Keyword Research for Lawyers: A Complete How-to Guide for Law Firms

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Legal Content Writer Shares Important Keyword Research for Lawyer Tips and Tricks

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In our previous article, you learned how to show up in search results with SEO, where we also briefly explained how to do keyword research for SEO.  Keyword research for lawyers is a very important part of SEO.  Our legal content writer at NAB Legal Marketing, LLC knows just how important it is for lawyers and law firms to use keyword research to help grow their business.

However, if the term “keyword” still feels alien to you and you are thinking, “What the heck is keyword research,” this article will help. 

We are going to explain the ABCs of keyword research for lawyers to help you find the right keywords for your website.

This article is broken into two main parts:

PART ONE is more text-based.  It is informative and explains principles, definitions, and tools.  It you are completely new to keyword research and want to learn the basics to the more advanced topics, START HERE then move to part two.

If you have an strong understanding of keyword research, or if you are a visual learner, the PART TWO provides more screenshots and examples how to proceed while building and assuming you know a lot of the topics already.


  • What is Keyword Research?
  • Why is Keyword Research Important for Your Law Firm?
  • Basics of Keyword Research
  • Right and Wrong Keywords for Law Firms
  • How to Do Keyword Research for Law Firms
  • Best Keyword Research Tools for Lawyers


  • What is Keyword Research?
  • What are Primary Keywords and Secondary Keywords?
  • How to Find Keywords?
  • How to do Keyword Analysis?
  • How to Optimize Your Keywords?
  • Some Useful Keyword Research Tools

Let’s start! 


Are you doing the SEO of your law firm website, then the very first thing you should focus on is Keyword Research. Without proper keyword research, your website will never appear on the first pages of Google.  This is very true for law firms and lawyers, especially in competitive market cities or topic areas.  Keyword research for lawyers can be the difference between getting new clients and not being able to afford the bills.

No matter how much money you have spent in creating your law firm website. If your website is not attracting any visitors, then there is no benefit of all the efforts that you put into creating the website.

So in order to attract visitors and find potential clients, you should do the proper keyword research and then use those keywords in your website content appropriately.

Moreover, keyword research can be very helpful in reducing your Law firm SEO efforts. However, if you don’t know what keywords research is and how you can do that? Then don’t worry because in this article, we will give you a comprehensive guide on Keyword Research. So read this article till the end.

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is basically the process of identifying the proper terms and search queries that your targeted audience is searching on Google.

Keyword research helps you in understanding how many people are searching for particular information related to your niche.

As a law firm, with the help of keyword research, you can know what people are searching for and how many people are searching for a particular thing.

By knowing about these things, you can write content related to those keywords. This thing will help you increase your brand visibility in the search results.

If you had not done the proper keyword targeting, you would not get any traffic even if you had written the best content in the World. This is because, without keyword research, you would never know whether people are really searching for the content that you are writing or not.

There are high chances that you might write content on keywords that no one is searching for, or you might target highly competitive keywords on which it is difficult to rank. So it is essential to do keyword research before writing content for your law firm website.

Why is Keyword Research Important for Your Law Firm?

Keyword research for lawyers is an essential part of SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is responsible for ranking your website high on search engines.

Keyword research works simultaneously with your efforts to attract the right audience. If you do the keyword research accurately, then it will increase your chances of finding potential clients to your law firm. Keyword research for lawyers in busy markets or in highly-sought after clients will help a law firm get more clients. It is as simple as that.

Moreover, it can also help you to know the interest of your targeted customers. You can know how they are searching for content and legal services.

For example, you might be writing content on the term “personal injury.” But there are chances that most of your targeted clients could be searching for “car accident” or “whiplash.”

So, in this case, you can either optimize your existing content for these keywords or create new content on these topics. This thing will surely help you to rank on different keywords and attract niche visitors to your law firm site.

Basics of Keyword Research

While doing the keyword research for your law firm website, make sure the keywords you choose are:

  • Relevant to legal services you provide.
  • Highly targeted
  • Have the Potential to provide high traffic.
  • Low competition.

Basically, there are three types of keyword that you can find for your website, and below we have discussed these types in detail:

General Keywords

General keywords are the general term that is usually searched on the web. Usually, general keywords are highly competitive and challenging to rank.

For the law firm, the general keywords are like:

  • Attorney 
  • Lawyer 
  • Law Firm  
  • Law Practice

Usually, it is not a good idea to target these keywords without any additional keyword strategy as it can negatively affect website SEO and decrease website visibility in search.

