Voice search is an increasingly common way to use search engines, with companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft all pushing their versions of the technology. Google in particular has recently advertised its voice search capabilities in venues such as the World Series. More and more people are using voice search, and the increase in its usage is changing how people find law firms.
The increase in the use of voice search is substantial. A recent Google study found that 55 percent of teenagers ages 13-18 use voice search daily. Most people enjoy using voice search – fifty-six percent of adults said that using it makes them feel “tech-savvy.”
Smart phones have been ubiquitous for years now, with many people relying on Siri for their searches. In addition, the use of tablets continues to grow, 171 percent last year according to the Google study. Tablets are widely used, both in an out of the home, thanks to the fact that Wi-Fi is widely available. Voice search is most commonly performed on cell phones and tablets.
People tend to use different search queries with voice search than with text search. People using voice search are more likely to use conversational keywords that turn search queries into complete sentences, like “Who is the best lawyer in Maryland?” or “How do I file for divorce?” According to research by Search Engine Watch, there has been a significant increase in search queries using words like “who,” “what,” “when,” “where” and “how.”
Different industries will see different types of searches from voice search. For example, Search Engine Watch found that 43 percent of question keyword terms for retail brands included “where,” while “how” and “what” were more common in searches related to the financial industry.
What does this mean for law firms? Law firms should consider the common questions people have when approaching the firm, and use that data to identify commonly searched queries. Often, potential clients are looking for information on fairly complex matters; they may also perform searches to locate local attorneys. A law firm’s website should have pages, such as FAQ pages, designed to address these common voice searches.