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Electronic Communications: Social Media - Gold

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute blog - Night Sweats: Are They a Symptom of Cancer?
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute blog

Dana-Farber Audits Blog Content to Improve Search Traffic and Quality
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

The Dana-Farber blog, Insight, is one of the Dana-Farber communications department’s most valuable traffic drivers. Blog content serves as a general tactic for driving awareness of the Dana-Farber brand, including the Institute’s expert cancer care and expert doctors and researchers.

Search traffic is consistently the #1 driver to the blog, and this trend largely grows each year. However, this past year required a significant rethinking of the blog strategy to ensure it is best optimized for search traffic. This was partly driven by the major Google algorithm change in March 2019 that had a negative impact on many healthcare sites. We knew we would need to dedicate more resources to search engine optimization (SEO) if we were going to rebuild our traffic.

As a result of our efforts and shift in strategy, we have seen our search traffic grow since March 2019.

What was the most impactful part of your award-winning entry?
User data drove everything: The project really centered around us adapting our content to make sure we address user queries in our content, and that the experience of reading our content is a good one.

What is one thing you learned from this experience?
Before this project, we were largely focused on new content creation. This project reinforced the importance of our blog site health and making sure content is regularly updated to address user needs.

What challenge did you overcome?
While analytics showed areas of success in the project, there remain room for improvement in other areas, and natural traffic fluctuations will always occur. Still, we know putting this strategy in place will set us up for long-term success.

Contact

Michael Buller, michael_buller@dfci.harvard.edu

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