Posted in #HCSM

7 Reasons You Need To Update Your Practice Website In 2022

A new year is a perfect time to shed outdated practices and start afresh.

When was the last time you took a critical look at your website?

In the online world, your website is the face of your healthcare business. It showcases who you are and what you do.

Websites are meant to be living entities that grow along with your business.

Just like fashion, technology changes with the times. What once looked fresh and modern may now look old and outdated.


Use these seven questions to help you identify the key areas of your website that can benefit from improvement.

1. How does my website stack up against my peers/competitors?

Make a list of your peers’ and competitors’ sites and evaluate them in terms of look, design, and functionality. Screenshot the design features you think work well and think about how you might incorporate them into your own website.

Look also at what your competitor might be missing. Do you have a key differentiator that sets you apart from the competition? Highlight that difference on your website.

Read How To Conduct A Competitor Audit on Social Media to learn more

2. Can visitors easily find what they are looking for when they visit my site?

Users should be able to use your website intuitively. Put yourself in the shoes of your visitors and ask yourself how easy it is to find key information on your site. How many clicks does a visitor have to make to get to the information they are looking for? Look out for broken links and page redirects, and fix these along with any outdated content.

3. Is my website design mobile responsive?

Mobile first-indexing is now fully underway and there’s no excuse for having a website that is not optimized for use across all platforms in 2022. Most people aren’t looking at your website on a desktop or laptop anymore. They are looking at it on a phone or tablet.

Google now gives ranking priority to those sites that are mobile-friendly. In fact, Google has stated that it will penalize websites that aren’t mobile-responsive, so if your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you’ll likely lose out significantly in the organic search rankings. To check if your site’s design is responsive, enter its URL into this Google tool.

Mobile-Friendly Test — Google Search Console

4. Does my site still use Flash?

There was a time when Flash was a key element of every new website, but it’s now seen as an embarrassing relic of the past. It is no longer a matter of IF browsers will stop supporting Flash in the future, it is now a matter of WHEN they will do so, which means you need to take steps now if you want your site to be usable for the widest range of people in the future.

5. How much traffic am I getting?

The most common mistake I encounter when I work with clients, is they have no idea if their website is even attracting any visitors. Unless you regularly track your website performance, you will have no idea whether it’s producing results or not. Use a tool like Google Analytics to monitor your site’s performance.

Has web traffic declined over time? Are there fewer people coming to your site? Do they stick around or “bounce” off your site too quickly? Bounce rate is a contributor to your site’s search rankings, and it refers to the amount of time someone is on your site before “bouncing” off to another site. If you have a lot of people who look and quickly click away, it tells search engines you don’t have useful information on your site.

6. Is my website optimized for search engines?

If you want more people to find you online, you need to optimize your website through good search engine optimization practices. SEO (the ability to optimize your site for search engines), is a detailed and sometimes confusing process, and you may want to hire an SEO expert to do it for you.

If you don’t want to hire someone, there are search engine optimization tools available to help you do your own SEO — and many of them are free. I’ve put together this list of the best free SEO tools out there to help you instantly improve your online marketing.

Further Reading:7 Simple and Effective Ways to Improve Your Website’s Google Ranking in 2022 

7. How fast does my website load?

How fast your website loads is critical — a good site will load in 2 seconds. Research shows that a single-second delay in site load time can reduce your conversions by 7 percent.

Source: Salesforce

Pro Tip! Optimize your images for faster loading. A lot of websites have images that are relatively large, which take a lot of time to load. Resizing your images can speed up the loading time.

If your site is taking longer than that, consider that around 40% of people will leave a website if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds.

Insider Tip! Use a website speed test tool like GTmetrix a website speed test tool to test how fast your site loads. It not only gives you insight into your site loading time, but it also provides actionable recommendations on how to optimize it. You can also use the tool to analyze the page-load of your site from 28 servers in 7 different regions around the world.

GTmetrix | Website Performance Testing and Monitoring

To Wrap Up

Your website is pivotal to your digital marketing strategy. It takes time and resources to optimize your site to deliver the best experience possible, but if you are serious about how your business performs, you need to get serious about the performance of your website too.

Posted in #HCSM

How To Develop A Social Media Strategy For Healthcare Marketing In 2022

In the past decade, social networks have evolved from “a nice to have” add-on to a necessity for healthcare marketers. 

If you haven’t yet incorporated social media into your marketing mix, now is the time.

Not only is social media marketing more affordable than traditional forms of marketing, but it’s also more accountable, with specific tracking and monitoring options at your disposal.

When it comes to using social media for marketing or communication, it’s important to understand that it’s more than just creating social accounts and posting updates every now and then.

