Voice Search – What Attorneys Should Know and What They Can Do
In previous blog posts, we’ve discussed how voice search stands ready to serve legal consumers with disabilities. We’ve also looked at the ways in which voice searches differ from traditional text searches. Now, we get down to where the rubber hits the road with practical guidance on how you and your law firm can adapt to the characteristics of voice search to optimize your marketing.
Just to review briefly, here are some of the key ways in which voice searches are different from traditional text searches.
- Voice searches tend to be even longer (tail).
- Voice searches tend to be more localized. They are more often searches for local services and businesses.
- They also tend to be more mobile and situational – arising from a newly realized need.
- Voice searches are more conversational and interactive.
- Voice searches tend to be more action oriented – as opposed to information gathering.
As voice search continues to grow, and by many projections it will soon dominate the search space, there are actions you can take that will make your firm more visible to prospects not only in the future but right now. Even as voice search evolves, there are topics and best practices that you should be aware of to keep your firm on pace with the technology.
Use natural language
As noted earlier, voice searches are more conversational than traditional searches. Because of that, your website and its contents should be written in a more natural and conversational tone than may currently be the case. It should also be written in a way that answers questions that your prospects might be asking. Preparing for voice search means shifting from providing information to providing answers.
For example, think of how you might respond to the question, “What is my liability if a tree in my yard falls on my neighbor’s house because of a storm?” rather the information you’d get from a traditional text search like, “liability tree neighbor.” Your prospects are starting a conversation. Don’t tell them things, talk with them about their concerns.
It’s not only politics that are local. So are voice searches.
As mentioned above, voice search tends to be locally driven. Already today in text searches, your prospects are looking for businesses and services, including legal services, that are near them. Make sure that your site has accurate information about your location (including a map and directions), your hours, your contact information (phone, email, etc.) and the services you provide. These are simple, but often overlooked, actions every law firm should take. Getting these right is not just a matter of SEO optimization, but of credibility. It is even worthwhile to think idiomatically about your community and how local language might help when it comes to landmarks, architecture, geography, etc. Make sure that locals using voice or text to search for your services know that you are a local too.
And don’t forget about Yelp and other review platforms. Reviews become uniquely relevant in voice search because the searches tend to be local. Create a web presence that not only encourages reviews, but provides a mechanism to respond to them quickly, cordially and directly, whether they are positive, or negative. It’s not only considerate, it’s expected.
Get your FAQs straight
Since voice searchers are so often asking questions, make sure that not only do you have an FAQ, but that it provides relevant answers to the questions that are indeed frequently asked. There is often a tendency with an FAQ to back into the question based on what information you want to provide. That is, you have some information you want to deliver, so you form a question that would require that response. Voice search is far more real than that. The interactions consist of real questions being asked by people that are looking for relevant answers. Study up on legal consumers or even considering asking recent prospects and clients what they wish they’d known or asked when learning about their matter.
Our next post on voice search will address more related topics, some a little technical, some not so much, and ways in which you can best position your firm to maximize your voice search visibility and grow your business.
Can’t wait? Download the free FindLaw white paper The Future of Search: Preparing Your Law Firm for Voice Search.