Why lawyers should reconsider some aspects of their search engine strategy
According to Google, 97 percent of people conducting a search inquiry are specifically looking for local small businesses, and it's not too much of a stretch to presume that a significant amount of those searches will be related to finding a lawyer as well. We have emphasised the importance of local search previously and using the right keywords in order to help firms with their search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) campaigns. Although focusing on popular keywords is important, theoretically speaking, not every firm will be able to claim top spot in the search engine rankings for popular legal terms. Therefore, lawyers should consider mixing up their keyword campaigns on lesser terms which may not attract the same amount of queries as more popular terms, but may ultimately pay greater dividends in relation to overall search traffic volume.
Think outside the box
Most practices will wish to be associated with the most searched legal terms (head-term phrases) such as 'drink driving lawyer Melbourne' or 'divorce lawyer Brisbane', but the reality is that not every practice will be able to achieve an attractive ranking for head-term phrases, especially in the areas of law where the competition is fierce. Therefore, some lawyers may wish to reconsider their SEO strategy, and should think about using terms that may not attract as many search queries (long-tail phrases). Although long-tail phrases may draw a fraction of search queries when compared with head-term phrases, the accumulated search amount for lesser terms may be a more effective search strategy.
When beginning your long-tail phrase search strategy, put yourself in the shoes of the consumer and try to consider as many search term combinations as possible that a person may be searching for beyond the obvious phrases. For example, a popular head-term search phrase may be 'drink driving lawyer in Melbourne', while, a long-tail search query may be 'drunk driving lawyer in Sunshine that deals with motorcycle accidents' - which although may be rarely used, the accumulative numbers of using a number of long-tail search phrases may pay greater dividends.
Also, pay attention to the related search phrases that appear at the bottom of the search results pages which may also provide some clues for long-tail search combinations.
Use keyword tools
Another useful tool at your disposal is Google AdWords Keyword Planner, which can assist law firms by outlining the various search terms used for a specific area of law. In addition to the AdWords Keyword Planner, Google Trends can also provide a snapshot of search terms that are popular for your geographic location, and for the savvy legal practitioner, taking advantage of both tools can help with your strategy.
Due to the cutthroat nature of the business of law, legal practitioners would love to achieve the most visible search ranking for head-term phrases, however, competition is understandably fierce. Therefore if your practice is considering what search strategies to implement, don't neglect long-term phrases.