Nor is it merely a digital tool to broadcast updates.

To make social media an effective means to reach patients you need to take a strategic approach.

Before you start using social media, you should consider what you want to achieve. The temptation is to get started right away by establishing a presence on one or more of the popular social media platforms.

However, this is not where you should begin.

You need to start with your “why” before your how.

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Image: Marie Ennis-O’Connor

Lee Aase, communications director for the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network (MCSMN), has stated that “everything starts with why you are using social media If you do not have that “why” out there, then it’s going to be easy to not be motivated enough to stay with it.”

When I take on a new client, I always start by working deeply with them to uncover their motivation for wanting to use social media.  I believe this step is so critical that on occasion I have to advise some clients that they are not ready to commit to social media.

Social media will only work for you if you are prepared to put the work in.

For those of you reading this who are ready for the challenge and willing to work at it, read on to find out the next steps you need to take to ensure the time and effort you spend on social media will pay off for you.

A Six-Step Approach To Developing A Social Media Strategy For Healthcare Marketing

Step #1 Set SMART Goals

Without goals, it’s hard to know exactly how well your social media strategy is performing. Clear objectives will not only propel your strategy forward, but will also serve as defined metrics for measuring your progress. Describe the specific goals and outcomes you hope to achieve through your social media activity. These should be in line with your company’s objectives and clinical priorities.

Do you want to attract more patients? Communicate more effectively with existing patients? Create and maintain an online reputation? Drive traffic to your website? Chances are you may want to do all of these things, but it’s best to identify your top two to three goals and focus on them first.  Whichever goal you wish to pursue, make it as detailed and specific as possible. The more trackable your goal is, the easier it’ll be in a few months to see if you have achieved it.

Take Action: For a goal to become a reality, it needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, and realistic, as well as time specific — these are often called SMART goals.

Step #2 Understand Your Audience

Before you jump into the tactical and practical details of your social media plan, it’s critical that you take the time to understand your audience.  Where do your patients go online for research? What health issues concern them the most? Which online communities inform or influence them? What times are they online? Consider your audience’s engagement time, not your work hours.

Take Action: Start by finding data on your existing audience. Use the Demographics and Interests sections of Google Analytics and the audience analytics features contained within Facebook Insights and Twitter to help you.

Step #3  Set Your Marketing Budget

The perception that social media is free is misguided. The days you could make an impact with a few tweets or Facebook posts are long gone. Running a social presence now requires an investment of resources.  You may need to buy-in services such as SEO (search engine optimisation), analytics software, content or creative support. You will also need to budget for paid advertising, particularly if you want to make an impact on Facebook, where organic reach has steadily declined over the past few years.

Take Action: Set a realistic budget and create a digital marketing strategy that works within it. Whatever you decide to spend money or time on, be sure to track how your content performs on social media relative to the amount of time and money you put against it. This is your social media return of investment (ROI) and it is closely linked to the goals you set at step #1.

Step #4 Choose Your Social Channels

Armed with information on who makes up your audience, the next step is to determine which social media platforms they use and direct your efforts accordingly. Most marketing efforts are focused on the trifecta of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but visual platforms such as Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram are also very popular for healthcare marketing.  This doesn’t mean that you have to be everywhere at once. It’s important, especially if your resources are limited, that you’re focusing your social media efforts in places that will generate the most return for your time online.

Take Action: Do your research to determine where best to focus your social media efforts to be successful.  Read Which Social Network Is The Right One For Your Medical Practice? for more advice.

Step #5 Create A Content Strategy

If patients are searching for health information online you need to be creating and sharing what they are searching for.  Tune into the health stories patients are reading about and be ready to provide context, counter misinformation and dispel myths with medically factual information.

When creating a content strategy for your medical practice consider the following points.

What makes you uniquely you? What values does your organization stand for? Use social media to communicate the “who” and “why” of your practice. What unique qualities make you stand out?

Consider your social media tone and voice. How do you wish to communicate on social media? Do you wish to be seen as authoritative, inspiring, friendly, approachable, or helpful? Authentic communication and engagement are highly valued traits online as much as offline.  Look to build and strengthen trust and credibility in all your online interactions. The tone and voice you use should be consistent through all social channels. Your patients should be able to instantly recognize the tone in your social media messages as identifiably you.  Establishing a clear and identifiable voice can also make it easier for others in your office to post on social media for your practice.

Consider the type of content that works best on each platform. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest require high-quality visuals to stand out. A blog, on the other hand, is better suited to long-form thought pieces. Think about how you can vary your message delivery to complement how people like to consume online information. Alternate between written content, video, infographics, and podcasts to match your audience’s preferences.

