5 Ways to Get More Search Volume from Rare Diseases with Limited Search Demand

Getting More Search Volume for Rare Diseases
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    albert somlith

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    Rare diseases get their name from the fact that fewer people have them. Being rare, it also means fewer people search for them online. For most of us, fewer people searching for rare disease information is good news. However, it is anything but if you need more search volume for your client’s product that treats rare diseases.

    Getting more search volume from rare diseases with a limited search demand can be tough. However, it is not impossible. So, before you close your eyes and flip a coin or you ask the Magic 8 ball what to do about it, try the following five tips:

    5 Ways to Get More Search Volume from Rare Diseases with Limited Search Demand

    1. Focus in on the broad match.
    2. Learn the ABCs of RLSAs.
    3. Include the symptoms.
    4. Bid on competitor terms
    5. Upload campaigns to Bing.

    Let’s take a closer look at each of these, shall we?

    Focus in on the broad match.

    Searchengineland.com suggests adding broad match to your keywords with low search volume to get your ads in front of other low-volume keywords that might boost the amount of eyeballs on your ads. Unlike with high-volume searches, low-volume searches are specific (for the most part). When broad match is added in these cases, Google can sometimes reveal some excellent and relevant search terms you hadn’t thought of before related the specifics of searchers in this general area. And, if it doesn’t give you great suggestions, you will have some great negative keyword terms to enter so you don’t waste any more money on the wrong people.

    Learn the ABCs of RLSAs.

    When Searchengineland.com recommended digital marketers use remarketing lists for search ads (RLSAs), they were referring to getting ads back in front of customers searching for a product who might have learned about your alternative product already. The wisdom was that a disruptive product was something customers needed some time to think about more before getting serious about a purchase.

    We can see situations where this strategy might also work in rare disease searches. It could be that your client’s product treats a disease that shares a lot of the same symptoms as a more well-known disease. If a patient is searching for the well-known disease and hears about the rare disease that shares many of their symptoms, the patient might also need time to accept the fact that their diagnosis was different than they thought. So, if you can use RLSAs to increase bidding for patients who have already visited your client’s landing page and are using those search terms again, you might be able to get back in front of these potential patients.

    Include the symptoms.

    Along the lines of the RLSAs, adding the symptoms closely related to the rare disease could potentially bring in more related searchers to your low-volume search topic. The searchers are there, too. Per Social Marketing, 57 percent of American adults reported going online to get health information, and 37% said they went on social media (e.g. blogs, social network sites).

    Bid on competitor terms.

    If you need to boost your search volumes, WordStream, an Online Advertising Software company, says you should bid on the competition’s brand terms. Wordstream reasons that if the patient is looking at the competition’s product and related search terms, they should be interested in what your client’s product can do, too.

    However, there are pros and cons to this strategy. Wordstream says the pros are that the keywords for the competitor’s brand and terms are less expensive (usually), the brand awareness you can build with this strategy is solid, and every time a patient buys from your client, that is one less sale for the competition. The cons are that turnabout is fair play, so the competition can start bidding on your brand and terms, and that you can end up with a low CTR because people weren’t interested in your client’s product and were already on their way to buy from your client’s competition.  

    Upload campaigns to Bing.

    Bing Ads are Microsoft’s answer to Google Ads. Per the digital agency All Around Digital, the Ads display on all the same screens, and you can target the same way you do on Google AdWords. You can even upload your campaigns from Google AdWords to Bing Ads, although it’s a good idea to review the configuration details before you publish.

    There are many ways that the two ad channels are similar. The significant difference is in the overall search volumes. (Hint: Google has WAY more.) Another difference is that one is cheaper than the other. (Hint: Google costs WAY more.)

    However, Bing has some users and they would see your ads. In the US, Bing has 33 percent market pentration, which All Around Digital translates into five billion (with a b) monthly searches from around 160 million users. It also has market share in the UK (23%), France (19%), and Norway (18%). Even Spain has 10 percent market penetration. So, why not ensure that these searchers see your client’s ads, too?

    Low search volumes for rare diseases is a challenge, but not an unsurmountable one. It is important to try and test your strategies, budgets, and ad copy to see what is getting you proper results. Try these five tactics to make the most of what you can and see if you can’t increase your success for your client’s PPC campaign.

    Plus, we asked the Magic 8 Ball if you should and it said, “It is decidedly so.”


    Baadsgaard, Jacob. “No search volume? No Problem! 3 ways to improve low-traffic AdWords campaigns.” Searchengineland.com. 29 March 2018. Web. 7 May 2021. < https://searchengineland.com/no-search-volume-no-problem-3-ways-to-improve-low-traffic-adwords-campaigns-295262>.

    Lefebvre, PhD, R. Craig. “The Social Life of Health Information.” Socialmarketing.blogs.com. Web. 7 May 2021. < https://socialmarketing.blogs.com/r_craiig_lefebvres_social/search_behavior/>.

    Cummins, Evan. “Bidding on Competitors’ Brands: Pros, Cons, & Common Mistakes.” Wordstream.com. 5 September 2019. Web. 7 May 2021. < https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/06/12/bidding-on-competitor-brands>.

    Carlos. “Bing Ads: Should I advertise in Bing.” Allaround.digital. Web. 7 May 2021. < https://allaround.digital/blog/invest-bing-ads/

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