Secondary Keywords

Secondary Keywords are basically the extension to the general keywords. These terms usually consist of words related to a specific practice area or niche like:

  • Criminal Attorney 
  • Divorce Lawyer 
  • Estate Planning Law Firm  
  • Regulatory Law Firm  

Secondary keywords have low competition than general keywords. But still, it isn’t easy to rank on those keywords as a lot of search results are already available on them.

Long-Tail Keywords

Now, this is the thing on which you should focus on. Long-tail keywords are the most targeted and less competitive keywords.

These keywords provide more specific results. Long-tail keywords may include the geo-locations terms or the questions that your potential clients are searching for.

Some examples of long-tail keywords are:

  • Child Support Lawyer in Los Angeles
  • How can I dispute a temporary restraining order?
  • Do I need a lawyer for a bail hearing?

Above is the perfect example of long-tail keywords. Most of the websites get their significant traffic through long-tail keywords, and you should also focus on them for your law firm website.

Moreover, once you start ranking on long-tail keywords, Google will automatically give you the ranking on secondary and general keywords.

Right and Wrong Keywords for Law Firms

Only doing the keyword research is not enough. You should also know that what types of keywords are suitable for your law-firm website.

For example, if you are a corporate lawyer, then the right keywords for you will be something like these:

  • Corporate lawyer
  • Corporate lawyer near me
  • Toronto Corporate lawyer

These types of keywords will help you to get genuine clients. Whereas wrong keywords are like:

  • Corporate lawyer jobs
  • Corporate lawyer salary

Now, these are the keyword that will not help you to get any client. You might get some traffic by targeting these keywords, but all that traffic will be useless for you.

So whenever doing the keyword research, only target the right keywords that can help get potential clients.

How to Do Keyword Research for Lawyers: Important Tips from Our Legal Content Writer

There are various ways by which you can find suitable keywords for your law firm website, and below we have discussed all of them.

Come Up With Your Own Keywords

Before beginning your research come up with your own set of keywords. Write all keywords that you have in your mind.

Create a list of all the keywords that you think your targeted customer might search for. You can do this by thinking about what you will search for if you want to search the content related to your niche.

Once you have your own set of keywords, you can check their volume and competition using the keyword research tools. Moreover, with the help of keyword research tools, you can also find some related keywords to keywords you already have. At the end of this article, we have also discussed some best keyword research tools for lawyers.

Make Use of Forum Sites

You can make use of forum sites to know about legal queries from worldwide. Through those queries, you can look for trends in consumer questions and find suitable keywords related to your niche.

Once you know about what people are searching for, you can create content around them and attract traffic to your site. But make sure that you choose the keyword for which most people are searching for.

As a law firm, you can make use of below two sites to find suitable keywords from people questions:

  • Avvo: It is a leading legal directory that also includes an active Q&A forum, where people post their legal queries.
  • Lawyers: Similar to Avvo, this site also has an Ask a Lawyer section where clients put their questions and lawyers help them.

Competitor Analysis: Keyword Research for Lawyers by Using Your Competitors

Competitor analysis is one of the best and easiest ways to find low competitive and high volume keywords. There are various tools like Ubersuggest, Ahref, and SEMRush that can help you to do competitor analysis.

By doing competitor analysis, you can know on which keyword your competitors are ranking on and what strategies they are following.

Usually, by analyzing some of your competitor sites, you will get a pool of low competition and good volume keywords. Now all you had to do is create content on these keywords, which is better than your competitors. By doing this thing, you will surely rank on the first pages of Google and attract the niche traffic for your law firm website.

Related Searches and People Ask for

Related Searches and People Ask for are two handy features of Google that can help you to find good keywords related to your niche.

Once you have some set of keywords. Just enter those keywords one by one in Google search and scroll down to the related search section, and people ask for section.

On these two sections, Google will automatically show you the list of keywords that are related to your search and people are searching over the web.

For example, you search for the keyword “Criminal Lawyer Chicago.” Now in the related search section, Google will show you some related keywords to this keyword like:

  • Best criminal defense lawyer
  • Top lawyers in Chicago
  • Top 10 criminal lawyers in Chicago.

Similar in people ask for section, Google will show you questions like:

  • What does a criminal lawyer do?
  • Who is a criminal lawyer

Above are just some examples, but you can easily find a lot of keywords like that. Now when you get those keywords, you can use them in your content appropriately.