Take Action: Create content that truly resonates with your patients. Generally speaking, patients are less interested in your brand, your physicians or your technology, than they are in how you can help them solve their problems. Great content is not about you, but about what you can do for your patients to improve their quality of life. Use a mix of original content and content curated from highly credible evidence-based sources.

Step #6 Track And Measure Social Media Activities

How will you know if you achieve your social media goals? To determine how effective your social media efforts are, you will need to measure your results. Some key metrics to track are the number of followers you attract and retain, what people are saying about you, your company, or brand, and which social media channels drive the most traffic to your website. Social media metrics should always be tied to your social media marketing goals and your target audience.

Take Action: Use built-in tools such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics, third-party tools, and measurement of social traffic and conversion with Google Analytics to track and measure your progress.

With currently 2.8 billion social media users globally, expected to rise to almost 3 billion users by 2020, social media’s influence has still not reached its peak. It’s a dynamic environment in which new networks emerge, old networks evolve, and user bases continue to grow exponentially. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by this rapidly moving landscape and unsure of your progress. By building your social media strategy on a solid foundation you are less likely to become distracted by shiny new tools, and more likely to see results over the long-term.


Like what you’ve read?

Why not sign up for my weekly newsletter filled with fresh insights for healthcare communicators? Click here to have more posts like these delivered direct to your in-box each Monday morning.

Posted in #HCSM

12 Days of Social Media Christmas

My annual 12 Days of #SocialMediaChristmas is ready to launch.

In the spirit of the 12 days of Christmas, I am offering you 12 tips and tools to supercharge your social media marketing in 2022.

Interested?

Then sign up below to receive a daily email starting tomorrow and running for the next twelve days.

12 Days Of Christmas (mailchi.mp)

Jump in anytime.

No worries if you are late signing up — you can still catch up as I will provide a link to the previous emails each day.

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Add SlideShare To Your Healthcare Marketing Strategy

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. Today I want you to think about how you can add SlideShare to your content marketing strategy.

Owned by LinkedIn and with over 18 million uploads and 80 million users, SlideShare is the world’s largest professional content sharing community.

Surprisingly, given how the platform is optimized for social sharing, including the ability to embed presentations (as I’ve done below), it’s often overlooked and underused in healthcare marketing.

How To Use SlideShare

1. Use SlideShare for research.

Get up to speed on any topic. Instead of scrolling through pages of text, you can flip through a SlideShare deck and absorb the same information in a fraction of the time.

2. Share your insights and get noticed

Show what you know through a presentation, infographic, document or videos. When you upload to SlideShare, you reach an audience that’s interested in your content – over 80% of SlideShare’s 80 million visitors come through targeted search. This can help you build your reputation with the right audience and cultivate more professional opportunities.

Top Tip: The good news is that you don’t even have to create original content to do this. Simply find some content you have already written and get ready to breathe new life into it.

Here’s to your social media success!

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How to Follow Topics on Twitter

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. This week I want to show you how to follow topics on Twitter. Following a Topic allows you to stay informed on what’s happening and see more relevant content about that topic.

Here’s how to follow topics on Twitter

From your Home timeline

  1. While scrolling through your Home timeline, you may notice that Twitter will suggest a Topic for you to follow.
  2. Simply Tap the Follow button next to the suggested Topic to follow.

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From your Topics menu

Tap Topics in your profile icon menu.

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Tap Follow some Topics to browse by category type.

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From within each category and sub-category type, tap the Follow button next to the Topics you’d like to follow.

When finished, tap Done.

Note:  Just like with accounts you follow, you can unfollow Topics at any time.

How to unfollow a Topic

From your Home timeline:

  1. In your Home timeline, navigate to a Tweet about a Topic you’re currently following.
  2.  Tap the  icon from the top of the Tweet and select Unfollow.

From your Topics: 

  1. Tap Topics in your profile icon menu.
  2. Tap Unfollow next to the topic.

Worth Noting

Topics you follow are public.

Anyone who can see your full profile can view the Topics you follow. If your Tweets are protected, only your followers will be able to see your Topics.

How to see the Topics someone follows

You have the option to see the Topics that someone else is following. You’re able to view their Topics if their Tweets are public, or if their Tweets are protected and you’ve been approved as a follower.

On the Twitter for iOS and Android app, and twitter.com:

  1. Go to their profile.
  2. Click or tap the more menu  at the top of their profile page.
  3. Select View Topics.

Here’s to your Twitter success!

