Alexa … Help me find the closest Urgent Care

Mar. 12, 2019

Voice search is here. Is your healthcare facility ready?

One in five adults use on a mobile device, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home voice search at least one time a month and by 2020, half of all searches will be accomplished by voice search. Now is the time to begin optimizing your website to prepare for the increase of consumers using voice search to perform their online inquiries.

What are voice enabled devices? There are many voice-enabled device smart speakers in the market. Here is a breakdown of the top three (note, there is overlap as some people use more than one device):

  • Amazon (Echo Dot & Echo Show) – 63 percent market share
  • Google (Home Mini & Home Hub) – 31percent market share
  • Apple HomePod and Sonos One – 12 percent market share

Fun fact: The Echo Dot was crowned as the best-selling product on Amazon in the 2018 holiday season.

Why is voice-search important? Twenty-four percent of consumers have searched for healthcare information via their voice-enabled devices. Of consumers using voice search for health questions, nearly one-third say that they use voice search to find a doctor, and 28 percent are looking for a hospital, emergency facility, or clinic. Other popular healthcare voice queries are those pertaining to symptoms or treatments of an ailment, disease, or other health condition.

Fun fact: Twenty percent of searches on a mobile device are voice-based.

Who is using voice search? The short answer: Everyone! However, those 29 years and younger and those 45 years and older use voice-enabled devices to obtain health information less frequently than those between the ages of 30 and 44 years. Owners also tend to have a higher income level. Thirty-one percent of voice search users are in the top 25 percent of household income.

Fun fact: Seniors (ages 55+) make up 20 percent of smart speaker ownership.

Ways to optimize your website for voice search

In order for voice-enabled devices to respond with your healthcare organization’s name and information, Google and Bing need to recognize your website. In addition, these search engines need to be able to quickly categorize and understand your website’s information. And don’t forget about review sites. Yelp plays a huge part in this as well. 

  1. Add Schema Markup (Structured Data) and Meta Tags Add markup data to the site. Schema markup is a type of data inserted into your website code. This type of structured data doesn't just tell search engines (Google, Bing) what your website says, but what it means. Meta tags should also be added to the website. Meta tags are snippets of text that describe a page's content; the meta tags don't appear on the page itself, but only in the page's code. As with Schema markup, meta tags also help search engines understand your website. 
  1. Update Copy to include FAQ & How-To Sections, Long Tail Keywords and SEO Since users speak in a more conversational tone with voice search, your website copy should be updated to reflect that tone in addition to providing quality information. Voice searches are most often in the form of a question. We recommend developing a FAQ section and a How-to section within appropriate pages. Keywords include: Where, Should, Which, What, When and How to. Examples include: How to make a doctor appointment and Find directions to the nearest Emergency Room. 

The average voice search result is about 29 words long. We recommend updating your copy to Include long tail keywords. Examples include: Find a doctor near me and Colon cancer screening guidelines. On-page SEO should be addressed as well. Optimize titles and descriptions; and include keywords in headings and content. 

  1. Focus on Featured Snippets A featured snippet is the quick direct answers you see at the top of the Google search results page that appear in response to some search queries. This feature is especially important to mobile and voice-only searches. Up to 30 percent of 1.4 million tested Google queries contain featured snippets.

Update your copy format to include headers that break up content sections. Each section shouldn’t be longer than 50 words and not shorter than 40. The most common length of content in featured snippets is between 40-50 words.

  1. Sitemap Housecleaning Review and clean up your sitemap. This includes searching for any errors and making sure that all webpages are identified. When search engines crawl your website, a good site map helps identify the webpages. Another good task to do here is submit your website and sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools.
  1. Claim Your Yelp Profile Yelp is a local-search service powered by crowd-sourced reviews, meaning users post reviews and rate businesses. Yelp is the largest local listing provider for voice search on both mobile devices and smart speakers. Knowing this, we recommend that you claim your healthcare organization’s Yelp profile. Remember to keep your profile up-to-date with complete and accurate information.

We hope that this article has been informative and helpful. Want to learn more about optimizing your website for voice search? Reach out to Erin Minsart, Digital Marketing Manager at 920.544.8102 x105 or email at

Website by: Craig Erskine

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