Digital Scholar Webinar: Creating an Effective Study Recruitment Webpage


For many websites, commercial or not, significant visitor traffic comes via search engines such as Google. According to Pew Internet Research, more than 80% of Americans use the Internet to search for health information. But will your study be found by these engines? A compelling description of a research study online can be critical to attracting participants. Dr. Reuter will highlight two important aspects of creating a study recruitment webpage:

  1. We will review the steps required to develop a study webpage using the publishing tool of the USC Clinical Studies Directory. The study pages are designed to help patients and their families who search online to find ongoing clinical studies at USC and to contact the study team. 
  2. Dr. Reuter will suggest tips for research teams to increase the discoverability of their study pages. She will present approaches to developing effective study page content. For example, you will learn about search engine optimization (SEO) and how to select popular keywords for your study title and description to increase the chances of being found by online information seekers. SEO is a well‐known concept in the marketing world to improve search rankings of web content. It involves constructing online content so that users are guided to it because it is highly ranked on the first search results page.


Katja Reuter, PhD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Preventive Medicine at the Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC; Director of Digital Innovation and Communication for the Southern California Clinical and Translational Research Institute (SC CTSI)

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand how you can create free webpages for your recruiting research studies using the USC Clinical Studies Directory
  2. Understand the principles of search engine optimization (SEO) and how you can apply SEO so that your study can be found online.

Additional Resources

Study Participant Recruitment Support
Customized recruitment and retention strategies that fit your study’s needs, timeline, and budget.
Contact: Nicki Karimipour, PhD

Digital Recruitment Support
Support for digital and social media-enabled recruitment.
Contact: Katja Reuter, PhD

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important - All publications resulting from the utilization of SC CTSI resources are required to credit the SC CTSI grant by including the NIH funding acknowledgment and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.