Page Contents Marketing Department Governance and Guide

This guide or “source of truth” will serve to communicate the brand standards to be adhered to and the rationale behind them in order to maintain the integrity of our online presence.

Digital Overview

This website is a critical component in showcasing our brand through design, imagery, content and usability. The experience the viewer has online conveys the experience they can expect to have when they walk through our doors. Both must be stellar.

Creating a consistent brand experience will help us connect to our current patients as well as future patients locally, regionally, nationally and globally.

Download this one-sheet, writing-for-the-web style guide to give to stakeholders via print or email.

Strategic Approach

The new website is a marketing tool used to convert consumers into Sanford Health patients and to help our current Sanford Health patients find the information they need. Visitors to have a purpose and are typically on our site to do something—whether that is to find a doctor or location, check wait times or even pay a bill. We provide them with an easy path to accomplishing their mission with the right balance of content and clear, easy-to-find Call-to-Action (CTA) prompts. Our primary focus through all of this is our target end user: the patient.

Secondarily, our website provides opportunities for medical staff to access OneChart to easily refer patients or to start/advance their career at Sanford Health.

We also know our website must provide solutions for other important needs. We meet these needs by:

  • Housing classes and events offered to consumers and patients
  • Providing visitor resources such as newborn announcements, gift shop, etc.
  • Providing medical resources such as educational materials, insurance certificates, labs, etc.
  • Offering a portal to other Sanford Health entities such as the careers site, employee portal, media contacts, Sanford Health News and social media
  • Linking to other Sanford Health initiatives such as Sanford Health Foundation, Innovations, World Clinic, Profile, Lorraine Cross Award and more

Website Goals

Our goals are to:

  • Embody a unified Sanford Health approach
  • Offer full interconnectivity across web properties and apps
  • Improve user experience with responsive design on all devices
  • Increase overall performance and ability to measure results

Stakeholder FAQ

The FAQ document is a question & answer page developed for our stakeholders.

Marketing Impact

Where can I send people on when planning a marketing campaign?

Best practice will be to drive traffic to your primary medical service or appropriate location page. The new website layout allows for streamlined content, tabbed components and clear, easy-to-find CTAs in order to meet your marketing objectives. If a primary medical service or location page does not fit your campaign needs, contact the digital team to work through other options.

Can I still use vanity/shortened URLs in my campaign material?

Vanity/shortened URLs should not be placed on promotional materials until approved by the brand committee and web governance. This goes for all new URL requests, as well as any campaign-related requests before new .org. Those before new .org should be reevaluated by web governance.

Can I still use promotional pages for future marketing efforts?

Yes. Promotional pages may still be used and will be evaluated based on strategic need, tier of campaign or duration and will be determined on a case-by-case basis. If a promotional page is desired in connection with a marketing effort, please include in your strategic brief that is presented to brand committee.

What has happened to previously created promotional pages?

Any promotional pages that were created in the past have either shifted to resources pages on the new website or the content has been incorporated into a medical service or location page.

This shift was needed because historically when a promotional page was developed, it was not given a start or, more importantly, an end date. So, our old website had become quite congested with the numerous outdated and often conflicting pages. It was not providing our website visitors an ideal experience and was creating a lot of confusion (and frustration) for our internal teams.

If you have a previously-used a promotional page, it must be reevaluated by the digital marketing team before its relaunch. New promotional page requests should be included in your strategic brief and presented to the brand committee.

Historically, we were able to use the rotating image/slideshow on the homepage to promote marketing campaign efforts. Is that option still available?

No. As we look to encompass a more unified and consistent Sanford Health brand across all our consumer and patient touchpoints, the real estate on the homepage will be a key component in supporting a stronger emotional affinity to Sanford Health along with consistency to the parent brand. Website analytics supported this direction as research showed low consumer engagement with these images.

Can I promote my marketing campaign efforts on the top banner of the medical service or location pages?

No. All of the primary imagery on the website has been hand selected by design experts in order to support a unified brand and uplift how we want consumers to perceive Sanford Health.


Is there content from the old site that was not moved over to the new

Yes. Several former sections and pieces of content were archived and did not get moved over to the new site, including:

  • News/media
  • Patient stories
  • Outdated and off-brand videos
  • Select regional content
  • Promotional pages
  • Doctor bio videos
  • Outdated classes and events

The new website focuses on improving the user experience and driving them further along in their journey to care. Much of the content that was removed did not support this strategy, was outdated or was duplicative in its nature (Example: regional services offered across the enterprise).

Which existing websites or pages will merge into the new

The following websites will be merged into the new over the coming months. This content is relevant and useful to our core audience of health care consumers and patients.

