Voice search is more than just another trend in the digital marketing world. It’s a user-friendly way of conducting searches that is growing and is only going to become more widespread in the years to come. Legal marketers who execute good strategies on voice search will be the ones who enjoy success in this brave new world.
A recent study by the respected firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers showed that over 70 percent of people have used a voice assistant and that 90 percent of people are at least familiar with the technology.
Furthermore, these voice searches are not casual searches done for entertainment purposes. A separate study shows that nearly 6 in 10 people use voice search to find a local business.
How to compete in the voice search market
The same studies also show—unsurprisingly—that the device of choice used in most searches is an iPhone or other hand-held device. The people sitting at their computers or tablets aren’t the ones doing voice searches. Understanding this holds the key to understanding how to market to these consumers.
People using their phone to search for legal services are likely in some type of situation that came upon them unexpectedly. They are in the emergency room after a car accident and realizing that a personal injury lawsuit might be in their future, be it as plaintiff or defendant. While they wait for the doctor, they pull out their phone and ask who the nearest personal injury attorneys are.
On the flip side, the person who realizes a securities lawsuit might be in their future is unlikely to be in the type of situation that leaves them likely to casually ask about nearby attorneys. Therefore, the first question to ask with voice search is what type of person will be searching for legal services via this method and whether your firm provides those types of services.
Tailoring website content
Now step back and think about the type of query that’s likely to come via voice search. When people are at a computer typing, they use short, pithy phrases. Hence, the popularity of phrases like “lawyer near me” or “average personal injury settlement.” They are direct, to the point and easy to type in.
But a person talking to their voice assistant is less likely to be this direct. Speaking is easier than typing and they are more likely to ask a question of the voice assistant in the same manner they would ask it of a person. A little wordier and certainly more conversational.
That means your website content has to be structured to match the long-tail keywords that will likely be produced by this person’s voice query. They also won’t be talking in legalese.
Therefore, to optimize for voice search, your website content should “talk” to the user like they are a regular person. The language should be conversational. The person that drafts the content should envision themselves talking about the law firm in a casual social setting with ordinary people rather than describing the services at a professional convention. The former is more likely to produce the kind of comfortable language that ordinary people use when asking Siri or Alexa for information.