We’ve all been making guesses about our website traffic for years. Relying on aggregated website data, we believed most visitors to pharma websites were physicians. Because we developed a lot of professional content, we assumed physicians spent more time on our professional sites than on our brand sites. And other audiences? We really didn’t give pharmacists, NPs, and PAs—not to mention non-human traffic—much thought. As it turns out, most of these guesses were way off.
A Bitter Pill to Swallow
Audience identity management technology has been reporting physician-level website data for almost a year now, and we’ve learned a lot about pharma website traffic along the way. Unfortunately, it’s not all good news:
- Physician traffic isn’t what we hoped. Less than 10% of total visitors to pharma websites are actually physicians.
- Physician sites aren’t very popular. More physicians use brand consumer sites than view a brand’s professional site.
- We’ve been overlooking the long tail. Most brands target one or two medical specialties, but many doctors from seemingly unrelated specialties regularly visit brand sites.
- Many pharmacists visit. About 20% of all visitors to pharma websites are pharmacists, including a large number of hospital pharmacists researching oncology drugs.
- NP/PAs are also well-represented. A significant percent of visitors are the NPs and PAs who work closely with patients and are increasingly influential in medical practices.
- There are way too many bots. Our data indicates that as much as 30% to 40% of pharma website traffic is non-human.
Don’t Shoot the Messenger
It’s hard to see this kind of data. After putting so much time and money into our websites, we really just want confirmation that our target audience is consuming the content we’ve created for them. Since the data doesn’t back that up, the next best thing is to take this as an opportunity.
By continuing to learn more about the individual HCPs who visit your websites, you can develop strategies that will engage all of your audiences more effectively.
Know Your Audience to Solve These Problems
When you know who is actually visiting your website, you can address each of these problems:
- Not enough doctors are visiting. Use your physician email database to identify your ideal audience. Then develop targeted email campaigns to drive those physicians to the most relevant pages on your website.
- The right doctors aren’t visiting. Analyze website data to learn what content is most popular with the target doctors who do visit. Develop more of the content that’s working and promote it heavily through email and social.
- You’re not engaging your secondary audiences. Develop content geared to the many physicians from non-target specialties who visit your site. Each one might write only a small number of scrips, but together they add up. Build a detailed profile of the pharmacists and NP/PAs who visit to identify influencers and consider designing campaigns specifically for them.
There’s still no single solution to the problem of too many bots, but recognizing them is a step in the right direction. Look for data that’s too good (or too bad) to be true, and whenever possible, analyze individual, not aggregated, data about your website traffic.