Have you used voice search yet today?
If so, you’re in good company.
According to recent research, 57% of adults over 50, 65% of adults 25-49, and 59% of adults 18-24 use voice search at least once per day.
And voice search volume is rising.
In fact, it’s predicted that by as early as 2020, voice search will account for at least 50% of all searches.
Which means you cannot afford to leave voice search out of your medical practice’s digital marketing strategy for 2019.
Not only is voice search changing the way people look for information today, but it is also changing the steps medical practices must take to ensure their businesses are being found online.
A recent article, “How the Increasing popularity of voice search is helping redefine SEO in 2019,” outlined the various ways businesses and marketers need to adapt in order to keep up with the latest search trends and remain competitive.
Here at Scorpion, we’re in full agreement that medical practitioners must reevaluate their SEO strategies in order to maximize their reach to potential patients and drive more business to their practices.
In this post, we address…
Four ways voice search is changing SEO for medical practitioners
#1: Local SEO is becoming increasingly important
While voice search has become the easiest and fastest way to receive an answer to a question (“Should I ice a sprained ankle?”), it has also become a common way people search for goods and services, including medical care (“Who’s the best orthopedic specialist in Denver?”).
To give searchers the information they’re looking for, voice search bots use various factors to identify local businesses and service providers that would be the best match for a query.
That’s why it’s important to build up your local search engine optimization (local SEO).
This involves making your medical practice easier for search engines to find and improve your practice’s online reputation so it’s a top choice for search results.
Here are a few steps you should take to improve your local SEO:
- Keep your Google My Business listing and other online directories up-to-date (making your local business information as visible as possible to search engines).
- Localize your keywords. For example, instead of optimizing for “pain management center,” you might use “pain management center in Los Angeles.”
- Attract more online reviews, as this helps build your online reputation.
#2: Page speed matters more than ever
The average voice search result pages loads in less than five seconds—which is 1.5X faster than the average page speed!
This means fast-loading pages have an advantage when it comes to ranking in voice search results.
In fact, in July 2018, Google added an update that made page speed a ranking factor for mobile searches, making it easier for faster pages to rank higher in organic searches on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
There are several ways to increase page speed, including the following:
- Take steps to enable compression to reduce the size of any large files.
- Ensure your web code is optimized for speed.
- Reduce redirects to prevent slow-downs.
- Optimize images to save load time.
Getting your pages up-to-speed will ensure better voice search results for your prospective patients.
#3: There’s a shift to natural-language keywords
When your prospective patients ask Siri, Alexa, or Google for information in a voice search, they’re speaking, not typing...which means their voice search queries match their everyday language.
So instead of searching “hip replacement in Austin,” the prospective patient is searching “What's the top hip replacement center in Austin?”
These more conversational search terms are called “long-tail keywords.” In addition to including more words, long-tail keywords are also more specific, which means it’s easier for you to expose your practice to potential patients with a very specific need (e.g. “Which orthopedic specialists near me accept Blue Shield insurance?”)
To increase your rankings in voice search, your medical SEO strategy must include long-tail keywords.
#4: Conversational content is king
According to a recent study, the content that performs best in voice search results is conversational—it’s easy to read and understand (written at a 9th-grade level, on average), and it is concise.
Because voice search is speech-driven.
To ensure your medical practice is ranking in voice search results, try doing the following:
- Keep your content conversational and to-the-point.
- Develop content that answers frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to your medical field.
- Think about how your content will sound when read aloud, and revise as needed to make it easier for voice search bots and searchers to use.
Make sure your medical practice is getting maximum exposure with a strategy for voice search optimization!