If you’re familiar with digital marketing, one of the common buzzwords you’ve likely heard is “keywords” or “keyword phrases.” These refer to terms people use when searching online to find the information they need. While keywords can help your law firm website rank in organic search engine results, they can also serve a variety of other helpful marketing functions. In addition to improving search engine visibility, keyword research can also inform your content marketing, paid search advertising, social media marketing, and more.
Keyword research keeps you from wasting your time writing blogs you think are great and instead tells you what topics people actually care about. The good news is there’s no fixed limit on the number of keywords for which one webpage can rank. The bad news is most lawyers don’t even think about keywords when drafting their website content.
Keyword Research Steps
Step 1: Make a list of important, relevant topics based on your practice areas. These topics are not your keywords but they will form the base from which your keyword list will grow.
Step 2: Once you have your core topics, determine the keywords that fall within each topic. One method of determining keywords and keyword phrases is to type each topic from Step 1 into the Google search bar and see what it “suggests.” You can also use one of the many keyword research tools available online. Be sure to include both head terms and long-tail terms. Head terms are usually one-word keywords to three-word keyword phrases while long-tail terms are closer in word count to a full sentence.
Step 3: See what keywords on your list you already rank for. You can do this by utilizing a variety of free, online tools available. Moz.com offers a keyword explorer feature that shows all of the ranking keyword phrases for a certain domain, meaning you can see everything your website is already ranking for easily.
Step 4: Determine your target users’ search intent to ensure your content matches up. An effective choice to target consumers of legal services is to write informational/educational content.
Step 5: Perform a competitive landscape analysis to determine how competitive certain terms are and what phrases may be the least competitive (“keyword gaps”), allowing your website to rank more quickly.
Using Keyword Research Beyond SEO
While keyword research is a necessary component of search engine marketing (SEM/SEO), it also has several other important applications. Using the information gleaned from the process detailed above, one can adjust existing content pages and/or draft new content pages and blog posts. You can also include them in your upcoming social posts within the content and as hashtags, where applicable. Keyword research also provides invaluable information for any paid search advertising campaigns your firm is running or wants to run.
Legal Marketing Experts
The days of being able to rely solely on referrals and word-of-month to generate your entire book of business are over. While still hugely important, your law firm will never grow into the successful practice it can be if you don’t implement a comprehensive marketing strategy, including keyword research. Our team has handled marketing projects for over 150 law firms across the country, so contact us to find our how we can help your law firm grow and succeed.