There is no doubt that two of the most disruptive factors of the recent times are the appearance of the internet and the rise of the smartphone. Paired together, they enabled people all around the world to literally have the largest database of information and knowledge at their fingertips. One by one, old and new, industries changed under the people’s new found power.
Probably one of the most traditional and regulated domains the health industry whether we refer to the pharma sector or the medical one, underwent major changes, influenced by both de digital environment and the rise of the smartphone. In the center of these changes, we can find the digital platforms - the websites, whose importance and relevance are growing now more than ever before. Let’s have a look on why the website is so important in the health industry of our days.
The importance of a digital platform in the health industry
While the appearance of the internet did lay the foundations for the new revolution, it is the rise of the smartphones that really set things apart. According to a report made by WeareSocialMedia and Hotsuite, over half of the world’s population owns a smartphone. To shed light on the matter, add this to the fact that about 1% of all the searches done on Google are health related. While 1% may seem like an insignificant number, it represents a figure of millions of searches. What all of this means that people are more and more inclined towards educating themselves on health matters or at least search online for different solutions.
Basically what we see is that the traditional patient journey is changing massively under the influence of the disruptive powers of the new technologies. Nowadays, the patient journey is one that revolves around the digital environment. Moreover, we can see that most people don’t go online to learn or research medical matters on a daily basis out of sheer curiosity, but rather in specific moments, called “micro-moments” triggered by different incentives such as experiencing a symptom (a headache, stomach ache etc) or receiving a diagnosis. The micro-moments are moments in which people use a device to act on a need or problem that they have. These are the moments in which people search for information that will shape their belief, or take the decisions that will solve their problems.
As an example, take a look at Giana’s case, a person searching for the best medicine for a fever sore. When she arrived at the medicine aisle, she noticed that there two products that fit what she was looking for. When facing the decision to pick between one cheap, large and another one that’s small and expensive, she quickly went online on her smartphone to look for more information. This case is an example of a behavior exhibited by more and more people, that of using the smartphones and the online environment for making quick decisions when it comes to health care matters.
Key things to look for when it comes to a website:
Just knowing that a website is highly important in the health industry and having one isn’t enough. The website itself has to meet certain a certain criteria such as:
Let’s take a look at the digital patient journey. In a micro-moment, a person wants to find out more or to make a decision regarding a health related matter and for that he or she goes on scouring the web. For them to land directly on your page, your SEO strategy has to be implemented properly.
User experience design
So you have a kick-ass SEO, and the audience is on your website. Now what? Once you a person lands on your website, he or she will look to get the info needed as fast as possible. For that to happen, the web design of your site has to makes the visitor’s experience smooth and seamless. The menu’s, the pages, the layout have to be designed and arranged in an intuitive way and be optimized for any platform, from mobile to desktop and tablet. After all, decisions are made in split-seconds, and you don’t want your audience to lose themselves on your website.
Mind the language
Ok, now your website has a user-friendly design and a good SEO strategy. But what about the overall content of your website? Can it be easily understood by someone with little to zero medical knowledge? If your audience has to go to other websites to better understand what your message was then all your previous effort was in vain. Make sure your content is easily understandable not by your standards but by your audience’s standard.
With more information than ever being available at a touch away, people’s behavior towards health matters is changing drastically and rapidly. Take the lead and adapt to the new era.