OK, so this happened the other day at the Google I/O developer conference:
That is Google Assistant making a dinner reservation. Google was demonstrating how natural it sounds. Note that it made the correct responses when told the restaurant only took reservations for parties of 5 or more. Amazing.
Now, depending on your level of comfort with technology, this is either terribly exciting or really frightening. What it shows is how people are becoming more and more comfortable with letting artificial intelligence (AI) into their lives. We are not only talking more to our devices, we are now letting them do the talking for us.
So what does this portend for your law firm website? Here are some updates you should already be considering for your site:
Designing for voice search. Website design is moving past optimizing for desktop and mobile to integrating advanced technologies like intuitive chat and voice search. Your law firm website is going to need to be able to lead visitors on a journey based on their habits instead of feeding them content you think they want. Content customization is quickly becoming the new standard for website design.
Site security. At the very least, you should be using HTTPS to protect online conversations and information request forms. Visitors expect a site to have trusted certificates, and adding basic SSL-level security will also improve your SEO.
Embedded video. Studies have shown that 60% of visitors to your website will click on a video if one is available. Videos help make your site “sticky” — meaning that visitors will stay and watch. Video also garners more engagement than static text and images, providing higher clickthrough and conversion rates. You may want to even think beyond traditional video to virtual reality videos that can provide users with an experience that shows them what it looks and feels like to visit your office and meet you in person!
Artificial intelligence. Google Assistant is a chatbot. So is Siri. At its simplest, a chatbot is a computer program that is designed to simulate a conversation with humans. Many business websites are incorporating chatbots into their design to maximize visitor engagement. Chatbots can help you schedule appointments, answer frequently asked questions, and point visitors to certain areas on your site that would be of interest to them.
If it’s been awhile since you updated your law firm website, there are a lot of changes to be made to keep your firm relevant. As technology evolves and consumers adapt to it quickly, you don’t want to be caught short.