While we are very excited to announce our agency just launched our new website featuring a brand-new design, functionality, backend tech, and fresh content, we expect you’ll be more interested in the following three takeaways:
- Why we decided to rebuild our site completely,
- Why you may need to similarly “start anew” with your website, and
- How you can learn and benefit from our experiences.
It’s our job and passion to help our clients and readers drive better results from their marketing efforts. That’s why we’re sharing our story—and success—of our website overhaul. We hope you find something helpful to apply to your organization.
So, let’s start with the rationale behind our decision to invest in creating a new website.
The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and it’s essential for all healthcare businesses—and their websites—to evolve to stay competitive. Therefore, if your website reflects where your business was more than a few years ago, it is absolutely time for a change.
Likewise, to stay relevant in the face of constant change, our agency’s business model and clientele have changed multiple times since our founding in 2006. Starting around five years ago, we made the strategic decision to refocus our business to serve larger healthcare clients that would benefit most from our expertise. Today our clients include:
- Retail and healthcare brands,
- Hospitals and health systems,
- Life sciences manufacturers,
- Health plans,
- And multilocation practices and providers.
As we continued pivoting our business model to fit our agency’s growing capabilities and the changing healthcare landscape, we looked at our website with fresh eyes. We recognized it was time to create an entirely new website that would better reflect where we are today, who we serve, and the services we offer.
Our decision to completely overhaul our website was not made lightly.
Though we made several incremental improvements in recent years, we also realized it was time for a massive change. To get our website where it needed to be, we had to break apart every page and rebuild it top to bottom with new performance-enhancing technologies, a new user interface and user experience (UI/UX), and new creative to give it a modern look.
Everything we do at Healthcare Success is rooted in healthcare marketing. From the strategy and writing to the designing and development—we have our clients covered end-to-end. The new website, therefore, needed to reflect that.
Because we put our hearts into the work we do for others, finding time for our marketing can be challenging. However, we also know how vital it is to showcase a website that meets the changing needs of our clients.
What’s more, while we receive a fair amount of clients from word-of-mouth referrals, our website (and probably yours) drives a significant portion of business.
Like us, your website is now the marketing epicenter of your business.
Let’s pause our case study for a moment, to consider how vital your website is to your business.
Today, B2B buyers and healthcare consumers find websites via SEO (search engine optimization), paid search, social, directories, offline advertising, and referrals to name a few. It’s often a person’s first contact with your business and heavily influences whether they’ll contact you—so first impressions are crucial.
If you rely on your website to generate business as we do, optimizing its design, content, and performance every few years is especially essential.
Chances are, your business has evolved since you launched your current website. Does your website currently reflect who you are and who you target? Does it reflect the new competitive realities of your market?
As you look upon your website with fresh eyes, you might find your design, functionality, or content feels outdated or no longer in line with your business objectives. While you may have gotten away with incremental changes for a time (like we did), there comes the point when an outdated website is costing you business.
Your website needs to answer questions like:
- Who is this company?
- Do I like and trust them?
- Are they experienced?
- What do they do?
- Are they suitable for my business?
- Is the messaging clear?
- What is the user experience?
Does your website set your users up for success and answer all their burning questions quickly and intuitively?
To achieve these goals in our own business, we realized we needed to build up our marketing content to create a cohesive buyer’s journey that included marketing and sales.
So, we got to work.
Step 1: The Team
Great things in business are never done by one person.
– Steve Jobs
To start, we assembled a lean marketing team, allowing for greater accountability, autonomy, and flexibility in their roles throughout the entire process. Here are the key roles and their primary responsibilities throughout the whole process:
- Founder/CEO/Marketing & Creative Director
That’s me. As you can imagine, I wear many different hats at Healthcare Success and was the driving force (aka “nag”) behind our website relaunch. Giving our website a fresh face was only part of my objective, but I’ll dive more deeply into that in a bit. First, I’d like to share the other team roles that were crucial to the success of this relaunch.
