Online Program

Using Audience Differentiation to Improve Public Health Website Effectiveness: An Innovative Methodology to Inform Public Health Communications Efforts

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Scott Jones, Certified Web Analyst, IQ Solutions, Rockville, MD
An effective public health website is one of the key indicators of how successful an organization will be at getting their messages to the right audiences and effectively communicating their mission. How well do you know your audiences and how well do they know your brand?

Whether your website is addressing multicultural health needs, a specific health issue, a research audience, healthcare providers, or public health clients, building audience measurement into the website development process ultimately determines whether or not the website's objectives have been accomplished.  Quantifying website audiences and success of the site will be especially important in the future when site schemas and taxonomies become more sophisticated, including such features as ICD codes, and are linked to apps and health information systems.

Audience differentiation is a methodology that includes both quantitative and qualitative processes.  Adapted from commercial marketing theory, it is based on developing an understanding of website objectives, identifying website visitors and their end actions, analyzing engagement characteristics, and comparing quantitative results with self-identified audience needs and objectives. The methodology applies to both existing and newly developed websites.  Consideration is given to websites where there is a lack of data, or where there may be policies or requirements that prevent the gathering of certain types of data.  Once a website audience has been determined, it can be periodically optimized and monitored using the same methodology.  Finally, sustainability will be addressed. When the website audience has been determined, the site can be periodically optimized and monitored using the same methodology to ensure that audience fluctuations are addressed.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Identify and quantify the audience composition for a website or mobile app. Assess audiences of a website or app on an ongoing basis to optimize audience composition. Explain future applications of audience development methodologies and how the website of the future should be planned and built now.

Keyword(s): Evaluation, Information Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have 18 years experience working with website and mobile app analytics overall, and 6 years experience specifically with public health-related websites, including SEO, new site design, and general strategic interests.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.