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Is Your Dental Website Ready for Voice Search? Here's How to Stay Ahead of the Competition.

With more devices like Cortana, Amazon Echo and Apple’s Siri increasing in popularity, the marketplace for voice search devices is growing in popularity and market clout. Over the next three years, experts predict that voice searches will make up 50% of all searches performed online. As voice searches become more popular, digital marketers and businesses must tweak their SEO strategies to capture that traffic.

Pay Attention to Your Mobile Experience
Since the bulk of voice searches are done on mobile devices, it’s important that you take the necessary steps to make your online presence mobile-friendly.

Get a Mobile-Friendly, Responsive Website
With a mobile-friendly website, searchers that find your dental practice on their mobile device will be able to easily browse all of your website’s content. Mobile-friendly websites also have a quicker load time on voice-search devices, which boosts your SEO score and reduces your website’s bounce rate. If your website is not mobile-friendly, then people browsing it on a smart phone or tablet will find it difficult to locate important information and have a poor experience.

Create Content that is Easy to Read
In 2013, mobile internet users eclipsed those using the internet on desktop. Another study found that people don’t retain complex mobile articles as well as they do when read on a desktop. This means that you should create content with mobile users in mind, and make it easy for them to absorb that content. To do so, keep your paragraphs short, and use more common language that is easy to understand. Also, break up your content with large, bolded titles so that users can easily scroll your content and navigate the bulk of your content.

Check Off-Site Directories for Accuracy
When voice searches scan the web for results, they look at a number of factors before delivering an answer. For dentists, this means that voice searches will check business directories –such as Google my Business– when a user is searching for a pediatric dentist. This makes it very important that your listings are accurate, claimed and verified. Inconsistent listings are given less SEO clout with search engines, which conduct voice searches. Visit all of the directories that list your dental practice to ensure that your listings are accurate and consistent. To learn more about local search listings, visit our Local Search & Reviews page.

Update your Contact Page
It’s tantamount that your practice details are clearly listed on your website’s contact page for search engines to find your dental practice. Your practice name, address, phone number, and contact email address should all be made available and easy to find for those on your website and those using voice searches. You can also add a map and simple written directions on your contact page, to improve your local SEO results.

Use Natural Language to Capture Long-tail Searches
The tricky part about voice searches is that people perform them much differently than using a traditional search engine. When someone uses a search engine like Google to find a dentist in their neighborhood, they may type in something like “best dentist near ______.” However, when performing a voice search, that same person will speak more normally, asking something like “Where’s the best pediatric dentist in Fort Worth, Texas.” Those are two very different queries. This places added importance upon using natural, semantic language in your on-site content. It can be difficult to do this without getting too wordy or colloquial, but it can be accomplished on a blog, which is typically more informal than the rest of a website.

Optimize Your On-Page Content with a Blog
To capture as much voice search traffic as possible, it’s important that you appeal to a wide range of searches with on-page content. To do so, go through the pages of your website and make sure that your services and products are accurately listed. A great place to create more on-site content is on a blog. With a blog, you can write about topics that your patients care about, and more naturally employ phrases that capture those using voice searches.

Additionally, a blog can be used as a great tool to generate more local interaction. Take the opportunity to discuss topics of local interest and write about things unique to your town. By doing so, you can gain more local traffic.

Capture Q&A Searchers

Try to answer common questions that patients posit in explicit, spelled-out terms. For instance, if patients consistently ask about fluoride, you may write a blog post entitled: “What is Fluoride?” and then go on to write as much as you can about fluoride. When using your website to answer questions, try to write your content in a question / answer format. This way, you increase the SEO value of those pages, and improve your odds of capturing organic traffic that pose common dental questions. 

Scott Childress is the Executive Director of Smile Savvy, Inc. As an expert in online marketing, Scott oversees the management of over 700 accounts for dentists in forty-seven states and six countries. Scott spent over 13 years in the nonprofit world using 21st-century outreach tools for an increasingly tech-savvy donor base. He has provided presentations and CE lectures for major dental conventions throughout the United States.


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