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What are Patients Searching for on Google?

searching for a doctor on google

Most people have been there. We start to feel a slight pain, itch, or something as simple as a cough, and the first thing we do is head straight to Google so that we can search for the symptoms that we feel. After about 30 minutes of investigating and trying to self-diagnose, it turns out we have an incurable disease and will end up dying in a matter of seconds.

Of course, we are not really, dying but with so much information only a few keystrokes away, finding out what is wrong with us before going to the doctor and REALLY finding out what is wrong with us is the new normal now. Because of all these resources at our fingertips through mobile devices, tablets and desktop, Creative8 knows that, as a healthcare marketing agency, the business model for the healthcare industry is being challenged. So how can you start marketing your healthcare business with digital strategies like search engine marketing (SEM), SEO, and PPC? By knowing what potential patients are searching for on Google.

Let’s get started with just a little bit about what potential patients are searching for.

  • People search an average of 12 resources prior to making a hospital visit. (Source: Inmar Consumer Study)

  • 1 in 20 searches are healthcare-related. (Source: Pew Research)

  • Mobile searches in healthcare have increased every year since 2012, and between 2015 and 2016, mobile searches overtook desktop searches.

  • 88 percent of patients use search to find a healthcare provider.

  • 60 percent of patients used a mobile device to find a healthcare provider.

  • 41 percent of patients went to a healthcare provider’s website.

  • 30 percent of patients used a ratings and review website to learn about treatment options.

As you can see, when it comes to healthcare-related searches, searching Google on a mobile device is how the majority of patients do their research.

Along with mobile, online videos have also seen growth in health information searches.

  • 56 percent of patents search for health-related concerns on YouTube.

  • An average of more than five videos are watched when a patient researches hospitals or treatment centers.

  • One in two people would like to hear another patient’s story on video when they feel like no one else understands their symptoms.

So, what type of videos are potential patients watching?

  • 50 percent of videos are about a treatment or procedure.

  • 48 percent of videos are about a symptom or condition.

  • 43 percent of videos are about medical technology or innovation.

Now that you know what patients are searching for online, it can be hard to find just the right tools and strategies when targeting patients in your healthcare marketing campaigns. Finding the correct mix of focusing on SEM in healthcare or SEO in healthcare is sometimes overwhelming but you are already one step closer in meeting your digital marketing needs.

If you would like to know more about using SEO and SEM for your healthcare business, Creative8 can offer a free search and PPC audit for your business. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help your website climb the Google search rankings, give us a call today at 713.322.6481!

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