If your law firm is not discoverable on search engines, you’re losing cases. Before choosing a law firm to work with, most people use search engines to weigh their options. A quick Google search should help clients find your website and learn how your firm can help them.
A solid law firm SEO strategy is crucial to getting your site in front of prospective clients, and crucial to any such strategy is targeting the keywords, or topics, those prospective clients are using in their search query. Completing SEO keyword research can help your firm determine which words and phrases can put your site in front of the right audience.
What Is Law Firm Keyword Research in SEO?
Keyword research entails identifying the words and phrases clients use when they search for the services you offer. When you know what words and phrases prospects are using to search for services like yours, you can create content addressing the needs and pain points of those prospects.
While developing a solid SEO and content marketing strategy may take some time, it’s worth it in the long run. Whether your firm decides to build an SEO strategy on your own or you hire lawyer SEO experts to handle it for you, you’ll likely notice more clients are contacting your firm when you create content aligned with the right search terms.
Writing content around the right SEO keywords for lawyers can help with:
- Improving your website’s visibility: When clients search for a lawyer, the right keyword research and SEO can help your website appear at the top of the search engine results page. This means your firm has an improved chance of securing business and providing legal representation to those who need it.
- Boosting your firm’s credibility: Writing content related to your area of expertise and the topics that are important to your clients boosts your firm’s authority in your market.
- Allowing you to remain competitive: Search engines can produce thousands of results in seconds, meaning clients have lots of law firms to choose from when they do an online search. To remain competitive, implement a keyword strategy that helps you write content that’s relevant and helpful to clients who need your services so Google ranks your pages at the top of its results.
Before we go further, though, a word of caution.
Keywords Are Not Magic Elixirs
Don’t keyword stuff, don’t aim for a specific keyword density, and don’t chase some magic keyword formula that’ll catapult your page to the top of the search results.
It won’t work.
Keywords are not magic elixirs, and Google has updated its algorithm many times to stamp out those bad practices. Looking up the terms your prospective clients use to search for law firms and then writing content stuffed with those keywords won’t yield results.
Rather, keywords simply guide your content. They tell you what words and phrases users are using to search for your legal services, so you can create content that aligns with those words and phrases. Keywords reveal user intent, allowing you to create content that speaks to what your prospective clients want.
Think of it this way. Say you’re hoping to rank in your market for the phrase “car accident lawyer.” You’re a personal injury firm that helps people injured in car accidents, and this audience is key to your business.
You title your page “Car Accident Lawyer” and then you write all about car accidents – how often they happen, common injuries, causes of accidents, how auto insurance works, how liability works. Maybe you even throw in a thousand words on the history of tort law in the United States, just to show everybody you know what you’re talking about.
But you neglect to use the words “lawyer” or “attorney” in the content. Maybe you use it once at the end of the page, but that’s it. You didn’t write a page for people hurt in car accidents. You wrote a report about tort law.
And that report you wrote is probably chock full of great information about tort law, but someone searching for “car accident lawyer” isn’t looking for a report on tort law. They’re looking for a lawyer, someone to champion their legal case and help them navigate insurance and lawsuits and get compensation so they can pay their bills.
Let’s rewind. Now say you write the same page, but this time you allow the keywords to guide your writing. You use the keywords – car accident lawyer, car accident attorney, etc. – not because Google wants you to, but because those phrases keep your content on topic for an audience seeking help from a lawyer.
You write about tort law, sure, but you write about it in the context of how the lawyers at your firm help clients harmed in car accidents. Users reading your page understand that your firm will help them navigate auto insurance and tort law so they get what they really want – compensation to pay for medical care and keep them financially whole.
This time, you wrote a page for people looking for a lawyer, and if well written, that page is primed to rank for the keyword “car accident lawyer.”
Now, let’s back up. How do we identify the keywords that prospective clients are using to search for your law firm’s services?
What Tools Should I Use for Keyword Research in Lawyer SEO?
There are many tools you can use to determine which keywords your law firm’s website should try to rank for. Some of these include:
- Ahrefs Keywords Explorer
- Google Keyword Planner
- Moz Keyword Explorer
When you’re creating a law firm website SEO strategy, one of the most basic ways to begin keyword research is to find out what keywords your competitors are ranking for.
In Semrush, you could research a single competitor via the Domain Overview feature.
