What frustrates online health seekers on pharma websites?

UnknownPOST SUMMARY: While your web analytics might indicate that you are getting a lot of traffic to your product website upstream and downstream analysis indicates that visitors are also going to other health websites to both fact check your claims and help them better understand complicated health language.

I just received the results of a quantitative study on pharma product websites (n=2265) and it clearly shows that there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to pharma product websites.


Among the top issues:

(1) Content that was too hard to understand

(2) No clear explanation of side-effects (relates to risk of developing the side effects)

(3) Lack of general health information

(4) Tone of content that was “sales” oriented.

(5) Too long to get to the point (contents key points)

(6) Navigation

(7) The site was not mobile friendly/not optimized for mobile

(8) Poor navigation

Millennials were more likely to use mobile sites than other demographics, but the findings were pretty consistent across all demographic segments.  We were surprised to learn that older demographic 55+ were also highly likely to seek out additional health information online.  When asked “does your doctor discuss medication options and/or side effects with you?” a vast majority (80%) said “no”.


In deeper research, we prepared content at 8th grade, 10th grade and 14th grade reading levels.  The content that tested best was at an 8th grade reading level, even with college educated respondents.   In addition, we tested the use of “roll-over’s” to offer definitions of complicated medical terms and they tested very well.

There is a need for a lot better, engaging  content that draws your audience into your brand.  The content should be written in the same tone as a personal conversation, but leave the sales talk out.