Last week, I discussed the value of having a fast loading website for a firm. Meanwhile, I haven’t touched on the subject of keywords in a while, but they do play a rather important role in search engine optimization (SEO), and this is true for law firms and local searches. Unfortunately, there are a lot of keywords out there in use online, and this means a high level of competition for websites that know how to best utilize them to their advantage. If you aren’t keyword savvy, and feel like your firm is out of the loop when it comes to SEO techniques like this, don’t panic. Not only can you seek help from an expert in the field of online marketing, but you can learn a lot by doing some basic research on the subject for yourself. SEO Nick suggests:
Keyword research is a critical component for search engine optimization because when used correctly it provides a road map for both the design and execution of building websites and developing content.
Now, if you have a web developer on your payroll, or your website is just now being created, you might find yourself lucky. By discussing with your developer about keywords, SEO, and obtaining higher rankings, you may be able to rise to the top in your market without putting in too much time or money. On the other hand, if you have to go back in and revitalize your site with keywords or call your developer back in, it could get pricey, which is another reason why research is vital; you should always know exactly what you’re paying for.
Research Your Competition
When it comes to research in internet marketing, checking up on keywords and what they can do for your firm is on step toward success, but it’s certainly not the only research that needs to be done. Being a law firm, finding facts should be no problem, so put your special skills to work and find what you can on your competition. See who is using which keywords, but also focus on which keywords are being used most in your niche. Moz.com reports:
By researching your market’s keyword demand, you can not only learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO, but also learn more about your customers as a whole.
Knowing what your clients are looking for can make it far easier to create a successful keyword campaign than if you wing it on a hope and a prayer. Going with a whim is not the way to win the keyword war, and trust me, this is one battle that could give you some real edge in your market.
Turning Your Sights On Long Tail Keywords
If you don’t know much about keywords in general then it is likely that you aren’t too well versed with terms like long tails. A long tail keyword is almost more of a unique phrase than a simple keyword. This is when you elongate the word you’re looking to use by specifying why your clients would use it. A great example of this in law is the keyword “divorce lawyer”, if you have an online user searching for divorce lawyer, there is a possibility that they are going to contact you, but chances are higher that he or she is just checking out the local situation. Using long tail keywords instead will help you find searchers who really want some legal help. An example of this long tail format would be “best rate divorce lawyer Jacksonville Florida”, this potential client is not only seeing what is on the market, he or she is ready to commit.
What you’ll find is that while smaller keywords may have a higher rate of hitting their target, they don’t always give you the results that you’ve been seeking, and that makes for wasted time. You can better understand which words to focus on by following up on your above-mentioned research to find a demand curve. The words that are most in demand should definitely make an appearance, but if you want to find committed clients, be specific.
Knowing Your Odds
Whether you’re a small fish in a big sea, or a big fish in a small pond, the world is full of law firms and competitors who would love to take over the spotlight on the keywords you’re interested in. If the leading law firms in your state take up the top 5 to 10 positions in a search engine, there is certainly space for you to fit in somewhere underneath, but if you want to work your way to the top it could take some dedication and hard work. You can use a keyword analysis tool to collect the data on certain search terms and phrases, both simple and complex to help you compare the rankings.
It All Comes Back To Content
Finally, as I always do, this update comes back around to content, which is always especially important for law firms, because people turn to you for fact and knowledge. This means that when placing your keywords it must seem organic, natural, and correctly placed in sentences. Many companies make the mistake of getting repetitive to the point where it doesn’t seem appropriate for terms to even appear in a certain area. Inc.com states:
One concern we hear frequently is whether it is beneficial or harmful to repeat keywords. In other words, should we vary keywords (dog food, puppy food, and Purina) or repeat keywords (dog food reviews, dog food comparison, and dog food rankings.) The short answer is that the repetition is just fine, as long as the meaning of the phrase as a whole is sufficiently varied.
Inc.com has a point here, it isn’t just important to make sure that your keywords make sense in a sentence, they should also be spread out and changed up a little bit so that you aren’t saying the exact same thing over and over to stick that keyword in there. In other words if you’re running with, “San Diego law firm”, for example, you don’t want to say. “You can find the best San Diego law firm through a quick online search” twice in the same blog update or article, instead, use it in a separate sentence and in a different context later to keep things from sounding repetitive.
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