UK Pharmacies - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q2 2024

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

The Q2 2024 benchmarking report for UK pharmacies has just been published. Learn how the top 12 UK pharmacies perform across the digital space.

The latest Q2 2024 benchmarking report for UK pharmacies has just been published. It covers the largest 12 national pharmacies, including Boots UK, Well Pharmacy, LloydsPharmacy, Superdrug, PillTime, Pharmacy2U, Weldricks Pharmacy, Chemist Direct, Chemist4U, Pharmica, The Independent Pharmacy, and Assured Pharmacy.

Pharmacy - LOGOS

The research gives an inside track on who is winning the biggest share of voice online, and quantifies the gaps, risks and missed opportunities for other pharmacies to win brand exposure, drive online views, and generate orders. The report highlights quick wins that will improve enquiries from your online strategy and identifies the barriers that may be reducing your site’s ability to optimise digital performance.

To see a preview and contents page of the Q2 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call. Pharmacy - COVER


For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 pharmacies on, check out our quick-look table below; Pharmacy W&L Apr24

Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's best and poorest-performing UK pharmacies or request a copy of the report for the full review.

Request the report

What The Industry Research Report Covers

The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each site based on 50+ metrics and indicators of successful digital strategy, including organic visibility, domain authority, paid media ads, conversion performance, technical performance, site speed, universal search, content, social ads, accessibility, and mobile performance.  

Driving Optimal ROAS from Paid Media Channels

Some of the leading players in the space are high spenders on paid media channels such as Google, Bing & Facebook - but have a poor or sub-optimal conversion improvement strategy. Without an optimised, sophisticated conversion strategy that maximises the conversion rate, the return on investment is unsustainable or will underperform. Scaling spend on paid media is not achievable unless the conversion rate delivers optimal performance in the sector. Some in the space have paid media spend levels from 30k+ per month but dedicate minimal resources and budgets to conversion testing.  Given the cost per clicks on ad networks will continue to rise, we recommend spending at least 10% of your paid media budget on ongoing conversion optimisation testing schedules to ensure your paid media ROI maintains long-term viability, competitive advantage, and sustainability.

Technical Website Compliance

Savvy digital marketers know that having a technically sound website is an essential component of a successful fully integrated digital strategy - plus a site capable of maximising conversion performance. Pharmacies should take care of the pathways to key pages, such as best-selling products, FAQs, or seasonal health advice.

Site Speed & Conversion Rate Performance

When 62% of consumers are less likely to convert if they have a negative mobile site experience, ensuring that your site is quick and easy to load makes a significant improvement on your overall conversion rates. This is especially important for customers wanting to find their local pharmacy's contact details or to make an order online quickly, from their mobile device.

For Q2 2024, the mobile site speed ranged between 74 and 48, with Chemist Direct and Assured Pharmacy reporting the lowest site speed. These pharmacies can increase their site speed by making their site more mobile-friendly and compressing images to prevent slow download speeds.

Building Competitive Advantage with Domain Authority

Domain authority is an essential metric for measuring the effectiveness of SEO performance, and helps create a reliable overall gauge of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, i.e. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads. Pharmacies can look to collaborate or outreach to publications and bloggers who sit within the health and wellbeing niche to develop their backlink profiles, but can also tie into seasonal events, such as travel health, to expand in other categories.

The DA range for this quarter was between 83 and 28, with PillTime reporting the lowest DA rating. This pharmacy reported the second-to-lowest number of domains, which it should look to increase to improve its DA rating.  

Organic Performance – Mobile & Desktop

A strong organic performance is strategically important as it ensures your site ranks above competitors for key, transactional keywords. When 93% of your customers won’t go past the first page of Google, your absence or lack of targeting for essential keywords will cost you conversions. The cost of living crisis is having a wide-reaching impact across many of the sectors we specialise in, with pharmacies being no exception. While pharmacies may have been a natural destination for toiletries and medications, shoppers are now more likely to be buying cheaper alternatives as part of their supermarket shop, or even buying in bulk from online retailers like Amazon.

Nine of the pharmacies reported a loss in organic traffic on desktop, and eight reported a loss in organic traffic on mobile. All brands can optimise their websites to make them more mobile-friendly to increase their traffic.

Universal Search Opportunity

Google Universal Search Results is an evolving opportunity to make your pages visible on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Universal results often appear before traditional listings and are eye-catching for users. Universal search results refer to rankings on a SERP that are not the traditional ‘blue line’ Google link, and a brand can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings. Pharmacies can primarily utilise 'FAQ' and 'people also ask' results to share health information directly from the SERP, along with using 'local pack' results to capitalise on local shoppers looking for nearby pharmacies.

Boots continues to be at the top of the leaderboard (a total of 755,124 — an increase from 334,505 in the previous quarter). It reported the highest in the ‘image’ category, followed by ‘reviews’.

The Longtail Keyword Opportunity

Longtail keywords are often considered high intent and potentially more likely to convert as a searcher is being more specific. Optimising for longtail keywords also puts your content strategy in a strong position to rank for brand new search terms as they enter Google’s index. Pharmacies can look at brand-specific keywords to improve visibility on longtail keywords, along with terms such as 'next day delivery' to capture traffic from customers needing products quickly.

Boots saw the most longtail keyword appearances for positions 3, with a result of 96,623. It also reported 158,374 in positions 4–10, which is an effective way for brands to increase their results in positions 3.

Facebook Adverts

With the number of Facebook users in the United Kingdom (UK) hitting over 44 million users in 2023, it is not surprising that companies have jumped at the opportunity to advertise on the social media platform. Facebook’s UK digital advertising revenue has been estimated to have breached 2.6b GB pounds in 2019. Pharmacies can use Facebook ads to generate interest and traffic to seasonal campaigns, such as products for summer holidays or winter colds.

We’ve included three examples of Chemist4U’s sponsored Facebook posts. Each post include a ‘Shop Now’ CTA to help increase conversions. Limiting to 2 lines for text is also an effective way to increase readability for followers who are scrolling Facebook.  

Pharmacy - Facebook

Top Social Shares & Content

When it comes to social media and on-site content strategies, it is important to release content that has a longer shelf life. An article is considered 'Evergreen' if it has maintained its relevancy to an audience for longer. It's great for your brand engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time. For pharmacies, social media is an opportunity to share informational content that ties into popular topics, such as must-pack essentials for holidays, advice for boosting your winter immune system, or a guide to common vitamins and supplements.

The majority of the pharmacy brands preferred Facebook, and Pharmica scored the highest number of engagement (199,112). It’s important for brands to monitor their engagement rate to assess which posts customers are interacting with.

Website Readability & Accessibility

20% of people in the UK have a disability – 2 million of which are people living with sight loss. In addition, 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women have some degree of colour vision deficiency. When websites are not designed to meet these needs, brands lose customer interest as they turn elsewhere. While accessibility should be a key concern across all sectors, pharmacies (along with any brand within the healthcare sector) must take particular care to present an accessible website, reducing the risk of any ordering errors and ensuring that anyone who needs access to the site can reach it.

In Q2 2024, Boots reported the most accessibility alerts (1,500). Upon closer inspection, these alerts were due to device dependent event handler and redundant links. Chemist4U reported 101 contrast errors, which it should look to reduce to cater for those with a colour vision deficiency.


To get a copy of the full report, please complete the enquiry form. If you want to talk to us about accelerating your digital performance, please call us on 01543 410014 or schedule a call with Mike Movassaghi.

Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

Request Your Report