Poll Results: Consumers Prefer Google, WebMD Over Hospital Web Sites

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Priority Publications announced its findings today that consumers may be more likely to begin their online searches for health information at Google and WebMD rather than at a hospital or HMO Web site.

Priority Publications announced its findings today that consumers may be more likely to begin their online searches for health information at Google and WebMD rather than at a hospital or HMO Web site.

Priority recently conducted "man-on-the-street" video interviews (http://www.prioritypubhealth.com/prvideo) with 40 consumers at various locations in Minneapolis, Minn. When asked where they begin their online search for health information, 53% of respondents said Google while 32% said WebMD.

"It's interesting that healthcare providers - those offering the care - aren't top-of-mind with the consumers we asked when it comes to health information," said Jim Larranaga, president of Priority Publications. "This could mean HMOs and hospitals need to do better offline and online marketing to position themselves as health information providers."

To help overcome this deficit, Larranaga encouraged healthcare organizations to make their Web sites more content-rich. "Content promoting wellness and disease-specific care can be housed on the site, with articles linked to various patient services and event promotions," said Larranaga. Content should also be populated with keywords that consumers are most likely to use in their searches. "This will increase relevancy, placing the articles higher in search engine rankings. It will also encourage consumers to begin their next search at the hospital or HMO site."

Another technique to increase visibility is to purchase paid search ads with the major search engines. Hospitals can target ads to appear only within their geographic area or according to other criteria for greater relevancy.

Consumer Poll: Where Do You Begin Your Online Search for Health Information?
Google, 52.6%
WebMD, 31.5%
Yahoo / Ask, 7.9 %
Hospital, 2.6%
HMO, 2.6%

View video interviews: http://www.prioritypubhealth.com/prvideo.

Googleâ„¢ search engine is a trademark of Google Inc. WebMD® is a registered trademark of WebMD Inc. Web sites are included for informational purposes only and are not intended as endorsement.

About Priority Publications
Priority Publications has been a national leader in producing health newsletters and magazines for more than 20 years. It offers a full range of publishing options for the healthcare industry, from completely custom and syndicated magazines and newsletters to Web content with search engine optimization, annual reports, brochures and other patient education material. Priority Publications is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For a broad picture of the company's capabilities, please log on to http://www.prioritypubhealth.com.

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LuAnne Speeter
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