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March 30, 2016

Posted by: Kevin Homer


Why is the Healthcare Industry Missing Out on Significant Online Marketing Opportunities?

The healthcare industry is always changing. Studies are conducted to find ways to cure diseases. New medications are on the marketing, contraindications are learned, and healing techniques are discovered. When we select a healthcare professional to help us with our ailments, we’re looking for modern medical practices with the latest and greatest information and technologies. So why is the healthcare industry significantly lagging when it comes to marketing trends and technologies?


Healthcare is at the top of everyone’s mind. It’s a Top 5 concern in America, ahead of topics such as terrorism and our Federal Budget Deficit. Americans are incorporating healthcare into our lives more and more each day, wearing products such as Fitbits and participating in fun fitness activities such as the Zombie Run.


In terms of online marketing potential for healthcare organizations, 43% of people identified the Internet as their source of healthcare-related information. In fact, 1 of every 20 searches conducted on Google is healthcare related, with inquiries growing 7% year-over-year. 



However, many businesses in the healthcare industry continue to rely on traditional media to advertise. Don’t get me wrong; the traditional media channels are still important. Whereas the average American had 28 television channels in 1995, the average today is 168 channels, and this is just one type of traditional media. But 77% of people watching TV are using a second device, such as a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, at the same time. So why isn’t the healthcare industry ensuring they’re present on that second platform as well?


77% of online health inquiries start on a search engine, and yet 60% of searches for “hospitals near me” and 40% of searches for “emergency services near me” went unanswered in 2015. Hospitals received 70% of their website traffic in 2015 from a search engine, including 2 of 3 visitors using search to find an ER. 


Research for healthcare information is also highly used online. Conditions, treatments, and symptoms & diagnosis are the three most popular healthcare topics in search, mostly being done at the localized level. This means that local healthcare companies have a tremendous opportunity to increase website traffic if healthcare information is provided on their website. (And don’t forget to include video! Views in healthcare increased from 600 million to 1 billion between 2014 and 2015). This also provides consumers with the ability to validate information they’re learning from their doctors, which 60% of patients claim to do. In fact, 16% of patients are doing this while they’re still in their doctor’s office!


Are you convinced yet? The data is staggering in terms of how consumers are using the Internet to research healthcare information, healthcare professionals, and exercise or diets. The industry is certainly being, which provides a ton of information for these businesses to jump into the lead. So… what are you waiting for?


Statistics found in this blog post were presented in a recent Google Partners Connect presentation.

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