keywords for law firm websitesNot sure how I can emphasise the huge importance of choosing the correct keywords before you get stuck into your law firm marketing, most importantly online campaigns. You really have no choice, you have to do this properly and before you launch any campaign.

Keywords are the essence of being found on the internet. The search engines like Google, use the keywords to help find your website when somebody uses the keyword in a search string – so if you promote the wrong keywords for your website, chances are that you are not going to get the desired traffic you expect.

To embed the basics of the importance of keywords, let us take the following scenario:

Johnny is about to go through a divorce – he and his wife Jackie, have done everything they can to fix the marriage, but alas, the paths need to separate. They are both prepared to split everything they have in equal shares and also do not want to contest the divorce. He is looking for a divorce attorney in Separate Parks, Johannesburg, the area where the currently live.

Johnny searches for:
“amicable divorce attorney Separate Parks Johannesburg”

Your law firm, “Ditcher, Quick & Hyde Attorneys” based in Separate Parks used the following keywords to promote your firm:
“divorce attorneys” “family law” “Johannesburg attorney”

Now Google or any other web search engine being used, will try to match up your keywords with the keywords being searched. “divorce attorney” is a match and to a lesser degree “Johannesburg attorney” is a match so depending on a number of other factors (coming later in future Law Firm Marketing 101 articles) you may feature quite well on the results page.

However, imagine if your firm had the following keywords promoted by your website:
“amicable divorce” “Separate Parks attorney” “Johannesburg attorney” “divorce attorney”

Those keywords will be a much better match for the search engine and your law firm website would rank much higher on the results page. You need to think like a prospective client looking for the services your law firm offers and establish those as your keywords of choice.

Right, so we have embedded the idea of keywords and how the basics work, now onto the finer details.

Traffic
Having a keyword, like “amicable divorce” is a brilliant idea, but you need to know that there are a lot of people like Johnny who are searching for this term – make sure there is a market for the keyword before promoting it to nobody.

Similar words or terms
You want to find keywords that are similar, so that you can attract a wider base – a bigger net in other words. As long as they are closely related and relevant, they will bring you more prospects.

Location
Unless you are targeting the whole wide world, localise your keywords to include the area you operate in.

Tools
The above is simple enough, but to find out what traffic is available for the keywords you want to use, you need a tool – one such tool is Google Keyword Planner – easy to use and free.
https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner

This tool will help you analyse the keywords to establish the traffic for that keyword/s, it will give you similar search terms and give you estimated costs on paying for Adwords keywords if you need to pay for Google Ads.

Why do I need to have keywords?
As I said earlier, you need keywords to attract traffic to your website when prospects search. These keywords that you chose, are going to be the basis of the theme/topic/focus of your website and your blog and your social media and your paid advertising and…and…and. These words you choose need to be the elementary focus of your firm and the clients you wish to attract.

Articles that you post going forward with your site, will use these terms and some additional ones you discover as your website or business evolves.

How many keywords?
There is no perfect number here, if you attracting the correct clients and you keep adding keywords, while the attraction keeps working, keep going – if you have the budget and resources to work the keywords properly. Or alternatively, if you find you are not getting decent attraction, pull it back to fewer keywords and get those working first.

However, if I have to guess – use 5 keyword phrases. For a small to medium law firm, 5 is enough to cover your business and enough to manage the use of them properly.

Adwords
If you are going to ramp up your exposure on Google by paying for Adwords adverts, make sure the keywords you are going to tackle are not too expensive.

Examples of keywords for law firms in Southern Africa based around a divorce situation:
#your immediate area# law firm
#your city# divorce attorney
aggressive divorce lawyer
female divorce lawyer
uncontested divorce attorney
best divorce attorney
file for divorce
divorce lawyer
divorce attorney
quick divorce.

Those are just a few examples, but the idea is that you need to think like your prospect and discover what they would use as a search term. Remember that you will need to be able to write content for these terms.

If your law firm does not have definite keywords to market your firm online, you are wasting your efforts by not identifying your firm with those searchable terms. You need to stand out to the search engines for certain terms, not having the set standard terms will just make everything you do seem like just another collection of unimportant text to the search engines.

Make sure your keywords are carefully chosen and used by your marketing team.

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