Posted in #HCSM

Webinar: How Digital Health Empowers Cancer Patients To Become Active Partners In Their Care

Update: To view recording of this webinar go to: How digital health empowers cancer patients to become active partners in their care — YouTube

It’s increasingly acknowledged that engaging patients — and their caregivers — in digital health design is a necessary step in the development of digital technology that not only works but works for end-users in the everyday context of their lives.

Heretofore, too many developers assumed they understood what patients needed, but in reality, many appeared to be motivated more by the cleverness of new technology than actual improvements in health outcomes.

Despite the progress the healthcare industry has made in bringing patients closer to the design process, there still exists a gap between including patients and including patients in ways that are purposeful and meaningful

Clinicians may be experts in disease, developers in technology, but patients are the experts in their own lives. They know better than anyone what it takes to live with a condition day in and day out day. Ultimately, it is their insights that will help build better digital health solutions.

On Thursday 4th November I will be hosting a discussion on this topic via Zoom. Join me to discover how digital health can empower cancer patients and ways to enable shared decision-making with the co-creation of digital health solutions.

Register Here

You might also like to read: A Patient Engagement Manifesto: Guiding Principles For Digital Health Transformation

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How to Add GIFS to Your Tweets

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. This week I want to show you how to add GIFS to your tweets. 

Want to add variety to your tweets and help them stand out? Try adding GIFs.

Here’s how

From the Tweet compose box, click the GIF icon to search for and select a GIF from the GIF library.

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When you choose a GIF, the image will attach to your Tweet in full size.

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Click Tweet to post.

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Notes

  • GIF attachments do not count towards the character limit in a Tweet.
  • Animated GIFs can’t be included in Tweets with multiple images. You can send only one GIF in a Tweet.
  • Twitter supports looping GIFs. If your animated GIF doesn’t loop and plays a single time, it will display as a static image.
Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Save Searches on Twitter

Welcome to this week’s social media tip. Today I want you to show you how to save searches on Twitter.

1. Go to the Search tab 

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2. Enter your search into the search box.

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3. At the top of your results page, tap the three dots icon  and then tap Save. 

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4.Next time you tap the search box, a pop-up menu will display your Saved searches.

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5. To remove a search: Tap on delete saved search.ad759305-df08-40b2-a190-eea658880b6b

 Note: You may have up to 25 saved searches per account.

 

 

Posted in #HCSM

#ThursdayTip: How To Pin A Tweet

Welcome to this week’s social media tip.

Pinning a Tweet allows you to showcase your best content at the top of your profile page for as long as you’d like.

In the past Twitter typically only allowed viewers to see posts in a sequential timeline which meant that your most important or relevant content quickly got lost in the fast-moving Twitter stream.

To solve this issue Twitter now allows you to pin a tweet or keep it placed at the top of the newsfeed giving you more editorial control as to what a viewer will see first when visiting your page.

How To Pin A Tweet

It’s super quick and easy to do. Follow the steps below to pin your first tweet.

1. Open up your Twitter Profile Page.

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2. Choose a Tweet you would like to Pin. Select “Pin to your profile page”.

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3. The Tweet will now automatically appear at the top of Page.

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4. To remove a pinned tweet, simply click on the “unpin” option. 

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It’s a good idea to review your pinned tweets regularly to make sure you are sharing up-to-date posts. Out-dated pins will make your profile look out-dated too.  To refresh your Twitter profile simply choose another tweet to pin. Twitter will ask you to confirm if you want to replace your current pinned tweet.

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It couldn’t be easier to follow these steps and it’s something you should certainly do to highlight your accomplishments, share your latest news, and bring your viewers attention to the posts you want them to see first.

Here’s to your tweeting success!

Posted in #HCSM

Data Never Sleeps: Here’s What Happens Every Minute Online [Infographic]

Data never sleeps and it shows no signs of slowing down. Domo

 

Last year I posted a mesmerizing graphic on just what happens every 60 seconds online.

I was curious to know how that has changed with the impact of the pandemic on our digital consumption. 

“Our 9th edition of Data Never Sleeps illustrates the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the increasing digitization of daily life and how technology is helping re-imagine the future of work” – Domo

Stats at a Glance

Not surprisingly Zoom, Teams and Slack use increased for those of us working from home.

Shopping and Netflix streaming dominate the chart as we turned online in droves for shopping (6 million of us shop online every minute of the day!) and entertainment.

An incredible 5.7m searches are performed every 60 seconds.

Actionable Tip: If you want your website to rank higher in Google you have to make sure that you’re using the right keywords. Keyword research is vital because identifying the terms people are searching for will determine the kind of content you create and the way you will optimize it. Click here to learn more.

You can see there are plenty more insights to glean from this graphic. Use these stats to determine where to focus your social media marketing efforts this year.