Use Google Trends

Google Trends is a free tool by Google that can show you information about the latest trends related to a particular keyword.

Basically, it can tell you whether the specific keyword is trending upward or downwards. In case you find any particular keyword related to your niche that is trending upwards. Then you can capitalize on that particular keyword by creating content around that keyword.

Usually, trending keywords have a very high potential of providing traffic. Moreover, these keywords are easy to rank as very few people work on them. So if anytime you find any trending keywords for your law firm, make sure you take full benefit of it.

Use Answer the Public

Answer the Public is a free tool that can help you deep-dive into a particular keyword with the use of interrogatives like who, what, when, where, why, and prepositions like for, of, with, etc.

Basically, it visualizes search questions and suggested auto complete searches in a visually appealing image known as a search cloud.

For example, you search for a criminal lawyer on the tool then it will give your various suggesting like:

  • What are Criminal Lawyers
  • Who are the Best Criminal Lawyers
  • What can criminal lawyers do?
  • How much criminal lawyers charge
  • How does a criminal lawyer defend a guilty person?
  • Where do criminal lawyers work
  • Are criminal lawyers are in demand in the United States?

Above are just some examples, but with the help of this tool, you can find a lot of keywords similar to this. All you had to do is enter your main keyword, and it will automatically give you various related keywords to that.

This tool can be really beneficial for you if you only have few keywords and want more like that.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is another free tool by Google that provides reports related to your site’s Search traffic and performance. Moreover, it also helps you to fix your site technical issues.

Now you might wonder how it can help you to find keywords. So its performance tab can help you. Through the performance tab, you can know about the keywords for which your site is ranking.

Moreover, you can even know about the keywords that are providing the most traffic to your site. But that’s not much important. You need to look at keywords that have high search volume, and you appear in the search for those keywords but at lower positions.

Once you find those keywords, you can optimize your already written content for those keywords, and soon you will start ranking on higher positions for those keywords.

Best Keyword Research Tools for Lawyers

Above, we have given you some of the best methods by which you can find suitable keywords for your law firm website. But your keyword research can’t get complete without the use of a proper keyword research tool.

A keyword research tool is necessary if you want to know about the volume and competition of the targeted keywords.

However, there are various keyword research tools available in the market, both free and paid. Due to which you might get confused that which one you should use. So below, we have listed some of the best keyword research tools:

Ahrefs: One of the Best Tools for Keyword Research for Lawyers

When it comes to keyword research, Ahrefs is considered as one of the best tool. Although it is a paid tool, it’s worth using it because it comes with both keyword research and competitor analysis features.

Its keyword explorer feature can help your law firm to find out most suitable keyword along with volume and competition details.

If you have a reasonable budget for doing keyword research, then you should definitely invest in Ahrefs.

Google Keyword Planner: Powerful Tool for Keyword Research for Lawyers

Google Keyword Planner is a free tool by Google that can provide you the complete information about any keyword.

Through this tool, you can know about the average volume of any keywords and their competition. As the information is provided by Google itself so you can rely on it.

However, its related keyword finding feature is not much beneficial. This tool is suitable for beginners who want a basic understanding of keyword research.

Ubersuggest: A Great Option and Tip from Our Legal Content Writer

Ubersuggest is a great keyword research tool by Neil Patel. It not only provides you with information about keyword volume and competition level. But also generate ideas and suggestions for related keywords.

Both free and paid versions of Ubersuggest are available. Although the free version has some limitations. But you can use it to get a basic understanding of the tool.

Moreover, its paid version is also very affordable as compared to other SEO tools. If you are on a tight budget and searching for a keyword research tool, then you can go with the Ubersuggest.

SEMRush: A Strong Keyword Research for Lawyers Option

SEMRush is a leading keyword research tool that is recommended by various SEO experts. Basically, it is a direct competitor of Ahrefs.

Both Ahrefs and SEMRush have similar features and are great for doing keyword research. But in my opinion, Ahrefs is better for doing keyword research, but it more depends on which tool user interface you prefer.

However, if you are searching for a full-fledged SEO tool and not only for keyword research, then you must go with SEMRush as it is much better in doing site analysis and other SEO things.


What is a Keyword?

To understand keyword research for lawyers, first we must understand what a keyword is in the first place.

