NHS Choices is the UK’s most popular health website — with nearly 40 million monthly visits from UK consumers looking to make informed health and lifestyle decisions that help them to live well and for longer.
A world-leading provider of multi-channel health and social care information, NHS Choices uses Hitwise to meet the huge diversity of users’ needs, in ways that deliver the best possible outcomes.
Providing trusted lifestyle and healthcare advice to an audience that encompasses the entire UK population is no easy task.
Whilst difficult, it’s also hugely important. The prevention of illnesses and conditions where lifestyle may be a factor — diabetes, obesity, cancer — has the potential to save, and improve the quality of, many lives. In addition, better health choices can save billions of pounds: figures suggest that the direct cost of smoking to the NHS, for example, is in excess of £5 billion a year.
NHS Choices needs insight in depth and breadth to optimize a huge website — around 10,000 pages — so that it can monitor, measure and meet the needs of its diverse audiences.
Hitwise has transformed the ways in which NHS Choices sees its populations. Previous approaches told them a lot about their site, but virtually nothing about the people using it. Complementing and enhancing the organisation’s existing analytics, Hitwise now allows them to take a step back and see how people think about, search for and consume health information.
Choosing Hitwise in 2012, NHS Choices now benefits from powerful analytics to understand the traffic to and from their website. Data is based on 3 million UK panellists, 9 million websites and 160 million monthly searches. Harnessing rich demographics, Hitwise brings real understanding of what people do online – both on their PC and mobile devices.
Critically, this insight is not just into the people using the NHS Choices website: Hitwise discovers and analyzes behaviours long before they ever get there.
The importance of this broader insight is profound: whilst the NHS might be comfortable using medical terms to describe conditions, members of the general population might not. Healthcare professionals could talk about ‘obesity’, for example, but users could be searching for ‘overweight’, ‘fat’ or ‘weight-loss’. Get this wrong and potential beneficiaries slip through the net.
The Hitwise solution allows NHS Choices to speak the same language as its users. Now they reach the right audience at the right times with the right information. It means that they better engage with millions of people, helping them to make informed health and lifestyle choices and use NHS services in the most effective and efficient ways.
Today, NHS Choices uses Hitwise to deliver:
Daily insight means that NHS Choices is able to anticipate and overcome any lag caused by emerging health trends or changing user behaviour — vital on a site where even a 24-hour delay in optimisation can have potentially damaging consequences.
Relevant search intelligence
Support for day-to-day editorial decisions, which are now determined by hard fact instead of gut-feeling. Topics, terminology and tone of voice are informed by real users in real time, for always-relevant content.
Accessible content delivery
With the ability to monitor, measure and analyse other health websites as well as audience behaviours, NHS Choices is able to identify and replicate best-in-breed approaches to constantly improving site usability. It has removed significant amounts of duplication by better defining and refining terminology and content so that users get to the information they need quickly and easily.
Hitwise also delivers on softer, but no less important, metrics. NHS Choices is able to demonstrate value to NHS leaders: showing that it is the UK’s number one healthcare website; is visited tens of millions of times a month; and also identifies valuable partnership opportunities. It delivers the powerful headline stats that continually justify senior commitment and investment.
The key to success has been Hitwise’s ability to turn data complexity into business simplicity. The Hitwise account team has taken the time to understand NHS Choices’ objectives and create specific approaches to achieve them. It’s easy to use, generating reports that are simple to understand and readily actionable. Hitwise ensures that NHS Choices is always relevant, agile and accessible — providing a service that helps millions of people every month.