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Your hospital website is a workhorse in your stable of marketing initiatives. It should be doing triple duty establishing and maintaining your reputation for excellence, delivering important information in an easy-to-read format and enhancing your brand.

But how sure are you that your hospital or health system website is as effective and efficient as planned when it was first rolled out?

Websites can often be thought of as one of those set-it-and-forget-it tools. But that’s particularly dangerous thinking for hospitals. An annual website audit – a deep examination of the look, tone and feel – can help you find and correct the issues that may be keeping your website from performing as it should.

Audit point 1: User experience.

A thorough website audit will help you understand how easily people are able to find the information they look for on your website. Check to see if page layout is helping a visitor access important content, no matter what type of device (desktop, mobile) they use to view your site. And see if your site still loads fast and is responsive to user commands.

Audit point 2: Overall look.

During a website audit, you need to consider if the overall look is still reflective of your brand and if that look is consistent across the entire website. Look for changes in fonts, colors and page layout across the site. Identify any pages that don’t work and note pages that have broken links. Also look at content to identify anything that is outdated, wrong or doesn’t have clear calls to action.

Audit point 3: Visitor use.

When reviewing your website during an audit, you should investigate what pages visitors are going to and what they do once they get there. If certain pages keep readers’ interest or result in specific engagement, but others don’t, find out what the difference is. Perhaps readers impatiently move off a page because it comes up slowly, doesn’t present information clearly or lacks a good call to action.

Audit point 4: Optimization.

It’s important that your website be easy for users and search engines to find. Your website audit should include looking at each page and learning where you can make tweaks to better optimize your site. Look to be sure there are keywords in the page title, content, images and links. Check to be sure page titles are less than 70 characters and that keywords are used in the meta description.

After the checkup.

Once you complete your audit, you should have a short list of pages that need to be revised. Make it a priority to fix pages that are not:

  • Easy to understand
  • Fast loading and responsive to user commands
  • Consistent with brand standards
  • Complete with calls to action
  • Optimized for search engines

Your hospital website is a direct reflection of the care that patients can expect to receive and how engaged your hospital is as part of the community. With a thorough audit, your hospital’s website can better serve your visitors by making sure it is the robust, relevant, patient-focused experience that you want it to be.

Interested in more tips to help your marketing strategy work better? Download our free e-book.

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