After years of learning how to optimize your website to appear high in searches on desktops and mobile devices, there’s something new to consider: What’s the best way to help your firm benefit from the trend toward digital personal assistants?
Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana and other voice-activated assistants are rapidly growing in popularity, and the answers they feed users powerfully impact those users’ exposure to different businesses. Appearing in the search results here can drive an incredible amount of new traffic to your law firm’s website.
There aren’t a ton of resources to guide your steps in optimizing for these searches, as there are for traditional ones using Google or Bing. But as the artificial intelligence behind personal assistants increases in sophistication, more people will turn first to these tools when they seek information about the services they need. That makes optimizing your website for this kind of search an important goal.
At this point, Siri and Google Assistant are the dominant AI assistants, so that’s where we’ll focus our discussion. And predictably, Google’s helper relies heavily on the massive database of Google data for responding to search queries. Siri takes a more catholic approach, drawing on information from sources that include Bing, Yahoo and Google.
To have a chance of showing up in Siri, though, you’ll need to make sure your law firm is listed in two key resources: Yelp and Apple Maps. In tests using requests for “good law firms,” “attorneys in Atlanta” and “law firms near me,” all of Siri’s suggestions came from these sources.
Both of these are places you should absolutely invest the time to register with anyway, so stop whatever you’re doing and do it now if you haven’t already. Claim your law firm on Yelp here, and you can put your firm on the map with Apple here. You’ll need to create an Apple ID in order to register with Apple, but go ahead and do it.
Most people prefer to use Google Maps (even dedicated Apple fans) because it’s generally regarded as a more accurate and more complete tool. That’s due at least in part to the relative newness of Apple Maps. Adding your information will help improve the map, but more importantly, will make your firm visible to the millions of iPhone, iPad and Mac users that do rely on Apple Maps. And of course, to those near you who ask Siri for a good lawyer.
One more thing – if you haven’t registered your firm with Google Maps, for heaven’s sake do it now! And with Bing and Yahoo, while you’re at it. Yahoo adds listings through a service called Yext, where you can also see which other listings your firm currently has and update them if necessary.
Registering your law firm with major search engines and local search registries has been an important tactic to boost SEO for years. Now that AI personal assistants use the information they contain to deliver results, it’s even more critical. Don’t let your law firm miss out on this free but valuable exposure.