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Monday, May 16, 2016

How to write great service line page content for your hospital website

Jeremy Dietz, Executive Digital Editor

Your service line pages are some of the most valuable healthcare content on your hospital's website.

Done well, these pages provide value to your organization by offering compelling descriptions of your services, outlining your expertise and offering clear calls to action that turn website visitors into patients.

Importantly, great service line content also provides value to healthcare consumers in your community. It can help them make a decision about where to go for their medical needs.

Last week in The Coffey Blog, we gave you 5 things you can do to make your services easy to find.

This week, gain helpful information on creating useful content for your service page.

7 tips to help your website shine

1. Focus on your unique value. What do you offer that healthcare consumers should know about when deciding where to seek treatment? This list could include things like innovative technology, a convenient location and a caring atmosphere. You could also talk about the expertise of your staff and provide links to individual doctor profile pages, where people can see details about the provider's education and experience.

2. Write for consumers. A well-written service line page should be easy for healthcare consumers to understand. It should focus on plain language—not jargon. And it should emphasize the benefits that people will receive by using your service. 

3. Optimize for search. Service line pages can be a great source of organic search traffic for your hospital's website. So make sure to employ search engine optimization (SEO) best practices when you create this content. For example: 

  • Conduct keyword research and a search engine results page analysis to identify the best terms to use on your service line page. Should you call your service "Family Birth Center" or "Labor and Delivery"? Your SEO research will help you make the right choice.
  • Use the terms you've identified in your SEO research on the service page—especially in the title and subheads. There's an art to doing this well. Remember, you're optimizing for search engines but you're writing for people. So keep your language natural, and don't just stuff keywords into the text.
  • Write a title tag and a meta description. Missing titles and meta descriptions are some of the most common SEO problems we see on hospital websites. 

4. Format for easy reading. People tend to scan website content rather than reading it word for word. Make scanning easy by breaking your service line content into chunks. For example: 

  • Use subheads to provide easy entry points, and include important search terms whenever possible.
  • Keep paragraphs short and limited to a single idea.
  • Use accordions for sections or long lists. At-a-glance headers with expandable text allow readers to find what they're looking for without scrolling down a long page. 

Breaking content into chunks will also help people understand and remember your message, according to research from the Nielsen Norman Group.

Pro tip: Avoid using PDFs to present your service line content. Instead, write and format content for the web and display it in an HTML page.

5. Include a call to action. Make it clear what people should do next if they want to learn more or make an appointment. Your call to action could be a phone number to call, an email address, a link to a list of healthcare providers or a note that a referral is needed for the service. The important thing here is to not leave people at a dead end.

6. Offer related information. Providing related health content on your service pages is a great way to keep people engaged with your website and help them learn more about whether or not they would benefit from your services. Interactive and visual pieces of content, such as calculators, assessments or infographics, work particularly well. In addition to healthcare content, you might also consider linking to related physicians, events and news releases.

7. Review regularly. Out-of-date website content makes your organization look bad. Create a review plan so that your website content gets looked at regularly.  

Call in the healthcare content experts

It's clearly important, but creating service line content for your website can take a significant amount of time. That's why projects like this are often good candidates for outsourcing. Coffey's team of healthcare content experts can work with your marketing staff and interview stakeholders, conduct SEO research, and create service line content that engages your community and helps you reach your healthcare marketing goals.

To get a quote, call 888.805.9101 or email us.   

Related reading

Hospital websites: 5 things you can do to make your services easy to find
Give people what they want on your hospital website
Use active voice to bring your healthcare content to life


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