9 min read
Updated: January 14, 2023

Law Firm Marketing: How to Choose the Right Keywords for SEO

Keywords are important since they inform search engines about the content of your web pages. They help create content that aligns with users’ search phrases and ultimately determine how much traffic your website receives.

Targeting the right keywords can make or break your legal SEO efforts. The keyword research process is the first step you need to take to ensure you select the best keywords for search engine optimization.

What Is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is the process of identifying search queries or keyword phrases that your target audience uses when they search for something online. It reveals the competitiveness of target keywords and their difficulty, which is crucial for SEO copywriting.

When you have insight into what trending keywords are, you’re better equipped to grow website traffic, boost search engine rankings, and acquire new clients. Through keyword research, you can identify the relevance, authority, and volume of keyword types.

After conducting keyword research, you can establish and execute a strong keyword strategy that helps you get found for keywords you care about.

The Difference Between Google Ads and Keyword Research

The major difference between Google Ads keywords and search terms is who uses them and why. Marketers use keywords to create SEO and PPC campaigns, whereas searchers (prospective clients) use queries to search for information online.

For instance, a user might type in “accident attorney Chicago” without knowing this specific keyword is being used by a law firm to target clients. Conversely, marketers use search terms to inform keyword ideas and their overall SEO strategy.

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Where Are Keywords Used?

Keywords are utilized across digital marketing efforts. They play a role in PPC campaigns, website content, SEO results, content marketing, and many more avenues to help consumers find your practice.

lawyer near me keywords

Why Is It Important to Use the Right Keywords on Your Legal Website?

Keyword research works simultaneously with your law firm’s efforts to attract the right audience and increase brand visibility. Accurate keyword research increases your chances of prospective clients getting in touch with you through your digital marketing strategy.

Your law firm may be doing a great job creating high-quality content, but if no one is reading it, it’s wasted time (and money). Once you have the right keywords for your legal website, you have a better chance of gaining valuable leads.

The 9 Different Types of Keywords to Improve SEO

There are nine different types of keywords you can use to target prospective clients at each stage of the buyer’s funnel.

  1. Short-tail keywords: These are made up of three words or fewer and are sometimes called head keywords. They have a high search volume and a highly competitive rate. For example: “lawyer in Chicago.”
  2. Long-tail keywords: These consist of three or more words and are quite specific, often revealing user intent. For example: “cost of a personal injury lawyer.”
  3. Short-term keywords: Any words or phrases that have been in the news or hyped over social media. These have good search volume, but a limited lifespan.
  4. Long-term evergreen keywords: Keywords like these are continually relevant and stay “fresh” for readers over long periods of time. For example: “How to sue for personal injury”.
  5. Product defining keywords: These explain and describe your product. For example: “defense attorney”.
  6. Customer defining keywords: These search terms identify a specific subset of clients. For example: “personal injury lawyer dog bites.”
  7. Geo-targeting keywords: Prospective clients use these keywords when they are searching for law firms in a specific location. For example: “personal injury lawyer in Long Grove.”
  8. LSI keywords: These keywords are semantically relevant to your main keyword. For example: “disability lawyer”, or “car accident lawyer.”
  9. Intent keywords: Online user queries are usually informational, commercial, or transactional. These keywords reveal search intent and are used when prospects are close to hiring.

The Best Keywords for Lawyers

Completing keyword research determines what the right keywords are for your legal practice.

To give you a rudimentary example, if you are a law firm that focuses on criminal defense in the Chicago area, you might use keywords like “criminal defense lawyer Chicago” or “assault attorney Naperville”. You wouldn’t use keywords like “defense lawyer in New York.”

Another aspect to consider is keyword relevancy. This refers to how important certain keywords are to each page of your website and its affiliated content. Search engines like Google use relevancy to determine what your page is about and ranks it in search results.

When Google crawls your website, it analyzes the topics covered in your blog and other pages. The more comprehensive your coverage of a particular topic is, the higher your Topical Authority score, and the better your organic visibility.

This is why it’s critical to choose the right keywords for topic clusters (groups of related content that collectively cover a broad subject area). Topic clusters signal strong contextual support for Google, as well as link building for law firms and internal linking frameworks that help users and search engines find your relevant content.

The Best Keyword Research Tools

Once you have identified a general list of keywords, you can use industry-standard keyword research tools to help narrow down your keyword list.


Ahrefs is a paid tool that combines both keyword research features and competitive analyses. It features a keyword explorer to help your law firm find out what terms have the highest monthly search volume and provides helpful direction when building your list of target keywords.

ahrefs keyword research tool

Keyword Planner

Google’s Keyword Planner is beneficial simply because Google has access to an immense amount of invaluable keyword data like ranking difficulty, and low competition keywords. This is a great keyword tool for beginners that helps you understand the basics of choosing the right keywords.

google keyword planner research tool

Answer the Public

This platform dives into interrogatives (who, what, when, where, why) and prepositions (with, for, of, etc.) to help generate relevant keywords. Answer the Public is excellent for determining long-tail keywords and helps you answer questions that get you into Google’s featured snippets.

answer the public keyword research tool


Keyword research works together with your SEO strategy to provide brand awareness and give prospective clients an easier way to find you with the best marketing ROI for law firms over the long term. And that’s crucial for any lawyer’s SEO, be that SEO for personal injury, SEO for DUI attorney, or any other law firm specialty. With the right targeted keywords, your law firm can generate more business than you thought was ever possible. If you need assistance defining what keywords will provide the most revenue for your business, Comrade Digital Marketing Agency is a phone call away.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to choose the right keywords for my law practice website?

The best way to choose the right keywords for your law firm website is to follow these 4 simple steps: 1. Begin your keyword collection process with keyword research. 2. Look for your competitors and see which keywords they rank for. 3. Think about the search intent, and make sure your law website content is relevant to the terms people search for. 4. Use each keyword on a specific page on your law website.

How many keywords should I use on one page of my law firm website?

There are pages with a singular focus answering only one search query, so, obviously, each page on your law website should rank for one keyword at the very least. However, it is more likely that you will want to target two or three keywords per page, even if they are just close variations. Targeting more than four keywords seems a bit crowded and is not recommended.

How do I know that the law firm keywords I collect are good?

First of all, you should understand the types of keywords. There are 3 of them: head keywords, body keywords, and long-tail keywords. Head keywords usually consist of 1-2 words and have a high search volume which means such keywords will be too competitive to rank for. Body keywords are 2-3 word phrases with a decent search volume and a moderate competition rate. Long-tail keywords are phrases consisting of four and more words. They have a low search volume but are least competitive and considered to be the best to target.

Where can I find your company?

Comrade originates in Chicago, but we worked all around the United States. We can help your business grow and increase revenue whenever you are. We have offices across most major cities in the US. For example, we can offer SEO services in Minneapolis or Cincinnati. You can even find our SEO experts in Cleveland! If you want to know more about our New Orleans SEO company or find out how exactly we can help you, contact us via the phone or email.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you would like to discuss your project, reach out to our specialists.

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About the Author
Stan Bogdashin
Stan co-founded Comrade Digital Marketing and serves as its marketing strategist and IT expert recruiter.
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