The top five organic results displayed by search engines will benefit from around 90 per cent of all clicks, meaning it is vital to employ search engine optimization (SEO), a firm has asserted.

Vocus, a public relations software supplier, has recommended that physicians in particular ensure their practice’s website ranks highly in order to use it as an online marketing tool rather than just a resource for existing patients.

It suggested that organic SEO tactics are superior to paid search marketing as they gain the majority of consumer clicks and also offer longer-term benefits.

"Paid search results garner fewer clicks because browsers place more value in organic listings, which are ranked by merit rather than purchase price," Vocus continued.

Furthermore, using organic search can be a cheaper option than constantly paying when consumers click on an advert, it added.

Recently, online marketing consultant Shimrit Elisar, writing for digital agency Receptional, asserted that a further benefit of organic search is that such marketing is not hurt by "ad blindness".

She claimed that both paid advertising and banner promotions fail to attract consumers’ attention as they increasingly focus only on what specifically interests them and block out any other on-page content.