Voice Trends in Healthcare
Siri. Amazon Alexa. Google Assistant. Cortana. If you asked any of these digital assistants where your business is located, when it’s open, or what you offer, do you know what they’d say? Your customers are asking these questions — 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information in the last year alone. Voice-powered services have created a seismic shift in how consumers find information about your brand. Is your business ready?
Hey, Google, Find me a dentist near me!
You can’t control the user experience or the algorithms behind today’s voice-powered services — but you can supply them with the best, most up-to-date information about your business, so they give consumers accurate answers. The Yext Knowledge Manager helps you structure and manage all the public facts about your brand you want these services to know. Then, our direct integration with Amazon Alexa — as well as integrations with Google, Apple, Bing, Facebook, Yelp, and more than 100 other leading services — ensures those facts make their way into the databases behind the voice-powered services of today and tomorrow.
1. Voice is about action, and people want things that are immediately helpful.
Google noted that voice queries are 40x more action-oriented than search. What does action look like in healthcare? It means people asking questions about where to fill their prescriptions, or where the nearest urgent care is located. Patients are looking for quick, immediate answers. Have you thought about how your health system can provide answers to action-oriented questions?
2. People expect a conversation.
Searches performed using voice devices are more conversational than search. When you search for the weather on your browser, for example, you might type in ‘weather Boston.’ But when you ask Amazon Alexa about the weather, you’ll probably ask a conversational-based question:
“Alexa, what is the weather going to be like today and do I need an umbrella?”
In healthcare, this means thinking about the questions that patients are asking about their healthcare. They are no longer asking about ‘doctor near me.’ Instead, they’re asking more complex, conversational questions:
“Hey Google, find me a dental implants dentist within five miles of where I live who is rated five stars.”
Can you answer this question today if someone asked Google Home or Amazon Alexa?
3. Screens change everything.
Voice devices are not going to become the only way patients find information, so don’t put all of your eggs in the voice basket. However, Google is seeing that nearly half of their users are using voice and touchscreens (mobile devices) to perform a search. In healthcare, this means that constructing your digital strategy to impact patient acquisition needs to focus on answering questions via a voice device, but sending the action or data point to a mobile device.
What are ways you can immediately prepare for the new world order? The first step is making sure your website is voice-ready. A majority of health systems that I met with have embarked on a website redesign strategy over the last year. If you are part of this category, have you asked your design partner about ensuring your website is voice ready? The best way to ensure your website (whether it is old or new) is voice-ready is to ensure your data is Schema tagged.
Identify the top questions people are asking about your health system and determine whether you can answer them today (you can find these questions in Google Analytics program and AdWords).
Google Analytics: Acquisition → All Traffic → Source/Medium → click on Keywords
Once you find this report, sort by users so that you can see your long-tail keywords.
AdWords: Reports → Predefined (Dimensions) → Basic → Search Terms
It’s easiest to export this report and then sort your search terms so that you can find the longest keywords (‘online appointment near me cardiologist’) or via Google Assistant-matched queries to ads (‘Hey Google’, ‘Ok Google’ and ‘Okay Google’).
If you determined that you cannot answer these questions, it’s time to consider structuring your data so that you can. Structuring your data means using an intelligent database (such as Yext Brain) to manage your information — so that you can connect a specific provider to the location where they work, and to a set of reviews about them, and to the insurance they accept.
The world — and Google — is moving to a place where structured data is king. Voice devices rely on structured data to provide an accurate answer. As we learned about voice search, one of the biggest imperatives for the future is to ensure you are able to capitalize on voice as the next frontier of technology. The only way to do this is to structure your data.