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Healthcare Content Audit: 6 More Benefits for Your Organization

A physician reviews healthcare content with a futuristic holographic overlay while a stethoscope rests on a laptop.

I first published the article “6 Reasons You Need to Conduct a Content Audit” back in 2019. I just updated it recently — something you should do regularly for your older blog content — and it still has good insights as to the importance of a content audit for your healthcare organization (HCO). But I found myself thinking about all the things I would have added back then. That’s led me to this five-years-later sequel. (Hey, that’s not bad by Hollywood sequel standards.)

You have minutes at best — seconds, more likely — to make an impression on healthcare consumers once they come to your website and navigate to the content that’s relevant to their interests. You have to ensure you’re making the most of your one chance with those consumers.

With that urgency in mind, let’s dive right into six more reasons why a content audit will benefit your HCO.

1. A healthcare content audit provides a subjective analysis of your content

It’s kind of a pet peeve of mine when I hear about so-called “content audits” that review search-engine optimization (SEO) data, clickthrough rates, engagement information and other metrics. Don’t get me wrong: Those are all great pieces of information and important for you to have a full picture of your digital performance. But they’re not a content audit.

A content audit involves just what the name says: auditing your content. Page by page, line by line, reading every word, reviewing the images and videos, navigating the various components. Is it good? Does it convey the information it tries to convey? Is this the kind of information a healthcare consumer wants to find on a page like this? Does the content resonate with the intended audience?

Data and analytics are important, and we use them heavily in our research. But they’ll only get your HCO so far. Consumers make choices about their healthcare based on their subjective experiences. Successful healthcare content audits require a subjective analysis to ensure your content connects with your audience members at that personal level.

2. A healthcare content audit ensures alignment with your HCO’s voice, tone and style

We routinely work with clients who have content on their websites that dates back 10, 15, even 20 years with no updates since. More often, we see HCOs that have siloed organizational structures with little or no oversight on what people post in their designated areas. And, more recently, we’re seeing more marketing teams that are stretched too thin to be able to keep track of everything that gets published and by whom.

These factors often lead to healthcare content that’s inconsistent with the style guidelines that your team has developed with the best of intentions. You want your HCO to present a consistent, unified image to healthcare consumers at every stage of their journey with you. But it’s all too common to find dents, cracks and outright gashes in the stylistic armor of many organizations.

A content audit can help ensure each area of your site conforms to the voice, tone and style guidelines you’ve established in your HCO’s guide. If you don’t have a guide, you should create one. Then audit your content to find out where you need to make updates.

3. A healthcare content audit helps ensure you’re writing for your personas

Good healthcare personas should be more than just demographic information. Your personas should come from input from your real user base, through personal interviews and their observations about their experiences with your HCO.

When you understand the goals of your users through a detailed and well-crafted persona, you can look at your content through that lens. Does your content:

  • Help this person find what they want to find?
  • Help them do what they want to do?
  • Speak to them the way they expect to be spoken to?

A content audit that takes persona information into account helps set your team up for success down the road when it’s time to take up the challenge of writing for your healthcare consumers.

4. A healthcare content audit surfaces your content’s emotional insights

Award-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman’s book “Thinking, Fast and Slow” discusses two systems of thought and decision-making. The first is fast, based on intuition and emotion. The second is slow, based on logic and reason.

HCO professionals are used to the slower thinking style, often rooted in painstaking research and study. They may have trouble understanding that most healthcare consumers act within the first thinking style, where speed is key. Either they or a loved one needs care — often quickly. And their emotional responses to content they read (really, skim) quickly can determine their choices for how to act.

Your content must acknowledge the many emotions your consumers are feeling. Certainly fear, anger, frustration, confusion and others top the list in many healthcare settings. But compassion, optimism and hope can also play a role. And calm confidence on your HCO’s part can go a long way with a consumer who’s looking for a steady hand to guide them in a potentially unsettling time.

When you audit your content with a careful eye on the emotions you’re acknowledging and projecting, you’re laying the foundations for creating content that’s rooted in those emotions. This content is more likely to resonate and, therefore, lead to more conversions.

5. A healthcare content audit helps you speak to your value proposition

It’s common for HCOs — particularly provider organizations — to have trouble offering themselves up as the best choice for consumers. Going back to my earlier point about logic-based thinking versus emotion-based thinking, healthcare providers often think of things in ways based in science and reason. We offer X services, we’ve been around for Y years, we’re located in Z locations — that kind of thing. They may even present a good deal of information about the conditions they treat and the treatments they offer in an educational style. They present the facts and leave it to the consumer to decide.

But by the time the consumer comes to a provider organization’s website, they’ve likely either gotten a diagnosis or have a pretty good idea of what’s wrong. What they’re really looking for at that point is your value proposition:

  • What makes you better than the other person?
  • What do you do that they don’t?
  • How are you going to help me get better?
  • Why should I trust you over them?

These are pieces of information we often see clients have trouble articulating. But this information is critical, because it can weigh heavily in healthcare consumers’ decision-making process. A content audit can give you a better idea of what content needs attention in terms of effectively presenting your value proposition.

6. A healthcare content audit can help you improve conversions

Your HCO’s content isn’t just educational — or, at least, it shouldn’t be. You’re putting it out there with the goal of turning healthcare consumers into patients, members or buyers.

Whether consumers are coming to your website with the intention of taking the next step or they require convincing first, you have to provide multiple effective pathways for them to take that step with your team. Auditing your content with the concept of conversion-centricity — that is, prioritizing the conversion process in alignment with the consumer’s likely next step and your business goals — ensures your content is driving revenue. If your audit reveals that your content isn’t effectively driving conversions, it’s likely time to revise your call-to-action (CTA) strategy.

More reasons to choose the right content audit partner

We understand that a content audit is challenging. It takes time to do well — and time is in short supply in the healthcare field these days. Our content strategists know healthcare. And they know what it takes to conduct a content audit that can help you create an effective digital strategy. Contact us to learn more about our content auditing process and how our team can help yours.

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Michael Adkins, Senior Content Strategist, Digital Health Strategy

As part of Perficient's Digital Health Strategy team, Michael partners with healthcare organizations to create informative, conversion-centered content for a variety of applications, including websites and blogs. Michael writes content that highlights clients’ service-line offerings, expertise in unique treatments, differentiators in competitive markets and additional factors that are important to patients.

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