Roberta M. Gubbins, Esq.
I Write Content--You Practice Law

Draft Three / blog

Is Voice Search in Your Future?

I received the Amazon Echo Dot for my birthday. It is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, answer questions or read the news. There is some setting up to do, which I have not yet completed, so I use her to tell me the weather and play music. However, I am not alone in using a voice controlled device to find information.

Many of you use some form of an intelligent personal assistant, such as Siri, Google Now or Cortana, available on your mobile devices, to quickly find information. Voice search is the fastest growing type of search. It’s faster, hands-free and allows you to multi-task. According to Google’s latest survey, 41% of adults use voice search on a daily basis, while 55% of teenagers--your future clients—use it on their mobile devices.

Thanks to technology voice search has improved. The current speech recognition word error rate is as low as 8%. And, voice understanding, a search that responds by interpreting the meaning and context behind the words, is also improving.

What does voice search mean for law firms?

First, realize that those using voice search tend to ask for the information in the form of “who, what, where, when, why or how” questions. Second, the asker uses a conversational tone such as “What lawyer in my area writes wills?”

For you, that means the content on your website should focus on answering the questions your potential clients are asking. The better you’re able to answer those questions, the better chance you have to be returned in the search engines. Think about the questions you’re asked when meeting with clients, or at a Rotary luncheon or a Bar Association Event and write content that answers those questions.

Your content should be written in a conversational tone, using active verbs, ordinary not legal vocabulary and presented in an easy to read format. Using the Frequently Asked Questions format is effective. For example, if you’re a family law attorney practicing in Michigan, you can choose topics such as “Can a single person adopt a child in Michigan? Or “How do courts decide custody?” Or, “6 things to know about divorcing in Michigan.”

How does voice search affect SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?

SEO is the process of using strategies and techniques to obtain a high-ranking placement in the search results. Those strategies include great content, easy to navigate sites and use of keywords to identify your topic. Experts recommend that your blog use long-tail keywords such as Traverse City Family Law Lawyer or Michigan DUI Lawyer. In other words, phrases that will answer the questions: “What family law lawyers practice in Traverse City?” Or, “What lawyers in Michigan defend DUI?”

The face of searching is changing and evolving. Use all the available information about how your clients find you and the questions they ask to keep current. Doing so will bring your website and this age-old legal profession into the future.

Roberta GubbinsComment