A keyword, also known as a focus keyword, buzz word, or search term, is a word or phrase people type into search engines when they are looking for a specific query. 

In other words, a keyword describes what the content on your website is about. 

Let’s suppose, you are looking for a DUI Lawyer in Miami. You may type something like “Miami DUI Lawyer” or “best DUI lawyers in Miami” into Google. 

These phrases make a keyword. 

So, if you want to appear in the online search results, your page’s content should be based on a keyword your potential customers may search for. 

This way, when your ideal user searches for that keyword in Google or other search engines, they will find your page in search results. 

However, appearing in top search engine results pages (SERP) is not that easy. 

This is where keyword research becomes important. 

It helps you find the right keywords to rank your website pages and appear in top search results. 

So, now that we know the right keywords for lawyers, how can we use it?

What is Keyword Research?

In simple terms, keyword research is the process of researching popular search terms or phrases your potential customer types into a search engine like Google.  Thus, keyword research for lawyers is about finding keywords that can help a law firm get more clients to their website and to find their services.

Without doing proper keyword research, you cannot know what are the target keywords you want to rank for. 

It helps you find keyword-focused topics that you can write content about to appear in search results. 

In short, keyword research is the backbone of your attorney’s SEO game. 

And not only SEO, but you also need to have the right keywords if you want to appear in SERP through Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising

By now, you have an idea about what is keyword research, right?


Let’s move forward. 

Know the Difference Between Primary Keywords and Secondary Keywords

Before you may dig into the keyword research world, you should know what kind of keywords you need to find. Not all buzzwords and phrases for keyword search for lawyers is created equal.

Basically, there are two types of keywords you need for SEO and content optimization:

1. Primary Keywords

Primary keywords, target keywords, seed keywords, basic keywords, main keywords – they all are different names for the same thing.

So, a primary keyword is the main keyword you want to rank for or the topic your ideal reader is searching for. 

These keywords have high search volume and help drive a considerable amount of traffic to your site. 

As a rule of thumb, your primary keyword usually targets a broader audience and you use this keyword across the content on your website. 

Primary Keyword Examples:

For instance, you are a family lawyer in Houston and want to scale your practice online. Your list can include the following keywords:

  • The best family lawyer in Houston 
  • Family lawyer near me
  • What is family law?
  • Best divorce lawyer 
  • Child custody attorney 

2. Secondary (LSI) Keywords

These are supporting keywords for your main keyword. Secondary keywords are commonly known as Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords in the SEO world. 

It means that secondary keywords are semantically related to your primary keyword. However, remember that LSI keywords are not synonyms as most people wrongly assume that LSI keywords are synonyms of the main keyword. 

Instead, these keywords provide more information about the primary keyword so that Google can show your content to the right audience. You use them naturally throughout the content to maintain value and quality. 

Let me explain it with the help of an example. 

Let’s suppose, your webpage has the content around the word “injury.”

Google will look for different LSI keywords related to this word your page is using to better understand the intent of the content. 

Here are two possible scenarios:

– If Google finds words like medical term, definition, types, causes, sports, preventions, damage, pain, hurt, etc., it will probably assume that the page is explaining something about the common injury related to sports and medical providers/doctors. 

-If Google finds words like personal, lawyer, attorney, claim, coverage, free consultation, car accident, lawsuit, law, etc., it will assume that your webpage is about personal injury and attorneys. 

Therefore, you should use LSI keywords along with main keywords to help your content rank better.  This is an important tip for keyword research for lawyers.

“Google Search Related to” results, “LSI Graph,” are the two best tools to find LSI keywords. I’ll discuss more about them in the coming section. 

How to Find Keywords? Keyword Research for Lawyers

If you are writing about something nobody is searching for, you won’t appear on the top stops of search results pages. And, you won’t get the traffic from search engines. 

A study by Ahrefs reveals that 90.63% of content does not get any traffic from Google. And that’s because they are writing about things nobody is searching for. 

So, you need to find those keywords that may help drive traffic to your website. 

In this section, we are going to run you through a few practical ways to find the right keywords for your website. 

Start with Brainstorming “Seed” Keywords

Your keyword research process starts with brainstorming seed keywords. These keywords define your niche, your potential customers, and identify your competitors. 

You need some search terms, words, or phrases to generate a list of keyword ideas using a keyword research tool. 

For attorneys, coming up with seed keywords is easy. 

