Voice search has become a vital tool for patients seeking healthcare. Find out how to optimize your clinic’s online content for voice search here.
Why is Voice Search Important?
Voice search isn’t just for random facts, weather updates, and finding music anymore—people use their voice assistants to ask about everything from illnesses to healthcare clinics in their area. A 2019 study found that almost 73% of people surveyed reported using a voice assistant to ask about symptoms, and over 65% of healthcare searches were focused around local requests.
So what is it that makes voice search so popular?
Voice search offers hands-free convenience: you don’t have to pick up your phone or head to your computer to do a search, which is a relief when you’re in the middle of something.
We’ve come to expect instant results when we turn to the internet. Voice search makes it quicker than ever to get answers. Plenty of people speak faster than they text or type, and for some, it just feels more natural to ask a question out loud than it does to write one.
This speed also makes it easy to take action after getting results. In 2018, Google found that queries to their Assistants were 40 times more likely to be action-oriented than regular searches. In other words, when it comes to voice search, consumers may be more inclined to take a desired action—like making an appointment or getting directions to your clinic—than they would be if they were typing or texting. After all, voice search gives far fewer results than a traditional Google search (3 at most), so it eliminates the endless scrolling of looking for the perfect solution. Take away that analysis paralysis and you’re naturally going to see more action.
How to Optimize Your Healthcare Clinic for Voice Search
Different voice assistants draw from different sources to deliver information. This means that you’ll need to make sure that your clinic’s info is correct and up-to-date everywhere.
Here’s a breakdown of which assistants use which resources for information:
- Alexa (Amazon): Yelp
- Google Assistant: Google Maps
- Cortana (Microsoft): Bing
- Siri (Apple): Apple Maps, Yelp
- Bixby (Samsung): Yelp
Because voice searches are often locally-focused—and locals are who your marketing needs to target anyway!—you need your clinic to show up in local map results. Check out our guide to local SEO for healthcare here: 4 FREE Ways to Boost Your Healthcare Clinic’s Local SEO
Gone are the days of simply using lots of important keywords in your content to make it to the first page of Google. Now, search engines prioritize content that actually helps its users—not just the webpage that uses the searched-for keyword the most. And now that people are getting used to getting answers via voice search, your clinic will need to adapt.
While it’s impossible to predict exactly what phrases your prospects will use in their voice searches, you can prepare for the most likely ones by doing some keyword research and updating your content accordingly. For example…
Dr. Tucker is a board-certified pain doctor serving the Little Rock area. She provides pain relief services such as spinal cord stimulation and steroid injections.
This phrase could potentially be pulled as a result for queries about:
- Pain doctors in Little Rock
- Spinal cord stimulation services near the searcher
- Doctors who provide steroid injections
- Board-certified pain specialists in central Arkansas
…and many, many more combinations of the same keywords.
Keep it Simple
FAQ pages are a fantastic way to incorporate answers into your healthcare clinic’s content. Keep your answers around 29 words, and make sure the writing style is conversational yet natural. So, for instance, don’t refer to strep throat as streptococcal pharyngitis—that’s not what your patients will be searching for, so it’s not how you should write!
If you’re not sure if what you’ve written will perform well, here’s a general rule of thumb: can you picture your answer as a featured snippet on a Google search?
Voice search results are incredibly likely to come from featured snippets, so keep your answers clear and to-the-point.
Test it Yourself
The best way to figure out how to optimize your healthcare clinic for voice search is to perform your own voice searches. Find out which questions pull up which types of results. This goes hand-in-hand with keyword research: what searches do patients perform before coming to your clinic? Ask your own voice-activated assistant questions based on that knowledge and optimize accordingly.
If possible, ask various devices about symptoms, hours, and more information that relates to your clinic. What are the differences in how they respond? How many results does each one produce? Do the lengths of the results vary? If so, how can you make the most of the space you have?
Start Optimizing Your Healthcare Clinic for Voice Search
The secret to performing well in voice searches is simple: put the patient’s needs first.
Your clinic should develop content that:
- Asks questions the way a patient would
- Answers those questions helpfully and succinctly
- Is conversational and easy to understand
Ready to get started optimizing your healthcare clinic to perform well in voice searches? Contact Kirkpatrick Creative today. Our team is experienced in producing and optimizing content that makes healthcare facilities stand out and gets more patients through the doors.