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How to Survive the Fierce Competition of Legal Search Terms

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Law Firms

If you’re an attorney, your keyword competition is brutal. (Keywords are the words and phrases that people enter into search engines when they’re looking for information on the Internet.) To give you some perspective, SEMrush found that 8 of the top 10 most expensive keywords in Google (for Google AdWords) included the word “attorney” or “lawyer,” and 78% of the top 100 most expensive are legal-related. Meanwhile, WordStream found that “lawyer” was the most expensive keyword for Bing ads, with “attorney” taking second place and “DUI” taking fourth. And the competition is especially fierce if you are targeting a large metropolitan region, such as Los Angeles, San Antonio, or New York City.

If you’re looking for keywords that can differentiate your law firm and give you a better chance of getting found online (and at a lower cost if you’re running pay-per-click ads), you may want to try implementing long-tail keywords into your search strategy. These are longer, more detailed terms that help you target a more specific audience.

For example, instead of just using “San Diego DUI attorney,” you can focus on long-tail keywords such as the following:

  • arrested for drunk driving in San Diego
  • failed breath test in San Diego
  • the best DUI defense lawyer in San Diego

Long-tail keywords tend to be a closer match to the specific inquiries and needs people actually have when they are searching for certain types of services, products, information, etc. These types of keywords may cater to smaller crowds, but they tend to come with less competition and more qualified leads—people who are looking for the exact types of legal services that you offer, as well as people who are closer to the point of conversion (the point of actually calling your firm and setting up a consultation). While long-tail keywords in themselves are terms that are less commonly searched, they are a huge part of search behavior overall. According to SEOmoz, long-tail keywords make up about 70% of all search traffic.

How to Start Using Long-Tail keywords in Your SEO & SEM Strategy

While you should still make an effort to rank for the shorter, broader “head” keywords that best represent your overall practice, it’s also smart to diversify your search engine optimization (SEO) and your search engine marketing (SEM) strategies with long-tail keywords. You can start by performing keyword research, such as by using Google Analytics to see what types of long-tail keywords are already driving traffic to your site. You can also use keyword planning and trends tools (such as those provided by Google and Bing) for ideas for additional long-tail keywords that might be a good fit for your legal practice.

Once you know which long-tail keywords you want to use, you can start producing online content related to these terms, such as in website pages and blog posts. For example, you can create a page on your site that covers the different types of field sobriety tests and their requirements and then incorporate the long-tail keyword “field sobriety test lawyer in Los Angeles” or “failed field sobriety test in Los Angeles.” This not only gives you more visibility online, but it also helps you provide your users with relevant information that they can actually use, which can potentially help boost your SEO rankings.

Long-tail keywords can also be highly beneficial for pay-per-click (PPC) because they usually come with lower cost per click (CPC). By using the right long-tail keywords in your ad campaigns, you can get top rankings in search engines and clicks from valuable leads without having to break the bank!

Need help with your law firm’s keyword strategy? Our legal marketing experts at Scorpion can help. We use the most up-to-date SEO and SEM strategies to get our clients more online exposure, more qualified leads, and more cases. Contact Scorpion today!

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