From One CMS to Another: Considerations for Content Migration

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02/26/2019 in Blog

Whether overhauling a website, upgrading your content management system (CMS), or refining a content strategy, your healthcare organization will inevitably find itself migrating content from one CMS solution to another. The goal, of course, is to leave your organization with the most effective content, improve the consumer experience, and allow your health system to easily adapt to the changing needs of your consumers and partners.

However, without a solid plan in place, content migration can be a complicated, confusing process. Here's what to keep in mind to get the most out of your content migration and ensure a smooth transition.  

Identify Your Content Needs
Before anything else, you have to decide which content will transfer over to the new CMS and which content will be scrapped. This, of course, will require an audit of existing content — a detailed examination of each page across all online offerings. This may sound daunting; to ensure that the audit goes smoothly, establish some guidelines to determine what content should be kept, updated, or simply deleted. For example, when an auditor or project administrator is reviewing content, they should ask:

• Does this content further the organization's content strategy and goals?
• Does this content drive consumer to a transaction (portal access, finding a doctor, making an appointment, etc.)?
• Does this content improve and/or simplify the consumer experience?
• Is this content redundant, outdated, or otherwise inessential?
• Look at your analytics and ask: How many times has this page been viewed in the past 12 months? What was the engagement (average time on page, bounce rate, etc.) on this page in the past 12 months?

Pro Tip: Any content that will be deleted should be rerouted to other site content via a 301 redirect. This helps to preserve the SEO ranking strength of the original content, while drawing more visitors to the site pages that matter.

Bear in mind that a full audit process can take several weeks to complete, so plan accordingly. Moreover, ensure there is sufficient buy-in from stakeholders and leadership from across the organization — a unified content strategy will always result in a stronger, more cohesive outcome.

Meanwhile, your organization should also evaluate the effectiveness of your current information architecture. For example, health systems often host numerous individual provider websites, each with their own content. At times, this can make for a confusing or unintuitive experience for visitors, who must navigate multiple sites. To simplify, you may choose to centralize your content in a single location (which will help with SEO rankings), as well as merge any redundant pages into a single structure. Your organization may also opt to use standardized content templates (often modifiable) from your CMS to create a more seamless user experience. In general, the simpler the website design and content strategy, the easier it will be for site visitors to find what they need — and ultimately schedule appointments.

Strengthen Your User Experience 
Throughout the content migration, be sure to leverage the CMS to its fullest potential. For example, many organizations will make use of a digital quality management (DQM) tool, which can help ensure there are no broken links, spelling errors, or non-functioning forms or scheduling tools, which can hurt site rankings and the user experience. At the same time, organizations will often use A/B testing and personalization tools to help craft a content experience to best meet the needs of consumers. For instance, by A/B testing the homepage or landing page copy, you can improve the performance of content and drive higher patient portal sign-ups, app downloads, appointment scheduling, and the like.

Even after the content migration is complete, continual improvement of content efforts will be necessary. For this reason, it's essential to select a CMS that can adapt and scale to meet evolving content needs. For example, many organizations will opt for a CMS with decoupled architecture, which allows them to make changes to the back-end of the content management system and integrate with new platforms or applications, without impacting the front-end user experience.

While undergoing a content migration can be a significant undertaking, it's a necessary step in meeting the evolving demands of consumers and provider partners. With the right plan in place, your organization can ensure that high-quality and compliant content remains standard across your health system's online presence.

Want to learn more about optimizing your website with a scalable, flexible solution? Read our Definitive Guide to Healthcare CMS.