Conversational AI is changing the way we approach our lives. The way we browse products and services nowadays demonstrate there are real life uses to your home smart speakers. How we shop, how we listen to music, how we manage our homes and businesses, how we manage our calendars.
Up until now voice search has only really infiltrated small parts of the market. People have smart speakers in their homes yes, but for the most part conversations are mostly led with silly/informative requests. Think; what’s the weather like today? Set me a reminder to call Dad at 12pm. What’s the difference between a toad and frog? That sort of thing.
Are there however current and future implications for law firms to utilise and optimise their sites for voice search. Well let’s take a look at voice search for law firms, and see how and where it fits into the jigsaw puzzle for your business.
Voice Search For Law Firms
Voice search has become a more and more common way for people to interact with products and services. The fact is it’s much easier to talk than it is to type… People are accustomed to convenience, and as such, smart speakers/assistants have seamlessly integrated into a lot of people’s lives. For that reason alone it’s worth thinking about voice search as a starting point. Flexibility and convenience for your end client should be at the forefront!
There are really 2 main types of voice search that people ask smart speakers. The main prevalent type is information requests. Fairly obvious, but these are question requests looking for information. In a legal context you might think a question could be:
- What are the costs like when hiring a divorce lawyer?
- Can I claim compensation because my flight was cancelled?
- If I break a lamp in Ikea’s shop am I liable to pay for it?
These are all simple informational requests from someone who is not immediately looking to hire a legal expert. However, if you can answer these types of questions from within your legal niche you’ll be able to show your expertise and potentially capture their follow up questions next time.
The other main type of voice search queries are service requests. A service request is normally a slightly better indicator of someone who is immediately looking to hire/buy something to solve their problem. Not always, but more often than not. These kind of search requests might look like this:
- Show me the best divorce solicitor near me.
- I’ve got a parking ticket, who can help me contest it?
These types of questions are usually slightly further down the sales funnel than an information request, and are more likely to lead to a direct conversion.
Now we know the types of voice searches we’re likely to get, and we understand the parameters, we can look at how we can optimise to target these queries. The first step is looking at your current SEO.
Voice search is for the most part backpacked on top of your existing website SEO. If your website has a poor domain authority and isn’t indexing well for typed search queries, it’s unlikely you’re going to perform too well phonetically speaking. The first step is to get your current ship in order. Take a few steps back! Here’s a look here at our ultimate guide to SEO for law firms. You’ll see some great tips to get your website to the next level for any organic search queries.
So where does your smart speaker find the answer to these questions that have been asked? Voice search results are ordinarily taken from pre-existing content. FAQ’s, informational articles, blogs, reports. These are the types of places where Google will crawl to answer these voice queries. Ensuring that your content is in conversational format will go a fair way to optimising for voice search. If your current FAQs are set up in a bullet point format, maybe think about creating an answer in plain conversational english!
A great tip is to keep any answers to around 29 words. The length most commonly found in all voice search results following a study from BackLinkO was 29 words, so try and get as close to that number as possible.
Location and Sector Specificity
The difference between voice search and regular search is that if you’re coming in 2nd with SEO you’re still in the game. If you’re 2nd in voice search you may as well be invisible. To be chosen by AI as the main voice search answer with more generalised queries is tricky. The same as regular SEO, your chances are far greater the more specific you get. The easiest way to target the right visitors will be to dial in on your location using a Google my Business page, and to clamp down on your specific expertise. Narrow down your queries.
Some service queries might look like this:
- Find me a divorce lawyer
- Find me a divorce lawyer in London
- Find me an uncontested divorce lawyer
- Find me an uncontested divorce lawyer in London
Maybe your information queries might look like this:
- What is a divorce lawyer?
- What is an uncontested divorce lawyer?
- What can an uncontested divorce lawyer do for me?
Admittedly the number of people asking the more niche queries will be far lower, but the chances of you being the one who ranks for that query are far higher. Similar to regular SEO, targeting and having locally optimised SEO is a great way to pick up on the extra specific traffic.
Improving your voice search ranking
What kind of action can you take to ensure you are at the top of any voice search queries. Let’s take a look:
- Voice search is a conversation. Ensure your content is conversationally sound, and is clear of any confusing jargon.
- Use positive trigger words that are more likely to drive action; Best, top, easy, free, value for money
- Accept the risk and reward of online business reviews. If someone searches for ‘best rated’ they won’t find you unless you are the best rated…
- Claim your Google My Business listing. From a location perspective it’s critical you beat anyone searching for your business type near you!
- Maintain quality FAQ pages, with relevant and frequently updated questions for your specific area of expertise
- Use structured data markup and schemas to improve your SEO for voice search placement
The future of voice search for law firms
It seems almost inevitable at some point that one of the big industry players will monetise voice search. You have ‘pay per click’ as an already fundamental part of digital marketing, there’s not a huge difference between that and ‘pay per listen’ marketing. Once the user base of devices has grown and continues to expand, manufacturers may look to capitalise on voice search as a useful, affordable advertising stream. Maybe.
As technology grows smarter, detailed and customised questions and searches will become more prevalent. Asking a smart speaker a complicated question in 2022 might not get the exact results that you’re looking for, but I wouldn’t bet against technology improving to the point where voice search allows law firms to provide customised answers to custom queries.
Voice and mobile integration
With more than 50% of most organic web traffic now coming from mobile devices, voice search and conversational AI looks to become a significant trend in digital marketing. With almost every smartphone now having access to voice search, and increasing number of home hub devices from Amazon, Google, and Windows, voice search seems like one of the next steps in technology.
As adoption of these devices grows, voice search will become increasingly prevalent in the way we browse products and services. Not just in how we play music and organise our calendar, but in how we browse local services, including the likes of law firms. The best way to beat the curve is to be ahead of the curve, so ensure you look into voice search now to ensure you’re up to speed when it comes to lead generation!
If you’re looking for more information about your digital marketing strategy, SEO, or voice search for law firms, contact us here for a free consultation!