Choosing the Right Keywords: A Guide to Keyword Research for Law Firms

Choosing the Right Keywords: A Guide to Keyword Research for Law Firms

Keyword research is one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) for any website, but especially for law firms looking to improve their visibility and attract more clients online. Choosing the right keywords and optimizing for them can significantly boost a law firm’s website traffic, leads, and conversions. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the basics of conducting effective keyword research for law firms no matter what part of the country, or world, they serve.

Why Keyword Research Matters for Law Firms

In the digital age, most people turn to search engines like Google when they need to find legal services and lawyers nearby. The days of flipping through the Yellow Pages are long gone. According to a study by Avvo, 97% of people looking for lawyers search online.

So if someone searches for “personal injury lawyer Chicago” and your firm doesn’t rank on the first page of Google for that keyword, you are essentially invisible to a potential client. This is why doing proper keyword research and optimizing your law firm’s website for the right keywords is crucial.

Proper keyword research helps you:

  • Better understand what your potential clients are searching for
  • Identify the most relevant and high-traffic keywords to target
  • Improve your law firm’s visibility on search engines
  • Attract more website visitors who are actively looking for legal services
  • Generate more leads and conversions for your law practice

In short, keyword research allows you to align your law firm’s SEO strategy with what users are actually searching for, resulting in higher-quality traffic to your website. This is where everything stems from and can seriously harm your site if you’re not focused, aside from technical SEO, this is the one thing that everything else is downstream from.

How to Conduct Keyword Research for Law Firms

Keyword research doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow this step-by-step process to identify keywords and select the most valuable terms to target for your law firm’s website and SEO campaigns:

1. Brainstorm Main Keywords and Seed Keywords

Start by making a list of the main practice areas, services, and types of legal issues handled by your law firm. These will serve as potential seed keywords to begin your research.

Some examples include:

  • Personal Injury Law
  • Car accident Lawyer
  • Family Law
  • Divorce Attorney
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Criminal Defense
  • Business Litigation

Also, include broad keywords like “law firms near me” or “best lawyers in [city]”.

2. Use Keyword Research Tools

Next, use keyword research tools like the Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush Keyword Explorer, Moz, or Ahrefs to discover new, more specific keyword opportunities related to your seed keywords. Look for keyword ideas within these SEO tools with high search volume and low competition or keyword difficulty scores.

Though if your site is new or “weak” when it comes to domain authority, choosing some terms with lower competition and lower search volumes (a.k.a. less competitive keywords) is also a great strategy.

3. Analyze Keyword Search Intent

As you find potential keywords, analyze the underlying search intent behind each keyword to determine if it’s a good fit for your law practice.

For example, “car accident lawyer” implies the user wants to hire a lawyer, while “average car accident settlement amounts” indicate they are in the early information-gathering stage. Focus on keywords aligned with your services.

4. Review Keyword Competition

Use the basic Google search results as well as keyword research tools to see which keywords your top competitors are already ranking for. Then look for promising related keywords they are NOT ranking for, which present opportunities for your law firm.

5. Organize Keywords into Groups

Sort your target keywords into groups based on services (personal injury, divorce law, etc), location (city, county, state), and other criteria to develop a structured SEO strategy.

BONUS- This is a great opportunity for the more tech-savvy out there to utilize a tool like ChatGPT to help you take the keywords you’ve found and group them for relevant categories for you. This will not only save you time, but brain power trying to decide which go where.

6. Prioritize Target Keywords

Pick 10-20 top-priority keywords with high search volume and conversion potential to focus your SEO efforts on. You can’t optimize for hundreds of keywords at once, though a single page can rank for many keywords at the same time, so identify the best ones to go after first.

7. Set Up Tracking

Use Google Search Console, Analytics, or other tools to track the performance of your target keywords over time. Monitor rankings, traffic, leads, and conversions to see which keywords are performing best.

Tips for Effective Keyword Research

Follow these tips for even better results from your law firm keyword research:

  • Use long-tail keywords (phrases with 3+ words) like “personal injury lawyer San Antonio” which are more specific and less competitive.
  • Go beyond Google – utilize multiple keyword research tools to get diverse keyword suggestions.
  • Search for keyword ideas in an incognito browser window to avoid personalized results.
  • Analyze competitor websites to identify additional relevant keywords.
  • Include location names in your keywords for better local SEO targeting.
  • Use keyword modifiers and questions like “best”, “top-rated”, “how much does a…” etc.
  • Keep keyword research an ongoing process for your law firm SEO and marketing as you expand into new practice areas or geographical locations.

Conclusion – The Importance of Choosing the Right Keywords

With 97% of legal clients searching online to find lawyers, law firms simply cannot afford to ignore keyword research as a core part of their digital marketing. Taking the time to identify and analyze the best keywords will pay dividends by increasing your law firm’s online visibility, traffic, leads, and new clients for your law practice.

Use this guide to kickstart your keyword research efforts and align your SEO strategy with terms potential clients are searching for. With the right keyword strategy, you can connect your law firm with more clients who need your legal expertise.

To recap, here are the key things to remember about keyword research for law firms:

  • Start with relevant seed keywords related to your practice areas and services.
  • Leverage keyword research tools to find high-volume, low-competition opportunities.
  • Analyze keyword data to determine search intent and prioritize keywords that align with your law firm’s offerings.
  • Identify competitor keywords and gaps to find “easy win” keywords.
  • Organize keywords into groups and prioritize the ones to target first.
  • Set up tracking to monitor keyword performance over time.
  • Use long-tail, localized and question-based keywords for better results.
  • Keep researching new keywords as your law firm grows and adds services.