Patients Are Searching for Answers, Inspiration and Doctors Who Educate

Patients Are Searching for Answers, Inspiration and Doctors Who Educate

150 150 Rob Lovitt

searchAs the interplay between search and social continues to evolve, so too do the parameters and perceived value of search engine optimization. But instead of debating whether or not search is alive, dead or merely adapting to changing times, it’s worth looking at why people turn to the process in the first place.

A study from suggests most searches fit into one of three categories. Understand the differences and you stand a better chance of having the right consumer find their way to your practice website.

According to the study, the three types of searches are:

“Answer me” searches: Simple, straightforward and to the point. Where’s the nearest Starbucks, what time does the movie start, who sings that song? For aesthetic professionals, such searches are probably of limited relevance.

“Inspire me” searches: “People in an ‘inspire me’ search want to be taken somewhere — they’re looking for ideas and surprises,” says the study. Not surprisingly, perhaps, the top two categories for these searches are Travel and Home & Garden.

“Educate me” searches: “People in an ‘educate me’ search want the whole story from multiple perspectives,” says the study. “This information really matters to them; they’ll take the time to read on.”

Here at RealSelf, we see all of the above but, ultimately, cosmetic consumers are seeking education about the products and procedures they’re considering. That echoes the findings of the study, which found that 59% of the searches in Health & Medicine were of the “educate me” variety, more than for any other category.

How to connect with consumers in that frame of mind? As the folks at put it,

Keep messaging informative; provide opportunities to learn from multiple angles; align with content that presents in-depth information and resources.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Doctor Takeaway

Cosmetic consumers will seek out doctors whose online marketing stresses education over self-promotion

As media outlets proliferate, consumers are becoming increasingly immune to traditional marketing messages. Instead, they’re seeking insights from a combination of social media; “allies,” aka, people who have walked in their shoes, and credentialed experts. As the only credentialed experts in the mix, doctors should contribute to aesthetic discussions in the first and encourage the second to do the same by sharing their experiences and posting reviews.

Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including, and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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