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SEO-promotion strategy for a pharmaceutical brand

Themove of pharmaceutical products to the online environment is dictated by the general trend toward online marketing.

According to eMarketer (2020), the industry has grown more than 14% online and has lifted it to second fastest growth, behind only computer products and consumer electronics (18%). And TGaS survey results note that 66% of marketing budgets are spent on digital activities.

What does that tell you? Successful online promotion of a pharmaceutical brand today requires in-depth expertise, a thorough analysis of competitors and an optimal strategy for finding a target audience.

SEO promotion of a pharmaceutical website: why it’s important?

SEO promotion is an advertising activity with a long-term perspective. This means that the result has a prolonged effect. You can develop and implement quality optimization once, and then receive dividends for years as long as your brand exists.

A branded site is only required to update and improve content to retain attention. Contextual advertising will not be able to bring the same effect, because it requires regular financial investment and intensity of impressions.

In addition, from January 1, 2024 there will be restrictions on advertising of medicines. The bill was submitted to the Verkhovna Rada for consideration. Brands should look for other ways of promotion and SEO is not only an alternative method, but also more reliable.

EvaluatePharma conducts a report with the results of research on the total sales of prescription drugs around the world. It predicts an average annual rate of +6.4 and drug sales are expected to reach $1.2 trillion.

Peculiarities of pharmaceutical brand SEO-promotion

The promotion of a medical product, service or company brand is based on the following sources of traffic:

  • television;
  • outdoor advertising;
  • paid advertising (contextual, targeting, etc.)
  • optimized site, application;
  • others (marketplace, affiliate networks, etc.)

Marketers are not only tasked with launching paid advertising, but also perform SEO-optimization of the site, based on the requirements of search engines. Such preparation of the resource will help to get more impressions and clicks on pages.

The main reasons why you should start working on increasing sales of pharma with the help of SEO:

  • Round-the-clock access to information, in particular to Google search and the brand’s website.
  • Focus on finding CA. Competently chosen key queries lead already interested audience.
  • Wide coverage of the audience. People use medical drugs regularly (some drugs are in seasonal demand).

Optimization is done for sales. The relevant queries bring in the CA, who has the intention to buy the product or recommend it. Marketers should consider search queries as the key for which your target audience comes to the site with SEO optimization.

How SEO for pharma differs from other niches

Websites of pharmaceutical brands are strictly evaluated by Google algorithms according to numerous parameters. In particular, medical topics fall under YMYL content.

Moreover, the search engine also regularly updates the requirements for such resources, tightening them from year to year. In preparing SEO content for the site pharma need to rely on facts, expert opinion, to verify the accuracy and relevance of published information.

All this makes the process of optimizing the site long and difficult. However, even all the above measures do not guarantee a good ranking of pages in search results.

An important role is played by the reputation of the pharmaceutical brand in the network, which is influenced by reviews of the drug, doctors’ opinions about it, research data, ratings and much more.

After all, users who buy online or are interested in products from the pharma segment tend to check information from different sources. Therefore, the brand should work on gaining the trust of the audience.

Key SEO factors for a pharmaceutical website

In the process of SEO you should pay attention to the obligatory points:

1. Knowledge of the target audience.

Pharmaceutical companies have several audience segments:

  • pharmacies, pharmacists;
  • medical staff (doctors, doctors);
  • end users/patients.
2. Technical requirements (site structure, performance)

The resource should be clear, with easy navigation. The speed of loading pages is important. Search engines give high positions to fast sites optimized for mobile devices.

3. Privacy

A mandatory component for pharma is the https protocol. The company should protect patient data with the help of appropriate tools.

4. Page optimization and HTML structure

On each page of the site should be tagged, headings and descriptions of the images should also be indexed.

5. Content

A pharmaceutical brand touches on serious topics: disease, health, medicine. Content on the site should be clear, structured and unique, to benefit the user who is in search of answers.

6. Different domains for individual medications

Some pharmaceutical companies use mono-brand – a way to promote only one drug, which produces or reference to the manufacturer.

7. E-A-T factors are worth a separate item when it comes to medical and pharmaceutical resources.

This is a list of key evaluation criteria – site ranking factors from the beginning of 2018, when the update went into effect. The requirements of Google algorithms are tightening. Compliance with all the rules leads to high positions in search engine results.

SEO strategy for a pharmaceutical brand site

Search engine optimization for a pharmaceutical brand has a consistent algorithm and several stages.

Setting goals and objectives for promotion

This point is important in any niche. In order to promote a product and get results, you need to establish what you want to achieve in the end from SEO. Before creating content, you need to clearly articulate your goals and objectives.

Having a specific goal, you can proceed with a plan for further action. Also, before you start search engine optimization, you need to do a comprehensive SEO audit.

Competitor analysis

Pharmaceutical brand has a specific direction – to promote a single medical product, produce medicines of broad application, is engaged in narrowly focused medicines.

You should keep track of what your competitors are doing, what tools they are using. This will allow you to adjust online and offline strategies. It is necessary to track those competitors who have the same drugs as you, as well as aggregators (more than 2 thousand products).

You need to know what they are already using in the niche you are promoting, what can be repeated (overlapping) or vice versa, be a pioneer and introduce new tools. If it’s effective, new audiences will come to you.

Defining your target audience

Based on what your key product is (medical services, online drug store), you can establish who will come to the site: regular consumers, doctors, medics.

Search for user entry points to the site

The entry point is the page from which the user session starts. Examples of such entry points we have taken based on the structures of the most popular sites of pharmaceutical manufacturers:

  • Home page – you are known as the brand and go directly to the site.
  • Directory – the user is looking for a specific drug (for something / for something). For example, he enters the query “medicine for a runny nose.” This is the need (pain) that he wants to close.
  • Disease section. An example is asthma, which includes a narrow audience looking for a specific medication. Accordingly, users will come to your site by the name of the disease or drug, and then move on to the product catalog.
  • The section “Symptoms” – people enter “symptoms” (red rash) into the search box, go to the information page, then to the disease and then to the catalog (a line of drugs for diseases with related symptoms).SEO-promotion.
  • The blog plays a key role. People are looking for additional knowledge about a disease, an ailment. If your blog contains useful quality information, then it generates interest.

Pharmaceutical brand should know what bothers users, analyze topics. For example, in the fall there is an increased demand for drugs for rhinitis, in the spring – for drugs for allergies. This is a chance to prepare in advance and publish content on the blog that is sure to be in demand.

An informative article leads to the disease section, here you can immediately add a block to promoted products that will alleviate the symptoms (as a temporary solution). Through the articles and the blog there is an opportunity to get more traffic and engage in expanding the target audience. You can also add blocks on medicines to the article, if you are in the e-commerce sphere.

In addition to the home page and catalog, pharmaceutical brands should highlight sections such as “Diseases”, “Symptoms” and the Blog. This path is longer, but has competitive advantages. The sections lead directly to medical websites with information – and therefore to purchase.

Tracking the user path

Once a user has found you and clicked through to the site, it’s important to understand and track their path. How does he interact with the site? You should “get into” the role of the patient or health care provider, what questions he or she asks, what he or she might be looking for. For example:

  • what do the symptoms mean? users may google trivial queries: “red profuse rash”, “dry lingering cough”, “why dizziness”
  • how to control the symptoms? “what to do if…”
  • what’s the best way to treat the disease?

These are peculiar steps that lead the user to the end point – “Thanks, I found a way out of the situation!” He got useful information and closed the pain.

Tip! You can use data from Google Analytics to build user journey maps.

Finding a Target

Topic Knowing and understanding the emotional component, the logic of the potential customer’s thinking, you can choose a target topic.

You need to track topics in other sources, analyze competitors, communicate with customers, track their feedback and scenarios of interaction with the product, follow thematic forums.

A team of SEO specialists usually uses special tools for this, in order to form a semantic core more qualitatively and efficiently and to take the best positions in the output for the queries relevant to the drug.

Searching for the target topic

Knowing and understanding the emotional component, the logic of thinking of a potential client, you can choose a target topic. It is necessary to track topics in other sources, analyze competitors, communicate with clients, track their feedback and scenarios of interaction with the product, and follow thematic forums.

The team of SEO specialists usually uses special tools for this, in order to form a semantic core more qualitatively and efficiently and take the best positions in the output for the relevant queries for the drug.

Study of the habitat of the audience

You need to know what your target audience is looking for, googling, watching (YouTube, TikTok). Also, what they are interested in (how many views), where there is a need for answers to specific questions. This can then be used in newsletters, articles, offline advertising. You already know that people care about this.

For example, for diabetics, there are separate resources that tell only about the disease. The patient knows exactly, here he will close the need for information. The source publishes types of the disease, topics related to diabetes (proper nutrition, practice block, etc.).

How does one search for topics?

Through YouTube (conferences, interviews/stories). The consumer views a lot of video content with similar cases. During viewing, he goes to Google for more information, search for drugs, which means a lot of clicks on the site.

Social networks. For example, a user in TikTok saw a video on the topic he was interested in, went to the account of a doctor who talks about the disease. Social networking platforms allow you to make your site not just a selling brand, but educational and informational, to personalize content for the target audience.

Most users use at least one social network, and the growth in popularity of social networks is constantly increasing, as evidenced by the January 2022 DataReport report. It’s important to leverage this channel for a pharmaceutical brand as well.

Content creation

Useful and understandable information should be published. With a wide range of medications, it is important to convey the differences and differences, which is sometimes difficult for even a medical professional to do.

You also need to publish real reviews, copyrighted articles. Competent content marketing in connection with SEO gives a high increase in traffic. Also, Google gives preference to the original source.

Measuring the results of SEO promotion

Once the system is up and running, it’s important to track its effectiveness. These can be mandatory metrics like organic traffic, keyword ranking positions, bounce rate or time spent on a particular page, as well as other parameters. It is described in more detail in our article “How to Evaluate SEO Effectiveness: Key Indicators”.


Attracting customers in the pharmaceutical niche through SEO is a way with the prospect of future brand development. This is a field that touches on serious health topics.

Your website needs to be useful, informative, and cover the customer’s needs. Search engine promotion for pharma companies requires meeting search engine conditions, including E-A-T factors and YMYL scores.

An SEO strategy for a pharmaceutical website will find new ways to interact with the audience, understand the logic and mindset of users, and create selling content based on the findings.

The relatively low competition in the market will allow for higher positions if you start integrating tools into the strategy now. If the site receives positive feedback, you build a solid brand reputation. Your sales will increase because you are known, recommended and trusted.

The FENIX team has many years of experience in strategy and SEO promotion of pharmaceutical and medical websites. We carry out high-quality search engine optimization, which will bring effective results to your site for a long time. Leave an application and we will contact you in the near future.

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