A major health system client in New York came to us with their organizations objectives for the year. One of their top two priorities was to focus on growing their breast cancer treatments and wanted to take the number one spot organically for relevant keywords such as “Breast Cancer Treatment NYC”.
They were a major player in the field and invariably ranked somewhere in positions 4-8 for most, if not all the cancer treatment keywords concatenated with a New York relevant geo. There was little to choose between them and three or four other major health networks in the region but the challenge was that they wanted to take on Goliath who went by the name of Memorial Sloan Kettering.
If you’re unfamiliar with Sloan Kettering, they are generally considered the Cancer Specialists of the East Coast if not the country and only deal with Cancer patients.
To put their dominance in perspective, you could combine the total monthly search volume for every cancer related keyword that has a New York concatenation and it would still be less than the monthly search volume for the keyword “Memorial Sloan Kettering”.
Every one of the chasing pack of ranked organizations are full health system networks that have see patients for any and all health related needs and MSK only treats cancer patients. This means that those health system networks must lose the vast majority of their patients to MSK when it they are diagnosed with cancer.
To me, I found that shocking and was curious about what happened to their internal referral networks that such leakage could occur. Would it actually be worth the time, money and effort in trying to take on such a fierce level of competition at a game that is driven by natural elevation of the authority on a topic, and would it not be better to invest those resources into plugging the leaks in the referral networks internally and perhaps reminding their patients of the trust that had been earned over the years of service and question why they would seek support from strangers when the network in question had been there at every other health crossroads in their families life?