Internet search is rapidly moving from a typing-based platform to a voice-based platform. Instead of typing requests (keywords) into Google Search from a desktop or laptop computer, many searchers now verbalize search requests into their smartphones and tablets. This changes how marketers must look at SEO.
Verbal vs Typed Searches
A solid example is, when looking for a drycleaner in Cerritos, California, a typed search might be: dry cleaner Cerritos, California. However, a verbal search might be: “Where’s the closest dry cleaner?” or “Are there any dry cleaning specials near me?” The device already knows where the user is and can thus identify nearby dry cleaners.
Let’s use dentistry as an example. In the past, a user may have typed: cosmetic dentist Cerritos, CA into Google Search. Today, that same user would verbalize the request differently, perhaps searching for: “Is there a cosmetic dentist near me?” or, being more specific, “Where can I get my teeth whitened?”
The Keyword Shift
As you can see in these examples, mobile users do two things that were not previously effective. One, they assume that their location is understood by Google. Two, they form their search as a question, rather than independent keywords.
From Google’s end, search has changed a bit, as well. The introduction of Hummingbird let us know that social mentions and public reviews now factor into search. So, while building up a social media presence in your local area is important, reassessing your keywords is also vital to a modern SEO strategy.
How can you know what questions people will ask? Well, according to Google Analytics, cost is a prime factor in dental searches. Your potential patients are somewhat concerned about cost, even if they don’t voice it to you. Wealthy, private-pay clients have the cash for a full set of porcelain veneers, but they still want the best deal, without sacrificing quality. Having pages on your website that address the question of cost can be lucrative to your SEO strategy. You do not have to publish prices to answer questions about cost and include “cost of” as part of keyword phrases.
To find other popular questions from dental consumers, do your own Google search for “Questions about dental care.” You’ll find a wealth of comments and forums with patients asking questions, and from there, you can determine which questions apply to your service offering.
Search Engine Optimization in 2014
Asking and answering popular search questions will help you succeed online. You’ll see better rankings, more website traffic, and, as a result, more new patients. Supplement this strategy by answering questions on Facebook, blogs, and forums, and linking back to your website as a resource. This will improve your compliance with Hummingbird’s social media focus. If you don’t have the time or desire to do this work yourself, consider hiring a marketing company that has experience with dental marketing, SEO, and Google. That company is MDPM Consulting, and we’ll be happy to assess your website and Internet presence, then suggest a package that suits your marketing needs. Call us today at 972-781-8861, or email [email protected].
By Jill Duty, COO at MDPM Consulting