The Future Of law Firm Marketing With Voice Search
Technology is meant to make our lives easier. When your business model centers around technology, your products and services should make the clients' life the easiest.
The more intuitive the search engine, the more people use it. The more accurate the search results, the more people will use them for everyday needs.
Mobile apps, video-sharing sites, social media networks, and (obviously) search engines evolve to make it easier for the user.
The most convenient one—the most user-friendly app or site—is the one more people are going to use.
The principle of voice search operates the same way. If you can just ask, "Siri, where can I find lawyers?" or "Hey Google, how many law firms are near me?" instead of having to type all that, why won't you? It's faster, more convenient.
The algorithms are smart enough that you can be conversational, and they'll still get the gist of it.
So, here's the important thing: it's all conversational.
It's not how people normally write "California Employment Lawyer in Los Angeles" as they did before.
Nowadays, Google's algorithm is smart enough that you can ask it things like "Find a Divorce Lawyer Near Me," and it will come back with a map of your city with markers telling you where to go.
Voice search is something that you—a practitioner of SEO—should consider in your strategies. It will have its own rules, tips, and a different set of optimization tricks to help you with your law firm's website.
In this guide, we will discuss the basics of voice search, its importance to SEO, and what that means for your law firm's SEO practice.
What is Google's Voice Search?
When most people think about voice search, they usually think of smartphones. Voice search, on the other hand, is expanding well beyond smartphones.
Voice search pertains to your phone, desktop computers, or other digital devices with a virtual assistant or an entry point that employs voice commands, such as Google's microphone, Amazon's Echo, and all of today's smart speaker devices. Not to mention the fact that certain cars already have built-in AI for voice search.
Personal assistants and voice search are becoming increasingly popular. Simply ask Siri, Google Home, Cortana, or Alexa for anything (from trivia to getting you your next batch of groceries).
When you use a personal assistant and activate it with your voice, you're almost certainly conducting a voice search.
Background And History
Google Voice Search was created in Google Labs, the site where Google engineers can experiment with novel technologies and ideas, many of which have gone on to become successful Google products like Gmail.
When Google Voice Search first launched in 2010, it required users to dial a phone number from their mobile phone, after which they were instructed to "Say Your Search Keywords" by a recorded message.
The user would then say whatever keywords they wanted to search for, and the system would either update an open website with results for their query or provide users with a link to a search results page for their queries.
Although this wasn't the most ideal method, it did open the door for revolutionary advances in speech recognition technology, which Google quickly adopted.
Google began incorporating its speech recognition technology into numerous prominent Google products in the years following the launch of Google Voice Search, notably Google Maps, the virtual assistant Google Now, as well as the core of its own underlying search engine technology.
Google Voice Search is now fully compatible with a wide range of products and services. On top of that, voice search has become an inextricable component of the Google experience, influencing how the company's algorithms handle certain types of inquiries.
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Google's Voice Search and The Hummingbird Update
To simplify Hummingbird, it is one of Google's most significant updates that heavily emphasizes semantic search.
What this means is that Google's algorithm not only gives the user relevant results based on the keywords they type, it's also inferring what they mean.
For example, if you were to search up "Can I sue for damages?", the algorithm infers that "damages" is used as a legal term and not a general keyword that means "destruction". Google picks up on what you mean, not just the generic meaning of the words you're typing in.
Voice search is much more likely to affect local establishments. This is due to the fact that the majority of mobile searches are local. If your firm has a physical office location, it's much more important to fine-tune your plan.
Make updating and maintaining your local directory, business listing, and crowd-sourced sites a priority.
When setting up Google My Business or other similar sites, be as detailed as possible when selecting your business category. This will boost your chances of appearing in voice searches focused on your local area.
The same is true for all online company directories, and you should double-check that your contact information is consistent.
How Your Law Firm's Website Can Benefit By Voice Search
Below are a few suggestions that you can immediately implement on your site:
Maintain consistent NAPs
NAPs (Name, Address, Phone Number) are the basic information that you'll likely see on a physical calling card—it works the same way in SEO. If you were to give out two different calling cards with different contact information (including emails!), that would be confusing, wouldn't it?
It's best to keep all this information consistent in every online presence. You don't want to have one name on Google My Business and a different one on your main site. Update your information as soon as you add phone numbers or move places.
Remove old numbers and addresses everywhere. You never know when someone will search "lawyers near me," and Google comes back with a marker on your office location.
Google My Business allows you to answer (and post pre-answered) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). They'll be favorable to voice search because a.) they're conversational in tone, and b.) they're short.
Voice search prefers quick answers. It's easier for a virtual assistant to respond to the user's queries that way.
Besides, FAQs are also great for special scenarios that you might not be fully able to integrate into educational legal content (for example, questions like "can I get child support when the father and I are not married?" or "What if the defendant in the car crash was uninsured?").
Integrate FAQs the Right Way
Short content (less than 30 words) does well in voice searches, but a 30-word blog entry or page is not the best solution. Remember, Google's algorithm considers short, unhelpful pages to be low-quality content. To get around this, organize the questions and answers into a blog post or FAQ page centered on a specific topic.
Optimize Your Website for Voice Search
Select a topic
Your material should respond to the questions that your visitors use to find you. Begin by addressing your law firm's who, what, when, where, and how. People should be able to find these answers in your content. Use as many questions as you like that sound like a voice search.
Make sure your responses are well-structured
To respond to the questions, employ long-tail keywords in your content. In general, keep your responses to 30 words or less. It's not a bad idea to put this to the test by asking those questions yourself and seeing what you get.
Optimization of Long-Form Content
Make sure you're answering questions in your long-form content as you're creating it. The longer the page and the more long-tail keywords you include, the better your chances of ranking higher. Make use of your keywords in the headers as well.
Optimization for Short-Form Content
Make an FAQ page if you don't already have one. This is a fantastic method to provide a precise response to a question that your clients may frequently ask. And your response will be just what they need.
Snippets of Interest
If you optimize toward featured snippets, you'll see a significant increase in the likelihood of your content addressing clients' questions. Use meta tags and clickable content (like bullet points and headers) to do this. These are simple efforts that will pay off big time.
Make use of conversational language
This is the most crucial to your voice search SEO efforts. You'll be on the way to appearing in voice search if you write your material in the manner in which people naturally speak.
The site which closely matches the user's inquiry will outperform its competitors. Make sure your contact info is updated on all social media networks and directories. Check back if your categories are clearly specified.
Great content is still key to good SEO practice, but uncovering natural language keywords that originate from voice search could put you ahead of the game.