Online health: trust & search differences

UnknownKEY TAKEAWAY:  An online strategy for health has to think about where users are in their health care search.  Those who are not yet diagnosed search the Web for health information much different than patients who are, for example, living with chronic health conditions.  DTC marketers also need to think about “caregivers” and “Dr Mom” who spend more time looking for answers on a broad spectrum of health topics.

One digital search strategy for your website doesn’t work today. People search for health information differently depending upon whether they are prediagnosed, are getting ready for a doctor’s appointment, are caregivers or have just been diagnosed and have a new Rx.  For example, I found over the course of three years of research that patients trust other patients when they researching Rx drug side effects.  MS patients, in addition, turn to online support forums to gather input on how to live with MS and share tips on the best supplements to maintain energy.

Can this date really be applied across all online health seekers?

Can this date really be applied across all online health seekers?

IMPLICATIONS

1ne: DTC marketers need a clear content/search strategy based on a clear picture of their target audience.  Digital marketers need to ask “are they newly diagnosed?”, “are the caregivers?”, or “are they living with a chronic condition?”  If you are hoping to get current patients to switch to a your product then you need to ensure your digital strategy reflects that.

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Not too long ago Wikipedia was the number one site for health information.

2wo: Does your content “talk to your audience: or is it just label talk?

3hree: Is your audience using online forums to read what other patients have to say and what are you doing to ensure credibility and clarity of information?

4our: Have you done a click stream analysis to learn where your audience is going before and after coming to your site?

5ive: Is your content being updated with health information your audience trusts?

6ix: What does path through your site tell you about your audience and how can you optimize your site to keep people on the site longer?

7even: It’s about women. Do you know what THEY want and need?

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Digital marketing and especially search have evolved too much to think of just showing up at the top of the page.  Think about where your audience is in their search and help them find what’s important to them.

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