What Search Semantics Tell Pharma and Healthcare Marketers

Updated on February 3, 2018

Screen Shot 2017 11 25 at 7.10.13 AMBy Lori Goldberg, CEO Silverlight Digital

Do you know what your consumers’ search habits are telling you? You don’t need to be a soothsayer to understand their priorities.

In fact, they’re sharing what they want you to know through their search semantics, revealing important trends in mobile search behavior that advertisers can use to shape campaigns in 2018.

Here at Silverlight Digital, we conducted an in-depth analysis of 112,000 unique search terms from 8.2 million impressions spanning 396,000 visits. The result is a trove of best practices for advertisers in pharma and healthcare and other key industries. Among the highlights that I found most interesting:

  • Mobile users perform question-based queries, such as searches that begin with “who, what, where, when and how,” more than desktop users.
  • Regardless of device employed, click-thru rates (CTRs) improve by a three-to-one margin when users asked questions.
  • The high CTRs means mobile searchers engage with brands three times more often than those conducting similar searches from a desktop computer.

In addition, Silverlight Digital found that brands have three times more opportunities to intersect during a mobile user’s moment of need.

Data Is Only as Good as What You Do with It

Our findings can help pharmaceutical and healthcare brands get in front of their audiences, online and offline. But how advertisers chose to apply this knowledge determines its effectiveness in executing programmatic campaigns.

Given the data, I recommend you adopt three new best practices this year.

  1. Be ready to act. The data reveals that mobile users want to take actions upon their searches immediately. When they lead searches with “what, how, when or why,” they’re expecting to find seasonal, time-sensitive answers and offers they can act upon immediately.
  2. Guide exploration. Desktop users also want to act but their questions about “where” and “who” indicate they’re at the beginning of their exploratory phase and will conduct more research. This is a prime opportunity to funnel more education-based content their way.
  3. Tell them how to implement it. Once you’ve established consumers’ needs based on their search queries and delivered educational content, allow them to act upon this exchange with a relevant call to action – the more time-sensitive and personalized, the better. These recommendations will enable advertisers to achieve precision-targeting across desktop and mobile at higher rates.

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Lori Goldberg is CEO of Silverlight Digital.

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.