Healthcare SEO needs to keep evolving as new trends appear in search. In 2018, you need to ensure that you are prepared for the changes predicted to impact online search. Your medical website must continue to be relevant and serve the needs of your target audience while performing well at the SERPs. You need to optimize your website for 2018.
The Rise of Conversational Search
The increasing use of digital assistants and voice search is certainly the most prominent trend we are witnessing today. It is predicted that they’ll become more prominent in 2018. Digital assistants are present in smartphones, and people now search on their mobile phone more than on their desktop. This trend is complemented by the increasing accuracy of these digital assistants. Their improved accuracy will make natural language search more precise and lead to their wider usage.
Search could become less and less of search terms or keywords being typed in the search box, and resemble more fluid conversations. Smart hubs from Amazon, Google, Apple and others are being installed in homes. More of these could find their way into homes this Christmas too, and be used for searches. So if there’s one phenomenon that will characterize 2018, it’s voice search. If you haven’t done so already, it is time to optimize for voice search.
Optimizing for Voice Search
Let’s look at the key factors that are important to optimize for voice search:
- As we mentioned earlier, there will be a great deal of conversational search. So you need to optimize for questions, sentences and long-tail keywords since they are all natural language queries. That’s not to say keywords aren’t important. But instead of using individual search terms such as “Eiffel Tower height”, people are likelier to search “is the Eiffel Tower taller than the pyramids?”
- To optimize your website for such searches, you need to think of all the questions for which you’d want your website to appear in the results. Then you need to produce content with a more conversational tone in your web pages. Also, make sure each of your web pages has comprehensive information regarding the particular topic. Let’s say your page is about weight loss-make sure you have all the details about it such as what weight is considered obese, duration of programs, costs, toughness/user-friendliness, who would qualify for it, where are weight loss programs offered, etc.
People could search, “I’m over 100 kilos, do I need a weight loss program”. Your website needs to figure in the results then. So your weight loss page should contain information on what a person weighing 100 kilos should do. You also need the equivalent weight in pounds since some would search that way. Provide this information in a conversational, question-answer tone that manages to match the manner in which people usually phrase their queries. The FAQ sections of websites would become really important since they are in a conversational tone.
- Answer boxes or featured snippets have become crucial in conversational search. If featured snippets come up in search results during voice queries, they get read to the user by the digital assistants. To get yourself a featured snippet, it is important to create content in Q&A style. It also helps to have a table or bullet point list incorporating the main elements of your content.
Optimizing for Digital Assistants
When you’re specifically considering optimizing for digital assistants, you need to optimize for your apps. App indexing or deep linking can enable users to access your app when they search through their digital assistants. Apple is bringing out its HomePod, and to future-proof your watchOS and iOS apps to work efficiently with Siri you need to use Siri Kit.
Optimizing the Mobile Experience You Provide Users
Medical app development is an important aspect of healthcare digital marketing. And this is directly connected to improving the mobile experience. Google gives increased importance to the mobile experience. Make sure that your mobile site and mobile app are really fast, streamlined and user-friendly. If not, follow these steps to ensure your mobile site or app optimizes user experience:
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a really quick mobile web solution by Google which the search engine has been pushing. More upgrades are being launched to ensure it is more engaging.
- Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are unique in that they are like apps and can be made to function offline though being pinned to the home screen. They offer users the advantage and convenience of apps built into a mobile site.
- Android Instant Apps are worth developing. These are the kind of apps that can be accessed and shared through just a link, and don’t require a full download. They offer the advantages mobile websites provide, but with the experience of an app.
It’s time to take the steps needed to get your medical website fully warmed up to capitalize on the emerging trends of conversational voice search and digital assistants. Improving the mobile experience is really important for healthcare SEO. A professional healthcare digital marketing agency will be able to handle your requirements and future-proof your website.