As an avid reader of PR Daily
and a believer in the value of content marketing, I am always on the lookout for sites that do a great job with their content. These sites give visitors the information they are looking for as quickly and easily as possible.
Then there are the sites that don’t do it so well.
I recently visited a physician’s website, and on the page titled “Insurance” was the following text:
“We accept most insurance health plans. There are too many to list. Contact us at [phone number] for assistance.”
No, no, no. A thousand times no!
There are four things
patients are looking for when they visit a physician’s website. On that list is the health insurance plans the physician accepts. This may be the first
thing that patients look for on a site. Listing all the insurance plans and keeping this information updated should be a priority for any physician site.
Saying there are too many health insurance plans to list and asking patients to call is lazy and shows patients that the practice does not value their time. Staff at the practice won’t take the time to list health insurance plans on the site, but they want patients to spend their time calling the office and waiting on hold? Patients aren’t going to call. They’re going to leave the site and find another physician who takes their insurance.
People come to websites to satisfy goals, to complete tasks, to get answers to questions. Site content should help them do that. Here is how to give them what they want:
• Think about your own online reading habits. Most often you are looking for something specific. Think of the questions your visitors will ask, and answer those in your copy.
• Guide visitors to that specific information using clear, descriptive page titles and links. Heading content should be concise and descriptive and should stand out.
• When writing online content, use simple words, active verbs, and meaningful modifiers. Use balanced language, not over-the-top sales pitches.
• Web content can be informal and professional at the same time. Writing informally is not dumbing down; it is writing so busy people can understand it.
• Use short sentences, and keep it conversational. Show that you are a person and that your organization includes people.
• And don’t skimp on content. Give visitors the information they need—all the information they need.
[RELATED: Get advanced brand journalism tips from Mark Ragan and Jim Ylisela.]
PR Daily readers, care to share any of your content development tips?
Laura Hale Brockway is an Austin-based writer and editor and a regular contributor to PR Daily. Read more of her work at impertinentremarks.com.