Client Name Confidential
Location United States
A real-world study of healthcare and the need to increase Lighthouse performance.
When we first sat down with Frank, the CIO of a major Healthcare Organization, you could feel the tension in the room. We were facing a major challenge as all 48 of our hospital network sites were scoring less than 3 on Google Lighthouse performance audit. Ordinarily we were not in the habit of overreacting to Google announcements, but this one was different. We all knew the implication; our mobile search rankings were about to plummet if we did not fix the sites and fast.
Many suggestions had been proposed up this point including our current course of action which consisted largely of let’s ignore the problem and hope it goes away. We had already exhausted every “magic bullet” we could find including a failed attempt with vendors that claimed they could simply rehost our site and fix all the problems on the fly.
In typical Frank style, he dove into the heart of the matter and encapsulated our real issues in one sentence. We need to "future-proof" our website so that not only do we fix the problems of today, but we make the system flexible enough we can quickly fix the problems of the future.
Eventually, we all agreed the only solution was to address all the major issues that the Lighthouse Audit was complaining about which meant rearchitecting all 48 sites. However, we had been collecting valuable content over the past 5+ years on a very stable enterprise Content Management System (CMS) and knew we did not want to lose any of that valuable information. In order to future-proof the websites we opted to tackle the following:
Our approach to redesigning the sites consisted of the following steps:
Project kickoff started in February after a few planning sessions. Design then utilized the bulk of the schedule and delivered their approved designs in May. It was very important to plan the system correctly up-front so we would know what we were building, but also to ensure that it was designed correctly, be easy to use and perform well for our patients.
The performance score from under 3 to consistently ranking at 95. Site interactive time went from 22.7 seconds down to 3.5 seconds. Our other four category scores also improved to over 90 as well in the process. The business was thrilled with the results, particularly since most healthcare companies have yet to go through a similar exercise. As of writing this article, we are still the best performer in Google Performance compared to our peers many of whom are still scoring below 30.
I am pleased to report that not only were we able to get all the Google Lighthouse Scores above 90 but we did the project in half the original development time allotted and on budget. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome of a project of this magnitude.
Now you may be asking yourself, does a performance increase really matter? According to Google, it sure does. We were fortunate enough to work directly with the folks at Google, and though their algorithm is a tightly guarded secret, they have confirmed that site load time is one of the major factors to mobile search rankings. It makes sense, as how many people will wait 22.7 seconds on a mobile device for our site to display and be usable. In our case it was easy to measure and the abandonment rate for customers and drastically reduced since we launched the new site and if you will indulge me a little paraphrasing we receive feedback daily on the order of “your site is so much faster now…”
If you are interested in learning more about the specifics of this project and how we helped one of the world’s leading healthcare provider raise all of their Google Lighthouse scores to above 90, please contact us today.
We are happy to provide a free comprehensive audit of your websites that includes the Google Lighthouse measurements and much more. The audit consists of the following areas: