The pharmaceutical industry is huge; it accounts for a booming $1,072 billion per year in the United States alone. This means that as a pharmaceutical company, you have plenty of opportunity to grow. However, you’re not the only one looking to expand within the industry.
As you and your competitors constantly work to get drugs approved by the FDA and into the hands of healthcare professionals and consumers, it’s increasingly important to think about your online presence.
It can be difficult to launch a successful Internet marketing campaign in such a highly regulated industry, but it’s absolutely necessary if you’re looking to increase revenue.
The best way to attract attention online is effective search engine optimization, or SEO.
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What is SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the term used to describe all the efforts you make to attract more people to your website by landing a top spot in the results pages of search engines like Google. It involves both optimizing on-page elements and improving your site’s authority online with strategies like link building.
SEO also involves things such as creating unique, quality content that utilizes your industry’s top keywords, improving your site’s HTML code, and building authority by gaining links to other credible websites.
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Why is SEO especially important for pharmaceutical companies?
SEO is the driving force behind any successful Internet marketing campaign. Without it, your pharmaceutical website will be lost in the crowd, and doctors and other healthcare professionals won’t be able to find you. But with appropriate SEO efforts, you can do the two things required for digital marketing success:
- Establish trust
- Maintain a positive brand reputation
SEO is vital to every business that wants a successful online presence, but it’s especially important to businesses in the pharmaceutical industry. Society thrives when people receive the medications they need to lead comfortable lives, and as new medications are created and approved, people need to learn about them. Your job as a pharmaceutical company is to share your products with the appropriate healthcare professionals so that the rest of society can benefit.
Without SEO, you’re missing out on a large portion of your online market.
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The best SEO strategies for pharmaceutical companies
There are many SEO strategies, but the best tactics for pharmaceutical companies are those that:
- Drive traffic to your site
- Provide visitors with the information they need
- Build trust with your audience
If you’re able to drive traffic, provide information, and build trust, you will experience positive results from your efforts. In order to achieve those results, consider the following tips.
Use a simple site design
Use a simple site design and straightforward navigation to improve your user experience. The simpler your site design, the easier it is for visitors to find what they need.
Although it can be difficult to achieve, a good goal is to make all of your important content accessible within one or two clicks. Aim to make it as easy as possible for visitors to access what they need, and you’ll reduce the chances that they’ll leave your pharmaceutical site and head over to a competitor’s.
An easy way to do so is to be sure that your site has an easy-to-access navigation bar and sitemap that guide visitors seamlessly through your website.
Increase your site speed
Today’s Internet users have little patience for slow-loading sites, so yours should ideally load in less than 4 seconds. Google considers user experience when delivering results, and they don’t want to drive searchers to slow, frustrating sites. This implies that site speed is an SEO factor worth considering. You should regularly test your load times, and consider limiting or eliminating large photos to keep your pages speedy.
Know your keywords
In order for SEO to be successful, you have to know what keywords you’re optimizing for.
One of the biggest parts of SEO is keyword research, which helps you find what keywords your ideal audience is searching for. For example, if more Internet users search for the word “medication” rather than “pills,” it would benefit your website to use “medication” more often in your copy.
You should also consider optimizing your website for long tail keywords that are more specific. Though there won’t be thousands of searches for long tail keywords, the people that do perform those searches are your highest quality customers.
For example, if your pharmaceutical company is in Philadelphia, you could optimize your website for “pharmaceutical companies in Philadelphia, PA.”
If you rank well for the terms healthcare professionals use to find information, you’ll bring in more business. Consider these tips for conducting keyword research:
- List topics associated with your pharmaceutical company
- Create possible keyword phrases based on those topics
- Use Google Ads’ Keyword Planner to find additional suggestions and determine search volume and competition
The amount of keywords you end up depends on how many products you carry and locations you serve, but don’t be alarmed if it’s in the hundreds. This just means you have a little more work to do when optimizing your site.
Optimize each page
Every page of your pharmaceutical website is an opportunity for SEO. There are many on-page elements should be optimized to bring in more site traffic, including:
- Title tags
- Body copy
However, you should be careful to only use keywords where they actually make sense and are relevant to your content. Using irrelevant keywords, or simply too many keywords, is known as keyword stuffing, and can actually harm your SEO.
Create quality content
It’s crucial to present your audience with high-quality, relevant content. Besides information about your products, you should aim to create content that will build trust with doctors, hospital workers, and other key decision makers who will spend time reading about and researching the products you offer.
There’s a layer of complexity that comes with content creation for the healthcare industry, and this without a doubt includes pharmaceuticals.
The HIPAA law places strict regulations on content and restricts the use of some information in order to protect individuals health information.
This means that often times, information you want to share with your readers is a violation of the law, including certain images and testimonials, if you do not receive a written authorization. What you can and cannot say on social media may often leave you feeling like your content is destined to bore your readers.
However, patients interested in your products crave information about ways to make their lives more comfortable. They also want to feel as though they are part of a community. You can accomplish both of these things by providing informative information, without violating the HIPAA law.
How WebFX can help
Maintaining a strong ongoing SEO strategy is time-consuming, and may be more than your internal marketing team can take on. If your team is already responsible for handling traditional marketing channels, or other digital efforts, it’s worth considering hiring an outside agency to handle your SEO.
If you’re interested in learning more about SEO, contact us today! Our talented team of Internet marketers is more than happy to help you create a strategy that will allow you to stand out in the pharmaceutical industry.