In this 3 Key Insights segment, you’ll discover how Children’s Health Director of Digital Strategy Court Wakefield is empowering the digital healthcare experience for patient families.
Court Wakefield literally wrote the book on voice search. As director of digital strategy at Children’s Health, she applies her expertise to create an excellent digital healthcare experience for patient families. Her role is critical to advancing the system’s mission to “make life better for children” and driving the organization’s growth strategy through search engine optimization (SEO), paid search, as well as UX research, strategy, and design.
In this segment, you’ll learn how Court leverages digital marketing trends like voice search and zero-click to build brand and preference for Children’s Health. Here are the highlights from our conversation.
Key insight #1: The digital experience is critical to the healthcare journey.
When you think about the way parents interact with the health system, it almost always starts with a Google search. This makes it critical for healthcare systems to ensure search—whether typed in Google or via voice—is a part of their strategy, so they can be accessible for patient families when they need them.
At Children’s Health, we’ve set up our content in such a way that it’s accessible no matter how the user is searching for it. Most people have Alexa, Google Home or some other voice-enabled device in their homes—but not everyone uses it for search. A large percentage of searches are still coming from someone typing into a search engine or using Siri to get a text result.
We’ve focused as a system on making sure we optimize a single piece of content to be able to be leveraged in both scenarios. We’re working especially hard to make sure that we show up in Google answer boxes, because we know those results drive the majority of the voice answers for Google Home, Siri and Alexa.
That is a really efficient way for health systems to work on voice search and still make sure they’re showing up for the majority of users who are doing text-based searches.
Key insight #2: Voice will play an increasingly important role in healthcare marketing.
For us, voice and zero-click are one and the same. We’re not developing any type of voice search app or Alexa skill as we’ve found in talking to some of our partners that they just don’t get used that frequently. People have to actually call on them and most people aren’t doing that; they’re literally just asking the question to Alexa or Google Home.
While there’s a need for us all to be aware of and at least be competent with Alexa skills and Google Home actions, the biggest opportunity right now for our healthcare systems is to leverage zero click searches and answer boxes that drive voice-enabled devices.
Key insight #3: Zero clicks doesn’t mean zero impressions.
Time invested in voice is definitely not wasted effort. There’s a lot of critique on Google about zero-click searches—and that critique is well-founded. I understand why people critique it, but I don’t fear it in healthcare as much as some industries do. If I were Wikipedia or a site built on advertising revenue based on clicks to my content, I’d be really scared of it. I don’t think Google is going to be hiring doctors and nurses and standing up hospitals anytime soon.
Here’s why I’m not worried about zero-click: Even if users get what they need from the answer box and nobody clicks, my brand name is still there. I’m still getting brand recognition and building brand awareness so hopefully the next time they need a clear, concise answer for healthcare, they will see our brand in the search engine results page and click on it because they want to read the full article and get our perspective.
And if that person happens to live in Dallas Fort Worth, hopefully, they will come to visit us next time their kid needs some type of specialty healthcare. I definitely don’t think it’s wasted effort, especially in the healthcare space.
The reality is Google is going to do what they’re going to do, so you’ve just got to pivot and figure out a way to deliver value to your audience.
Here’s the thing: Let’s say Google does start to build hospitals, do you think someone like Gary Vaynerchuk cares if Google switches to zero-click searches and steals their traffic? No, because he’s done such a great job of building his brand that people who are loyal to him and his content as an influencer, they’re going to find him wherever he is.
That’s our goal as a system. We want to be so helpful and such an ally and a partner to our patient families and to the community at large, that it doesn’t matter whether Google is sending traffic to us, they’re going to find us because they value our perspective as experts.
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