Website Strategy:

These are some examples of the strategic process to develop the University of Michigan Health System website. The website is incredibly complicated, with tens of thousands of pages.


This process began with discovery meetings with marketing and public relations staff, clinicians, and administrative teams. A competitive benchmark was developed with examples from dozens of top medical systems websites. Additionally, quantitative measures were assessed, including Google Analytics, ForeSee customer responses, and call center feedback.


The planning stage involved establishing and organizing the information architecture. The information architecture served as the foundation for the navigation, sitemap, taxonomy, and visual design and wireframes. Website standards and guidelines were developed as a foundation for the team, and an implementation timeline was drafted using project management tools.

The scope of content and current assets were assessed for content development strategy. A content audit is the activity of checking and organizing all of the content on a website. This includes all pages and digital assets (such as pictures, videos, downloadable files, etc.). This practice helped define the ongoing development of information architecture, content management and updates, and track content progress through detailed metrics. The overall goal is to have a greater understanding about existing content and identify duplication, potential relationship connections, and additional opportunities. This process is quite detailed, and can take a long amount of time to complete.


The building process leveraged the project management tools and processes, such as such as Gantt charts, task lists, project budget spreadsheets, dashboards, time-sheets, and more.

Website content was structured to allow for the greatest usability and clarity, presenting complex and detailed information in a clear, succinct, straightforward manner. The key objective was be to develop sharable content that develops loyal brand ambassadors online. This was accomplished using a friendly and professional tone that includes images, videos, and links to connected content so that visitors can find what they are looking for quickly and easily.

Enhance Engagement

The content development strategy included social media integration, Google+ APIs, Youtube+ APIs, Blog posts, and other shareable content. Content was assessed for accessibility to comply with WCAG 2.0 regulations.

All content was evaluated and enhanced to align to the brand, story, and most importantly – our services.  There are five levels of a content strategy :

  • reactive: “content is handled on an ad-hoc basis, with little thought to its management or consequences.”
  • tactical: “the organization has adopted multiple publishing processes, often in silos, without connections between them”
  • integrated: “some planning has resulted in integration of content at the publishing end, but not earlier in the content lifecycle.”
  • managed: “content is treated as a corporate asset and managed with appropriate checks and balances, both in processes and technologies.”
  • strategic: “content is a key aspect of an organization’s digital strategy, and is recognized for its complexity, and impact on the user experience.”

The objective is to develop content through the levels in order to develop comprehensive strategic messaging. Strategic development includes identifying potential keywords, valuable and desirable search positions, and comparison against top competitors.

The content development process is meant to optimize the content workflow process. The process will work in conjunction with a content schedule to maximize SEO efforts and leverage Google tools such as branded web advertising promotions.


Content marketing focuses on the direction and ongoing production of compelling content that appeals to our target audience. The following metrics were analyzed and targets were established for our digital marketing channels:

Consumption Metrics

  • How many people consumed the content, measured as page views, downloads, or views?
  • Referral Traffic can also help determine how consumers find our content so we can focus our promotional efforts. This can be analyzed through Google Analytics, Youtube Insights, Facebook Insights, etc.

Sharing Metrics

  • How often did consumers of the content share it with others?
  • Reach demonstrates the virality of content (how likely users are to share our content) and how many total unique users view our content receives as a result of this sharing. Typically determined by tweets, likes, Linkedin shares, Google + shares, Diggs, etc.
  • PostRank Analytics and Google Analytics provide tools to analyze

Lead Generation Metrics

  • How often did content consumers turn into leads?
  • Measuring leads generated after content is consumed to start determining whether the content marketing effort is making financial sense.
  • This could be related to:
    • “Make an Appointment” or “Refer a Patient” clicks or page views.
    • Phone traffic

Sales Metrics

  • How often did content consumers turn into customers?
  • The goal is to amortize content value by analyzing how much content a customer consumed before making a purchasing decision. The ultimate purchasing decision cost will be associated and divided to those pieces of content to define a monetary value of that content. (IE. If the customer consumed 3 pieces of content before buying and is worth $90,000 to our organization, assign $30,000 to each content piece.)