Or you might use the Keyword Gap feature to compare the keywords your site ranks for to those your competitors rank for. The Keyword Gap feature allows you to identify opportunities to improve your ranking for keywords – or rank for new keywords – that your competitors are ranking for.
As you research keywords, be mindful of search intent. As a law firm, you’ll grow your business by generating traffic from users doing commercial (researching their options) and transactional (ready to buy now) searches.
It’s fine to rank for informational (wanting information) keywords. Those top-of-funnel searchers might turn into signed cases down the road. But if your site is only bringing in informational search traffic, then your firm may not convert many of those visitors into leads and signed cases. So, be mindful of the types of keywords your site ranks for and aim to improve your rankings, especially for commercial and transactional terms.
Semrush allows you to filter by search intent from the Organic Research feature. You can apply other features as well, such as to show only organic keyword rankings instead of including SERP features the site ranks for too.
If your firm serves clients in certain geographic locations, this is where knowledge of local SEO for lawyers can be beneficial. In addition to car accident-specific keywords, you may use location-specific words. For example, a personal injury law firm in Miami might use keywords like “Miami car accident lawyer” to rank in the search results when someone in Miami searches for a car accident lawyer.
How Often Should I Update My Keyword Strategy for Lawyer SEO?
Revisiting your lawyer SEO keyword strategy every three to six months, or once a quarter, may be beneficial. Changes to legal statutes or new competitors entering the market may mean it’s time for your firm to consider new search terms to target.
Also, search engine updates could cause your rankings to fall if you do not regularly update your content. Remember to refresh headings, subheadings, and the body of your website’s content if it’s not ranking well.
If your firm adds new legal services or decides to focus on a new industry, you should update your keyword strategy so that your content reflects the changes.
Six Ways to Add Relevant Keywords to Your Law Firm’s Website Content
Using keywords in your website content can help you create content that’s relevant to prospective clients.
But again, be careful. Your goal isn’t to stuff as many keywords into the content as you can. Your goal is to understand the words and phrases users are using and then write content consistent with those topics. Keyword stuffing, keyword density targets, and other such practices are old strategies that Google stamped out long ago.
Focus first on creating helpful content aligned with the user’s intent – that is, why they are Googling that keyword in the first place. Use the keyword(s) to guide your writing and stay on topic.
A few areas to focus keywords include:
A title tag is an HTML code that includes your web page’s title. Here, you can use relevant keywords to give clients context about the page’s content.
The meta description appears under the title tag on the search engine results page. A strong, relevant meta description can improve your site’s click-through rate and draw organic traffic. Don’t stuff keywords here just for the sake of it, but using relevant words and phrases assures the user that your page is relevant to what they’re looking for.
To keep your content focused on the topic and user intent, consider adding relevant keywords in the headings and subheadings of each page. Doing so helps you keep your content on topic. For example, using phrases like ‘lawyer,’ ‘lawsuit,’ ‘law firm,’ or similar terms in the headers of a page about your services as a car accident lawyer keeps the content focused on users who need a law firm, rather than veering into a dissertation explaining the ins and outs of tort law.
Body of the Page
Use keywords throughout the body of the page, but keep in mind that keyword stuffing can deter a reader, and Google might even deem your content spammy and unhelpful – a dire classification that can tank your entire website from the top of the search results. Keep the content readable by naturally using keywords and keyword variations throughout the text, rather than stuffing them into the first paragraph or following some pre-determined keyword density you think Google wants.
A clearly worded URL that includes relevant keywords can help readers anticipate what the page will be about. It also helps search engines understand the content on your website so that it will appear in searches. Strong URLs are short but descriptive.
Make Lawyer SEO Marketing Easier on Your Law Firm
You don’t have to create or update your firm’s SEO keyword research strategy on your own. Consider working with a legal marketing agency that knows SEO for law firms and how to write helpful, targeted content that drives new leads and signed cases.
At We Do Web, our team of legal SEO experts will learn about your law firm’s goals and target clients. You can trust us to deliver a website content marketing strategy that improves your online presence and gets you cases.
Alex Valencia is an influential entrepreneur, marketer, speaker, podcaster, and CEO of We Do Web Content, one of Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing businesses in America. His agency implements game-changing content marketing strategies and produces top-ranking web content for law firms, medical professionals, and small businesses nationwide.