- Senior Art Director and Graphic Designer
Our new website is stunning, but it’s so much more than just a pretty face. Our “Art Club” folded their creative prowess into an intuitive website built for thought leadership and lead generation. They understand that people are naturally drawn to good design and first impressions are crucial—but they’re also keenly aware that usability, navigation, and conversion opportunities are central to great design.
While they’re responsible for things like typography, page layouts, imagery, and color schemes, they’re equally responsible for coordinating with the content and development teams to ensure they deliver an optimal user interface.
Did you know it only takes visitors 50 milliseconds to form a first impression of your website design?
- Content Director & Editor and Senior Content Writer
Content isn’t as sexy as graphic design, but it’s the backbone of any successful website. It supports organic SEO, lead generation, and conversions. Our content director worked in tandem with our skilled SEO team to identify keywords and landing pages that required brand new content that aligned with our evolving business objectives. Once aligned, it was time for our senior content writer to breathe new life into our service pages with brand new content aimed at our target audience.
First-class content tells your story. It entertains, resonates, and compels your audience to take action. Don’t settle for mediocre content on your website. Promote your products and services with highly effective, thoughtful copy tailored to your unique target audience for the best results.
- Inventory high-performing content.
- Determine new SEO goals.
- Optimize existing content as needed.
- Identify content opportunities.
- Set up 301 redirects.
- Update site architecture.
- Update XML sitemap.
Working closely with our talented Content Director & Editor, they were able to map out content gaps, identify new competitive keywords, and advise on navigational improvements that would improve our sitemap, Google rankings, and, therefore, conversions.
Once they completed the deep internal work, they also analyzed our top competitors. This analysis identified additional optimization opportunities that would enable us to surpass competitor SEO strategies and outrank them on the search engine results page (SERP).
Developers are often the unsung heroes of projects, mainly because much of their work happens behind the scenes, and you typically don’t hear from them unless there’s a problem. But I like to think of them as our secret weapon. Our relaunch wasn’t just a reskinning of the old site—it was rebuilt from the ground up using updated tech and best practices.
A strong, technically savvy development team can take graphic designs and content and turn it into a secure website that functions well, loads fast, and is accessible on all screen resolutions and devices.
If you’re thinking about a simple reskinning of your website, keep this in mind:
A great-looking site that functions well and loads quickly often receives more traffic and has better conversion rates.
Step 2: The Audit
If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going.
– Maya Angelou
Before undertaking this giant in-house project, there was considerable prep work to be done.
However, it’s important to note that our website was performing well.
We didn’t undertake this project because our site was fundamentally flawed. It was attracting lots of high-quality leads and generating significant revenue. However, something important was happening—our business was evolving, and it was time for our website to evolve along with us so it could continue serving our needs well into the future.
Conducting a thorough website audit with fresh eyes before going headlong into developing a new one will help you avoid missteps. It will also help manage expectations and identify which aspects need to be changed due to recent trends and emerging practices in tech.
We audited our website from several angles:
1. General Competitive Analysis
Our business strategy has evolved over the last five years, and we knew it was time to update our website to meet the changing needs of our business. As part of that, we re-identified our competitors and analyzed their website content, layout, and functionality.
We also conducted a thorough SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and strengths) analysis to identify gaps (read: opportunities) in our existing website. This is a great place to start if you’re looking to make some changes to your current website.
2. Brand & Creative
As I’ve mentioned before in other blog posts, branding is highly subjective. However, our design team did their due diligence and a lot of behind-the-scenes brand work to support their design decisions with relevant data and research. They reviewed our website alongside our marketing analysts to identify which creative elements failed to connect with our target audience and which resonated.
They also looked at current industry trends and used their depth of knowledge to identify which made the most sense for our living brand.
A skilled creative team with specialized healthcare experience can help you achieve your vision and deliver a website poised to attract new business.
SEO (search engine optimization)—and I can not stress this enough—is what built the Healthcare Success business. As I mentioned before, it’s at the heart of everything we do and is vital to any website. It should be regularly reviewed to ensure your content targets the right keywords and audiences.
It’s important to schedule regular SEO audits into your ongoing strategy, but it should also be high on your to-do list during a website relaunch to stay competitive. An SEO audit should include identifying competitor weaknesses and developing SEO strategies to outrank them. Not only will this help drive highly targeted traffic (e.g., leads) to your website, but it will also encourage higher conversions.
