By Paula Milam, President & Chief Strategist, TruStar Marketing, LLC

Alexa is listening to your customers. Are you?

If you’re in healthcare marketing, you had better be.

Voice Search is faster, smarter and more accurate than ever, and more people are trusting voice-activated assistants Apple Siri, Google Home and Amazon Alexa to find instant answers. This is especially true when it comes to health issues, as hospitals and healthcare is the No., 2 most active industry for customers who use Voice Search.

As we rapidly evolve from written to voice search, your current optimization strategies may not work as well. It will only get worse, as just last year, according to Alpine.AI, people performed almost 1 billion voice searches each month, with that number expected to jump to 20 billion monthly voice searches in 2020. That means 50% of all internet searches will be completed using voice. This includes searches done on a phone or Voice Assistant. 

 

How does Voice Search work?

When you type your search question into Google, you may get a map, multiple listings that best match your query, and some paid listings. Most people know how to navigate this page to find what they are looking for.

In Voice Search, when a question is asked, there is only one direct answer that can be provided. This is also called a featured snippet, as it’s the information in the box or knowledge card that comes up on top of the onscreen search engine page.

This is why Voice Search optimization is so important.

You need to actively work on making your site that one answer, because prospective patients won’t be given any additional options. Voice Searches also tend to be longer and more conversational than traditional keyed search requests, which makes sense, because we type questions differently than we speak them.

For example, I might type: dentist near me. I would say: “Siri, where is the best rated dentist for me to get help for my toothache?” As you can see, short keywords aren’t ideal for answering queries. Focusing on questions that have definitive answers is key.

With the frequent changes in Google algorithms, staying in this first coveted spot requires ongoing Voice Search and traditional onscreen SEO care. When you are properly optimized, your site has a better chance of more consistently coming up as Siri’s answer.

Voice Search advantages in Healthcare

The healthcare space offers many opportunities to utilize voice search throughout the patient journey. Whether it’s searching for a hospital or researching a healthcare condition, studies show that patients feel less intimidated and more comfortable with Voice Search for these answers because they feel like they are having a personal conversation. Voice Search can develop relationships in a way that traditional onscreen searching cannot.

Voice Search is also more convenient in an emergency situation, or for the elderly and others who are visually or physically impaired, and find accessing information on a touchscreen or other device difficult.

Start your Voice Search Strategy Today

Voice-enabled capabilities are already impacting the patient journey, and this is just the beginning. Stay ahead of the competition. Voice Search optimization is a piece of your marketing strategy that should not wait. We can help you with Mobile First and Voice Search Website Design and Development, content, schema coding, and Healthcare marketing that maximizes ROI.

TruStar Marketing fuses the art of the brand with the science of analytical marketing to increase ROI. We specialize in Voice Search and Mobile First Website Strategies and Design for hospitals and large healthcare providers.

(c) 2019 TruStar Marketing, LLC