Login | December 13, 2018

Online voice search is the new upcoming tech lawyers need to get a grip on

RICHARD WEINER
Technology for Lawyers

Published: July 13, 2018

People searching the internet for things like lawyers are using voice search more and more, and so lawyers need to line themselves up into this new world if they want to be the one that a potential client finds when she says, “Siri, find me a divorce lawyer.”

Because, you see, the algorithms are different for voice search than typed search, because the devices used for voice search are different than the ones used for typed search. And one estimate (ComScore) stated that half of all internet searches will be by voice by 2020 (two years from now).

Voice is the new mobile. It is going to dominate, and it is different from typed search.

There are over 33 million voice-only internet-enabled devices in the US, with many more to come. These include devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo. But beyond that, there are hundreds of millions of devices from laptops and computers to smartphones and everything in between that have Google voice search, Siri, Cortana and Alexa, and who knows what other ones are in the pipeline.

The companies that developed voice search are committing lots of resources to making it indispensable, which means that it will only get better and more useful over time.

What does that mean for lawyers? Its sort of technical, but lawyer websites will have to include new sets of code to accommodate these changes.

The first is to have what is known as “schema markup” on their websites to properly respond to voice searches. There is a specific set of code for this for attorneys located here: https://schema.org/LegalService. Put that into the code onto your website (or get your teenager to do it). It makes sure that voice-activated bots find your site.

But there’s more!

The next step is to post answers to questions that people might ask on the website. This is a different thing than just posting the information that the old Google algorithm responds to. Think of how you would respond to what a voice query might be, and then write that out and post it on the site. Then a voice search will find it when looking for a response to a particular question (like: “who is the best divorce lawyer in Akron?”).

And make sure that every directory on your site is accurate and up to date.

Do it now!


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