Content Strategy for Increasing Patient Recruitment in Unusual Diseases

Unusual diseases can present a real challenge for pharmaceutical companies. Whilst the nature of the market often means the value of each repeat prescription is lucrative, it also ensures that any recruitment of patients onto your therapy is minimal.

By increasing the diagnosis of unusual diseases in the first place, pharmaceutical companies can uplift the sales of their specialist therapies.

In this presentation I have outlined a generic, effective and under-utilised approach to increasing patient recruitment – a content and SEO strategy.



So often money is thrown at adwords campaigns but this would be a much more sustainable and fruitful endeavour.

  • An Adwords campaign only benefits for the duration of the spend. The longer an Adwords campaign continues, the greater the cost.  A content strategy counters this issue by providing a marketing platform that strengthens over time, despite financial investment decreasing.
  • In addition to being a more robust and sustainable solution, a content strategy ensures that the material that your target audience are consuming has a clear message and definitive strategic purpose (outcome optimised). An Adwords campaign will gather the attention of your target audience but without a content strategy you run a risk of low outcome conversion (i.e. the people that you attract to your message are not convinced/influenced by that message). Without a core content strategy you will not optimise the money spent on an Adwords campaign anyway. 
  • A content strategy is not an overcrowded space. This is a false limiting belief that has prevented competition from acting and means that pharmaceutical companies have a great opportunity to flourish. Top ranking sites for symptom keywords do not have as much ranking power as we would intuitively believe.
  • Example. “Abdominal pain” top ranking page ( Inbound links: 50 Links from 22 webpages (dofollow). “How to write a blog” Top Ranking Page Inbound Links: 981 Links from 472 webpages (dofollow). Upshot – the medical industry is neglecting the tools to rank on Google.
  • Several pages on a Google front page will increase the ‘Availability’ of disease state on the information seeker. An increased cognitive availability increases the likelihood of an inquisitive patient attending the GP clinic asking about your particular disease.
  • A content strategy allows you to select your own ‘anchor text’ which a single page of content will not allow you to do with any flexibility or congruence. Anchor text is where a link to a webpage is attached to words and not the URL. For instance the link ‘Disease Symptom’ that takes you to a page about your disease area and therapy, has the anchor text ‘Disease Symptom. Positioned on a web page, this link would help tell Google the main event on that page. A content strategy with multiple pages allows a network of anchor text links to be installed.

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