Just ask yourself a few questions and you will have a lot of keyword ideas in your mind Questions like: 

  • Who are your potential clients?
  • What search terms your potential clients may use to find you in search engines?
  • What could the exact search query look like?
  • What are the search terms you want to rank for? 

Remember, your potential clients are not always searching for what you sell. In fact, 99% of the time they are not searching for you.

So, when brainstorming ideas, think beyond the exact keywords your attorney services offer. Think about broad terms. 

Let’s suppose, you are a personal injury lawyer, and your website is about personal injury law. 

So, your potential customers are people searching for things related to personal injury. 

What are possible queries they may type into Google? Maybe something like:

  • Personal injury law
  • Personal injury lawyer 
  • Best personal injury attorney
  • Accidental injury penalties 
  • Can I sue for an injury?
  • Will I go to jail for a hit and run?

And there can be hundreds of other queries your prospects may search for- these are your seed keywords. 

List down everything that comes to your mind. 

As soon as you have a handful of seed keyword ideas, move on step 2. 

Find Topics Your Customers are Searching For

After you have a list of broad or seed keywords ready, it’s time to go online and use them to find out what your target audience is actually searching for. 

There are various tools you can use to find keywords that you can focus content around and drive traffic to your website. 

Some of these are: 

Google Suggest and Keyword Research for Lawyers

Google is the most used search engine worldwide, so the chances are you will find authentic keywords with Google. 

Google Auto Suggest shows you what people are searching for. The best thing about Google Suggest is that it shows local searches based on your current location- a good thing for attorneys operating locally. 

So, simply go to and type a broad keyword in its search bar- such as ‘defense law’ (do not hit the enter button yet). 

It will show you what people are searching for: 

Put space before the search term, and you’ll get another unique set of keywords:

Or after the last word of your broad keyword, and it will show you a completely different set of closely-related keywords:

Super easy, right?

Google Searches Related to 

Besides Google’s Auto Suggest, its “Searches Related to” section on the bottom of the page is another easy way to find long-tail and LSI keywords.  

For example, search for the keyword “defense law” into Google. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and you will find a list of 8 brilliant keywords closely related to your search term. 


Wikipedia is an overlooked keyword research treasure- it can offer you excellent keyword ideas. 

So, head over to Wikipedia and type one of your seed keywords or broad topics there-let’s say “Personal injury.”

Don’t hit the “search” button yet, and it will suggest to you some other broad keyword ideas.

Now hit the “Search” button, and it will take you to the article page for personal injury topics. 

wikipedia for keyword research for lawyers

Now scroll through the whole article and look for other entries the article links to (all that blue text). 

These are usually closely-related topics to your seed keyword and can make a potential keyword as well. 

Moreover, check the “Table of Content” section as it can also offer brilliant keyword ideas. 

Cool, isn’t it? No-fault compensation fund and taxation of personal injury settlements are also some of the most common questions asked by clients. Answering these questions in a blog post on your website will get people to come to you for answers before you even get hired!


Quora is a nifty online community to find long-tail keywords. This is a prime tip from our legal content writer regarding keyword research for lawyers.

This platform mostly has question-based keywords, which shows that people are asking for those queries. 

So, head over to Quora and type a seed keyword there. 

For example, ‘Corporate law’:

quora for keyword research for lawyers

All those questions offer you practical long-tail keyword topic ideas. 

Also, keep an eye for repeated questions because these are topics your prospective customers are searching for the most. 


Besides Quora, Reddit also makes a lucrative platform to find some promising attorney keyword ideas. 

Who knows your potential customers are hanging out on Reddit? 

So, head over to Reddit and search for your seed keyword there- say ‘Criminal law’.

It will show you all possible subreddits where your target audience is hanging out. Choose a relevant subreddit and look at its threads. You may find amazing keyword ideas there.

reddit for keyword research for lawyers

Moreover, go to the “posts” section, and look for threads with the most engagement. It shows that your target audience is interested in these topics. 

Also, look for repeated words and phrases- they make rewarding keyword ideas. 



Online communities dedicated to legal queries are places where your target audience is found. 

It means that you can find a good deal of keywords on such platforms. 

Avvo is a leading legal directory with an active forum where your prospective customers ask their legal queries. 

So, head over to Avvo and look for trends in customer questions for your legal field. This way, you can get a bank of keywords. 

avvo for keyword research for lawyers has a dedicated “Ask a Lawyer” section where people ask their legal queries and lawyers offer them advice. 