These inclusions will strengthen the overall site and will provide an improved user experience by centralizing relevant information. If you have questions regarding specific timelines or priorities, please reach out to the digital marketing team.

  • Sanford OnCall
  • Choose the Experts
  • Sanford OB
  • Sanford Midlife
  • Sanford Imagenetics
  • Edith Sanford Breast Center
  • Sanford Health Innovations
  • Health Care Accessories
  • Research
  • Wellness Center
  • Laboratories

How do I request a new page on the website?

New locations, provider profiles, classes and events, and newborn pages can be easily created through entering your request through the appropriate Wrike intake form. If you have a desire to create a new medical service page or other pages not listed in the above-mentioned choices, reach out to your digital marketing team to determine the best course of action.

Which websites will remain separate from the new

The following websites will remain separate because they have audiences other than our target health care consumers or our current patients. They also have distinctly different business strategies and will often maintain their own unique branding.

  • Profile by Sanford
  • Maverick Air
  • fit
  • Great Shots Golf
  • Blue Rock Bar & Grill
  • It’s All About Science
  • Sanford Pentagon
  • Lorraine Cross Award
  • Great American Bike Race

How do I request a new website?

A new website request would require a strategic brief outlining the business need in addition to other context. The completed strategic brief would be presented to the brand committee and would be approved to move forward from there.

Main Medical Service Pages

What is a main medical service page?

A main medical service page contains content that is at a high level and serves as the front door into a specific service line and all of its related medical service pages (Examples: our Centers of Excellence (COEs), Dermatology, Plastic Surgery, etc.).

Are there criteria used to determine which departments receive a main medical service page and which don’t?

Information coming soon.

Specific Medical Service Pages

What is a specific medical service page?

A specific medical service page is one that lives beneath the main service page or represents a standalone, one-off medical service. Examples of specific medical service pages are; fertility and reproductive medicine, immunotherapy, oncofertility, total joint replacement, etc.

Are there criteria used to determine which services receive a webpage and which services don’t?

The current stance is to provide a singular page that supports a medical service that is provided across the enterprise in a framework that meets the needs of site visitors. It also provides information with ease of use and access to care as the primary focus. This format presents a singular digital front door to medical service content that is easy to find, user-friendly and strengthens our SEO (search engine optimization) position for maximum reach and performance.

How do we differentiate medical procedures from medical services?

Medical procedures are not medical services; therefore, they are not part of the medical service page tree. Medical procedures are actionable events connected to a medical service line as an endpoint that supports a consumer’s medical moment or health journey need. Medical procedure pages live within the website but are only accessible via CTA buttons, tabbed components or links from related medical service pages, or through campaign marketing pages. Examples of procedures are; LASIK eye surgery, heart screenings, colonoscopy, etc.

Does all the content on the medical service page have to be enterprise oriented?

No. In some instances, there may be a service offered in a region that sets Sanford Health apart and we may want to leverage it within a medical service page. The Business Partner or Marketing Manager should work with enterprise and regional operations partners, the digital marketing team and web governance to determine these on a case-by-case basis.

How will users know if a service listed on an enterprise page is offered in their location?

Doctors and Locations are directly associated with the medical service pages so users on those pages can see within the module who and where a service is provided. In the example of Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT), you are able to quickly identify locations and doctors providing that service:

How can I make updates to the medical service pages?

In order to maintain the integrity of the enterprise approach to these pages, it is requested that any change to content be made through Wrike by the enterprise business partner. Work with your enterprise marketing team to develop and approve appropriate content.

Can I remove the “Find a Doctor” or “Find a Location” button from a medical service page?

No. Past and present website analytics data indicate that these are the top two actions that visitors take on our website. Therefore, it is recommended these CTAs remain present and prominent to ensure a favorable user experience as well as consistency across our pages. Only when there are no doctors or locations for the medical service page can they be removed (Example: Home Care).

This feature of our website will launch as part of Phase II in Q2 of 2019.

How often will patient stories be updated on the website?

As often as you’d like. With the new website content management system in place, these updates are easy tasks for our digital marketing team to perform. Best practice will be to update patient stories quarterly (annually, at a minimum). Our digital marketing team will track engagement metrics to ensure the best-performing patients’ stories are highlighted.

We know that consumers’ media behavior is changing and that content is king. Linking to Sanford Health News allows us to engage a visitor with a piece of content and, hopefully, several more as they browse related stories on Sanford Health News.

Provider Profile Pages

Which providers or staff receive profile pages on

If we can answer “yes” to any of the questions below, a profile is appropriate.

