Approaching a Voice Strategy for Retail and Health

Voice Strategy — where do we begin? By understanding how consumers are engaging with voice assistants.


Consumers are playing media, shopping and getting caught up on the day’s weather report, all with the help of Siri, Alexa, Bixby, Google Home and Amazon Echo more and more each day. Companies and health organizations are using technology to remind their customers and patients to take their daily medications, to go to their doctor’s appointments and to reorder essential home supplies.


As voice search grows, we have to consider the user experience in an audio-only setting. One way to get a jump on this now is to participate in Actions on Google. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are one of the initiatives that Google is backing to improve organic search results. AMP pages load more quickly on mobile devices than standard responsive pages. By using AMP and structured data markup, you can convert your existing site content into “Actions” that people can query on Google-enabled smart devices.


With machine learning, every new voice interaction adds new layers of data and context to voice search which improves the results that are returned for the user.


Voice search is changing the way users interact with mobile devices and computers. Voice assistants are beginning to fundamentally evolve the way we interact with screens, which for marketers means ensuring the ability to capture the users’ attention where they engage with media as the search landscape evolves. Yesterday’s marketing strategies and tactics won’t be good enough in the coming months and years as voice search transforms how users interact with computers and devices. For now, investing in keyword strategies around the linguistic cues in voice search is a must for both SEM and SEO. Developing Alexa Skills and Google Actions are a logical second step.


Animated representation of voice search and voice marketing principles.


Healthcare & Retail Voice-Based Searches in SEM

AdWords and Bing do not currently attribute searches to voice or text. General voice searches have a distinctive difference to text-based searches — they often begin with “how do I” or “where can I buy” or “why does.” Another consideration is local voice search with terms like “near me” or “where is the closest.” Considering that consumer behavior has a significant impact on the way people interact with healthcare providers, it’s likely that these same types of contextual queries would relate just as much to healthcare search as to any other kind of search. At Response Mine, we’ve seen proven retail marketing tactics translate into successful healthcare marketing strategies. Given that self-diagnosis is one of the 9 key drivers of healthcare consumerism, health consumers will likely integrate voice search into their self-diagnosis process using in-home voice assistants.


For PPC, targeting longer tail queries of more than 5-6 words is valuable; included in these longtail queries are signal words like “where, find, why, near me, how, when, what or OK Google.” Reviewing and updating negative keywords to include these signal phrases is a must, as is negating those queries that are irrelevant to your campaign. Focusing in on retail and healthcare, these types of queries become more specific.



Health & Retail SEO Strategy for Voice Search

For SEO, a similar basic approach applies. Implementing high-quality content that is optimized properly provides the best chance of scoring a #0 position for a featured snippet. Additionally, targeting and optimizing for the signal words and longtail queries above within your content is also one of the best ways to help set the hook for Google and Bing to notice your pages.


Above all, users treat voice search with a degree of trust because of the heightened “human” element involved. Spammy ads and poorly written or non-optimized content just won’t do.


Adding value is a must. Google’s recent algorithm update confirms this.



Is Your Company Ready?

If you’re not sure how to best capitalize on voice search using SEM and SEO, or how to measure your ROI when it comes to voice search, then contact the digital marketing experts at Response Mine today for a complimentary marketing strategy consultation.





Daniel Lamb is a Copywriter for Response Mine focused on direct response copy and content marketing strategy. His firm belief in targeted messaging drove him to spearhead Response Mine’s customer segmentation strategy creation. He also enjoys reading, playing guitar and brews a fine cup of coffee.
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