Just like Avvo, you can get a bunch of keyword ideas from is another online legal community where you can find tons of creative keyword ideas for almost every type of attorney. 

Just head over to Expert Law Forum and look for threads related to your legal field. You will find loads of long-tail keyword ideas:

Answer the Public 

Answer the Public is an awesome tool that gives you a whole heap of keyword ideas against your seed keyword. 

So, head over to Answer the Public and type your main keyword in the search bar. 

 It will suggest you a range of topic ideas in various forms, such as: 

Questions (what, why, who, when, where, which, how, are, will, and can)

Prepositions (near, can, for, with, is, to, without)

Comparisons (and, like, or versus, vs)

Alphabetical (A to Z) 

Also, closely watch the questions which have the same search intent but are repeated in different ways. These keywords probably have the most search volume and are worth it. 

This way, Answer the Public offers you thousands of keyword topic ideas. Some of these topics make amazing long-tail keywords.

Super helpful for keyword research for lawyers, right? Have questions—ask our legal content writer at NAB Legal Marketing, LLC for your law firm blogs and keyword research for lawyers needs.

LSI Graph

LSI Graph is a profound tool to find a range of LSI keywords. It also shows you top-performing content for your main keyword. So, you can open a few links to find how your competitors are doing and what LSI keywords they are using. 

To find LSI keywords with this tool, go to and enter your main keyword in the search bar. 

It will suggest you a range of LSI keyword ideas: 

keyword research for lawyers


Now Prepare Yourself for Keyword Analysis 

You’ve done your keyword research for lawyers.  You may already know you want to hire NAB Legal Marketing, LLC as your law firm blog writer or legal content writer.  But you have a huge list of keywords by now, right? 

But how do you decide which ones to pick? Which ones can rank better? Which ones can generate more traffic? 

Ugh…. frustrating!

This is where you have to do keyword analysis.

It helps you pick keywords that have more value and commercial intent. It also helps you analyze how likely a person searching for a specific keyword is to buy your services. 

Keyword analysis revolves around these factors: 

Know Your Search Intent (User Intent)

The search results Google shows to a searcher depend on the “intent” of the query. And, every query has a different intent. 

In one word, search intent or user intent is the why behind a search query. 

It shows why a user is searching for a specific query. Do they want to learn something? Are they looking to make a purchase? Or, do they want the information about a product/service? 


Google is getting smarter now and it puts user experience first. So, Google wants to provide the most relevant results to a searcher. 

So, if you want to rank faster in 2021, you want to create content that is relevant and aligns with the search intent

It means that the keywords you choose should serve the search intent of your potential customers. 

Every user may have a different search intent in his mind. 

However, broadly speaking, the intent has four major categories when it comes to law firm SEO. 

  1. Informational Searches 

Searchers with information intent have a specific query in mind or they are looking to gain general knowledge about a certain topic. 

When it comes to the law niche, the information could be about the lawyers, legal rules and regulations, legal claims, legal penalties, and more. 

Examples of legal informational searches: 

  • What do DUI lawyers do?
  • What to do after a car accident?
  • Bodily injury versus workers compensation
  • The personal injury claim process 
  • When to hire a probate lawyer?
keyword research for lawyers from our legal content writer

Ranking for informational keywords is highly suggested for new websites that do not have any audience online. 

With informational search intent, you can drive organic traffic to your website and become an authority in the industry. 

  1. Navigational Searches

 The searcher has a destination in mind and they already know where they want to go.

Such users want to visit a specific website, such as Avvo or Justia. 

Examples of navigational searches:

  • Avvo forum 
  • Facebook
  • Quora login 
  • Justia lawyers 
  • NAB Legal Marketing SEO guide 

Ranking for navigational keywords is only practical if your site has already enough organic traffic and people know they are looking for your site. 

  1. Commercial Investigation 

With this intent, searchers have the intention to buy in the (near) future (maybe within a few hours). 

Such users have transactional intent in mind, but they need some time to make an informed decision. 

So, they are most likely looking for comparisons, reviews, or further information about a product or service. 

Examples of commercial investigation searches:

  • Top 10 DUI attorneys in Canada
  • Farris Law Firm review 
  • Avvo vs Justia 
  • Top immigration law firms  
  • Family law versus divorce law
  1. Transactional Searches (Local intent for lawyers)

The searcher is ready to take an action and they want to buy something, such as a law firm’s services. 

