Pandemic boosts online search

Insight

Pandemic boosts online search

Boots has maintained its number one position in the visibility charts for pharmacy-related websites, but the pandemic has boosted online significantly across the board according to digital marketing agency Salience’s Online Pharmacies Insight Report for 2020.

This year's report ranks the top 30 pharmacy and drug-related online sites over the past year by key performance metrics. Overall, for the top 30, Salience say there has been a 58 per cent increase in the online market size since last year, with a very revealing section on search volume highlighting just how consumer search for pharmacies rose rapidly in the first few weeks of the pandemic.

Over the past two years UK weekly search volumes for online pharmacies had climbed slowly but steadily to around 40,000 a week up to early March, Salience report. In mid March, however, searches reached 120,000 a week, before falling back to the long term average by early June. 

In the overall visibility list, lloydspharmacy.com was up two places to number two behind boots.com, with chemistdirect.co.uk third in the list of the pharmacy sites, just ahead of chemist-4-u.com, up five places and pharmacy2u.co.uk (table, online pharmacies only listed).

 Site Rank Change Jun-20 Jun-19 Difference
 boots.com 1 - 129042 84492 +53%
 lloydspharmacy.com 2 +2 27240 11152 +144%
 chemistdirect.co.uk 4 +1 10093 5159 +96%
 chemist-4-u.com 5 +5 8767 1885 +365%
 pharmacy2u.co.uk 6 - 6358 4307 +48%
 doctorfox.co.uk 7 +6 5287 1397 +278%
 simpleonlinepharmacy.co.uk 8 +5 5133 1741 +195%
 weldricks.co.uk 9 +2 3444 1761 +96%
 theindependentpharmacy.co.uk 10 -1 3414 1918 +78%
 doctor-4-u.co.uk 11 +15 2117 218 +871%

For brands looking to build their onsite presence, the report lists what Salience call 'high competition keywords'. “For smaller brands looking to weigh in on these terms, consider first breaking through on the opportunity keywords to strengthen your authority and visibility”. Top of the list of these high competition keywords are: “online pharmacy” (33,100 UK monthly searches),“cold sore treatment” (14,800), “malaria tablets” (8,100) and “period delay tablets” (6,600). Salience also recommends expanding any keyword strategy around what it calls 'opportunity keywords' - those which have less competition but high search volumes. These include “online prescription” (9,900 UK monthly searches), “online chemist” (8,100), “online pharmacy uk” (6,600) and “repeat prescription online” (5,400). 

Unsurprisingly, Pharmacy2U has the most online reviews, with almost 180,000, while Zavamed heads the page speed scores.

Salience specialises in digital strategy. The full report can be found here

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