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Medical Marketing Research – Who’s your true competition online?

Plastic Surgery Billboard MarketingHave you ever driven past a billboard like this one and wondered:

  • I wonder how much they paid?
  • Is it worth it?
  • Should we be doing this?

In the offline world, finding your largest competitors can be a completely different process than finding your largest competitors online.  This is true in most industries and especially true in medical and healthcare marketing.  Now Adonis is located in Pueblo, CO so the first step they may take in determining their true competition online would be to head on over to Google and search for

‘Plastic Surgery Pueblo CO’

Since ‘Plastic Surgery’ is the phrase with the most search volume in their industry and ‘Pueblo CO’ is their city, it makes sense they would find their competition by searching for that phrase.  In doing this they would see the Google Search Results Page below or at least something similar.

Medical Marketing Research Google Search Results

And from this they can get a sense of who is their strongest competition online in this case we see that drmarin.org, healthgrades.com, and lookingyourbest.com all out rank the Google Places listing for Adonis.

Now two of those (healthgrades and lookingyourbest) are not even medical practices in or anywhere near Pueblo.  So in the offline world, they would not be considered competition but in the online world they are taking clicks away from Adonis because they rank higher.

This is a good step to begin your online marketing research but it doesn’t go far enough.  What we have found in our Who’s The Best in Plastic Surgery SEO report is that many sites will be optimized for the single phrase ‘Plastic Surgery’ and perform well for this one high volume phrase but when viewed across all the top phrases, many of those same sites don’t perform as well.

The image below is a screenshot from our Who’s The Best report.  Now unfortunately Pueblo is not in the top 200 major metro areas in the US so it is not included in our report but nearby Colorado Springs is included.

Who's the Best in Plastic Surgery SEO

From this we can quickly see that Adonis is not included in the list but the familiar drmarin.org is — it seems drmaring.org is doing a good job in both Colorado Springs and Pueblo!  If we were Adonis, we would make note of drmarin.org as a strong competitor online.

So far we are only using free tools to do all of our competitive research.  The next step in our research will be to take advantage of another free tool, our website grader to gain more insight on our competition.

Cosmetic Surgery Website Grader for Medical Marketing Research

Since Pueblo was not included in our Who’s the Best in SEO report, this will give us data on our competition specific to Pueblo.

In the screenshot below from our free tool we can now see the top 27 competitors online for Adonis and right at the top of the list is that familiar name drmarin.org.

Medical Marketing Research Competitive List

Now in the free version we only find the competition for the top 10 phrases in your industry so the results aren’t as complete as when we scan across the top 100 or 1,000 phrases.  But usually this gives a pretty good idea of who you should keep an eye on.

From the above report we can see that drmarin.org ranks for 8 of the phrases that Adonis would like to rank for.  By expanding this view we can see exactly which phrases those are and the corresponding rank in Google drmarin.org currently holds.

Medical Marketing Competitive Phrases

So we now have a good understanding of who the true competition is for Adonis online.  We can now drill down into more detail on each of these competing sites to determine what they are doing better than Adonis.  Or more specifically

  • What content are they publishing on their site and how often
  • Where are they acquiring links to their site
  • What other phrases are they ranking for that Adonis should be targeting

Using this data and taking this approach with not only one of your competitors but across all of your top competitors is how you can learn what techniques are working the best for promoting a site online.

I should mention that Adonis is not a client.  They were picked randomly as an example to use.  With all the changes in healthcare and medical marketing, we think it is important to stay on top of what is working and what isn’t.  What are your favorite techniques for researching your competition online?  Let us know in the comments below.

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About Marc
Marc Ohmann is president of Digital Solutions, Inc in Minneapolis. Digital Solutions is the company behind the MDWebPro blog and tool set. Marc was a computer science and engineering student at the University of Minnesota in 1999 when he started Digital Solutions. Marc, now a husband and father of 3, greatly enjoys the clients and creativity he is involved in each day through Digital Solutions. Follow Marc on Twitter @marcohmann and @MDWebPro and also on Google Plus

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