America's top hospitals are competing with each other to become our digital source of health information via search. So why are certain hospitals winning large patient audiences within this shifting digital landscape, while others are not?
To answer this question, I analyzed the digital performance of America’s top twenty hospitals in Boston Digital’s report, America’s Hospitals Have a Choice: Compete in the Health Information War, or Lose, and the results are clear.
The Opportunity for Search in Healthcare is Massive
Health-related searches, specifically around conditions and symptoms, make up an incredibly large share of all Google searches.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, searches for health information were somewhere in the realm of 392 million pings every day. Naturally, this number has increased drastically over the last fifteen months.
Capitalizing on this massive patient search audience by supporting a deep library of health information is incumbent on each hospital and healthcare system that desires a broader share of voice online.
And with Google in the market for medical content from websites that users can trust (and only so many authoritative healthcare brands), those who can deliver reliable health related content to patients, should.
But all of this leads us to a critical question, why are certain hospitals dominating the current search landscape, while others lag far behind?
Content Libraries are Key to Digital Success
When analyzing the digital performance of America's top 20 hospitals, it's clear that the healthcare providers who offer their online users a comprehensive, original library of health topics like diseases and conditions are winning their fair share of a very substantial pie.
Those whose websites don't include such a library of original health content, on the other hand, are losing this important battle in the war for patient trust and attention.
Personally, I was shocked by the extent of the performance gap between healthcare providers fully embracing a content strategy around health information, and those who are either taking half-measures or failing to pursue this strategy altogether. My intention with this report was to demystify this gap, so that hospitals in the latter category can begin to close it.
To be clear, this isn’t a purely altruistic exercise. Top-performing hospitals are also benefiting from higher patient conversions via digital channels by supporting this content, as well as reaping various indirect benefits that arise from the underscored credibility of being a trusted purveyor of valuable health information. Consider the lifetime patient value for hospitals who consistently reach patients during these critical moments, versus that of hospitals who don’t.
To learn more about this unprecedented opportunity for hospitals to grow their digital footprint, as well as the strategies and next steps to take advantage of it through content activation at scale, access the full report below.