Keyword research – is it necessary for my law firm?
A big part (but by no means the ‘whole’) of attracting visitors to your firm’s website is your use of keywords. With proper use of keywords, your website can rank higher on search engines meaning your audience will find you faster and more easily. To be successful with your keyword usage, you need keyword research.
What is a keyword?
A keyword (or term) is a word or set of words that you want a specific page on your website to rank for. So, when people do a search on Google for example, and they use the keywords you have on your page, the chances of your page appearing in search results is increased.
A keyword is a significant part of any SEO strategy. Picking the most appropriate keywords and implementing them in the right places will improve your site’s performance.
You have to target the right keywords so that search engines can detect what you're talking about. Keywords should be placed in headings, descriptions and the main content itself. You mustn't oversaturate your website with your keywords though, as excessive use may see the search engines black mark your site!
What are short-tail and long-tail keywords?
Keywords should be almost unnoticeable but rather natural to the eye of the reader. They are often either short-tail or long-tail.
Short-tail keywords are about 1-2 words in length while long-tail keywords are 3-5 words (or sometimes more).
People will search using more words when looking for very specific results and this is where long-tail keywords are essential. If it is a general topic, people will use short-tail keywords to get what they need from the website.
For example, if someone simply wants a family lawyer close to them, they may search “Family lawyer Melbourne”.
But if they want a family lawyer who specifically deals with international child relocation matters, they may search “My partner wants to relocate my child overseas. Can he do that?”
Generally, short-tail keywords have higher search volumes than long-tail. But then they’re also much more competitive. Consider this scenario:
You choose a keyword ‘family lawyer’. It has about 800 searches per month in Australia (AHREFS research Oct 2020)
You choose a long-tail keyword ‘How to win child relocation’. It has about 100 searches per month.
With this scenario, every family law firm will have the keyword ‘family lawyer’ across their site but only a handful (in comparison) may have content about winning child relocation cases. So, your odds for getting the search result are increased.
What is keyword research?
We mentioned earlier that keyword research is one of the most important things that you can do as part of your SEO campaign. SEO research can be done using a variety of tools to figure out which words or specific phrases that you should be ranking for online as well as what people are actually using in their searches.
It’s in this research that you can discover which terms are most frequently used by your target audience when they search in each search engine.
Not only this, but you can learn all about the level of competition that is present for each of the terms; that is, how difficult will it be to rank for that term. This information can help you put together the best strategy for your keywords going forward.
Keyword research has many benefits from learning what terms you should use in your own content through to discovering what new phrases may relate to your niche and services. It helps you to learn exactly how your audience is searching and where they are searching, so you can tailor your services and content to deliver what they want or need.
A word of warning though; it takes time. Implementing a solid keyword strategy across your site today could take several months to convert to positive traffic and new clients. But if you don’t start today (or you haven’t already started), you’re only going to fall further and further behind.
Why is keyword research important?
One of the very early steps to a successful online marketing campaign (which includes your website’s content) is your keyword research. (The first step is to write good, useful, relative and accurate content).
When you whittle down the right keywords and phrases, you improve the odds of appearing on search engine results listings in the right place - the top.
Notably, however, keywords (or any words you use on your site) are not for you; they’re for your target audience. You cannot get caught up in legalese and what an Act of Parliament says; you have to interpret it on behalf of your visitors. After all, when a client comes for their first appointment with you, you don’t simply recite a section from a specific Act (or do you?!).
What techniques can be used to do keyword research?
There are several tools and techniques that can be used to do your keywords research. At Social Hive, we use AHREFS (as our primary tool) to ensure we deliver optimal keyword research for our clients. Here are some of the other ways to do it.
Get together with your team and manually brainstorm those important keyword ideas. It’s an often-overlooked piece of the puzzle but it needn’t be! Get out a pen and paper or use MindMeister - it’s an online tool to help you to mind-map possible keywords.
There are plenty of online tools that are ready to help you to generate long-tail keywords for your website. We often use Ubersuggest to enhance our research but you can also investigate a number of free options here.
As said, we use AHREFS at Social Hive. It gives you everything you need to help boost the search engine traffic to your website. It’s a very popular tool to use and was initially created to drive backlinks, but now does so much more.
Do I have to repeat keyword research over time and adjust old content?
As time goes on, industries evolve and change - including your business. Sometimes, repurposing old content with new keywords can drive new traffic to your website, attracting an audience with a different intent! It’s important to stay on top of keyword research if you want your business to remain relevant.
Keyword research is critically important for your online success. If you are looking to improve your digital marketing strategy, keyword research, whether crafting new content of repurposing old content, should be one of the first places that you start.
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