Google has announced that they will be updating the Google Search Ad format it offers to healthcare and pharmaceutical brands. This change affects support for pharmaceutical brands with a “black box” warning or those that require adverse event information as part of the ad.
URL architecture for black box brands
As of July 20, 2015, Google will be moving to a common AdWords format that no longer supports an additional line of copy and additional URL for black box brands and those requiring adverse event language. This is an evolution that is optimized for its paid search marketing solution that has been available to pharmaceutical advertisers for the last five years.
An example of how a brand might be using search engine marketing in Google AdWords before and after the July 20th update:
Pre-July 20th AdWords Example:
Post-July 20th AdWords Example:
What does this change mean for pharma brands
Brands that are currently using Google AdWords for marketing will need to consider a rewrite of existing creative and landing pages. The pages that the new AdWords Ad link to will need to prominently feature adverse events information for the product. This will require revisiting of search marketing strategies as well as potential user experience and design changes to optimize inbound traffic from paid search campaigns.
Brands currently using paid search programs with Google should leverage Google’s Sitelinks feature that provide several links to content within a product website within the AdWords format. Product managers and agencies should also reinvest in paid mobile search with this change as there is a broader efficiency with this change in having a single ad format for all platforms (desktop and mobile search).
Post-July 20th AdWords Example with Sitelinks:
The changes to Google’s Ad program will have a significant impact on pharma brand website marketing performance as well as the cost of paid search solutions currently used for search engine marketing programs. Expect to see changes in your category as well as behavioral changes for your paid and organic search performance.
The changes to Google’s AdWords program will affect everyone using paid search for healthcare professional and consumer engagement. Digital media is constantly evolving. Strategist and communication professionals will continue to plan and create strategies to evolve with it.