This week has been a doozy! There was a widespread internet outage that affected a significant portion of the country, predominantly the Southeast, and two of the major social media networks–Facebook and Instagram–temporarily went down. Though we do believe in taking time to unplug and recharge, as a team of medical website designers and digital healthcare marketing experts we had to get a little creative in how we worked in order to make sure our clients’ needs were met. Needless to say, we were more than ready to celebrate the Fourth of July yesterday.
Today, we’re back at it to share the second installment of our new monthly series–First Friday.
What We’re Learning
Both Google and Facebook are making sweeping changes to their algorithms and advertising policies to help combat the spread of false and misleading health information on the internet.
As digital marketing specialists that represent physicians and healthcare professionals, we’ve been digging in deep to understand the changes so that our medical websites follow their guidelines and latest best practices.
Here are some noteworthy updates we’ve been following:
Earlier this week, Facebook released a statement regarding two ranking updates that they completed last month to address sensational health claims on their platform. Their goal is two-fold: “to reduce posts with exaggerated or sensational health claims and to reduce posts attempting to sell products or services based on health-related claims.” Users should begin seeing fewer post and advertisements promoting “miracle cures” and “magic supplements.”
In February, Pinterest announced that they blocked all searches using terms related to vaccines or vaccinations in an effort to stop the spread of misinformation related to anti-vaxx advocates. Instead, when users search the term, they see a message stating that the topic often violates the platform’s Community Guidelines. With more than 250 million users, this was a major win for the medical community. Other platforms, like Facebook, followed with similar announcements though details of what steps they actually took weren’t disclosed.
With Google’s “Medic” core update last year, the world’s most popular search engine made a significant change in the way that health and wellness sites rank in search results by giving preference to websites with credible, evidence-based content. We’ve continued to see examples of their how they’re making health a priority like this recent Q&A with David Feinberg, head of Google Health.
We anticipate even more changes regarding how health-related information is shared online in the coming months and years and look forward to helping the medical community dispel false and misleading claims.
What We’re Loving
Stylify Me: A website stylizer created for designers, this tool helps give us a quick overview of a website’s overall style including elements such as colors, font, sizing and spacing. We can easily plug in the URL of a potential client that might not have this information handy. And, once we’ve designed a new medical website the download feature generates a PDF that we can use a quick reference when we design future assets and collateral pieces like social media graphics, information brochures about their practice or promotional banners.
What We’ve Launched
Though our team is primarily based in Raleigh, North Carolina and Charleston, South Carolina, our team of medical website designers and digital healthcare marketing experts work with physicians and healthcare professionals throughout the country. Recently, we designed a website for Regional Neurological Associates–a multi-physician, multi-subspeciality practice with five locations in New York.
One of the challenges was highlighting their 10 most important treatment areas and presenting them in a way that was not only visually appealing, but that didn’t detract from the user experience.
Information that existing and prospective patients are looking for such as descriptions of conditions and procedures are easy to find and navigate. Quick links to their patient portal, appointment request form and contact information are prominently displayed at the top of every page.
Within a few minutes spent on their website, it is clear to visitors what sets this practice and its physicians apart from other providers.
Although we’ve been enjoying our summer, we have some new projects in our pipeline that we’re excited to share with you. Check back in August for more marketing insights and updates about what we’re working on.