  • Are you a Sanford Health-employed physician: MD or DO?
    • This could include Sanford Health-employed hospitalists, ER doctors and anesthesiologists.
  • Can a patient schedule an appointment with you directly or choose you for their care (centralized scheduling)?
    • This could include psychologists (PsyD), advanced practice providers (NP, PA), nurse practitioners (CNP or CNNP), certified nurse midwives (CNM), licensed dieticians (LRD LDN), certified or licensed social workers (CSW, LSW, LCSW), genetic counselors, outpatient physician therapists or outpatient occupational therapists.
  • Are patients or prospective patients going to benefit from contacting you directly?
    • This could include Sanford Health-employed anesthesiologists and CRNAs, nurse navigators, doulas or athletic trainers.
  • Are you a member of the Sanford Health team with a high profile that benefits the entire organization?
    • This could include distinguished researchers, national speakers or others.

Which providers or staff do not receive profile pages on and why?

Provider Bio Workflow

Contracted providers (anesthesiologists, hospitalists, pharmacists and other therapists) and locums

Any position that is not employed directly by Sanford Health cannot be included on the website due to liability and risk concerns from Sanford Health’s legal and compliance teams.

Are provider video bios still a requirement for the provider profile pages?

No. There are a number of reasons we moved away from including the current provider video bios on the new

  • Many providers were not comfortable with the format and often came across as robotic or awkward in their videos
  • The creative execution of the videos was no longer meeting the brand standard
  • While we worked to make this a standard inclusion, majority of providers did not have them

Will we be doing provider video bios in the future?

Yes. We are currently working with an outside company to develop a new standard. Our first provider videos will be focused on Women’s/OB with the hopes of having them completed prior to the 2019 campaign. From there, a best practice will be established and shared across our organization.

What should I do if an existing provider (who is eligible for a profile) is not listed on the website?

If the provider’s profile page is non-existent on the site, work with your ops partner to complete the profile page template or complete the provider bio Wrike intake form on the marketing SharePoint site.

What should I do if the a provider’s specialty, credentials, location or other information is incorrect?

If there is incorrect information on an existing provider profile page, please submit a web maintenance intake form through Wrike. Please be sure to include the URL to the webpage and the specific changes needed. Our digital team will work to complete these revisions within our standard 5-business day turnaround.

Once the corrections have been made, the marketing specialist will follow up with the provider and clinical leadership with the updated profile URL.

Why did we add provider reviews and ratings?

Consumers are becoming accustom to soliciting feedback and reviews throughout all of life’s daily activities—social media, online shopping, mobile apps, etc. Now, reviews and ratings are becoming an expectation of consumers in their health care journey.

Research indicates that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend or family member.  As we look to provide opportunities for users to take action on the website, search results with ratings and reviews generate a 150% increase in clicks than those without. For example, after implementing star ratings and reviews, Cleveland Clinic saw a 37% increase in provider profile views and an 81% increase in Google search results.

Where do the provider ratings and reviews come from?

Sanford Health’s star ratings and reviews come from our Press Ganey survey results. Those survey results are then passed through a scoring system before being published on the website. The Patient Experience team is assembling a committee to review and monitor surveys as they pass through the portal and system.

For questions regarding star reviews, feel free to share the FAQ document and direct stakeholders to

Can reviews be removed from provider bios?

To request that a review or comment be removed, please email If there is a provider who wants to discuss star ratings, please contact Dr. Jeremy Cauwels at (605) 312-6644.

Adding a New Provider to the website

If a provider qualifies for a bio page on (see chart), then the Senior Marketing Specialist (SMS) will give them the provider bio form to fill out. That form should then be submitted to the digital team through the Wrike intake form.

Provider resignation

Once a provider is no longer with the organization, a request needs to be submitted to the digital team through the Wrike intake form so the provider bio page can be removed from the website.

Location Pages

What is the definition of a location on the website?

Anything that is a Sanford-owned brick and mortar location. A decision on Managed Locations is being currently vetted by web governance group.

Who can add a new location to the website?

Anyone can submit a Wrike intake form to request adding a location to the website and to our online listings. From there, requests will be reviewed and vetted for accuracy and duplication.

When submitting requests for new locations, please include critical information such as the official location name (Provider-Based Billing or PBB standard), address, phone numbers, hours of operation, location type, a description of the location and specialties and services offered at this location.

What should I do if my location is not listed in the “Find a Doctor” or “Find a Location” module on a medical service page?

If this is happening, it means your location is not “tagged” to be recognized as having that particular physician connected to that location or for that location to be offering that particular medical service.

