Each day, more people are searching the internet for legal services using their voices, rather than tapping out searches on a keyboard. Voice search optimization is something your law firm needs to take seriously.

Voice search is the use of devices that allow a user to search the web with voice commands. This could be Google Home, Amazon Echo, or mobile assistants such as Cortana or Siri. Here are some of the most important things you need to know about voice search as you market your legal services.

Voice Search Is on the Rise

According to Juniper Research, there were 2.5 billion voice assistants in use at the end of 2018, and they estimate that figure will soar to 8 billion by 2023. The majority of these digital assistants are smartphone-based. Meanwhile, Amazon Alexa has reached market penetration of over 100 million devices, and people are already talking to their smart TVs, appliances, and cars. What consumers are saying and how they’re saying it are some of the keys to understanding voice search.

Voice Search Yields Different Results

Voice search isn’t just a different way of getting the same information out of a search engine. This is a common misconception. Online users will ask a voice assistant for help in a different way than they would type a query into a search engine. The nuances of this type of search are going to yield different results, which means that your law firm needs to optimize for voice.

For example, a consumer who turns to Google for help after a car accident might type: “personal injury attorney Denver.”

Voice search, on the other hand, is more conversational. That same person might use Siri to ask: “Can you help me find a good personal injury attorney in Denver for a car accident?”

Voice Search Leads to Action

Unlike a traditional text search, people who use digital assistants for search are more likely to take action. So, that person looking for a personal injury attorney is probably ready to schedule an appointment. At least, they’re more prepared on average than someone who types a few words into a search engine.

This is why it’s vital that your law firm’s website delivers answers to a visitor’s questions and provides any information they need to get in touch with you. There should be an option to call or send a message to schedule an appointment to make the process as simple as possible. 

Answer Questions on Your Website

Consumers are increasingly turning to voice search to solve problems. They have questions, and the business that provides the best answers will be the most successful.

What are some of the most common questions, in real-life language, that you receive from current and potential clients? These are the types of questions that you should list and answer on your website to help your law firm do well in voice search.

Schema Is Important for Voice Search

Schema markup is what provides search engines with the information they need to improve the user experience and your rankings. Including up-to-date and clearly labeled information makes it easier for searchers to learn what they need to know. Specifically, you should be using the “legal service markup” to tell the search engines certain things about your business, including:

  • Business name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Office hours
  • Areas you serve
  • Attorneys working at the firm
  • Awards you’ve won
  • Link to your Google map

So, if someone uses voice search to find a divorce lawyer office that is open after 5 p.m. and you have this data listed in your markup, the search engine could return your firm as one of the top results. 

Make It Easy to Search for You by Name

Some users of digital assistants will search for your law firm by name, and when they do, you want to make sure that they find you and get accurate information. To do this, you’ll need to claim and optimize key directory listings that the voice search assistant is using for its results. At a minimum, these include:

  • Google My Business (used by Google Assistant)
  • Yelp (used by Alexa)
  • Apple Maps (used by Siri)
  • Bing business listings (used by Cortana)

Beyond these, don’t forget to claim your profile at Avvo.com which shows up in Google SERP.

According to ComScore, half of all web searches will be conducted via voice by 2020, so make sure your law firm is prepared. Digital assistants have made it easier for internet users to find attorneys and answers to legal questions when they need them, and your law firm can benefit from this shift by optimizing its website for voice search.