Side note: Sadly, most healthcare organizations launch their new websites without understanding the vital importance of SEO in the relaunch process. Because most website design companies do not understand SEO (even if they say they do), an entirely avoidable SEO disaster follows. In fact, people often call us after a botched website launch to perform “revision surgery” to regain their SEO rankings. If they’d only called us before…
It might be cliche, but content is king. It has the power to evoke emotion, persuade action, and help businesses stand out. As part of our content audit, we needed to prioritize which pieces of content needed to be refreshed before launch, which could change post-launch, and which could stay the same.
Significant changes included updating our buyer personas (e.g., target audience) and applying it to our messaging.
We also knew that we had to take a hard look at our calls-to-action, navigation, voice, and tone to ensure they were in line with our new business objectives. The main navigation pages were the first to be scrutinized as they are among the most important.
Creating SEO-friendly content that resonates with your target audience will drive engagement, clicks, and conversions.
Step 3: The Project Plan
If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.
– Benjamin Franklin
As I alluded to before, our previous website was working. It was ranking extremely well organically on Google and generating leads, but I knew it wasn’t serving our evolving business needs as well as it had in the past.
I put myself in the shoes of my target audience and read through the key pages of our website. I quickly realized our language and keywords conflicted with our objectives. We had to make some drastic changes—not only to reposition our content and update our design but also to modernize the underlying technology.
It was no small undertaking, but I knew it had to be done to remain competitive in our market.
Our skilled project management team wasted no time preparing pre- and post-launch project plans, timelines, and tasks to keep everything (and everyone) moving forward in an organized manner. As veterans of their craft, I knew we were in good hands.
In a matter of days, we had a concise plan for auditing our existing website from every department (e.g., design, development, content, and SEO) and a clear path for analyzing new and existing competitors.
Thinking about overhauling your website with fresh new designs, targeted content, and undated tech?
Here are a few things you’ll need to do to ensure its success:
1. Analyze your existing website and define your goals
- How is the site performing?
- Which areas need immediate improvement?
- How do you want your site to serve your business?
2. Build your team
- Identify key stakeholders (e.g., creative, UX & UI, content manager, and a few executives), but keep your team lean to avoid falling behind schedule.
3. Analyze your existing content
- Strategic, easy-to-read content significantly contributes to organic search engine ranking. Try to transfer premium, highly desirable content to your redesigned website and scrap or rewrite the outdated ones. High-quality content is one of your most valuable assets and connects you with your target audience.
4. Prioritize the user experience
- Keep things like smooth navigation, clear direction, engaging content, and alluring calls to action in mind to create a positive user experience and increase conversions.
- Our CFO and I agreed upfront that our new website was an extremely high priority, and we would need to set aside the (substantial) budget required to rebuild it to our high standards. We also needed to budget our time and resources to ensure our internal website redesign didn’t impact our client work. Our project management team was crucial in protecting everyone’s time and ensuring everything stayed on track. Overhauling the technology that supports your website is an investment, but it’s often necessary to remain competitive.
Step 4: The Execution
Sticking to the schedule is essential when working on a project as complicated as a corporate website redesign. Once again, it was time for our project management team to shine.
They kept all departments moving in the right direction at the right time and helped eliminate obstacles along the way.
Each department had weekly meetings. However, it was equally crucial for all team members to come together once a week to discuss their progress and any issues or needs.
Identifying and resolving issues was essential to ensure the project stayed on track.
Though it’s only been a few weeks since launching our new website, we’ve already seen excellent results. We look forward to seeing growing results from our team’s efforts over time.
For fun, here, here are a few snapshots of our progress over the years (Source):
It’s important to remember that websites are living, breathing entities and are never truly “done.” Whether your website is two weeks old or two decades old, you should always be actively improving the design, functionality, and content to remain timely, relevant, and competitive.
While there’s plenty left to be done, we’re proud of our new website. It better represents who we are, our capabilities, and how we work.
Let us know what you think!