Google’s publicly available and free-to-use analytic tool, Google Trends, can help cosmetic physicians gauge consumer cosmetic procedure interests, curiosities, misperceptions and decision making, according to a study recently published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (PRS).
In a study-related discussion in the same PRS issue, Brian K. Brzowski, M.D., writes that many surgeons report they spend $4,000 to $5,000 a month on search engine optimization — not to mention the tens of thousands of dollars yearly that website design and management can cost a practice.
“Consequently, we can certainly conclude that the costs and risks of such expenditures justify careful consideration when determining precisely where, when and how to place these hard-earned dollars to work,” he writes.
This article could provide insights and resources to help practices more effectively navigate online marketing so their money is well spent, according to the discussion.
Google Trend At a Glance
Google owns the largest share of the U.S. search engine market at 63.5%, while competitor Bing is at 24.1%, according to June 2018 statistics by Comscore. And anyone can extract Google’s internet search data by visiting Google Trends and entering a search term, like "facelift," or topic, like “what is a facelift?” A search on “What is a facelift?” instantly reveals a chart of search interests on the question over a year’s time; greatest interest by state or subregion; interest in related topics, such as platelet-rich plasma, as well as “Related Queries,” including “What is a mini facelift?”
Related Queries are search queries most often searched for by users who entered the initial query. Google Trends also reveals what it calls Rising Queries. These are terms that people searched for with the initial search term that had the most significant growth in the requested period of time. Google assigns a percentage to these rising stars, or if a search terms grows by more than 5000% calls it a “breakout,” according to the study in PRS.
What does this mean for aesthetic searches?
The study’s authors used yearly American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) aesthetic procedure statistics from 2005 to 2016 and evaluated data about 22 procedures using Google Trends.