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Leveraging Google Health for Medical Marketing

February 23, 2011

“On any given day, more people are posing health questions to Google than posing health questions to their doctors.”  -- Google’s chief health strategist, Dr. Roni.


Google’s influence over an individual's personal health decisions is a golden opportunity for medical marketing. The above quote should sound like music to any medical marketing strategists’ ears simply because of the immense possibilities that it provides.


According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 83 percent of Internet users have looked online for health information recently. New data released by Pew show many people are now using cell phones to search for health information -- 29 percent of cell phone owners age 18 to 29, and 17 percent of cell owners overall. It's the first time Pew has surveyed health searches on cell phones.


Google Health

Consider this; breast cancer, depression and heart disease are some of the most popular health related searches performed on Google every single day. These are massive, life-altering questions that should ideally be answered by a physician and specialists, not Google, and yet millions would rather have Google diagnose their symptoms.


Although, according to the New York Times, in many cases these patients are finding the infomraiton on line, and then bringing this new information to discussions with their physicians. According to a Harris survey, 58 percent of people who look online for health information discussed what they found with their doctors in the last year.


Leveraging the Statistics

According to research, there is one underlining reason why more and more patients are diagnosing themselves and searching for medical information online; it’s instant. The internet, whether on your mobile or in front fo the computer, provides immediate results, and whether they are the most accurate, medically speaking, is up for debate. This is where specialists, general practice, and boutique physicians can influence information and grow their online presence with expert medical marketing.


Keyword Research

Patients who are searching for medical information online asking specific questions, and looking for precise, detailed and easy to understand answers. In understanding how a person searches for answers, a medical marketing consultant will need to grasp what searches are popular in a given area.


Medical Marketing for Rankings

The ultimate goal of any medical practice or marketing agency is to be in the top three spots in Google results. Keep in mind, these top three spots will change depending on the keyword chosen and the location of the individual searching. Getting to the top spot and obtaining some of the traffic from the 83% of individuals who use Google to search for medical information will dramatically improve not only website traffic, but leads and foot traffic through the doors of any medical practice.


Detailed, And Easy to Understand Content

Once the individual clicks on a website, the final step in leveraging Google medical searches is to keep them on that website and provide a strong call-to-action to turn them from site visitors into patients. The best way to do this is to provide detailed information that is easy to read and understand by anyone.

When creating content for medical marketing and leveraging this audience, consider breaking things down to their absolute core, and then separating that one topic into a multitude of images, videos, podcasts, blogs and articles. One search term can literally lead to hundreds of possibilities for content, and the more detailed content that a medical website can provide, the more pages Google will index and the greater chance that website has of ranking for that specific topic.