DTC marketers: You’re losing website traffic

KEY TAKEAWAY: DTC marketers are losing website traffic because drug names are often hard to spell and your audience relies on Google to find your website.

Some interesting findings via qualitative research in the last two weeks.  First, consumers are having a hard time remembering and spelling new brand name drugs and second they are relying on Google to find advertised drugs and, in the process, are often being directed to competitors sites.

Jean recently went online trying to find more information on a drug for IBS she saw advertised on TV.  She couldn’t remember the brand name so she started at Google searching “IBS”.  The search results directed her to a competitor’s site where she was able to read about another treatment instead of the one she went online to research.  More TV DTC dollars wasted.

The reason that so many people start health searches on Google is that they often can’t remember difficult brand names of new prescription drug products. Unless your brand has 100% share of voice in paid search or an easy to remember vanity URL you’re losing website traffic to competitors.

Of course Google would like you to spend more money and buy more keywords, but that’s not the answer unless you like writing big checks to Google.  Research has continually shown that people will go online to research your product, but don’t expect them to go online when your spots air.  Instead, most go online when they have the time and are in “online health” search mode.  DTC marketers need to be aware that there is a disconnect between website traffic and frequency of TV spots.

What’s in it for me?

A lot of new Rx drugs are targeted at people already on either competitors therapy or generic drugs, but when you go to a drug product homepage you see one message targeted to everyone.  This is inefficient and is causing you to lose traffic and sales.

Some ads should be targeted to switchers and answer patient questions such as “what’s in it for me if I switch?”.  Again a vanity URL could direct traffic to specific pages within your website targeted at possible switchers.  It would take them to a page that highlights the key reasons why your product is better than existing therapies.

The same strategy can also be used for discount coupons.  Why direct people to your site’s homepage when people just want to get a coupon? Time is the new currency and you have to make sure you’re doing all you can to help people get the information they need as quickly as possible.



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