Every day pharma marketers reach out to us to find out new ways in which to take their digital marketing strategies to the next level. Within the new paradigm, they are all curious about new, “unconventional” digital approaches that are both cost-effective and efficient. And that depends on SEO.
One of the questions that springs to pharma marketers’ minds the most is, “How much impact would SEO have on my pharma marketing strategy?“. In his article, we will answer this same question and look over the changing digital landscape in pharma and the role of SEO in it.
Dive in to learn more.
What is pharma SEO?
SEO, also known as search engine optimization, is a practice that focuses on boosting a website’s visibility in search engine result pages. Thus allowing businesses in pharma and other fields to help their audience find their website more easily.
Can’t picture this? Think of the Internet as a collection of web addresses, and search engines as the directory. Whenever a user wants to find a specific piece of information, it takes out the directory. Then, from it, searches to find out which web addresses hold the needed information.
Now, your address may hold a lot of helpful information. Yet, until and unless the directory indexes that piece of information, you won’t know it.
So, the practice of allowing search engines to index the correct information from your website is known as Search Engine Optimization.
How effective is SEO?
The numbers don’t lie. Every second, Google processes 40,000 search queries, which means 3.5 billion searches per day.
Therefore, if you optimize for search engines, you make yourself and your brand more discoverable to a wider plethora of audiences. Additionally, you manage to leverage the power of one of the most ubiquitous modes of digital marketing.
Want some real and measurable benefits of SEO for number crunching? Well, here’s what an effective SEO strategy in pharma can do:
1. Increase your website’s reach
An effective pharma SEO strategy can help you rank higher on Google. Thus, allowing you to reach a wider and more qualified audience.
For instance, with the help of SEO, new emerging pharma brands can create a more articulated brand image, that is tailored to the audience’s needs and interests.
Moreover, SEO further simplifies communication with key stakeholders. Sales reps no longer need to be sent from one clinic to another to inform medical professionals about their brand. Instead, they can use effective SEO strategies to capture the attention of both healthcare professionals and patients.
This way, sales reps can only approach healthcare professionals when they are open for in-person meetings. As a result, SEO facilitates a pull-marketing strategy that opens up ways of enhancing the discoverability of your brand without getting too aggressive.
2. Become more customer-centric
SEO is a customer-driven approach. Instead of just focusing on impressions, you equally center your attention on providing an overall seamless experience to your target audience. By being customer-centric, pharma marketers can pave the way for sales optimization and brand image boost.
Not sure of how search engines allow pharma brands to achieve customer centricity?
Among the different factors that influence search engines’ ranking of websites is user responsiveness. If a piece of your pharma content is not useful nor responsive to the different screens (mobile, tablet, desktop), Google will assume that it is not valuable. Therefore, it automatically ranks lower.
Google understands users’ reading habits so it can deliver content that is relevant and engaging. You must take this into consideration when you develop your communications strategy and create new content.
This customer-centric approach can be a huge opportunity for you as a pharma marketer. Through it, you can conduct well-directed digital campaigns to maximize conversions. All by reaching a wider, diversified audience.
To understand this better, let’s assume that your brand chooses to market antioxidant capsules through online advertising channels. Now you may end up getting a huge amount of traffic using aggressive digital marketing techniques like advertising. However, the conversion ratio would be rather low. Although your website receives a huge amount of traffic due to advertising, the percentage of visitors that are actually interested in your product runs the risk of being significantly small.
SEO, on the other hand, works differently. With effective search engine optimization techniques, you “pull” a more qualified audience towards you. The number of visitors you receive through pull marketing may be lesser when compared to the push marketing approach, but you’ll get a higher conversion ratio. The reason is simple: you’re customer-driven.
3. Provide better site navigability and user-friendliness
The good thing about having an organized structure is that it reduces chaos and allows you to interpret things easily and quickly. In the process of optimizing for search engines, we’re actually breathing structure into our websites.
Effective search engine optimization techniques improve site navigation and streamline the content that matters the most. By providing a rich user experience, we are enabling efficiency and success which, consequently, leads to greater customer retention – one of the biggest challenges of digital pharma marketing.
4. Better ROI than ad campaigns
Many pharma marketers ask us – if online advertising is a quick and easy way to get traction online, then, why not use it? Why waste time in formulating a quick SEO strategy when you can get the results right away?
Well, that’s one way of looking at things. Surely, ad campaigns are result-oriented, but their impact is also short-lived. In our years of experience in digital pharma marketing, we can confidently say that as far as online campaigning is concerned, there is only one strategy that works – consistency.
Organic listings are absolutely free. Agreed, the traction they provide is minuscule compared to ad campaigns, but they provide consistent, long-term results. And that’s what counts.
In other words, if you implement a sound SEO strategy that ranks your website in the top results, you don’t need to invest a lot in ad campaigns.
5. Build trust
Trust is what drives businesses. Trust is also what makes people believe that your product is the right one because there is confidence in your propositions.
Search engines help you achieve that.
People trust listings on Google. When a healthcare professional searches for some information that’s hosted by your website and it comes on the front page of Google, he knows that you’re credible.
The same thing goes for patients.
When a patient looks up information about your pill and finds it instantly in the top searches, he/she knows that your pharmaceutical brand is trustworthy.
On the flip side, if your target audience cannot get the right information about you on the front page of Google, they might get skeptical about you. This is one of the strongest reasons we recommend SEO to every brand– it helps build your brand image.
From the pharma perspective, search engine optimization is tricky, since you have to abide by a lot of regulations to make sure you don’t over-sell your product. But that should not stop you from leveraging the power of searches. After all, top pharma brands worldwide are leveraging their power to create engaging and personalized interactions with their target audience.