“Hey, Siri. How often do smart phone owners use voice search?”
It turns out that voice search, such as through Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Apple Siri, is becoming an essential part of modern life. In fact, 72% of voice device owners use it as part of their daily routine.
Part of this routine includes searching for health care-related information and medical practices.
Neglecting this growing technology could cause your practice to miss out on potential patients. But adapting a voice-first mindset could help you attract new patients and stay connected to current ones.
One way to start a voice-first approach is to have an online presence optimized for local search. Because local search results often rely on health care directories, it’s important to claim and maintain accurate listings on directories, such as Healthgrades or Wellness.com. In fact, patients are likely to land on one of your directory listings before they find your practice’s homepage.
Online review ratings also have an impact on local voice search results.
A vast majority (86%) of consumers read at least 10 reviews before being able to trust a business, according to England-based marketing firm BrightLocal. Businesses with higher online ratings signal trust to digital voice assistants. This applies as much to health care practices as it does to coffee shops.
Voice searches are more conversational than text-based searches. Keep this in mind when choosing keywords for the content on your website.
The most common type of voice search query is a question, so base your content on questions patients are likely to ask about your practice or your specialty. The more closely content matches the questions that patients ask in voice search, the more likely your content will surface as their answer.
Adopting a mobile responsive design also gives your website a better chance to rank highly in voice search. Your mobile website should have quick load times (3 seconds or less) in addition to relevant content. Because mobile-responsive websites rank higher in Google, optimizing your website for mobile could place you higher in text-based search results as well.
If your practice needs help navigating voice-search technology, Texas Medical Association-endorsed vendor Officite has tools to help.
To verify the health of your online listings – including mobile and voice – for free, go to www.checkmylistings.com.
And if you want to learn more, check out Officite’s white paper, Why Voice Assistants Matter to Healthcare.