Our Home Page: One Page with a Big Responsibility

Our website comprises thousands of other webpages, and thanks to search engines, visitors can come directly to any of them. But no single page on the site is as important as the home page.

The home page hopkinsmedicine.org  has a big job. It reflects the values and ambitions of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, the School of Medicine and every aspect of care, research and education across Johns Hopkins Medicine. It is a bit like the lobby of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. The hospital has many entrances—including side entrances and even a helipad—but there’s only one main entrance that is designed to welcome all our visitors.

The home page distills the entirety of Johns Hopkins Medicine into a digestible brand, voice and perspective. It has to say, “This is what we do every day and this is what we stand for.” The home page has to show the world in a single glance that  “amazing” happens here every single day.

It also has to speak to a wide variety of audiences: patients, students, employees and perspective employees; not to mention donors, trustees, colleagues and those interested in understanding where we are going in terms of the practice of medicine and the search for biomedical answers.

As a result, the home page is the place where all of our strategic priorities come together on the website. And as the gateway to the rest for the site, it is serving its purpose ever better: Two measures of quality and engagements, page views and bounce rate (the number of people who leave after viewing one page), have improved by 7.5% and 9%, respectively, over the past year. Regular features, such as the Health Awareness Month packages and the Advancements in Research roundup, garner some of the highest traffic on the page—but news stories, like our coverage of Dean/CEO Paul Rothman’s appearance at The Atlantic’s Health Care Forum, have quite a pull as well. From biomedical discoveries to patient- and family-centered care, it’s all there.

That’s a lot for one page to do, and it takes a passionate, cross-functional group to make it possible.

Curating the Home Page

Choosing the stories that represent Hopkins Medicine requires collaboration across disciplines. Every two weeks, we gather a group that represents patient care, research, education, development and more, and each presents the stories that they think best convey our organization’s brand and values.

We work together to assemble these diverse elements and events into a meaningful narrative.

In a recent week, we highlighted an opinion piece that Dean/CEO Rothman co-authored with JHU President Daniels, which ran in The Wall Street Journal; an award Mr. Peterson had just received and a piece from Dr. Peter Pronovost on end-of-life care that was published on WSJ.com. That’s how much “amazing” happens here every week.

That also means that not every story can make it on the home page. But you can be sure that we carefully consider all the possibilities. I can’t say enough about how passionate the communications and marketing representatives are about the stories they bring to the table. It’s a privilege to be a part of the group.

If you have a story you think represents our mission and values, stay in touch with your marketing manager or media relations rep so that they are informed of the latest and greatest work that your group is doing. That will help us inform the world.