Whether it’s on a smart speaker, a smartphone or even a desktop, voice search is quickly becoming the go-to way to perform search queries. Media company, ComScore even predicts that by 2020, half of all searches will be voice searches.
So it’s easy to see why ranking for these searches is such a high priority for most law firms. A recent 2019 study from SEO software company, SEMrush took a deep dive into voice search and provides direction on what it takes to thrive.
Here are their key findings.
1) “Close to 80 percent of the answers returned were from the top three organic results.”
It should come as no surprise that the top ranking sites would outperform all others in voice search. But this stat shows that simply ranking on page one isn’t enough. To really have a chance, you need to rank in the top three organic results. So if you have several pages that are on the first page for a targeted keyword but are outside the top three results, it’s smart to improve and optimize them.
2) “70 percent of all answers returned from voice searches occupied a SERP feature (with 60 percent of those returning a Featured Snippet result).”
If you’re unfamiliar, the term “SERP feature” means “any result on a Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) that is not a traditional organic result.” Examples include rich snippets, paid results, universal results and knowledge graph data.
Of those SERP features, featured snippets popped up the most frequently at 60 percent. This means grabbing the coveted featured snippet will not only bring you a ton of traffic from regular search queries, as it ranks higher than even the number one position, it can bring you even more traffic from voice search.
3) “Text length of the answers returned was nearly the same for every device (around 41 words on average).”
41 words, which is about two average length sentences is the sweet spot for voice search answers. This means it’s smart to try to succinctly answer a question toward the top of your page and then build out the rest of your content from there.
4) “Text complexity needs to be simple and understandable for the average reader (ranking around 8 on the Flesch Kincaid Grade).”
This stat clearly shows that readability is essential when writing content, and you should stay away from complicated industry jargon and legalese. Not only can this confuse readers, it hurts your chances of ranking for voice search queries.
5) “Well-linked pages (internally and externally) are favored within Google Home and Home Mini searches.”
Finally, there’s backlinks — one of the main forms of “SEO currency.” Voice assistants have a definite preference for pages that contain both internal and external backlinks, so these should be included in virtually every piece of content you create.
Considering we’re on the verge of voice searches tying traditional text searches, there’s no denying that it’s something that’s worth your law firm’s attention. The data provided by SEMrush shows us which specific elements factor into ranking well and offer guidance on where to place your focus.