A blog exploring pharmaceutical relationship marketing, emarketing and innovation with a focus on rare disorders.
The convergence of rare disease, digital communications, and pharmaceutical marketing communications

Are You Missing the Opportunity with Long-Tail Search?

Posted by | 2:08pm on Thursday, March 17, 2011
dog with a long tail
dog with a long tail
dog with a long tail

Rare disease patients and caregivers are the epitome of long-tail searchers 

Although the vast majority of time spent online is spent on long-tail sites — or sites with an overall reach smaller than 1.5% of the internet population — the majority of ad dollars are spent on short tail sites, according to comScore. What an interesting disconnect between audiences and marketers.

A CONTEXTWEB study of 1,000 ad campaigns across 18,000 publisher sites during the second half of 2010 discovered that ads placed on long-tail sites lifted click rates by 24% — a big lift compared with larger web properties. The research identified that “health” had a 43% lift in click-through rates for long-tail ads.

The chart below shows how this compares with other industries.

Looking at content categories, the top one for long-tail searchers was “education.”

Because most people start health searches with “Dr. Google,” does this mean that WebMD has a smaller influence for niche populations than smaller community or foundation sites? What about the new Google algorithm with its focus on quality content? I think this will make the influence of long-tail searches even more relevant.

Siren’s work within the rare disorder niche falls within the long-tail spectrum. Rare disease patients and caregivers are the epitome of long-tail searchers. Whether it be for a simple definition of the rare disease, an innovative treatment, or an outreach to find others, those touched by a rare disease are a web-savvy bunch and know a good-click versus a bad-click. Empowering rare disease patients by offering them education through powerful long-tail ads is a win-win for both the audience and the marketer.

What do you think?

(Image courtesy of Dan Bennett on Flickr.)

About Wendy White

Since founding Siren Interactive in 1999, Wendy has been recognized as a thought leader at the intersection of niche pharma brands, patient empowerment and online marketing. Her vision for how the internet can facilitate interactions and provide crucial information that patients, caregivers and their healthcare providers previously struggled to find has propelled Siren to the forefront of relationship marketing for rare disorder therapies.

View other posts from Wendy

8 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

    17 March 2011 at 7:03pm
    Read about "Are You Missing the ...
  • Ciaran Bellwoar
  • 18 March 2011 at 7:03pm
    Check out @sirenwendy's post Are ...
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  • 18 March 2011 at 7:03pm
    RT @EileenOBrien: Check out ...
  • billlublin
  • 18 March 2011 at 11:03pm
    RT @EileenOBrien Check out ...
  • Tina Avanzato Chiodo
  • 21 March 2011 at 4:03pm
    [...] opportunities lie not in the one big thing but in lots and lots of small things.” It was an interesting application of the long tail search ...
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  • 29 March 2011 at 12:03pm
    RT @ellenhoenig: Read "Are You ...
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  • 29 March 2011 at 5:03pm
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  • http://twitter.com/ellenhoenig Ellen Hoenig Carlson

    I too have been doing a lot of thinking about long tail marketing and the opportunity it presents for Pharma even beyond the obviously natural fit for rare diseases.
    Thanks for sharing the contextweb study!

    I’m getting ready to issue an ebook we’ve been working on for the last few months…look for a link back to this blog! :-) Big pharma and heathcare have much they can learn from those who have been marketing and engaging with rare disease patients and their caregivers!

  • Wendy White

    Thanks Ellen. I’ll be very interested in reading your ebook. I totally agree that big pharma could learn from the way we market rare disease theropies. Innovation happens at the margins, and as we move toward personized medicine everyone will be slightly different — and one size fits all push advertising will need to evolve.

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