Finding the Right Keyword Strategy for Both HCPs and Patient/Caregivers
  • March 1, 2022
  • PPC

Finding the Right Keyword Strategy for Both HCPs and Patient/Caregivers

Finding the Right Keyword Strategy for Both HCPs and Patient/Caregivers


In pharmaceutical advertising, the battle between healthcare professionals (HCPs) and patients/caregivers remains constant. Both audiences search on Google and most often times, use the same exact keyword, but have completely different search intent.

It is common now to see two sites for the same drug show up on Google, with each site specifically targeting each audience. You have your HCP site which is full of clinical data, trials, and science and then you have the patient/caregiver site which is more likely to focus on stories, real-life examples, and condition education.

Generally, the hcp version of the site will have hcp in the URL. For example, Most advertisers also call out explicitly who the site is targeted to in the headlines.

In the example below, you can clearly tell which website each version is targeting.

The advantage of promoting two different websites is that you will take up more real estate space on Google and will have a higher chance of the searcher landing on one of your websites. This is a great strategy for highly competitive drugs. However, keep in mind that you could be competing against your own accounts and inflating CPCs when both accounts are bidding on the same terms.

So how do you know which keywords to target for each audience when creating a Google Ads paid search campaign? 


Below are some tips:


HCP Searches:


When an HCP searches on Google, they are looking for clinical data to support their prescribing decisions. They want to see results that include abstracts from medical journals, FDA approvals, dosing information, side effects, etc. The key here is to use keyword terms that are as specific as possible so that you can target these searchers. Examples of HCP keywords include:

-drugname clinical trials

-drugname efficacy

-drugname side effects

-drugname dosing and administration

-drugname prescribing information

-FDA approved drugname uses

-abstract of study on drugname

Click here to see more HCP keywords

Patient/Caregiver Searches:


Patients and caregivers are looking for general information about the condition that the drug treats, as well as personal stories from other patients. They may also be looking for coupons or discounts on the medication. Keyword terms should focus on capturing this audience and providing them with what they’re looking for.

Examples include:

-condition name + treatment

-treatment options for condition name

-symptoms of condition name

-discounts on drugname

-drugname copay

While both audiences are important, HCPs ultimately have the power to prescribe the drug. Therefore, most pharmaceutical advertisers put more of their budget towards targeting HCPs with their Google Ads paid search campaigns. However, sometimes search volume is low, especially for rarer diseases.

There are still a number of drugs that are direct-to-consumer (DTC) where patients can go straight to the pharmacy and and purchase it directly without a prescription from their doctor. In these cases, it is important to target patients and caregivers as they are the ones who will be purchasing the medication.

Managing the Overlap


A keyword may be significant to both clients and HCPs. It’s critical to come up with overlap strategies in order to prevent rising CPC costs. Using multiple websites for each audience might help you build profiles for those audiences. As previously mentioned, separating HCP and consumer sites have several benefits, including the fact that you can “double serve.”

One way you can target and prioritize HCPs for the same keyword is to build an observation-only audience and increase the bids adjustments by X% if they are in the health care industry. Although this tactic is not 100%, it could still help with showing the right ads to the right audience.

Targeting Each Audience Using Ad Copy


The ad copy is one of the most important elements in a Google Ads paid search campaign, as it’s what searchers will see before they click on your ad. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you’re tailoring your ad copy to each audience.

Some things to keep in mind for HCPs include:

-Using industry jargon

-Including clinical data points

-Focusing on the benefits of the drug

-Using persuasive language

Meanwhile, some things to keep in mind for patients and caregivers include:

-Keep it simple and easy to understand

-Use layman’s terms

-Focus on the patient’s journey

By following these tips, you can create a Google Ads paid search.

In conclusion, when creating a Google Ads paid search campaign to promote a prescription drug, it is important to target HCPs and patients/caregivers separately. This can be done by using specific keywords, ad copy, and bid adjustments. Doing so will help you create a successful campaign that targets the right audience.

What questions do you have about targeting HCPs or patients/caregivers with your Google Ads paid search campaigns? Let us know in the comments below!

>> See how PPC Ad Editor can help you present and review ad copy for regulatory approval faster!


Share this post? Twitter Facebook Google+
by albert somlith
About author
Albert Somlith

Co-Founder of PPC Ad Editor. I am a leader in digital marketing, specializing in strategic planning, implementation, and optimization.