To fix, please submit a web maintenance intake form through Wrike and be sure to include the URL to the webpage and the specific changes needed. Our digital team will work to complete these revisions within our standard 5-business day turnaround.

What should I do if information such as address, hours or services is incorrect on the location page?

If there is incorrect information on an existing location page, please submit a web maintenance intake form through Wrike. Please be sure to include the URL to the webpage and the specific changes needed. Our digital team will work to complete these revisions within our standard 5-business day turnaround.

I am not able to find any network locations. Where are they linked in the website?

Network locations can be found through the universal site search but will not be linked directly in the header or footer on the website. These pages will be used primarily as landing pages for advertising campaigns moving forward.

Why do our current location pages have only one phone number? Can we add more?

As we look to provide a streamlined experience and clear CTAs for our users, our best practice is to display one primary phone number. At this time, it is not recommended to have more than one phone number listed.

Classes and Events

Which classes and events can be displayed on

Any class or event that is offered to patients or the general public can be listed underneath the Classes & Events section on by submitting a Wrike intake form.

Which classes or events will not be displayed on

Classes and events related to a physician or internal staff, such as symposiums, internal lectures and continuing education events, should continue to be listed and accessed either through the Sanford Success Center or the employee calendar. These educational event requests can be emailed to the Learning Solutions team at Internal events outside of these can be added to the employee calendar on the marketing SharePoint.

How will classes and events pages be removed?

All events will automatically un-publish once the event date has passed. There are some classes that run indefinitely, such as B4 Baby classes, and will have a separate tagging structure to allow them to appear on the site in support of their structure.

Will we be able to customize classes and events to the appropriate medical service pages?

Yes. While not readily available today, this upgrade will be implemented as part of Phase II in Q2 of 2019. Today the top two news stories and classes/events listings are pulling through to medical service pages.

No. Currently, this functionality does not exist. If you’d like to add one event to multiple websites, please add those specific details to your Classes & Events Wrike intake form and be sure to include the URLs.

Patient Education

When can we, or should we, include our internally created education assets (videos/PDFs)? What role will Krames Patient Education play?

Information coming soon.

If we allow our current patient education materials to be on the site (Example: Edith), what is the best way for that content to be presented? Do PDFs allow for a search ability/SEO or do we just want this information as web content or as both?

Information coming soon.

Writing Style for Web: Grade levels and types of reading styles and their importance to comprehension has been inquired about by stakeholders in Patient Education. How shall we advise them?

People tend to read online by skimming. Many don’t scroll past the first screen or past “the fold” which is the part of the page that is visible without scrolling.

This determines website page design. That’s why our new design presents many actionable items above the fold without forcing visitors to scroll for the information they need.

This determines our text, too – which affects our Google results, shareability on social media, and how useful our content is to patients and other users of our website. We make our web copy skimmable with short sentences, small blocks of text, subheadings, bullet points and numbered lists.

In other words, we get right to the point to make clear what the page is about and what we want the reader to do. Here’s how:

  • Write for people and for Google. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, capitalizes on the terms people are searching for and makes our website a top result in their search. We research what keywords people are using in their searches and find ways to place them on our site in important areas such as web addresses, headlines and first paragraphs.
  • Write in patient-first language. Tell the reader about the benefit to them instead of touting ourselves. No one enjoys a conversation with someone who only talks about themselves. Include a clear call-to-action.
  • Use active voice. “We care for you,” vs. “we are dedicated to caring for you.” This helps to make our message clear and understandable.
  • Use short sentences. We communicate one idea per sentence for maximum readability – a quality that’s especially important for health information. Aim to keep most sentences to 104 characters or less. Write one idea per sentence and split longer sentences into two or more.
  • Write at a 7th- to 9th-grade level. Health literacy varies widely in the areas we serve. Even people with strong literacy skills who can understand basic health information (such as a pamphlet about a medical condition) have difficulty understanding more complex health information (such as documents describing medication side effects or insurance coverage). Another reason to keep it simple: People can have a hard time understanding health information when they are under the stress of a serious diagnosis or trying to make a health care decision.

Download this one-sheet, writing-for-the-web style guide to give to stakeholders via print or email.

Features & Functions

Wait Times – To where does the button on the homepage lead?

Until we are ready to incorporate the on-call website and campaign fully within the new website, this button will link to the on-call website.

This will be implemented as part of Phase II in Q2 of 2019.

Will items from the American Cancer Society or the American Academy of Dermatology be allowed in the future? If so, what will be the parameters?

Whenever we can, we want the user to stay on our website. As a result, we encourage producing our own content that would otherwise be external. However, in certain situations this may not be feasible and linking to outside sites may be our only option or a temporary solution until content can be created. If Sanford Health content is not available or content cannot be produced, linking out to another source will be considered on a case-by-case basis through the website governance committee.

