Keyword Research for Lawyers

Lawyer Marketing Guide

Learn how to conduct effective keyword research for your law firm’s SEO campaign.



Google research shows that 75% of website users never go past the first page while researching a topic. It’s critical to utilize keyword strategy in your law firm’s marketing plan in order to capitalize on website traffic. Otherwise, you might lose valuable leads and clients in a saturated market when you’re not featured on the first page for your target audience.

In the vast and competitive world of digital marketing, figuring out optimized keywords can be the key to success by unlocking higher search engine rankings, increasing organic traffic and ultimately landing you business.

In this article we’ll explore ways you can boost your online presence and ultimately find new clients.


Keywords (or “SEO keywords”) are words or phrases that users type into search engines to seek information on a particular subject or topic. It’s important to note that keywords and phrases hold valuable importance in Google ranking systems.

Strategic keyword optimization is foundational to any business to leverage a prominent position in the rankings. While SEO experts can handle this task for you, it’s still important to understand what keyword research entails and how it can significantly impact your SEO and content strategies.

In this article, we will explore:

  1. What keyword research is and why it matters
  2. The significance of search intent in keyword optimization
  3. Keyword research tools for lawyers: uncovering profitable keyword opportunities.

Let’s dive in and uncover the key to enhancing your online visibility.


Keyword research is all about finding and analyzing information to determine the words or phrases potential clients might enter into search engines like Google. Once you know the relevant keywords, it will help you get the right marketing strategy in motion. The first step is to uncover specific information, such as what web users are searching for, the intent behind their searches, and the volume of searches conducted. When you understand the behavior of users, you can create more relevant and targeted content that will draw people in. Your research will also lead to a better user experience and higher visibility in search engine rankings.

Here are some processes, tools, and approaches that can help in devising an effective keyword research strategy:

  • Check out the keywords your competitors rank for. One way to identify beneficial keywords for your attorney SEO campaign is to analyze what your competitors rank for. Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner provide insights into how potential clients in your area typically search for legal services.
  • You can also find related keywords that your audience tends to use. Consider metrics like search volume and competition when selecting keywords. Longer phrases, especially natural language queries, can be valuable for creating informative blog posts. Another tool used by attorney SEO firms is SEMRush, which provides access to organic keyword rankings of top-ranking law firms in your geographic area.
  • Identify related keywords and questions: To attract users with specific legal needs, it is essential to incorporate keywords related to their requirements. For instance, if you run a personal injury law firm and want to target users injured due to a hernia mesh implant, include keywords like “hernia mesh” and “hernia mesh lawsuit” through strategic copywriting on your website.
  • Another valuable strategy, along with SEO research tools, is to directly explore the questions and concerns raised by potential clients. Websites like Avvo,, and Justia can provide great insight into people’s legal questions. Also, check for trending topics on news and media websites and pay attention to clients’ words when they ask you questions.
Taking the time to learn, study and gauge your target audience is a critical skill that can put you ahead of the competition.

When you understand the intent behind these searches and identify long-tail keywords (a phrase of about four to five words), you can develop new ideas for content and dedicate entire pages and blog posts to answering popular questions.

Once you are loaded with all the research data, you can start rolling out content that answers clients’ questions and targets keyword searches. From there, you will establish yourself as an authoritative source in your legal niche.


As a law firm, you want to optimize keyword research by using short-tail and long-tail keywords to jump ahead of the competition.

Short-tail keywords are brief phrases typically consisting of one or two words, and they are generally broad in nature, such as “auto insurance.” These keywords may have a high search volume but are usually the most competitive. You can think of it as

casting a net in a large ocean and taking whatever you can get, versus strategically pinpointing where you want to fish and the specific type of fish you hope to catch.

Short-tail keywords are usually used at the beginning of a person’s search, when they still need to refine their inquiry. While they may attract many clicks, user intent is ambiguous. Some examples of short-tail keywords are “SEO tips,” “running shoes” and “digital marketing.”

In contrast, long-tail keywords are more specific and typically contain three or more words. These phrases have lower search frequency but are highly targeted, allowing you to align content with specific keywords and user intent.

These types of keywords are used by individuals who are looking for specific information relating to their inquiry. Here is an example of long-tail keywords: “Is adultery grounds for divorce in California?”

