Why Healthcare Practices Need To Optimize for Voice Search

June 24, 2021

Voice assistants have become a big part of the modern world. While one-third of Americans were already using voice search features in 2019, this number was projected to grow to over half by 2020. Many healthcare practices are already accepting the importance of using digital marketing to increase medical SEO and actively working with digital marketing companies, such as our team at Doctor Genius, to increase online visibility, but the idea of voice search SEO is new for many industries. Keep your practice one step ahead of the competition by knowing how to optimize your website and online presence for voice search.

Voice search trends

Searching by voice is popular with people on the go, with over half of people using voice search most often when driving. Common asks include requesting directions, checking the time, getting movie times, or finding local business suggestions.

Especially when using smartphone devices, people are increasingly adding the term “near me” to the end of phrases to learn where to buy a particular item, what food destination to eat out at, or how to find a health provider. Google released data in 2018 showing there was more than a 500% increase in mobile searches using “near me” that also include a phrase similar to “can I buy” between the years 2015 and 2017.

Optimizing for voice search

Knowing the impact voice search has on local businesses, healthcare practices need to take advantage of this relatively new form of customer interaction and ensure websites and local listings are optimized to attract potential patients who choose to use speech rather than text to find a provider.

Consider different algorithms

While traditional SEO places most of its focus on Google, voice search SEO is much more diverse. There are several different voice assistants people may use to ask questions, which each have unique algorithms to produce the top-ranking answers. Siri and Google Assistant are the most common.

For iPhone users, Siri often relies on Apple maps and Yelp when making a recommendation for a local business. The distance of the business from the user, the number of reviews a business has received, and the star rating play a factor. Less expensive options may also show higher on the list, with a dollar sign indicating the price range. It is important to note that a “near me” search places more emphasis on distance, whereas “best restaurant” weighs more heavily with star rating.

Most Android users have access to Google Assistant, which uses Google to gather data. If a website already ranks high on the SERP page, especially within the top three results, it is more likely to show for a voice search. Having an optimized website that offers a great online patient experience, loads quickly, has strong backlinks, incorporates strategic keywords, and includes easy-to-read text are all ranking factors. Having an up-to-date Google My Business page is important both for showing up as a listing and ensuring users can easily contact and find your practice once clicked on.

Reach all potential leads

Focusing all your marketing efforts on your online presence without considering voice search SEO can cause your healthcare practice to miss potential leads that could be converted into future patients. Talk with us to ensure your digital marketing strategy explores all possible avenues.

Doctor Genius, located at 16800 Aston Street, Suite 270, Irvine, CA 92606, provides a range of services for practice success. We seek to meet our clients’ needs by providing a variety of marketing, SEO, practice optimization tools, and coaching to transform the healthcare experience. Though we work to provide the most accurate information, the content found on this website is solely intended for entertainment purposes. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is entirely correct. You may not use the information on this site to cure, prevent, or diagnose a perceived medical issue. If you have healthcare-related needs, please speak directly to a healthcare professional. Never self-perform medical treatments discussed on this website. All images displayed are also for entertainment purposes only, and personal experiences may differ. Please note that the business tactics mentioned on this site might not be applicable to your industry or practice.