Marketing Resources

Keyword Research: A Law Firm's Guide

4 minutes

Carrie Tennick, senior digital content specialist, May 25, 2021

Getting your site in front of the right people is an absolute necessity today. You know just how competitive the personal injury and consumer law field is. This is reflected in search engine results, where you end up battling for space with your competitors.

That’s why it’s vital to make sure your pages are optimised for search. And when you’re looking at the content you’re providing, that optimisation starts with keyword research.

It’s not something you can avoid doing if you want to target the right keywords.

Importance of keyword research

Keyword research is the process of determining the appropriate terminology and language your target clients use when searching for your services. It involves analysis to identify the most relevant terms and whether targeting them will lead to benefits for your firm or not.

We live in a digital world. Your future clients are online. So you need to meet them there. Finding out what they’re looking for allows you to use that to your advantage. Target the right keywords and you’ll give yourself a fantastic chance of capturing the traffic you want.

When so many other forms of marketing can exhaust your budget, keyword research can be a cost-effective way of getting in front of your audience. It can supplement your PPC and paid advertising, helping you cover all bases.

How to conduct keyword research

Keyword research is a straightforward process. You’ll be generating a list of keywords to target with the appropriate content. This can be done using free and paid online tools.

You'll need to know what terms your competitors are ranking for so you can target them too. You can perform content gap analyses with various tools. These will show you what terms competitors rank for that you don't, giving you a good starting point for your list.

The process you’ll follow will be different according to the tool you’re using. Some will provide you with more detail – including search volume, difficulty ranking for that term and how much PPC for that term would cost. Others will just give you keyword ideas.

Some helpful keyword research tools include:

  • Google search engine results pages (SERPs)

Just typing one main search term into Google can provide you with additional ideas to focus on. Scrolling to the end of page one’s results will show you a list of related searches. Meanwhile, Google’s auto suggest will also show you suggestions based on what people have searched for.

  • Google’s People also ask

The SERP also gives you a list of alternative search terms. Underneath the PPC ads and local listings, you’ll get the People also ask list. You can use this list of questions to address key queries your clients might have about your services. Clicking on one query will reveal further queries, giving you even more suggestions.

  • Answer the Public

Type your keyword into Answer the Public and you’ll get a range of additional terms to focus on. You’ll get keywords in the form of questions, some based around prepositions, others as comparisons and related terms. It’s a free tool but you’re only allowed a certain number of searches per day – unless you pay for the premium version. But you can export your lists in CSV format – hugely helpful when compiling a keyword list.

  • Google Keyword Planner

Google’s Keyword Planner is a free tool that was designed for PPC keyword research but can also help with organic rankings. Use it to discover new keywords and to get monthly search volume ranges. It won’t provide more precise data than ranges like 10 – 100 or 1000 – 10,000, but this is generally enough to know whether a keyword is worth focusing on.

  • Ahrefs

One of the more well-known paid tools, Ahrefs lets you see what keywords competitors rank for and how difficult ranking for a certain will be. It gives you keyword search volume and ideas for additional terms to target – some in the form of questions, which are particularly useful for FAQ posts. To evaluate whether it’s the right tool for your firm, take them up on their reduced price trial offer.

  • SEMrush

SEMrush offers a free version – what they call the “down-sized version”. It also offers a seven-day free trial of the paid-for plans. SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool lets you look into different topics and find long-tail keywords to focus on. SEMrush provides keywords that competitors rank for, gives you ideas for content based on a topic and gives you an overview of your keywords.

Whichever tool you choose, make sure you're regularly conducting keyword research. The search landscape changes often - you need to make sure you're keeping up with it.

Keyword research and user intent

With personal injury, there are numerous keywords that could ostensibly be terms you want to target. But the searcher’s user intent for these phrases could lead to the wrong sort of traffic – the kind that isn’t looking for what you can provide.

For example, the keyword ‘lip fillers gone wrong’ has a search volume of 800, according to Ahrefs – a decent target. But incorporating an element of common sense is necessary here. Think critically about the reasons people are searching for this term.

Do they really want a medical negligence solicitor to help them take legal action over their dodgy fillers or are they just looking for photos of people who’ve had the misfortune of that happening to them?

Identifying what type of search intent your users have will also help you establish the most appropriate types of content. For example, an informational search will be best served with a helpful guide that answers queries. Meanwhile, a navigational search could mean you need to update on your Google My Business profile so it helps potential clients find out where your offices are.

You’ll generally see a better ROI if you focus on keywords that match your audience’s intent. Think about what they’re looking for and target those phrases. Generating the right kind of traffic means more leads for your firm and a potential boost to business.

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