SEO is an evolving field, and medical practitioners will have to keep pace with Google’s fast-changing search algorithms in order to maintain their rankings and attract potential patients. Today, voice search is claimed to be the fastest-growing SEO tactic. According to Google’s Mobile Voice study, 20 percent of searches on mobile apps are voice searches. The total number of searches will be much higher if we include Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Siri and Cortana.
When the voice search was first introduced on the market, its voice recognition capabilities were quite limited. However, with the advancements in speech recognition technologies, the accuracy rate of voice search has reached 92 percent.
As the functionality and popularity of voice search continue to improve, medical practitioners will need to adapt their search engine optimization strategies in order to stay ahead of the curve. By 2020, experts expect that voice search will make up more than 50 percent of all searches performed online. By optimizing your dental practice for voice search, you can attract a number potential patients who rely upon it as a daily tool. In order to be found by those using voice search, you must keep the contact page updated and develop conversational and natural content for your website.
As more and more voice recognition products hit the market, medical practitioners, including dentists, must adapt their SEO efforts accordingly. This is because voice searches are different than text searches, and medical practices that change accordingly will be able to attract more patients.
For instance, consider a woman who is searching for a local dentist online. She will be more likely to type just “dentist” because typing on a mobile screen is cumbersome. Without asking for more details, a search engine will probably display everything from a Wikipedia page to a third-party review site, and if you are lucky, your practice website may show up as well.
However, if that woman speaks into her phone, she is more likely to ask an actual question, “Where can I get my teeth cleaned?” Therefore, voice searches are not just longer; they also indicate a specific interest and often return a different set of results. Dental practices that hope to show up in the results of voice-based searches must ensure that their website content is conversational and natural. Here are some of the ways to optimize your website for voice searches:
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Keep the content natural and conversational: In the case of text-based searches, the key to ranking high is to provide unique and relevant information to the searchers. However, for voice-based searches, the more your content “speaks,” the better. Search engines will turn up relevant results when they sense the context of your content in addition to SEO. You can improve search engine rankings by aligning your website content with your SEO. Adopting a more natural and conversational tone will help humanize your content and improve your rankings.
Ask questions: The majority of voice-based searches are asked as actual questions such as, “How long does a root canal last? What is the estimated cost for teeth whitening?” Search engines are always looking for matching content, and posting frequently asked questions on your website will be helpful. Your website should have a separate section that answers questions and provides information about your services so that search engines will add your practice to the list when potential patients ask those questions.
Focus on long-tail keywords: While short-tail keywords are still relevant for text-based searches, the focus voice search is turning toward is long-tail keywords. For instance, when searching on your mobile screen, you may type “dentist for a root canal,” but if you do a voice search, you will probably ask “Who is the best dentist to perform a root canal near me? The first step for adjusting your SEO tactics is to research what phrases are bringing potential patients to your practice website through search engine results. You may want to keep the most popular keywords within your SEO, but it will be helpful to add in some natural and long-tail keywords. Ultimately, the idea is to provide content that appeals to both search engines and potential patients.
Structured data: Including structured data and schema markup can help the search engines crawl your practice website more efficiently when looking for links for voice search. You must focus on including rich snippets and breadcrumbs. Google will pull information from the structured data markup and display it in search results depending on whether the website is authorized for the given voice search query.
Voice is going to play a larger role in search results, and it is critical for dentists to match pace with the shifting digital marketing landscape. Those who embrace these changes will have a competitive advantage over others.