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People Are Asking Search Engines for Advice. Is Your Website Responding?

by Mike Hoffman | July 30th, 2018

If you’re a cj Integrated Digital client, the answer to the above question is yes. Voice assistants, such as Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana, are changing the way everyday people interact with the world around them. Just a decade ago, search engine optimization (SEO) relied upon the notion that a majority of users were accessing information from a desktop or laptop computer. Then smartphones and other mobile devices changed the game, integrating features such as a person’s geolocation to provide more relevant results.

Now, we’re not only browsing on our devices, we’re talking directly to them. And the devices themselves? They’re not just smartphones anymore. They’re sitting on our coffee tables, integrated into our television sets, and powering our automobiles. Naturally, search engines have adapted to compensate—here’s how.

Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm Update

When Google updates its algorithm, it’s a big deal. Codenamed “Hummingbird,” one of Google’s most impactful algorithm updates debuted in 2013 and set the course for voice search optimization by emphasizing natural language and de-emphasizing strict keyword use. To learn more about how cjID adapted to this change, check out our blog post about contextual search and its place within our overall agency content strategy.

Why Voice Search Matters to You

When you type into a search engine field using a keyboard, you’re probably more efficient than you think. You pare down the search to exactly what you want, because frankly, typing can be a real pain when you’re in a hurry. You may end up with a search term like “Tulsa car accident lawyer.”

When you talk to a search engine, you’re more conversational, because the virtual assistant is supposed to answer your question. In the case of the search above, you may end up asking Siri, “Where are car accident lawyers near me?”

Here are 3 reasons why the way people interact with voice search matters to you:

  1. Did you catch that “near me?” at the end of the above example? There’s a reason for that. More than 1 out of 5 voice searches are for local content. Local search optimization matters, and setting up your business profiles on popular search engines is imperative to get the best possible results.
  2. Even if you know which keywords have worked in the past for your firm, they may not be enough. How do users who interact with your site understand those keywords? Remember, you practice law every day, but an injury victim who comes to you for help may be completely uninitiated with personal injury law. You need to get ahead of the questions people are asking by providing them with the answers they really want.
  3. When voice search results are returned to a user, they are often served with business names, contact information, star ratings, and other types of at-a-glance information. Your online reputation matters, and you should be doing everything within your power to bolster your online reviews.

4 Ways cjID Optimizes Client Sites for Voice Search

Here’s a quick and dirty rundown of what we’re doing to help optimize our client sites for voice search:

  1. We keep up with your business listings across popular search engines to ensure users in your area have access to relevant, accurate, and up-to-date information about your firm.
  2. Our cjID Reputation Management program ensures that your firm is getting the online reviews it truly deserves—all with minimal effort from your hardworking staff.
  3. We’re focused on continually improving the structure of our sites—in ways you can and can’t see. Content should be easy-to-read and served up quickly, and microdata such as meta descriptions can provide voice search with additional input to give your site an edge. Our redesign strategies and site refreshes prioritize these factors.
  4. Natural, easy-to-read content. Did you know the average Google voice search is written at the 9th grade level? Law firms handle some pretty complex topics, and our team of writers works hard to break them down into digestible information.

Want to know more about how cjID can help your site perform at its full potential across voice search platforms? Leave a comment below or contact one of our cj Advertising Client Services representatives to learn more!