When search engine optimization (SEO) companies mention keywords and research in the same sentence, a lot of eye rolls happen. Everyone knows how difficult it is to find the right keywords, right? There is this guideline and that guideline. Higher ranking numbers. Lower ranking numbers. Long-tail keywords, niche keywords, competitive keywords and – then there is how many to use and when and then do the analytics.

Many attorneys, even those with a serious marketing background and a solid understanding of the role keywords and their placement perform in ranking their websites tend to go a shade of green when faced with trying to suss out appropriate keywords to use for their firm. Perhaps they manage the pay per click (PPC) projects and need to know what is going to work best for the firm. They work hard at finding the right words, because when working with keywords, nothing stays the same forever. It is definitely tough work, or is it? Is it a molehill being made into a mountain?

Keyword research is definitely overcomplicated

This is not to say that keyword research is not important, because it definitely is. However, making it into a do or die adventure is likely not called for, even if it feels that way. Keyword research is not only necessary to make a website rank well, but it is well worth the time to find the words that work within a defined budget. It is as simple and as complex as: no research, no keywords and thus an under or non-performing website.

Simply put, the right keywords for your law firm help your advertisements get seen by the potential clients you want to connect with.

It is a given that the right keywords are necessary and that takes some thought and research, but there is such a thing a trying too hard to find them. Sure, it is a reminder of the power of good keywords to know that the top three ads on the search engine results pages (SERPs) garner at least 46 percent of the clicks, but that does not mean they were hard to find and required hours of searching. Anxiety fuelled search sessions do not necessarily produce viable, performing keywords. Keywords chosen either work or they do not. You find that out by testing your keywords.

The technology that helps find keywords

While the technology is helpful, it can also be an albatross around your neck while searching by making a search too complicated. The point here is that the reason for being for PPC software is that it is intended to save time and simplify the work.

The tools can generate mounds of data and sheets of results with tons of keyword ideas, but, and that’s the keyword here, “but” the more data there is to analyze the more complicated things become. Do you really need the promise of thousands of related and long-tail keywords to find something that works for your law firm? Absolutely not. Your law firm would only need a few well-chose keywords to get rolling and to continue? More well chosen keywords. In other words, group the limited chosen keywords into simple, close-knit ad groups.

Keep in mind that Google recommends using no more than 20 keywords per PPC ad group. A smaller group of carefully curated words works better than a scattershot of questionable ones. That brings up a question: “Do I research every single variation of the keywords that may be useful?” The short answer is, no because it just makes the whole process more complex. Just follow the KISS principle and check to see what words worked.

Keywords a bit like Russian Roulette

Some keywords work and generate conversions and some do not. There is no point in getting caught up in the technical details because the most important thing to really know about the campaign your law firm chooses to run with is going to meet with Internet surfer’s goals in one or more of four categories: information (how to hire an attorney), navigation (locating a law firm), commercial (wrongful death lawyer vs defective product lawyer) and transaction-based (does the attorney work on contingency).

In today’s e-driven world, virtually 57 percent of online traffic comes from tablets and other mobile devices so the keywords chosen are geared to appeal to potential law firm clients when they may be out and near your office. The keywords chosen are all about intent.

Be flexible because internet users are always searching for new things – in fact virtually 15 percent of the searches online every single day have never been done before. Keep up with what is trending in the legal landscape, such as vaping class action lawsuits. The research never stops in order to keep up with the changing online searches for information. Remember that a PPC campaign can be changed at any time. Remember to test the results.

About Author

Kerrie Spencer is a staff contributor to Bigger Law Firm Magazine.

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