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How Lawyers Can Use Keyword Research to Improve Website Traffic

by Kevin Vermeulen • October 30th, 2019 • Digital Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, SEO | Blog

How Lawyers Can Use Keyword Research

All online searches begin with someone — maybe a client or a prospect — typing a keyword or (key phrase) into a search engine. Researching and uncovering the common keywords that are used to find out information relevant to your law firm’s services is coveted insight. Lawyers can use keyword research to understand their target audience and generate more website traffic from qualified leads. In this article, we’ll dive into the valuable reasons why lawyers should undertake keyword research and explore several tools that provide insight into meaningful keywords.

Why is keyword research important for your law firm?

Keyword research helps a lawyer to discover the interests and concerns of his or her target market. It allows the lawyer to get on the other side of the table – to step into the shoes of a prospective client and better understand how they are searching for content and legal services. In other words, such research provides a path to open dialog with your prospects by identifying the language your potential clients are using to describe their problems.

Such insight can prove invaluable in helping a lawyer use accessible language to explain legal concepts. For example, instead of using a legal term or concept such as “personal injury,” a prospect might be more apt to type in the phrase “car accident” or “whiplash.”  Furthermore, instead of searching for “workers compensation,” the prospect may be searching for advice on being “injured at work.”

Placing high in the rankings in response to keyword queries is crucial to being discovered online. The idea is that higher search engine rankings will translate into more traffic to your website and ultimately more leads and business opportunities for your firm. Once you’ve learned what your target audience is searching for when their intent is to find a lawyer or information on legal services, you can start developing more content on your website pages and blog that satisfies your audiences’ queries.

How can lawyers translate keyword research into their marketing strategy?

It’s worth knowing what prospects are actually searching for so that you can leverage these phrases in your content or PPC Google Ads campaigns. Once you have a list of the your firms’ keywords and phrases, it’s time to try and rank on the first page of Google! First and foremost, take a look at the frequency with which keywords or phrases are being used in your market or geographic area. For example, if you specialize in personal injury law and have recent experience working on cases involving serious brain injury, it’s well worth finding out how many searches were conducted in the last month in your city or region for the phrase “traumatic brain injury.”

The more specific the niche, the better. For example, most people are not searching for “personal injury law firm.” In order to find exactly what they’re looking for, a lawyer has to conduct the research and find out keywords and phrases that have a high enough search volume and at the same time are not too competitive. When you discover that there are a lot of queries for a particular key phrase, it’s in your best interest to begin developing content around the phrase.

Tools for keyword research

There are several tools that provide insight into meaningful keywords. Google has a tool called Google Ads Keyword Planner that lets you find keywords most relevant to your practice, how often they are searched, and estimates the potential cost of purchasing these keywords in your Google Ads campaign.

You should also use Google Autocomplete. This feature shows related queries when you type something into the main Google search engine. For example, if you type in “legal marketing,” Google autocomplete will suggest “legal marketing association,” “legal marketing jobs,” and “legal issues in marketing.”

Google Trends is another tool that can help a lawyer see which keywords are popular at the moment and allows them to track the performance over time. This is particularly helpful for seasonal trends, such as tax season or hot political and other topics in the news.

While Google tools are popular, there are many others, a number of which are also free. For a list of some of the best tools available across the internet for keyword research and planning, visit our recent blog article: Keyword Research Tools for Law Firm SEO.


Keyword research enables lawyers to find out what topics or issues are important to their target audience. It enables lawyers to think like a client in order to develop a strategic and revenue-focused marketing and business development strategy. Such research can also help lawyers determine what their niche should be and how to create a strategy to position themselves as thought leaders in that niche. Contact us if you need assistance developing a comprehensive SEO strategy that will improve your firm’s search visibility and increase the number of qualified leads to your firm’s website.


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