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Guide to Do Keyword Research for Lawyers

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

Keyword research is a must to get for your law firm’s website in order to be the top of SEO search results. It provides a roadmap for most of your ongoing law firm SEO strategy. Doing keyword research is the process of selecting valuable words and phrases for your law practice areas. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to do SEO for lawyers.

keyword research for lawyers

What are keywords?

Keywords are individual words or phrases that people manually put into search engine tools such as Google or Bing. That is why keywords are the most important part of SEO marketing for law firms.

Likewise, keywords are also the words you add to your website to show the audience what the content of the website is and ensure search engines know what a specific page is about. In other words, website owners and SEO-ers are using keywords to boost their website rankings on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and attract the target audience.

This requires more than just picking out the most relevant and high-volume keywords. You should consider the user intent behind a search term. There are two main types of keywords you need to consider - short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords.

Short keywords

Short-tail keywords, consisting of three words or less, are very broad terms that are much more related to general topics such as “personal injury attorney”, “worker compensation lawyer” or “divorce lawyer”.

Short-tail keywords are key phrases people typically use when they’re just starting out finding information. Although short-tail keywords hold an incredibly high search volume traffic, it has a low conservation rate.

Long-tail keywords

On the other hand, targeting long-tail keywords that are more specific to your potential customers will be far less competitive and the traffic generated is more likely to lead to paying customers. This is because long-tail keywords have four or more words in length that tends to be much more specific in nature. They show exactly what they are looking for and have purchase intent, such as “Do I need a lawyer for personal injury?”, “How do you pay taxes on a settlement?

Although the most high-quality traffic and leads are usually more likely to come from long-tail keyword searches, short-tail keywords are still important for driving traffic to your website and raising your brand awareness.

What’s keyword research for lawyers?

Keyword research for lawyers involves identifying the terms and phrases that potential clients are using when they are searching for legal services and information in the practice areas. When you conduct keyword research, there are some specific aspects you should be trying to uncover:

  • How hard will it be to rank these keywords?

  • What’s the search intent behind these keywords?

  • What types of content should I create to rank for these keywords?

  • Are people searching for these keywords likely to become my client?

How to do keyword research for lawyers

Make a list of important, relevant keywords based on what you know about your business and your audience

To kick off this process, think about the topics you want to rank for. You’ll come up with about 5 to 10 top keywords you think are the most important and relevant to your business.

Analyze what keywords your competitors rank for

Looking at which keywords your competitors are ranking for is usually the best way to start keyword research. First of all, you need to identify those competitors. Just google search your list keywords and see who ranks on the front page.

SEO Marketing for Law firms

Once you find a few websites that fit a bill, you can plug these domains into keyword research tools such as SEMrush or Ahrefs one by one, then check the reports. In this guide, we use SEMrush to analyze the competitors in the personal injury practice.

Once you run the URL, the tool provides the domain overview reports. You can click the organic research feature to access all of the keywords it ranks for organically.

Marketing for Law Company

Then repeat the process above over and over for all of the top-ranking law firms in your geographic area. You will have a better idea of what keywords you’ll need to target in the content you develop.

Take advantage of Google Auto Suggest and Related Keywords

Google Auto Suggest is a very powerful tool to see potential searches and variations of keywords potential clients may be already looking for.

For example, when I type in “worker compensation…”, google auto suggest gave me a few options to choose from.

SEO for Lawyer

Another quick method is to stroll below to see the most common questions people have already searched for within your topic. For example, when I typed the keyword “immigration lawyer”, Google will suggest relevant questions in the “People also ask” feature.


At the bottom of the page, Google also displays similar and related keywords.


Use Answer the Public

Answer the public has got to be one of the easiest and simplest to understand. It uses keyword search data to generate what’s called a search cloud that will show you what your potential customers are asking and searching for. Here’s an example:


Keyword Research Tools for Marketing for Law Company

To do keyword research successfully, you need advanced SEO resources that help you analyze your top-ranking competitors, give you keyword suggestions, tell you how difficult it is to rank for each keyword, and show potential backlink opportunities. You also perform an SEO audit on your website to identify hidden errors that are preventing your website from ranking higher.

Keywords research tools can help you come up with more keywords ideas

If you have questions about your law firm’s keyword research, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.


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