KEY TAKEAWAY: Pharma product websites are unique in that they are not eCommerce sites, but rather exist strictly for informational purposes. Therefore the most important metrics are bounce rate, time on site and number of page views.
Even if your product has a black box warning a bounce rate of almost 80% and time on the site of under a 1:30 are pretty bad metrics. They indicate that either the website wasn’t tested or that the key communications to the audience are not effective enough to get people to say “I want to know more?”.
The online world is moving away from quantitative metrics to qualitative metrics that indicate visitors are engaging with your brand. In the case of DTC marketers who are running TV spots, poor website metrics are a clear indication of the disconnect in executional strategy. Think of it this way, you’re spending money on TV and your audience is going online to learn more, but your website is failing to engage your audience.
What is an acceptable bounce rate? That would depend on the ratio of traffic to bounce rate. When a product is first introduced the traffic and bounce rate tend to be higher as people learn what your product is all about. If, however, your bounce rate continues to be high as your traffic declines, then you are in serious trouble.
Time on site and page views are also important in evaluating your site. While it’s true that Internet time is compressed, less than a couple of minutes is telling you that your audience doesn’t want to read your content or doesn’t feel it’s worth their time to stay on your site and go deeper. Low page views indicate that the content you thought was important isn’t important to your audience.
DTC marketers need to challenge agencies when website metrics are poor and changes need to be implemented before people abandon the idea of asking for for your product.