People with transactional intent are looking to find the best place to buy a product or service. 

With this intent, you can also rank for local search queries. For instance, if a searcher wants to find a lawyer in your locality, you may appear in their results with transactional keywords. 

Examples of transactional searches:
  • Family Lawyer Miami 
  • Toronto immigration lawyer 
  • DUI lawyer fees
  • Cheap probate attorney near me 
  • Best DUI attorney in Maine 

You can rank for “state level,” “local” and “near me” keywords with transactional intent in mind. 

Uncover Search Volume 

Keyword search volume indicates how often a specific keyword is searched in a given time frame (such as per month). It tells you how much potential a keyword has to drive traffic to your website. 

Higher search volume indicates that the keyword is searched more often and may get you more traffic. 

Let’s suppose “personal injury” has 3000 searches per month and “car accident” has 350 searches. So, for a personal injury site, it makes sense to appear in search results for both keywords. 

However, if you have to prioritize one, it would probably be “personal injury”. 

Why? It has more search volume, which means more users are searching for it and you can get more traffic for this keyword.

Now you may ask, how to check keyword search volume? 

Though there are many FREE tools to find keyword search volume- such as Google Keyword Planner, they may not tell the accurate date.

So, I recommend using PREMIUM tools like Ahref’s Keyword Explorer to check the search volume. 

Check Keyword Difficulty

When we talk about search volume, keyword difficulty cannot be ignored. 

Keyword difficulty means how hard it is to rank for a keyword on a given scale, usually 0-100. 

The higher the number, the more difficult it is to rank for that keyword. 

Keywords with higher search volume are often more difficult to rank because big brands are already taking up SERP space for those keywords. 

For example, let’s type a long-tail keyword “What to do after a car accident” into Google. 

You’ll see that top sites like Forbes, State Farm, All-State, The Balance, Kids Health, and Investopedia, are already occupying top stops for this keyword. Making it hard for you to rank for the keyword. 

Likewise, “featured snippets” are also clogging for this keyword:

With many SERP features taking up the search results page, keyword difficulty will increase. 

So, if you are starting a new site, going after such high search volume, high difficulty keywords may take years of effort to rank. 

So, what’s the solution? 

Go strategic with Search Volume, which means… 

Know which keywords to tackle first. 

Keywords by difficulty 

It is a good idea to prioritize high search volume, low difficulty keywords. Low difficulty means that your competitors are probably not ranking for those keywords but users are searching for them. 

On the flip side, you can also go for low search volume, low difficulty keywords. 

If a keyword has 500 monthly searches but its keyword difficulty is not that high, it can potentially drive you more traffic. 

Keywords by Region

For law firms, it makes a brilliant idea to narrow down their keyword research to target a specific location, such as a specific town, county, or state. 

For instance, if you are an Ontario based injury lawyer, it makes sense to choose local keywords, such as:

  • How to claim personal injury in Ontario?
  • Ontario personal injury claim process- A guide
  • What to know about car accidents in Ontario?

Geo-specific keywords help you reach more relevant potential customers and also help increase your local appearance in search results. 

See How Your Competitors are Doing

Okay, keyword difficulty tells you that a keyword is hard to rank. 

But you should take a look at why and how your competitors are ranking for a specific keyword you want to target. 

Remember, Google is an algorithm. Nothing remains always on the top when we talk about SERP. 

There is a reason why something is on the top. And, you may outshine your competition by:

  • Creating more valuable and more well-structured content than your competitors 
  • Getting more quality backlinks.

Analyze Keyword’s Value

Finally, you want to know “the commercial intent” of a keyword- if it is really valuable to rank. 

Some keywords may have low search volume but high commercial intent which makes them more valuable.

For this, you need to check the Cost Per Click (CPC) of a keyword. 

CPC is the average value an advertiser is willing to pay per click to advertise against a specific keyword on Google. 

Higher CPC incident that the keyword has high value. However, lower CPCshows that the keyword has a low value

There are two easy ways to find the value of a keyword

  • Using Google Keyword Planner 

Go to Google Keyword Planner, type in your main keyword or keywords, and take a look at the suggested keyword column. 

The column shows you how much advertisers are willing to spend for a single click from this keyword. 

Let’s search for the keywords “car accident lawyer” and “car lawyer.”

You can see the first keyword has an estimated CPC value of $3.57-$15.00. It means advertisers are not hesitating to pay up to $15 for even a single click for this keyword. 