Research shows that approximately 70% of Google searches involve long-tail keywords. By incorporating these keywords into your website, you can make it easier for users to find the information they seek. Optimizing your content for long-tail keywords can lead to higher website traffic, better user engagement, and a higher conversion rate.

Incorporating both short-tail and long-tail keywords into your content strategy can be beneficial. Short-tail keywords allow you to cast a wider net and attract a larger audience; long-tail keywords cater to specific user needs and can enhance the user’s overall experience.

Remember to always use direct language consistent with your law firm’s brand to engage the reader and encourage them to take the appropriate action. Gladiator Law Marketing is committed to providing actionable advice and guidance to help law firms aggressively grow their business.


Search intent (also known as user intent) refers to the underlying purpose or motivation behind a user’s search query. Again, a well-defined marketing strategy is crucial for success in today’s digital world. Law firms must continually analyze, adapt and study market trends to effectively communicate and connect with potential clients.

User intent can be divided into four general categories:

  1. Informational
  2. Navigational
  3. Transactional
  4. Commercial Investigation.

Potential clients go through different stages in the customer journey, from awareness to evaluation to purchase decisions. Each stage has a different intent, and your keyword strategy should align with these intent-driven searches.

Now, let’s dive deeper and look at three search queries to illustrate how user intent can vary.

“Best DUI Lawyer in Chicago”

With this query, the intent is clear: The searcher wants to find a top attorney to help them with a DUI charge. This is a purchase intent search.

With a Google search like this, you’ll typically find Google Business Profiles for law firms with optimized profiles and positive reviews. The organic search results often feature lawyer directory entries rather than individual law firms.

Ranking for such competitive search terms requires a sound local SEO strategy.

“John Smith, DUI lawyer”

This is a branded query where a user is interested in gathering information about a specific law firm. The intent here may be to evaluate the services provided by John Smith. With a query like this, Google will return relevant results related to the firm to cater to their brand intent.

“DUI Laws in Illinois”

The intent behind this query is usually educational in nature. The user is looking for general information rather than hiring a lawyer. Google will display search results that provide the best and most relevant information about DUI laws in Illinois. This type of query often reflects potential clients in the initial, awareness stage of their customer journey.

To develop a best-practice keyword research strategy, it’s essential to understand the different stages of the customer journey and target keywords that align with each stage.

Lawyers should ask themselves several questions:

  • What keywords will users search to collect information about a legal matter? (Informational intent)
  • What keywords will users search to find your firm or attorneys? (Brand intent)
  • What keywords will users search to hire a lawyer? (Purchase intent)

One great way to understand your audience is to regularly monitor your website’s performance and analyze user metrics. When you understand search intent, you can

target profitable keywords and shape your content around the terms users are searching for.

It’s worth noting that law firms often post articles about interesting, current news items. While this can be fine in moderation, it might contribute little to your SEO strategy.

For instance, let’s say a user decides to Google a topic like “Johnny Depp libel case against Amber Heard.” If you have written an article about the case, it might earn you clicks, but it may not attract potential clients seeking legal services. The motivation behind this type of search is to find news or opinions rather than hiring a lawyer.


You can increase your online visibility, attract clients, and drive organic traffic to your website by targeting the right keywords. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of conducting keyword research to enhance your law firm’s SEO efforts.

Step 1: Define Your Objective

Establish a clear objective. Are you looking to attract more clients in a specific practice area? Are you targeting local or national searchers? By defining your goal, you can focus on finding the most relevant and valuable keywords for your law firm.

Step 2: Brainstorm Relevant Topics

Start by brainstorming topics relevant to your law firm and its practice areas. Consider your legal services, common client concerns, and industry trends. This will help you generate a foundation of potential keywords to explore further.

Step 3:

Use Keyword Research Tools Leverage keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Semrush, Moz or Ahrefs Keyword Explorer to expand and refine your keyword list.

Enter your broad topics or seed keywords into the tool and explore the suggested keywords, search volumes, and competition levels. Look for keywords with a moderate to high search volume and a manageable level of competition.

Step 4: Analyze Search Intent

Consider the intent behind each keyword – whether it’s informational (seeking legal advice or information), navigational (looking for specific law firms or attorneys), or transactional (ready to hire a lawyer). Choose keywords that align with your law firm’s goals and the intent of your target audience.

Step 5: Evaluate Competition

Assess the competition for each keyword. Look at the organic search results to determine whether authoritative law firms or legal directories dominate those keyword

rankings. If the competition is fierce, consider targeting long-tail keywords or focusing on more niche areas to improve your chances of ranking higher in search results.

