July 19, 2021

Beginner’s Guide To Keyword Research

Lawyers hand typing at a computer keyboard

Keyword research is an SEO strategy tool that helps you discover what your clients are searching for, position yourself to be visible to them, and gauge your competition. This insight allows you to create a strategy that can maximize traffic and, ultimately, clients to your site.

Preparing For Keyword Research

Here are some questions you need to answer before you get started with your research:

What is your goal?

Everything you do in SEO must align with your goal. With keyword research, you’ll want to clarify if you’re vying for keywords that drive huge volumes of traffic or ones that bring in focus, but smaller numbers.

Are you focusing on generic or local keywords? Do you want to start at the local level or compete at a regional or national level? What is your budget to support this goal?

Establish your goal to get started on the right path with keyword research.

What tools will you use?

Keyword research often requires tools to make the work efficient. There are many free and paid keyword research tools available including:

Who are your competitors?

Identify your top 2 to 3 competitors. Then, use the tools above to see if they are ranking for some of the keywords you are targeting. Conversely, see what keywords they are ranking for. You can then try to outrank them or look into similar keywords they aren’t targeting.

Keyword Discovery

First, you need to find out what potential clients are searching for. You can brainstorm with your team and figure out keywords or write down questions your clients often ask you at consultations. They can be broad like “a law firm” or “personal injury”. They can also be very distinct questions, like “how to file for permanent residence”.

When using a keyword research tool, enter a keyword or phrase that you narrowed down from the brainstorm. For example, type in “Personal Injury Lawyer” and search. You’ll then see a breakdown of keywords and relevant statistics. The tool will arrange them based on the following criteria:

  • Monthly Search Volume
  • Cost per click (PPC advertising)
  • Keyword competition

You’ll notice that some keywords have very high search volumes, but they’re also often very competitive. Stay focused on targeting keywords that align with your goals. Typically, a mix of high search volume and low competition is ideal for succeeding with keywords.

Getting Specific

The problem with most keywords and generic search phrases is that they’re too popular. For example, “personal injury lawyer” has over 60,000 searches a month. These search terms experience dominance from big brands with the money to compete or those with a first-mover advantage. Smaller businesses may try to compete here to try and snag some of those in the 60,000 but may spend a lot of time and money to get there.

However, there is an advantage to using longer and specific keywords. Long-tail keywords have lower search volumes in comparison, but they convert much better. It is because these keywords are often used by people who know what they want and are likely ready to retain a service.

Using Searcher’s Intent

While it’s important to know what your potential clients are searching for, not all online users are searching for a law firm to work with right away. Some of them are browsing and getting information that they’ll access when they need it. If you know their intent, you’ll know what to avoid, and you’ll know how to position your firm. Here are some of the main categories of searcher’s intent:


These searchers want to hire a service or buy a product ASAP. Consider using direct advertising for these searchers in addition to using organic methods, as these searchers can drive revenue and justify the extra costs.


People searching for businesses in the locality are most likely ready to do business. If not, they are considering it and may do so soon. A mix of organic content and direct advertising can help attract all clients in your locality.


Informational searchers are out there to acquire knowledge. They are not looking to retain an attorney but may do so after doing some consumer research. The best approach for these searchers is to provide them with content like videos, infographics, and articles. If you meet their needs, it will improve their opinion of your firm, and they may look to hire your services in the future.

Wrapping Things Up

Keyword research takes time and effort. You’ll feel a little overwhelmed at times, but you’ll reach a point where you can grasp the concepts better, leading you to advanced strategies. If you need assistance in performing keyword research and employing robust SEO strategies, feel free to reach out to us — we’d be happy to help.

Share this post

Devices and papers on a white desk