On the other hand, “car lawyer” has no CPC value, which means that the keyword has no value. 

  • SERP ‘Ad’ Results

How many ads appear in search results pages when you search for a keyword in Google?

If you see a lot of ads, it means that the keyword is highly lucrative and advertisers are trying to bring those searchers to their site. 

For example, you see here that the keyword “DUI attorney Los Angeles” has 5 ads. It means advertisers are chopping a bit to get clicks for this keyword. 

Understand the Long-tail: Super Important Tip for Keyword Research for Lawyers

Let’s face it, you cannot rank #1 for short-tail keywords like “lawyer” …. would you? 

Short-tail keywords are short keywords- usually 2 to 3 words long. 

Short-tail keywords have tons of searches per month, which means they have a high search volume. Usually, such keywords are NOT highly specific and have ambiguous search intent. 

So, if you target these words, your site won’t get the desired results- it may NOT get any traffic at all. 

That’s why you MUST target long-tail keywords- especially those less popular keywords with low competition. 

Long-tail keywords are highly specific keyword phrases that are usually longer than 3 words. 

Long-tail keywords with low search volume and low competition often rank better. Why? Because such keywords have more specific search intent. 

For instance, a person browsing “lawyer” is probably just browsing without any intent. On the flip side, someone searching for the “Family lawyer in Ontario” has probably transactional intent and has their wallet out.

Targeting “question-based” long-tail keywords is even better because they may help you appear in SERP’s featured snippets. 

For instance, ‘Can I be jailed for hit and run?’ is a question-based long-tail keyword and may help your website appear in featured results. 

We already have explained how you can find long-tail keywords manually with Quora, Reddit, Avvo, Answer the Public, and more. 

Just dig in a little more, and you will reap the results in the long run. 

All done? It’s time to….

Optimize Your Keywords

So, why do you attempt keyword research in the first place?

Of course, so that you can write optimized content. 

Once you are done with keyword research, it is time to write content for your target keyword/s and use them throughout the content. 

You want to use the keywords within:

  • Title Tag
  • Meta description
  • Heading 1
  • First 150 words
  • Subheadings (2,3,4…)
  • Main text throughout the content (Do not stuff keywords, use them naturally)

And the most important thing, WRITE FOR READERS. In modern SEO, Google puts the readers first, so keyword stuffing won’t work. 

You want to write HIGHLY-RELEVANT, HIGHLY-VALUABLE, naturally flowing, and not irritating content. 

Some Other Useful Keyword Research Tools

Apart from the tools discussed above, you can use some other tools to find keyword search volume, keyword difficulty, competition, and more. These are critical tools for keyword research for lawyers.  A few are:

SEMrush– Gives a wealth of information about keywords your competitors rank for.

Ahrefs– Provides useful insights into various keyword metrics such as keyword position, search volume, keyword difficulty, and more. 

Keyword Everywhere– A chrome extension that gives insights into keyword’s monthly search volume, CPC, and AdWords competition. 

Google Trends– Provides information about the hottest trends in the industry and helps identify the geography of trends. 

Google Search Console– Checks top 1,000 keywords you already rank for and provides insights into how much traffic those keywords are generating. 

And!!! Phew… you are done. 

I know it is a complicated process to compile a list of keyword ideas, search for each keyword one by one, and pick the right keyword- but the effort is worth it. 

You’ll adore yourself once you see your site growing and your business scaling online. 

Need Help? Contact NAB Legal Marketing Pros for Help with Keyword Research for Lawyers

If you have any answers or need help with SEO or SEO content writing for your law firm, feel free to reach out to our legal content writer at NAB Legal Marketing, LLC.

NAB Legal Markerting, LLC is a team of expert legal content marketers, content strategists, and SEO content writers, helping law firm websites to rank higher in search engines. With over 11 years of experience, including 8 years as a duly organized business, we have helped law firms in over 35 states grow their law firm. Our personal injury legal content writer has represented actual clients in both a plaintiff and defense setting, as well as in a court capacity. This is because he actually did personal injury lawsuits. As court attorney to a NYS Supreme Court Justice, he handles personal injury cases and reviews them with the court and judge. This type of higher-level legal content writing is very important.

From writing content for blog posts to practice area pages and more, our legal writers can do it all. 

For more information, visit our home page or use our contact us box available here.

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Author: nbattaglia