The most important digital metric for pharma marketers

UnknownKEY TAKEAWAY: The most important metric, in an era of multi-touch points, for pharma product websites is “time on site” but, it has to be for the right reasons.

Time on site can vary widely from pharma product website to website, but it’s important for us to understand why someone is spending time on certain pages within our site.  I just recently concluded a project for  a client who was very pleased with the stickiness of their site.  However, when we launched a pop-up survey to get deeper insights we learned that the vast majority of visitors were having problems reading the content and found it too “medical”.  This isn’t good.


After the results of the survey I decided to ask around about how the content for the website was developed.  Although the client spent a lot of time on the look and feel of the website content was used from other marketing materials, even though their agency wanted to use part of the budget to use a copywriter.

I managed to get a small budget to conduct some research on content with our target audience.  We compared content that is currently available on the website vs. new content that we developed for two pages.  We asked our audience to compare the two pages and the page with rewritten content scored much higher in “intent” to go deeper in the site and consider the product as a treatment option.

There are some who believe that content should be at a sixth grade reading level, but I believe that is an oversimplification.  Content needs to talk to website visitors like you and I would talk and it needs to get them to say “I understand, I want to know more..”.  In addition, I am a huge believer in having a “rollover” for difficult medical terms linked to a dictionary or other website.


The key fact of online DTC marketing is that nobody is going to ask for your product after visiting your site alone.  They are going to go to a lot of websites, including your competitors.   DTC marketers should not be concerned with the total number of visitors because of potentially high bounce rates, but, rather, how much time they are spending on your site and what pages they are spending that time on.