Healthline's traffic rises, putting it closer to WebMD and Everyday Health
Healthline Media CEO David Kopp said the biggest driver of traffic growth is Healthline's editorial process and empathy-minded approach to content.
Healthline is now the third most-visited health website, reporting a 44% jump year-over-year in unique visitors in July, at a time when two of its competitors, WebMD and Everyday Health, have reported declines in traffic.
It moved into the third position in June.
Healthline had nearly 32.5 million unique visitors in July 2016, a 44% increase from the same month a year ago, according to ComScore. Healthline reported the second-biggest growth among the top 10 health sites during that time. CNN Health had an 89% jump in unique visitors, from 8.7 million in July 2015 to 16.4 million in July 2016.
CNN Health and Healthline were the fastest growing health information sites in July 2016, according to ComScore. *Individual website unique views combined exceed universe totals due to audience duplication.
WebMD and Everyday Health, the industry leaders, reported declines in unique visitors. WebMD fell 11%, from 77.8 million to 69.6 million unique visitors, and Everyday Health was down 18%, from 54 million to 44.1 million unique visitors.
Healthline Media CEO David Kopp said the biggest driver of traffic growth is Healthline's editorial process and empathy-minded approach to content. In January, Healthline Media received $95 million in equity funding, making it a standalone company separate from Healthline Networks. With the funding, Healthline Media invested in content development, social media programs, and new media such as video and digital. The Healthline website also had a revamp with a new logo and design.
“We did a pretty major facelift, including developing a logo which we feel like better represents the approachable, human, and empathetic voice of our content and site,” said Kopp.
Health information websites are undergoing a number of changes. About.com in April launched standalone health information website Verywell, and top health sites like WebMD and Everyday Health are experiencing a slump in growth.
Healthline's Kopp said it is too early to see the return on investment from video and digital, but noted that additional investments spent on the maintenance and enhancement of content have been key to the site's growth — Healthline's editorial team updates content to stay in line with new findings and enhances it by predicting follow-up questions users may have.
Using data gathered from Healthline.com and the company's other digital properties, including MedicalNewsToday.com, as well as its 23 Facebook communities for patient advocates, the company is able to better understand user behavior and deliver targeted content and advertising, said Kopp.
“We developed a planning insights lab to plan both pre-campaign and mid-campaign, and we're putting forward a media plan that is more strategic than what our campaigns used to be,” said Kopp. “We see which pieces and messages are performing better, and how we can optimize across all channels.”
Healthline's audience has not changed dramatically, said Kopp. About 68% of its users are women, and 32% are men. But its millennial audience is growing, especially among millennial women. He said 48% of Healthline.com's total traffic come from women between 18 and 44 years old.
“I think that speaks to the fact that our content has changed a bit,” said Kopp. “We have made it into a much more millennial mindset — it's, ‘Don't tell me what to do; tell me what I need to know so I can make a good decision.' It's done a better job at empowering people.”