Any lawyer starting out in the industry is going to need to make a name for themselves. Naturally, as the world has gone digital, the bulk of building your brand will come from utilizing various online marketing tactics. One of the most important aspects of online marketing is search engine optimization (SEO). Through optimizing your website and web content, you increase your chances of being viewed by your ideal clients as an authority in your field of law.
There are many layers to online marketing, just look at the depth of Neil Patel’s piece on What is Online Marketing. However, at the core of it all is utilizing relevant keywords and terms.
Consumers type in words or phrases as they relate to what they’re looking for. Search engines generate a list of results that are most relevant. If you’ve effectively optimized your web content, your brand will show up at the top of those result pages.
Conducting Keyword Research
One might assume that you can come up with key terms like “lawyer”, “attorney”, or “best attorney” and add them to content; however, this won’t get you very far. In order to determine the best keywords to use, you’ll need to conduct research to find out which words your clients are searching the net for. Below is a basic rundown of how to conduct such a search.
1. Create a List
Compile a list of words and phrases that you believe are most relevant to your firm and services offered. If you were a personal injury attorney, a keyword or phrase might be “how to file a personal injury claim” or “personal injury attorneys in (specific location)”.
2. Choose Your Keyword Research Tool
Now that you have a list of potential keywords and phrases, narrow that list down by determining which are going to get your law firm to the top of search engine page results SEPRs. There are plenty of free and paid keyword search tools you can use, however, some of the most commonly recommended include:
- Google (you can simply type in keywords to see how many results populate)
- Google Adwords
- Google Analytics
- Word Tracker (paid and free subscriptions)
The tool you use will depend upon your budget, how much assistance you believe you need in searching for the most effective keywords, and of course personal preference based upon user reviews. Once you’ve made the choice of keyword search tools you can begin entering your original list to receive search statistics and recommendations.
3. Start Refining Your List
No matter which keyword research tool you have chosen to use, they should provide you with recommended terms and phrases to use. For example, you might have chosen a key phrase, “how to file a personal injury claim” and the tool might suggest that you use, “steps to filing a personal injury claim”. As you begin refining your list, ask yourself questions about the suggested terms and phrase:
- Do the terms describe the content? – While you might be quick to choose the suggested keywords and phrases your research tool generates, relevance still plays a major role. The words that you incorporate into your content need to make sense to the reader as well. Therefore, before opting to choose the suggested term, ask yourself how it relates to the content you intend to create. If it does not necessarily relate, it may not be worth using.
- How popular is this keyword? – Some keyword research tools have other analytical aspects that include monthly statistics. This lets you know how many times in the past month a particular term has been searched.
Here’s an example: If the terms personal injury lawyer have been searched 10,000 times in the past month, but the terms personal injury lawyer in New Jersey has been searched 3,000 times, you would want to go with the more specific key terms. Why? Well because if you’re firm is situated in New Jersey you want people who can actually benefit from your services to find your page, not individuals who live on the west coast.
- What other firms are using these terms? – You always have to pay attention to the competition. That being said, once you’ve got your refined list of keywords, type them into a search engine. How many page results are generated? Are there are lot of firms utilizing the same keywords and phrases? If so, look at their web page and content to see what they’re doing to get to the top ten on SEPRs. If you find that there are several major firms utilizing these keywords you may need to reevaluate your list and use words that are a little less popular as it could take you a while to beat out the competition.
Once you’ve completed your analysis and narrowed down your list of keywords and phrases you are ready to put them to use. In order to drive traffic to your firm’s website you’ll need to incorporate your list of keywords into your website content, title tags, Meta descriptions, and even social media content. The more effectively you use these words and phrases, the higher the possibility of your brand reaching the top of search engine page results.