Please provide some best practices/explanations around the language used for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

People read limited quantities of online content. Content skimming is the norm for web content consumption. As a result, we need to write in a format that supports this type of user behavior. We also need to account for organic search performance and social media habits.

Web copy should focus on key talking points that strengthen page performance for SEO while also meeting the needs of the user through short sentences, small blocks of text, subheadings, bullet points and numbered lists. More simply put, get right to the point regarding the purpose of the page and what you want the reader to do. Do this by:

  • Writing in patient-first language
  • Using an active voice
  • Writing at a 7th- to 9th-grade reading level
  • Using short sentences
  • Considering the desired action or end goal–what do we want the user to do?
  • Being authentic, brief, clear, relevant, useful, credible, scannable and friendly

Please also see our SEO best practices document for additional direction.

Site search allows for keywords to be featured or elevated in searches bringing applicable pages to the top of the search results. Consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis for featured keyword requests based on hierarchy within the search results and their impact on the overall user experience. If you have such a request, reach out to Digital Marketing to discuss.

Where do we account for Open Scheduling & Direct Scheduling?

These options are found on the “Get Care Here” page, as well as through provider profile pages, where applicable. We’ll look to improve this in later phases as the MyChart functionality improves.

Holiday Hours

Holiday hours should be submitted at a minimum of 5 business days before a holiday. These can be submitted through a web maintenance ticket within Wrike.

Website Customization

Can anything on the website be customized?

Yes. The website is built upon a framework that allows for the customization of modules within the page, however, actual custom pages will no longer be permitted to ensure the consistency and integrity of the website.

If a page needs to be different than the primary framework of the site, a decision whether or not it should be part of needs to be made. These new page requests can be submitted to the brand committee for review and approval before it can move forward to a digital recommendation or a mock-up. Pages for doctors, locations, newborns, classes & events and medical services cannot be changed or customized.

No. The header and footer are permanent fixtures of and must remain consistent across our website. This ensures that we provide the best user experience centered around ease-of use and quick access to content and care.

Can I update the social media icons or header on my medical service page?

No. As with the website header and footer, social media icons must remain consistent in support of the user experience.

Where can I place my web tiles on the new website?

The new website will no longer use web tiles. A replacement option to consider is the new tabbed component or CTA boxes. Feel free to contact the digital team to discuss these solutions and best practices. If using a CTA is preferred, use only one CTA per banner.

Can I change the color of the overlay text on the top banner images across pages?

Unfortunately, no. The color will remain consistent in support of readability and our brand standards.

Updates & Maintenance

What is the process of getting images uploaded to the website (compression, size, etc.)?

Images should be compressed to aid in site speed per the standards outlined in the website toolkit. All images will be reviewed by the design team prior to sending to the digital marketing team.

Will the process for submitting tickets remain the same?

Web maintenance, if only minor changes to content, can be submitted through the current Wrike intake forms. Requests for new provider profiles, locations, or classes and events may also be entered through Wrike, but any other requests for new pages or new websites should be sent through the brand committee.

How do I submit content changes to the website?

There has been no change to this process. Senior Marketing Specialists and Lead Marketing Specialists can submit a Wrike request. Website change requests by those outside of marketing can be sent to the marketing inbox at They will get your request to the applicable person.

When can I expect change requests to be implemented?

Standard turn-around times for website edits will remain at 5 business days from the date of submission. Custom requests that require more robust features and functionality must be assessed and a turn-around time will be provided.

Future Enhancements

When will smart content begin to show up on the website?

In the future, we are going to be working with a personalization tool that will give each patient a unique experience with images and content. We have no timeline as to when this will be put in place. Approval from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is required in order to implement this customization engine.

Will our site be able to be translated into other languages?

This is under consideration for future development of the website. However, language assistance services are available free of charge. Assistance information can be found on the patient bill of rights page, or patients can call toll free:

Are there plans for a more robust retail or e-commerce component to the website?

Yes. The current website has an aged e-commerce solution that supports the gift stores and a few other components. An updated and improved e-commerce solution is planned for release in Phase II of development during Q2 in 2019.

Website Data Sources

Wait times: IT data source

Medical Specialties: no data source; direct to platform

Medical services: no data source; direct to platform

Classes & Events: no data source; direct to platform

Location listings: no data source; direct to platform

Phone numbers: no data source; direct to platform

Provider listings: no data source; direct to platform

Star Ratings: Press Ganey patient survey platform

Careers: Human Resources