Voice search isn’t a new concept. It has been around for quite a while now, but it only started to really take off a couple of years back, many thanks to Siri, Apple’s voice assistant.
Today, we also have Google Voice for Android, MicroSoft Cortana for PC, and Alexa from Amazon, just to name a few. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that by 2020, it’s projected that half of all internet queries will be made through voice search. For this reason, optimization for voice search is a high priority topic among marketers.
What Makes Voice Search Different
Most internet users know how to accurately use keywords to find what they need online. But, unlike the separated words or incomplete phrases you type in a search box, voice search is a lot more conversational. It’s generally done using mobile devices and often focuses on local searches. Since they have a more natural tone, voiced queries are longer than the normally short list of keywords entered into text search boxes.
So, what are people searching for? Online users can run a voice search for various reasons. However, the majority has to do with local content. People often use voice search when they are on the move and have questions about the environment around them. They may be looking for a place to eat, or a particular store or travel directions…,or a legal solution to a problem that just arose.
Following are some pointers to help your law firm optimize content for voice search:
Long-Tail Keywords and Natural Speech
Online users don’t use voice search the same way they use a regular search. For instance, if a consumer uses Google to look for legal advice on the divorce she’s contemplating, she’d most likely typed in “divorce lawyer San Francisco.” It’s unlikely that she’d type in “what are Google’s suggestions for finding a lawyer in San Francisco that handles divorce cases” because that’s too long. But the latter is, more or less, how voice search works.
To accommodate voice assistants, it’s vital that you target long-tail keywords and natural speech. Long-tail keywords have a more conversational tone. Voice search is basically like talking to someone on the phone. So, to optimize your content, think about how you speak on the phone. Use natural spoken language to answer questions. Then mix the elements together so that the keyword variants fit well into a natural speech pattern.
Another way to optimize voice search is to create a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page. Make sure to focus on long-tail AND conversational keywords. Group the frequently asked questions on one page and prioritize natural-sounding questions. The page should list full questions with well written and complete answers. If done correctly, this type of page can draw a lot of traffic from voice searches. Also, be sure to keep it updated with new questions that you receive from clients and prospects. The more questions you answer, the better the chance you’ll find someone searching for that answer.
Furthermore, prepare answers to direct questions. Queries such as “best legal software” will soon disappear. Instead, hyper-specific queries will be more popular. For example, “Siri, can you give me the three best legal software options for managing a family law practice?” It’s your job to provide quick and accurate answers to both questions.
This can seem like a time-intensive — not to mention overwhelming — task. But it’s worth the hard work. Creating FAQ pages to optimize content snippets based on specific semantic questions is a win-win situation. They’ll help your website appear in voice search results and they can also boost your site’s chances to show up as a Google “Featured Snippet.”
Google My Business Listing
Claiming and updating your Google My Business listing is an excellent way for the search engine giant to learn more about your business. Google will have access to your business category, address, contact number, and hours of operation. Given that most voice searches focus on local searches, claiming your Google My Business listing can improve your brand’s chances of appearing whenever a voice search related to your local business is activated.
Voice search is old and new. But most of all, it’s something that won’t go away anytime soon. It’s time for you to start optimizing your site for this “new” world of SEO search so your brand won’t be left behind.