When 2020 begins in just a few short weeks, 50 percent of all online searches will be voice searches. Consumers will turn to the likes of Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant to answer health-related questions and help them navigate their healthcare options.

Is your hospital or practice ready for voice optimization?

Voice is changing the way people search

Voice queries differ from keyboard searches. Voice queries are:

  • 40 times more action-oriented. Consumers need both local and immediate help. For example, "Where's the nearest urgent care for X-rays?"
  • Longer and more conversational. Seventy percent of searches on Google Assistant use natural, everyday language. For example, "Alexa, find me a top-rated urologist within five miles that accepts Humana insurance."
  • From mobile devices. It's a hands-free way to get information while driving. Optimizing your website for mobile and voice search will also benefit.

What kinds of answers do voice searchers get? Not a full search engine results page with lists of links. Their voice assistant presents them with the single top result and the ability to open the website from which the answer came.

Voice will change your SEO approach

Your first steps toward getting your website voice ready should begin with:

  • FAQs. Keeping your target consumer and their patient journey in mind. What are the top questions people ask about your healthcare organization? emphasize the Q&As you'd like to rank for.
  • Writing concise answers. A voice assistant's speakable text should be brief, about 20 to 30 seconds (30 words or less).
  • More keyword research. You'll need to incorporate long-tail keywords and keyword phrases into your content.
  • A speed check. Most consumers ask and receive their answer from a mobile device, so improved site speed is doubly important.

Get familiar with speakable schema

For accurate answers, voice searches rely on structured data (schema markup). It's the language search engines use to understand your content. You'll want to have the speakable bits of your content schema tagged. Google provides clear instructions on what you need to do.

Smartly written content that is patient-friendly is also more likely to become a Google featured snippet. Over 40 percent of voice search answers come from those descriptions.

It takes time to become conversant. Start now.

To be on top of the voice search game, you'll need developers, designers and content creators who speak the same language. Cox Health Marketing boasts some of the best digital experts in the industry, ready to help you maximize your campaign spends. Call us today.