Elsevier's OncologySTAT portal has attracted over 12,000 registrants since its September 2007 launch. Seventy percent are physicians or healthcare professionals involved in cancer care, according to company data.
The site garnered a top search ranking on Google, and that's enabled advertising abilities, said Monique Fayad, SVP, Elsevier, and publisher of OncologySTAT.
“Our Google rankings are new —we were in the sandbox for the first six months,” said Fayad, referring to the sandbox effect, by which new URLs tend to receive lower-page rankings on Google either by company policy or mathematical algorithm. “Coming out [of the sandbox], we were on the first page of search results. This hasn't had a direct impact on sales yet, but we expect it will very soon.”
Since September, Oncology-STAT has optimized the site for better searching, updated and enhanced its video player, and has shifted toward a greater focus on content drivers.
“We're gaining the critical mass we'd hoped for—we have the audience now, so we can focus on new features,” noted Fayad. In terms of targeting, Fayad said the portal's core target audience is oncology and hematology professionals. “Our goal is to get 40% [of practicing US hematologists and oncologists], and we're 22% of the way there,” said Fayad.
Fayad cited OncologySTAT's coverage of the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual conference last June as a success. The portal's 10-member advisory board made recommendations about “must see” sessions during the conference, resulting in great feedback, according to Fayad.
At an Oncology Nurses Society meeting, OncologySTAT was well-received and signed up 500 nurses in two days, said Fayad, with 700 new registrants in three days. Portals in different therapeutic classes could follow. “We're currently evaluating other [potential portals] based on OncologySTAT,” said Fayad.