A Lawyer’s Guide to Keyword Research

Keywords are essential in every business’s digital marketing—law firms included. Potential clients use these terms to search for lawyers, law firms, and legal services relevant to their needs.

Many marketers usually leverage the most popular keywords. However, just because a keyword is popular doesn’t mean it guarantees significant online reach. In the legal industry, keywords are more than just “lawyers” and “legal services.”

Keyword research is the key to finding, choosing, and using the proper legal terms for your website. This guide thoroughly explains its process and significance in legal marketing. We will also discuss tips and techniques to facilitate optimal legal keyword research that ensures high-volume, organic traffic and conversions.

Keyword research involves finding and examining relevant search terms and queries. For lawyers, it focuses on analyzing legal keywords. This process is commonly part of search engine optimization (SEO), where websites are optimized for search engine visibility.

Keyword research has three elements: search intent, authority, and search volume.

  • Search intent: Potential clients’ primary goals when making legal queries. It could be informational, navigational, transactional, or commercial
  • Authority: Keywords used in authoritative sources—like Forbes—may have lower chances of ranking your website higher. However, you can still use them when your content is optimized. This way, Google can deem your site authoritative
  • Search volume: These metrics determine how many users search for a specific keyword. High-volume keywords mean they’re popular, while low-volume ones have low search traffic on Google

Keyword research aims to provide insights into what prospects are searching for. It also delivers actionable recommendations on where to use the relevant legal keywords. When done right, you can reap the following benefits:

Since keyword research enables you to find relevant keywords, you gain access to potential opportunities, industry-specific terms, and emerging legal marketing trends.

Regular legal keyword research allows you to identify gaps, discover new content ideas, and tailor your marketing efforts to client preferences. These aspects can help you attract more prospects, make informed and data-driven decisions, and determine your marketing strengths and weaknesses.

Additionally, you can better understand your target audience. This way, you can boost your search visibility and stay ahead of the competition.

Boosts website traffic

Traffic determines the volume of users visiting your website. It is generally better to obtain a large traffic volume, but this doesn’t mean it’s always organic. This is why keyword research is necessary to boost traffic and ensure it’s organic and high-quality.

Keyword research can boost your traffic by improving your site’s search rankings. A higher search ranking can put your website at the top of search results, allowing more potential clients to see your law firm and content. You can increase conversions when visitors see valuable and engaging information on your website.

Enriches your content strategies

Keyword research enables you to conduct competitor analysis, which can enrich your content strategies.

Examining your competitors’ keyword strategies unlocks more opportunities to refine your content angle. These opportunities offer gaps to fill and efforts to re-engineer. 

Re-engineering your competitors’ approaches is a way to execute the same tactics with better setups, resulting in meaningful content that aligns with your brand and prospects’ interests.

Competitor analysis also delivers marketing insights you may not have known earlier. These insights enable you to leverage the newfound methods and adjust your campaigns accordingly. Consequently, you can publish legal content that serves value and attracts potential clients to message or call you.


Although keyword research is a process that usually takes time, it is a beneficial investment in the long run. Without it, you risk losing potential clients by creating meaningless content that won’t rank high on Google. 

Spending time and effort on strategies that don’t yield the expected results or return on your investment can be discouraging. Thus, keyword research can promote better time management. 

Sure, it takes time, but it won’t necessarily throw your efforts away because you know measurable data with actionable insights guide your keyword and content strategies. Remember that your legal website isn’t a hobby. It is a marketing avenue that should convert clients and generate active income.

How To Find the Right Keywords for Your Legal Website

One traditional method many marketers use is generating high-volume terms from a “seed keyword” in a keyword research tool. Seed keywords are short-tail keywords with one or two words

Theoretically, this technique can drive higher traffic volume. But search volume data isn’t always accurate. Rather than aiming for high-volume keywords, make prospects hire your legal services with thoughtful keyword research.

These tips and strategies will facilitate thoughtful and elaborate keyword research and help you choose the appropriate legal terms to leverage.

Outline legal cases and questions relevant to your practice

Before researching, outline all the legal topics, cases, and questions relevant to your practice. Create a list and scale it down to five to 10 content buckets. These buckets are content angles you want your website to rank for.

Identifying topics relevant to your practice is essential to finding legal terms suitable for your website. It is also significant in ensuring you can provide the legal services your potential clients need.

For example, list the topics you usually blog about or recall past inquiries and client interactions. Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes and understand their buyer personas. Then, determine the kinds of content that will put your site at the top of search results—where you have better chances of potential clients seeing you.

Use free resources to your advantage

When typing a word or phrase on Google search, it suggests related searches from that term. These relevant searches are Google’s autocomplete predictions. They aim to reduce the time users spend entering a query. 

Autocomplete predictions also offer free keyword research opportunities. They are based on real-time Google searches, showing a glimpse of the legal keywords most clients use to search for legal assistance and information in your practice areas.

Other free resources include Google Search Console and Google Keyword Planner. The search console provides insights into what keywords help your legal website rank and drive the most visits. Conversely, the keyword planner is primarily used for Google Ads and offers basic keyword research.

Perform competitor analysis

Your competitors’ keywords may not be valuable to you, and vice versa, but analyzing their strategies can help you develop your own tactic.

With competitor analysis, you might find a competitor ranking quite high for one of your targeted keywords. If you need to rank better on this specific term, you may need to refine your content strategies or devote more effort.

Concurrently, you may also find targeted keywords that aren’t helping your competitors rank, providing opportunities for your content creation efforts. This aspect lets you combine competitive and low-volume keywords, balancing your keyword usage.

Prioritize local search results

Many prospects search for nearby lawyers and law firms. This factor is significant in boosting your local search presence.

Suppose you’re a Los Angeles-based lawyer crafting a law firm SEO LA strategy. Optimizing keywords for LA-based search results is one way to enhance your local search rankings and traffic. More prospects can see your law firm when they search for “legal services in LA” or “lawyers in LA.”

Leverage keyword research solutions

Investing in a keyword research solution is ideal if you don’t have an in-house marketing team. A keyword research platform offers advanced features that provide the most relevant legal terms, comprehensive keyword analysis, and actionable insights.

Upscale Your Legal Marketing With Keyword Research

Keyword research is a long-term investment that can establish your law firm’s authority. With this approach, you can also upscale your legal marketing and increase client acquisition. Following the tips and strategies above can help you find valuable keywords that guarantee higher search rankings.

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