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Updating your Website for Fun and Profit

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Red keyboard key displaying "Update!" textKeeping your healthcare website content fresh pays-back in marketing dividends

Healthcare marketing websites for organizations and practices of all types need to be maintained with regular changes for maximum effectiveness. It's a web-savvy rule that applies across the board for hospitals, manufacturers, physicians and surgeons, dentists, pharmaceuticals...virtually everyone. Here are the four main benefits that flow to your bottom line, usually with little effort in keeping content fresh and your website in top performing condition.

Not long ago we surveyed a group of professionals-subscribers to a major healthcare publication—about their website. About one—third of this group wants to change their site, but one-third had no plans to change. (The other third had no website.)

A website is definitely not a "set-and-forget" marketing tool. We didn't ask specifically about updating, but it's rare that people think about refreshing their online content after the initial launch—and that's nearly as counterproductive as not having a website at all.

Benign neglect really hurts. Regular website maintenance protects your initial web investment, fuels your return, keeps your marketing message fresh and timely, and is a healthcare SEO visibility plus.

When was the last time you made content changes? Do you have a regular update routine? If you can't recall, or your site hasn't changed in the past few months (maybe ever), here are four top reasons to do it now.

  • Regular updates help win and maintain high visibility with search engines. When people in need are searching online for healthcare help, you want them to find your site among the top results. Sites that change regularly get more notice by search engines (think Google), and do better in the ranking system. Over 80% of visitors come through search, so search engine visibility is the gateway to attracting new visitors.
  • You stay relevant to current and prospective patients. It's not difficult to maintain a fresh, connected and relevant face to your target audience. It lets site visitors know that you are tuned-in to their needs and that you have effective answers for them. Conversely, static content leaves the impression that there's nothing fresh or valuable for the people who you want to reach and serve.
  • Being quick to shift gears as needed is critical to success. As with any marketing tool, make changes according to how well your website is performing in the marketplace. Measure what's working and adjust for maximum return on investment.
  • It's easy, inexpensive and profitable to keep your site fresh. Updating online content does not take a lot of effort and is highly beneficial. And if your chose the right vendor, it's not expensive. For the websites we create for our clients, we provide an hour per month at no extra charge just to assure that the site keeps producing.

Do-it-yourself? Maybe, maybe not: But get it done.

There are two cost-effective models for updating your website: Do-it-yourself or all inclusive packages.

With the do-it-yourself option, you typically pick a generic template, and make all your own updates via an online interface. If you have a fair amount of time and are a serious do-it-yourselfer, this may be a tempting way to go.

On the other hand, we find that busy healthcare practices, hospitals, organizations rarely update their site as much as they would like. "Busy" is the usual stumbling block and there's never quite enough time, writing talent is a rare gift, and there are always more urgent business matters at hand.

For the websites we create and host for our clients, we'll upload your changes up to two hours per month at no extra charge, just to assure that the site keeps producing.

The second option is to use a vendor who can make ongoing changes for you. That way, you can access professional talent who is skilled at both SEO and attracting patients (our firm offers this model). If you need our help, please call.

Either way, the primary goal is to get the job done. For an individual private practice, a group of physicians, a hospital or other healthcare organization, your website content could probably enjoy an update right now. As an added bonus, your competition is likely neglecting their website, so grab an advantage AND win additional business with a website update.

And...if you are among that group that doesn't have a website at all—how's that strategy working for you?

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