie Hungerford, APR, is the health care account supervisor at Core Creative.