When it comes to the mobile shift, health-focused Web sites are hardly immune to the trend of more traffic coming from devices.
Visits to health sites increased by more than a third (36%) in the last year, according to an annual comScore report benchmarking online pharmaceutical marketing. As of April, mobile traffic to sites such as WebMD, Everyday Health and Health Grades, collectively, increased to 81 million from 59.6 million from a year earlier.
Furthermore, almost half of health information seekers are using mobile devices to get health information, up from 35% a year ago. “This uptick in mobile usage suggests two things: an increased reliance on managing one’s health issues on-the-go, and an increase in tablet usage at home instead of the PC,” stated the report.
People using devices outside the home specifically use them to get information on things like symptoms and treating conditions while at the doctor’s office or waiting for prescription refills. For pharma companies, that means making mobile more of a focus in marketing and content strategies to reach both prospects and patients.
“As the American population continues to age, as tablets become more prevalent in the home, and as people become increasingly comfortable with using digital platforms for seeking information, we can expect these underlying trends for the category to grow,” comScore concluded.
On the desktop, the study founded pharma display ads across more than 15 brands had the highest viewability of any industry category, at a whopping 51%. (Viewability is defined as at least half the ad being in the visible frame of the Web browser for at least one second.) Travel ads were second at 49%, followed by health (48%) and computer/technology and consumer goods, each at 47%.
Based on comScore’s survey data from 163 pharmaceutical studies, the report also suggested that pharma sites helped increase brand awareness and favorability. Prospects that visited branded sites, for example, showed a 13-point increase in aided awareness, and 5.3-point gain in unaided awareness, consistent with findings in prior years.
Going to pharma sites also drove a 14.2-point lift in favorability among patients. The study attributed the increase to the amount of educational information available online compared to other sources. “Our research shows that regardless of how condition sufferers get to the site, that visit has a significant influence in those patients seeking treatment,” stated John Mangano, vice president for comScore Health Solutions.