Raising a child is an honor, because children are gifts. But that doesn’t mean parenting is a breeze. If you have kids, you know this. Parents need help.
Before I had my firstborn, I read a lot of books to get ready for his arrival — parenting books, breastfeeding books, any and all get-me-ready-for-this-baby books. But you know what they say: Nothing can prepare you.
After my son was born, I was in constant need of advice. When I was worried about his health or stressed about mothering, I almost always chose to pick up my phone to search Google for answers rather than use it to call my family or close friends.
Searching the internet for help is common for parents of young children today. Whereas parents of earlier generations would ask their moms or dads for guidance, today’s parents tend to turn to a search engine. And when it comes to health advice, this study found that 70% of adults search the internet for health information, but parents — especially mothers of infants — are even more likely to do it.
If you’re in charge of a pediatric website, this means your site could literally be acting as the “village” for many of your visitors. Recognize this, and build your site from the ground up to support parents and calm their anxieties.
Here are some tips for how to create an engaging and supportive pediatric website for parents.
1. Make your pediatric website easy to navigate
The best pediatric websites make easy navigation a top priority. I thank them for this. A side effect of having children is sleep deprivation that makes it hard to navigate anything, let alone a website.
On a more serious note: Easy navigation is crucial for getting parents with sick or injured kids the information they need quickly.
2. Ensure your content answers parents’ questions
Empathetic writing is a key part of healthcare content marketing. To write with empathy, you have to think about the questions your readers might have and what they might need.
When you create content on a pediatric website for parents, first make a list of questions parents might ask about the issue. Talk to your subject matter experts — the doctors, nurses and other medical professionals in your organization — and find out what questions they’re asked most often. Then, focus your research and writing around answering those questions.
3. Write content that’s easy to read
No one wants to sift through a bunch of complicated information. Nor do they want to search Google to define complex terms. That’s especially true for busy parents.
Make sure your content is clear, to the point, and written at about an 8th grade reading level when possible, so parents can get the information they need without too much effort. Consider using these free online tools when doing this.
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4. Keep SEO in mind for your pediatric website
Search engine optimization (SEO) helps search engines find and rank your webpages. If you want parents to find the information they need, you have to first help the search engines find your content. Make sure you’re doing keyword research and following SEO best practices for success in this.
5. Include testimonials and stories
Sometimes, parents just need to know that someone else is going through what they’re going through. It puts them at ease. Your site can provide that reassurance with patient testimonials and stories. Include short testimonials on webpages about services or treatments, and share patient stories on your website’s blog.
6. Use email newsletters to stay in touch
Parents are always hungry for knowledge. Email newsletters are another great channel for sharing useful information, tips and resources on your pediatric website. It’s also an excellent platform to remind parents that you’re there to help.
To grow your subscriber list for your email newsletter, place a clear call to action on your home page (or any other high-traffic page) to sign up.
While your target patients may be children, remember that it’s the parents that will ultimately make the decision of where to seek care. Creating a pediatric website for parents that informs, connects and eases anxieties will be a critical marketing tool as you build your program.
Need support building content for your pediatric medical website? WriterGirl’s healthcare writing team can create content that reaches your audience with a message that resonates and gets results. See all that we can do.
Editor’s note: This blog post was updated on March 24, 2021. It was originally published in August 2018. Laura DiGiulio contributed to this post.