Google Voice Search and SEO

Following in the footsteps of Siri—the voice-activated search on iPhones—Google last year rolled out Google Voice, which is now available on both mobile and PC-based versions of Chrome, Google’s popular web browser. While still in its early stages, voice search is growing in popularity and promises to reshape the search engine optimization (SEO) landscape.

Optimizing for voice search probably shouldn’t figure heavily into your SEO strategy at this stage, but a basic understanding of these types of searches can help you to stay ahead of the trend and experiment with driving traffic to your through the use of long-tail keywords and a revised FAQ page strategy.

Long-Tail Keywords

You no doubt understand that keywords related to your practice areas and geographic location (i.e. “Baltimore personal injury attorney”) play a strong role in driving potential new clients to your firm’s site. You may also be familiar with so-called long-tail keywords. As their name implies, long-tail keywords are wordier than basic keywords. For example, instead of the standard keyword phrase “Baltimore personal injury attorney,” a long-tail keyword phrase might read “Baltimore parking lot slip-and-fall accident attorney.” By adding the “parking lot slip and fall” you have narrowed your area of focus and thus, reduced the level of competition with other law firm sites. Instead of competing for search results with all Baltimore personal injury attorneys, you are not only competing with other parking lot slip and fall attorneys.

Voice Queries vs. Keyboard Queries

The main difference between voice queries and keyboard queries is that the former tend to be longer and more closely resemble human speech patterns. People have learned to use short keyword phrases when looking for local service-providers with a standard typed query. Voice queries, on the other hand, encourage people to speak as they would in conversation.
So instead of typing “Baltimore slip and fall attorney” into Google, someone using voice search might ask, “What are some good slip and fall attorneys in Baltimore?” Or, they might have a specific question such as, “If I slip and fall at my apartment, is my landlord responsible?”
Of course, a searcher might type this question into Google rather than asking it with voice search. This raises another consideration: as voice searches and searches in general become more sophisticated, Google increasingly rewards (in the form of higher page rankings) pages that do a good job of providing quality information, including answers to questions. So if you can anticipate which questions potential clients will have, you can boost your Google rankings by designing your frequently asked questions (FAQs) page to address long-tail searches.

Long-Tail Searches and FAQs

Frequently asked questions tend to be relatively homogenous from one attorney’s site to another. We’ve all seem them: “Do I need an attorney?” “How much will this cost me?” “What can I recover?”
Such questions are valuable to readers, but more specific questions could be more valuable. Because you deal with clients and potential clients daily, you know what people are actually asking on a regular basis. Placing these questions, near-verbatim, on a FAQ page effectively turns them into long-tail keyword phrases and could give you better results due to a lower level of competition.

The better you are able to answer a searcher’s question, the better the chance that he or she stays on your site rather than going on to another firm’s site. And over time, this should help improve your all-important standing with Google search results.  For more information about legal web design services, visit our legal website services page.  If you are intersted in website design and SEO for your law firm, requests a free law firm website design consultation.

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