Step 6: Prioritize and Refine your Keyword List

Prioritize your keyword list based on search volume, competition levels, and relevance to your law firm. Identify the keywords that offer the most potential for your SEO strategy. Refine and narrow your list to focus on the keywords that will significantly impact your law firm’s visibility and attract the right clients.

Step 7: Create Optimized Content

Now that you have a well-researched keyword list, it’s time to strategically incorporate these keywords into your website content. Develop informative blog posts, landing pages, and practice area pages that address the searcher’s intent while incorporating the targeted keywords naturally. Optimize your meta tags, headers, and on-page content with your chosen keywords to improve search engine visibility.

Step 8: Monitor and Adjust

Keyword research is an ongoing process. Regularly monitor your keyword rankings and website traffic to evaluate the effectiveness of your SEO efforts. Keep an eye on your competitors and industry trends to identify new keyword opportunities that may emerge. Adjust your keywords and content strategy accordingly to ensure you stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of SEO.

Remember, it’s important to align your keyword strategy with your law firm’s goals; consider search intent, evaluate competition, and regularly refine and adjust your approach.


Now that you’re loaded with all the technical aspects of SEO and keyword research, it’s time to take it a step further and start utilizing tools and techniques to give your law firm’s website a competitive edge. Google Keyword Planner:

First up is the trusty Google Keyword Planner. It’s free, user-friendly, and provides valuable insights. With this tool, you can discover relevant keywords, analyze search volumes, assess competition levels, and even get cost-per-click data. It’s the perfect starting point for your keyword research journey. Semrush:

Regarding comprehensive SEO tools, Semrush stands out from the crowd. Not only does it offer keyword research features, but it also provides a plethora of other resources. With Semrush, you can identify relevant keywords, analyze competitor strategies, track rankings, and get insights into keyword difficulty and search volumes. It’s like having a virtual SEO expert in your toolbox. Moz Keyword Explorer:

Moz Keyword Explorer is an excellent choice for attorneys looking for a tool that combines simplicity and effectiveness. This tool suggests keywords and provides valuable metrics like search volume and keyword difficulty. Additionally, it offers a SERP analysis feature, giving you a better understanding of the search results for your targeted keywords. Ahrefs Keyword Explorer:

If you’re serious about taking your attorney SEO to the next level, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer has your back. This powerful tool provides in-depth keyword research capabilities, including relevant keyword suggestions, search volume analysis, keyword difficulty assessment, and content gap exploration. Ahrefs offers additional features like competitor and backlink analysis, making it a well-rounded SEO companion. SpyFu:

Last, SpyFu is a competitive intelligence tool that helps you uncover your competitors’ keyword strategies. You can gain valuable insights and discover new keyword opportunities by analyzing their keywords, ad campaigns, and organic search data. With SpyFu, you’ll be ahead in the race for attorney SEO dominance.

Choosing the right keyword research tool can significantly impact your attorney’s SEO efforts. Whether you opt for the free and familiar Google Keyword Planner or invest in a comprehensive tool like Semrush or Ahrefs, each of these top five tools brings unique features.

Don’t hesitate to dive in, explore, and utilize these tools to unlock the potential of your law firm’s online presence!


In the highly competitive digital landscape, keyword research plays a vital role in helping lawyers establish a strong online presence and attract a relevant audience. By following the step-by-step guide provided, lawyers can identify the keywords that will resonate with their target audience, optimize their content accordingly, and gain a competitive advantage. It is important to note that keyword research is an ongoing process that requires monitoring and refinement of strategies. With a solid foundation in keyword research, your law firm can generate more valuable leads, and stay ahead of the competition.

Learn how to optimize your law firm’s website content for SEO.

At Gladiator Law Marketing we have been providing data-driven, actionable marketing strategies designed specifically for law firms for over 10 years. We understand that law firms need a successful SEO strategy to thrive in a competitive market. Our 95% client retention rate speaks volumes about our ability to deliver effective and tailored marketing solutions. We understand the unique challenges faced by law firms, and our team of experts is equipped with the knowledge and expertise to help you thrive in a competitive market. From strategic planning to targeted campaigns, our clear and actionable advice will make your digital marketing strategy a success.

Give Gladiator Law Marketing team a call at 888-683-3212.

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