If you’ve been following our recent blog posts you likely picked up on a recurring theme – keywords. Every aspect of online search and marketing for lead generation, social media, content marketing, SEO, and lawyer Pay-Per-Click advertising — involves keywords. Without them, online prospecting and discovery would not be possible. Let’s crawl deeper into the details of assembling keyword lists for paid search marketing.
A keyword or key-phrase is a word or phrase that defines your firm and characterizes the needs of your prospective visitors. When it comes to lawyer Pay-Per-Click advertising, firms have to be specific to their area of law and anticipate those words that their target audience will be using. A firm that is not careful in defining its keywords risks wasting considerable PPC dollars on leads that are not truly qualified.
How does a law firm create effective keywords for paid search? It begins with learning the four types of keyword match options you can use to define your PPC parameters: exact match, phrase match, modified broad match, and broad match. How you incorporate these match types when building your keyword/key-phrase list can have considerable impact on the cost of a campaign and the volume and quality of its yield:
- “Exact match” will trigger ads only if the searched term is an exact match in the exact order defined within brackets. For example, if your firm’s keyword is: [personal injury lawyer], then if someone types: personal injury lawyer New York, or personal injury attorney, they will not be served your paid placement.
- “Phrase match” triggers ads if the searched term contains the phrase surrounded by quotation marks. Continuing our example above, had the firm defined its keyword as “personal injury lawyer”, a search for personal injury lawyer New York would trigger the advertiser’s ad because the query contained the firm’s keyword.
- “Modified broad match” uses the “+” symbol before each or some of the words within the key-phrase. An ad is triggered if the user’s search contains the words in the key-phrase with the plus symbol in front of them in any order, and with any other words.
- “Broad match” will trigger ads just like modified broad match, but in this case, the search engine can and will substitute words it determines are similar to those the user entered. For example, the search engine would know the word “lawyer” could be substituted with “attorney” in the keyword search.
Search engines make accommodations for misspellings and pluralization for all these keyword types. The use of match types allows a measure of control over your rate of exposure and the interests of the search traffic clicking to learn more about your services.
The narrower and tighter your keywords and phrases are to your area of specialty, the more likely your paid placements will appear to only the most qualified searchers. If you law firm has a larger budget, you might want to experiment with broader, less restrictive match types to find more keywords and phrases relevant to your business via your paid search platform’s Search Terms tool, which will indicate the actual searched term that triggered your phrase, modified broad and broad match key-phrases. We have curated a list of helpful tools to further research the right keywords for your law firm.