Voice assistants have become very popular in the last couple of years. When they first came out in the market, we only used them to ask Alexa or Siri how the weather was or to play music. But now they have become our close friends, and we ask them about everything. And, they are so easy to use that a toddler can ask Alexa to put on their favorite shows.
The questions we ask these devices are starting to become more and more specific over time. It is no longer just making a shopping list but finding solutions to problems and answers to questions. Suddenly we realized, these voice assistants can answer questions that don’t even make sense to us. Try asking Google for a song, but only use the rhythm and not the words; a do do do da, a da da de. We’ve evolved as Voice Searchers. The medical field is no different. There are Voice Searchers right now asking about medical specialists nearby or asking questions about their symptoms.
Of course, this has caught the attention of medical practices and healthcare organizations who want to be the number one answer in the search engines ranking. But how can you rank for voice search with a text-based website?
How is Healthcare Voice Search different from any other industry?
The most frequently asked questions on Google in healthcare are focused around finding the nearest urgent care, finding a reliable specialist, and/or finding information on the nearest hospital. This implies that Voice Search is mostly useful for patients searching for a location.
However, if you have done page SEO for Healthcare, you know that patients also search for very specific issues and relevant keywords. For any well-written article, you must provide information on general knowledge as well as specific to the diseases or symptoms of the patient.
This creates an opportunity for Health websites to provide the best answer to the patient’s question and be at the top of the list. Additional criteria to be one of the first options for voice assistants is that you must provide as much information as you can. And not only about your services on your website, but also the issues that these services address. The more issues you solve, the more reliable you will be as a source.
How do you determine what a voice search should answer?
Let’s find the answer together, when you go to your device and ask for information, how do you formulate the sentence? Do you speak the same as you type?
When you search for information on your computer or cell phone, you usually write short sentences with very specific words: e.g., “Ophthalmologist in New York…” or “Itchy eye…”
But when you do it with a voice assistant, you ask a question: “Alexa, who is the best Ophthalmologist in New York?”, “Hey Siri, is an itchy eye a symptom of infection?”
For content on your website or social media to be effective, you don’t have to just answer the question, you have to create the answer that will match these types of questions. Then the webpage content will be deemed worthy of being a featured snippet.
What is a featured snippet, and how do they relate to Voice Search?
According to a 2018 study, around 80% of Google Assistant voice search responses come from featured snippets.
Voice assistants only give one to three results, depending on the device in question and its operating system. They analyze snippets from different sources and choose the most accurate one to offer as an answer. If your website is selected as reliable information, Congratulations, you have a featured snippet!
Besides accuracy, here are other factors that influence whether your website meets the needs of a featured snippet.
- Speed – these devices are very fast and if your website is not, you will be automatically discarded.
- Intent – meets the intent of what the user is looking for.
- Structure – some voice searches will only look for a snippet that has the correct structure.
- Local snippet features are also very popular, so if you use location keywords you will have a better chance of earning a spot in the top voice search rankings.
Let’s jump right into SEO voice search strategies for digital healthcare:
What’s better than being informed before creating a strategy? Be informed with data! Digital Health data, of course. That’s why we love to share these statistics about Healthcare voice search from Voicebot.ai. Let’s discover what people ask their voice assistants about their health:
- The top voice assistant use case for healthcare in 2019 was asking about illness symptoms (72.9%)
- People also used voice assistants to ask about medical information (45.9%)
- Find the location of a health-related service provider (37.7%)
- Investigate treatment options (37.7%)
- Ask about nutritional information (29.4%)
- Find a doctor or other provider (28.2%).
Armed with that information and the fact that we already know how the patient asks the question, consider having snippets of content with your SEO phrases that start with words like: “What.” “Who”, “When”, “Why” and “How”. Use them in your subtitles and leave the answer in the paragraph, proceed with your SEO strategy as you normally would by making the right keyword research to complete the text.
Search results have always had the attention of marketers, constantly seeking to position themselves as one (or the best) of the results, and this time should not be the exception, now that you have read this and have probably identified the importance that voice devices have had today, the health industry has the opportunity to grow along with this technology.
We invite you to reflect on the importance of creating an SEO Voice Search strategy today. More importantly, the impact of answering your patient’s question will have on the future of your business. Just think of how far ahead you’ll be with your Digital Healthcare Marketing Strategy once you tackle the Voice Search SEO strategy before everyone else.
Contact us today for any help with defining and outlining your Digital Marketing strategy as it relates to SEO and Voice Search strategy.