Speaking is the new typing. More and more people are choosing to use their voice to search for the information they need on search engines. About 41% of adults use voice search everyday, and about 20% of all queries made on Google via cell phones are voice searches.
Voice search changes how people search in two important ways:
1. Searches are more local
People aren’t just using voice search to read spoilers about the latest Netflix hit. A growing number are using voice searches to find locally available goods and services, including hearing aid services. According to a recent study by BrightLocal, 58% of people voice-searched for services in their surrounding area in the past 12 months.
Of course, the highest numbers of voice-searchers are in the younger generations, with those aged 18-34 most likely to partake. But it might surprise you that 37% of people aged 55 and over have also spoken into their phone to find a local business.
Local hearing health practices are well-poised to take advantage of this increase in local search: 28% of people polled would consider using voice search to find healthcare-related businesses in their local area.
2. Searches are more spontaneous
Many voice searches are done when the user is out and about, often looking for a service or product close to them, available at that very moment. To prove this, Google’s own Consumer Insights team found that “near me tonight/today” searches soared by over 900% over the past two years! This shows more than anything else that users’ searches are getting increasingly local and spontaneous.
As a local business, you will need to make changes to your digital marketing strategy in order to account for this change in consumer preferences. Don’t worry, you wont have to overhaul your entire strategy, and you may already be doing these things. Here are the ways in which your practice can improve your search engine rankings in an age of voice search.
What can local hearing practices do to prepare for the voice search revolution?
Make sure your business is listed
Depending on the smart device, search engine users may get their information from a variety of sources. Any products made by Google will use Google My Business for listing data, while Alexa may get its data from another source. In order to avoid the chances of your hearing practice’s information not being available on the device being used, you should aim to list your practice’s business information on all the major listing platforms.
Prioritize your mobile website
Voice searches are often made when the user is outside their home, which means they are likely looking at your website on their smartphone. It’s therefore extremely important for your website to deliver a great mobile experience from the get go.
It should load quickly, be intuitive as to where links are placed, and give the user the information they need. The longer you make your site users wait for them to get what they want, the less likely it is they will want to stay on your site. Remember, they may be looking at your website while walking on the street, and wont have time to wait longer than a few seconds for your site to load. If you fail to do this, the user may go somewhere else.
Create useful content with a conversational tone
With voice search, the phrases entered into search engines have changed their tone. Maybe you have noticed these changes when doing your own searches and looking at how your query autocompletes: Instead of typing ‘movie theater hours’, people now ask the question: “what are the hours for my local movie theatre?” Your content should change to reflect this more conversational tone.
A good way to do this is to think about the questions people have for your when they contact your practice for more information. It’s likely that they will use the same phrase when they are next searching online on the same topic. Remember those questions that you are being asked and jot down the most common ones. Then answer these questions on your website.
At AuDSEO, we can help future-proof your practice’s SEO strategy for voice searches. Our team is experienced in making sure your digital presence is solid so you can focus on providing great hearing health care. Contact AuDSEO today for more information!