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Healthcare Search Marketing and C-Ego Ranking

Healthcare search marketing: what is it? I came across an SEO firm that claims a top search result for “Healthcare search marketing” and I am reminded of the debates about SEOs ranking for “SEO”. But then “healthcare search marketing” really is a broad term, and in no way as meaningful to it’s market as SEO is to the search marketing market.

This appears to be a classic case of marketing to the client, while mis-representing niche marketing competence. The potential client (perhaps a pharmaceutical company or a PR firm working on a project for big health system like Kaiser Permanante) may search “healthcare search marketing” to find a marketing firm, but the target market won’t. The targets of healthcare search marketing are so-called “conditions” or “indications” and “medications” or “treatments”. Think “rosacia” or “treatments for rosacia” or “rosacia treatment”. If an SEO/SEM firm specializing in heathcare search marketing proclaimed it held the #1 spot for “rosacia” (on behalf of a client, obviously) that would be special. It would be indicative of talent and skill.

But no, just as those looking for SEO find the firms that are best at ranking for SEO (and not necessarily the best at ranking for anything else), those looking for healthcare search marketing or conditions, afflictions, and related treatments will find firms good at showing you they can do what you think needs to be done, even if they can’t do what actually needs to be done. For many of those firms, the money you spend with them, figuring out what you really need, is enough.

Is it any wonder most of healthcare search marketing is driven by referral and word of mouth? So what is a #1 ranking for “healthcare search marketing” worth?

I’m going to guess this is another example of C-Ego ranking. The CEO wants to see a #1 rank for something, and that’s why it’s a target. Of course I might be wrong. It might be very impressive to potential clients when they land on the SEO firm home page and see the proclamation “we rank #1 for healthcare search marketing”. I can just imagine the client meeting… “we define healthcare search marketing on the web”.


  1. Google Tutor wrote:

    nice. man I hate crap like that. too bad in general I think it works to impress potential clients

    Thursday, September 27, 2007 at 2:06 pm | Permalink
  2. Todd Mintz wrote:

    Where will John Andrews rank for “healthcare search marketing” after this post?

    Thursday, September 27, 2007 at 3:29 pm | Permalink
  3. WEBOSIS wrote:

    Now, you’re at #4

    John notes: Non-competitive term, 6 hours to page 2, 1 day to #4. At least one known BL with matching anchor text.

    Friday, September 28, 2007 at 10:19 am | Permalink
  4. BTW – the FirstRanked site also ranks in the Google top 10 for “pharmaceutical marketing”. If you can rank a blog post for that term as well I will personally and publicly eat my own shorts.


    Monday, October 1, 2007 at 11:07 am | Permalink
  5. john andrews wrote:

    2 days to #2 in Google for “healthcare search marketing”.

    @Marshall. I agree that would be tougher :-)
    I’ll save that work for a pharmaceutical marketing firm web site, where the efforts would be worthwhile.

    I will say that if you’re after page 1 for that term, it’s shame you have to compete with this page
    and this page They represent two “marketing tactics” which in my opinion pollute Google, but are regrettably valid approaches to search marketing as a consequence of their effectiveness.

    Monday, October 1, 2007 at 11:58 am | Permalink
  6. Heather wrote:

    I had to jump in here for two reasons. In reference to your comment about the search firms ranking for terms like “healthcare search marketing”, contrary to making your point, we at Catalyst actually are a search marketing firm that specializes in healthcare. Therefore, not only do we target “healthcare search marketing” but we’ve attracted business this way. Secondly, I could not agree with you more that companies everywhere are getting duped by firms claiming they know search. And that’s a bummer. Catalyst clients rank for highly competitive keyphrases like hypertension, overavtive bladder, herpes, etc. Every keyphrase strategy includes high volume, highly competitve condition and symtom keyphrases. Unfortunately, to many marketing managers neglect to do their homework when choosing a competent and reliable search marketing partner.Thanks for the post, good food for thought.

    Wednesday, October 3, 2007 at 11:07 am | Permalink
  7. Yours’ ranks third for the keyword “Healthcare search marketing”.Hurray…!

    Friday, February 22, 2008 at 10:50 pm | Permalink
  8. Whitby wrote:

    The phrases “healthcare search marketing” gets very little search each month in Google anyway, so i realy dont see the point.

    Saturday, July 18, 2009 at 10:21 am | Permalink

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