Since releasing Pepper Flow Digital Review, our new add-on product for reviewing web content, MLR review of digital content is top of mind for all of us at Vodori. Unlike static content such as brochures, images, and advertisements that are comprised primarily of images and copy, web pages have additional components to consider during MLR review, such as interactivity, responsiveness, title tags, and more.
Because there is so much to consider, we created a checklist to reference as you create and review web content. Use this checklist to enable faster review cycles and ensure your content amplifies your digital marketing efforts.
Bonus: We’ve developed an editable checklist for you to download, modify, and use during your next web review.
Great web content is clear, compliant, and resonates with the target audience. In addition, great content contributes to search engine optimization (SEO), and we all know the value of ranking high in search results. When preparing and reviewing content for the web, ask yourself:
- Is the content concise and easy to read? Utilize tools like Hemingway Editor to find where you’re using unnecessary adjectives, passive voice, and long sentences.
- Is the button copy engaging and representative of the user experience?
- Do relevant and up-to-date warnings and prescribing information appear where needed?
- Are necessary references listed out as footnotes? Do superscripts appear in the content where relevant?
- Are all claims appropriately substantiated prior to submitting for MLR review?
- Does the page appear in the proper place in the navigation? Consider the desktop navigation, mobile navigation, footer, site map, and any other places where the link might appear.
- Does the URL structure make sense? Use a name that reflects what the page is about, and make sure it reflects where the page appears in the navigation.
- Does the page have an appropriate title tag? The title tag is the text that appears in a browser tab and is used as the headline for a search result.
- Does the page have an appropriate meta description? Meta descriptions are used below the headline in a search result and when sharing the web page via social media.
- Are all page links working properly and linking to the correct locations?
- Do download links include file size? For example, it’s useful for mobile users to know if a PDF download is 10MB because it may take a longer time to access the file or could impact their data plan.
Images add personality and amplify information on a web page. However, large images can contribute to a slow page and frustrate users. In a best-case scenario, images look great and load quickly. Ask yourself:
- Do all images look crisp? Do they look crisp on retina screens like your smartphone?
- Could any of the images be misleading alongside the copy on the page? Learn from mistakes other companies made that resulted in an FDA letter.
- For photos with a text overlay: Is the text legible? Make sure to check desktop, tablet, and mobile screens as text can shift on smaller devices, rendering it illegible.
- Do all images use alt tags when appropriate? As a general SEO rule, add alt tags to images that add value and keep alt tags blank when the image is decorative. For example, if I have a chart showing the results of a study for my product, an alt tag would be helpful for screen readers and search engine crawlers. On the other hand, if I have a stock photo of a family, an alt tag would provide minimal value and, therefore, I should keep the tag blank.
- Are all images a reasonable file size? There is a lot to consider here, but basic rules include:
- Make image file sizes as small as you can without sacrificing quality. For example, we generally keep small, static photos at 50KB. For something larger, like a banner image, we size up.
- If you have access to design programs like Photoshop, make sure to export files at a small file size from the program. If you don’t, you can use online tools. We like Kraken, but this blog lists a ton of available tools.
- Do all icons make sense in context?
Your brand can send a confident message—or it can confuse your users. With a website, consistent branding can be particularly difficult, given the constant need for updates and, depending on your organization, the multiple teams and agencies involved. As a general rule, reference brand guidelines that your company has created. Ask yourself:
- Is the messaging on-brand?
- Does the web page or website use the correct brand fonts?
- Is the logo used in brand-compliant ways?
- Do stock photos follow brand guidelines?
- Does the page, as a whole, feel like a natural part of the website?
Design and Accessibility
Your website’s users vary in many ways, from role to age to people with disabilities. Accessible design makes sure you account for everyone, and is almost always a win-win. In the healthcare space specifically, developing a consumer website that is compliant with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) is not only ethical, but also helps reduce the likelihood of large fines. Ask yourself:
- Do all interactive elements look interactive? Do they have a hover state for desktop users?
- Are interactive elements large enough and spaced out for mobile users?
- Do buttons and images pass the color contrast check? Use tools such as the WebAIM Color Contrast Checker to see whether your color combinations are easy enough to read.
- Bonus tip: If you’ve never checked before, view how users with color blindness see your website. Just enter your URL and select a filter.
- Does your video content include closed captioning for those with hearing loss?
- Do all of your form inputs have labels? Though it may be trendy to use input-only forms (the layout is so pristine!) missing form labels not only make it difficult for screen reader users, but it’s also confusing for the average user.
- Does your website pass other accessibility standards? Tools like WebAIM’s WAVE call out links with no text, missing alt text for images and other accessibility issues.
Web pages provide ample opportunities for interactivity and interesting content. That interactivity, however, can also create churn during MLR review if content is missed or overlooked unintentionally. Ask yourself:
- If you have any rotators or tabs, click through all of them. Is content formatted appropriately?
- Does the web page look correct across all of your supported browsers? Check manually or invest in a tool like Browserstack.
- Do error messages appear when appropriate? Are they helpful?
- If you have a responsive site, how does the site look on tablet screens? On mobile screen sizes?
- The Google Chrome browser has a built-in tool that allow you to test across screen sizes. You can find it by clicking the … in the top right of your open Google Chrome browser window. In the menu, select More Tools > Developer Tools. Then, in the window that appears, select the device icon in the top left.
- If you’re overwhelmed by developer tools, try a Chrome extension like Window Resizer instead.
- Is your website mobile-friendly? Enter your URL into a tool like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, which checks things like whether any content is wider than a device, or if clickable elements are too close together.
- How fast is your web page? Once you have a website in place, it can be difficult to overhaul and truly make it faster. However, tools like the Pingdom Website Speed Test can let you know if images, interactive elements or fonts are slowing down your page.
Find this checklist helpful? Download an editable version to tailor to your needs and keep at your desk as you work.
Frustrated with your current digital review process? Try Pepper Flow Digital Review. Pepper Flow Digital Review allows you to annotate on web pages, confirm functionality in context, and more, leading to faster reviews, reduced risk, and happier teams.