New analysis shows that interest in private healthcare is surging as people look for alternatives to the NHS in the face of ongoing strikes and treatment delays where almost 60% of patients are waiting in excess of 18 weeks to start treatment. Online searches for a range of healthcare-related terms have soared: “private healthcare” has jumped by 45% year-on-year and “private health insurance” by 31% when comparing the three months from January to March 2023 to the same period in 2022.
Of course search data doesn’t automatically translate into private health plan purchasing, but many insurance brands in this sector have been reporting extra interest since the start of the pandemic. Specialist companies have also streamlined their offer to match the gaps in NHS diagnosis and treatments, especially the waiting list time problem for operations. Searches for the term “private GP” shot up by 50%, says Mediavision, while “private hospitals,” saw an increase of almost 15% and “private blood test” rose by over 21% when comparing the same periods. Some of the UK’s biggest private healthcare providers are reaping the benefits of this growing demand. Over the same period, searches for “Bupa” jumped 25%, “AXA Health” by 34% and “Benenden Health” by a massive 43%. “Vitality” saw a more modest 0.13% increase, but still racked up 428,488 searches.
The analysis was carried out by digital marketing agency MediaVision using its proprietary Digital Demand Tracker tool, part of its Metis technology that analyses UK search data from AdWords and Google Trends, and is able to produce search insights four times faster than standard industry SEO tools. This surge in online searches comes as one in eight Britons used private healthcare in the past 12 months, says Mediavision. Insurance brands who want to track this search trend can do it easily by setting up Google alerts, Trends or using Adwords to track the search volume and price demand for certain keywords. You can break it down by region and time of day too, which is handy when planning online media campaigns.
IE just searched Trends and found that “colonoscopy” was a breakout search term, plus “Doctors Visit.” Searches for “private health” hit an annual high on January 8th 2023, as people rejigged their finances after Christmas. It’s always good to identify the rising search terms.