[RESEARCH] Why Top Health Experts Are Losing Out On Search

If you work in marketing, you constantly worry about getting your content to the top of the search results. For some of you marketers, those stakes are enormously high.

When people need answers about their heart health — and they do, as heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US — they go online. Three out of four online users research their health online, and over 77% of those start their research on a search engine. twitter-icon We know, too, that these searchers pick the top results by default, trusting them implicitly: about 70% of clicks go to positions 1-5.

So… who is answering those heart health questions? What content do searchers use to make their decisions? We decided to find out.

Make sure you grab the white paper for our full set of findings, but here’s the gist: We used our Web Presence Management platform, Conductor Searchlight, to analyze around 5000 heart health queries. What was most striking was who wasn’t there: the healthcare providers themselves.

In fact, the best hospitals for heart health (according to the US News and World Report) do not show up for even a single percentage of that market share. twitter-icon

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The Buyer’s Journey in the Search for Heart Health Answers

When we looked at these heart health queries, we considered the whole buyer’s journey.

We looked at early stage queries, when people have symptoms or pain and need to understand potential causes. We looked at mid stage queries, when people know the name of a potential problem or disease and are searching for more information. We looked at late stage queries, when searchers have gathered information and are looking for treatment options and facilities.

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For all of these stages, healthcare providers were strikingly absent. In fact, even publishers had a higher market share.

What does it all mean?

Using Search to Give Consumers Better Information about their Health

This doesn’t make sense — we know that Google wants to promote the most accurate and authoritative sources. Who is more authoritative about health than the healthcare providers? These healthcare providers could have the advantage in search — if they chose to compete.

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By managing their earned media presence, hospitals and healthcare providers could find themselves leading the cardiac conversation online the same way they lead in delivering care.


Want to learn more about heart health online? Download The Troubling Lack of Cardiac Hospitals in Online Hearth Health white paper for the full story.



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