Research reveals search engine habits of patients and HCPs


Search engines are actually arguably the dominant manner that each patients and HCPs alike entry medical data – so it’s vital for pharma to grasp precisely what they’re looking for. New analysis by Life Sciences by Stickyeyes, performed for pharmaphorum, sheds gentle on individuals’s behaviour when looking for oncology data on-line.

The analysis appears on the varieties of questions patients and HCPs are posing to search engines and the knowledge they’re looking for, with a view to perceive the general digital advertising and marketing panorama inside oncology and its related matter areas.

It additionally compares the behaviour of patients and HCPs with a view to analyse the variations between the 2.

Monthly search volumes attributed to key phrases present a sign of how usually a time period is used inside Google per 30 days and subsequently its reputation, permitting the researchers to establish the most typical questions and probably the most requested content material.

758 key phrases in 16 main classes had been recognized that relate to oncology remedy, with a complete of 51,930 searches per 30 days within the UK.

The knowledge reveals that whereas affected person phrases – which tended to be broader in nature – dominate the panorama, “pockets of opportunity” are discovered inside HCP phrases.

“Keyword research can be used to gain insight into the content HCPs are searching for online and the types of questions they are posing,” the researchers say. “Monthly search volumes attributed to key phrases present a sign of how usually a time period is used and subsequently its reputation; that means this analysis permits us to establish the most typical questions and most requested content material.

“By understanding this we are able to create and tailor content based on demand rather than ‘gut feel’. More and more pharma brands are talking about customer-first or audience-first strategies. This is one method to ensure you are putting what your audience wants at the heart of your activity.”

Top 10 search phrases for patients and HCPs


Terms regarding unwanted side effects, basic data and totally different remedy areas are the most well-liked for patients, suggesting that informational content material round these areas might be only.

When it involves analysing the amount of search phrases by class, generic, broad phrases corresponding to ‘cancer treatment’ dominate the panorama, particularly for patients. ‘Radiotherapy’, ‘Immunotherapy’ and ‘Chemotherapy’ are in style search phrases throughout each audiences.

Figure 2 – Search quantity by class (general)


Figure 3 – Search quantity by class (patients)


In basic, HCPs are much less more likely to search for generic phrases and as a substitute utilise search for particular and educated causes – e.g. looking for analysis, medical trials and dangers, with immuno-oncology being a key topic space. The area of interest phrases they use, corresponding to ‘DNA Damage Response’, are inclined to obtain low stage search quantity because of their specificity.

Figure 4 – Search quantity by class (HCPs)


The analysis additionally segments the first classes so as to add an extra layer of specificity.

In these secondary classes, therapies, unwanted side effects and data are all key search areas for patients, whereas HCPs once more search for extra particular key phrases leading to decrease search quantity.

Figure 5 – Keyword sub-category potential (patients)


Figure 6 – Keyword sub-category potential (HCPs)


The tables under present an instance of the highest 5 phrases inside every of the highest 4 secondary key phrase classes created.

Figure 7 – Secondary class phrases


Looking on the analysis as an entire, the researchers observe that ‘treatments’ (radiotherapy, chemotherapy and many others.) and unwanted side effects being the most well-liked subjects “is probably as you would expect”.

“HCPs, on the other hand, were looking for new trials and research – with immuno-oncology being a key topic area, taking interest in the ever adapting world of oncology and practice methods,” they are saying.

“Interestingly, this is a low volume topic area: none of the keywords possess search volumes of above 6,600 per month, with 93% of the keywords possessing 100 searches or less. This might mean that HCPs are turning to other sources for information, or these areas have yet to reach a mass interest amongst HCPs.”

The researchers add that they might count on to see comparable patterns in different illness areas outdoors oncology.

“In pharma research we consistently see the pattern of high search volume for patient searches (looking for symptoms, treatment and information etc.) versus low volume, long tail searches – specific searchers involving more than three words – for HCPs (looking for dosing, chemical compounds in the products, clinical trials etc.), with informational content being key for both areas.”

They observe that these insights might have implications for the varieties of content material pharma manufacturers may produce on their web sites.

“When pharma web sites, you usually suppose of practical, product-related content material. This analysis can establish informational content material; that’s content material which is one step faraway from a product however nonetheless related and nonetheless content material a model has a transparent ‘right’ to speak about.

“Informational content material is essential in assembly the contextual wants of an viewers, constructing belief and serving to a web site acquire visibility in search engines. The ‘sweet spot’ advertising and marketing groups ought to focus their efforts round are these key phrases and content material themes that sit someplace between cheap competitors (going after an exceptionally aggressive key phrase with new content material wouldn’t bear fruit) and excessive sufficient search quantity to make it worthwhile.

“Identifying the keywords a brand has the right to talk about, which can bring in traffic but have low competition to see gains quickly, is the most effective use of research like this.”