Content Strategy for a Healthcare Website
DrEd was one of my earlier clients back in 2011, a very exciting tech startup in London at the forefront of medical innovation, but they needed a serious digital content strategy. Like too many startups they had invested lots in the design and infrastructure of their website but completely forgotten how to get people to visit it (there was no work done on digital marketing or SEO)! And that's why I thought it's a great case study to dig up because there is quite a lot to learn from what we did with them.
They are one of the precursors of the digitalisation of medicine, anticipating the fact that as the ratio of doctor per 1,000 inhabitant will keep diminishing, a growing number of patients would have to go online for simple repeat prescriptions. This is a most competitive environment, where huge players (pharmaceutical companies, nationwide pharmacy chains, healthcare websites) as well as professional hackers and spammers compete for the top rankings.
This is by far one of the fiercest environments I have ever seen. The reason is quite simple: when it comes to health, people are more than willing to part with money to solve their problems. And to try pretty much anything that you promise will turn their lives around.
We started working on the site only 6 months after its launch, so all the traffic was yet to build and the domain had very little authority to account for - not much street cred for Google to justify a high ranking in this competitive world. Hence we conducted extremely thorough keyword research to assess the market.
- Google Adwords (research conducted for the English, German & French markets)
- Google trends
This allowed us to identify low competition, somewhat high demand topics and questions from potential customers. We then structured the content in four tiers of importance:
The result? For the first 6 months the traffic was stuck around 1,500 visitors per month, after we produced 120 health-related articles, it rose to 70,000 visitors/month in less than a year.
We used the following tools to determine all the possible areas we could improve on the website, such as perceived trustworthiness, usefulness of the information, missing content, ease of use and navigation.
- Focus groups
- Eye tracking
- Google Analytics (can't use enough of this one)
SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
As the core of the startup is to allow visitors to discuss with GPs online and order repeat prescriptions for lifelong medication or embarrassing diseases, a successful social integration proved tricky because of the private nature of the business. Therefore we helped them identify general themes that their followers can aspire to (healthy life, love of science) in order to generate posts that will appeal to large audiences. By doing so we've also made the general design of the website a lot brighter and happier, adopting a tone that showed pride - and yet professionalism and caution - in the business in order to stand out from shady companies venturing in the same field.