How to Conduct Keyword Research for Law Firms

Date: June 20, 2023

When starting your journey into law firm SEO, the first factor to consider in your strategy is the keywords you are intending to target. This is a critical first step, as the keywords you choose to target will impact your strategy as a whole, from the content you put on your website to where and what you ultimately end up ranking for in search results. 

Analyze Competitor Keywords and Strategies

Your competitors can be great resources for identifying quality keywords your firm should be targeting in order to stay competitive. You can begin by visiting one of your competitor’s websites and looking at their service pages. Take note of the headings they use, as well as the title tags. If done right, these should include keywords that may be viable for your firm to try to target, as well. It is best to repeat this process and look at a handful of competitors to get a full picture of what you are up against. 

Looking at your competitor’s websites is a good place to get the ball rolling, especially if you don’t know how to begin the process of doing keyword research. 

Use Keyword Research Tools 

Once you’ve looked at your competitors and have gotten a starting point of what keywords you should start doing research for, you’ll want to use a keyword tool to do additional analysis of the viability of the keyword(s). There is an abundance of keyword research tools, both free and paid, that you can utilize to do in-depth research to find the right keywords you should be targeting for your firm. Below, we will discuss some of the tools available to you. 


Semrush is a terrific tool that we at 9Sail use on a daily basis. Their Keyword Overview and Keyword Magic tools are excellent for conducting keyword research and seeing which versions of your keywords generate the most volume.  

This tool has both free and paid options. Additionally, they have great resources on the basics of SEO and marketing as a whole.  


Similar to Semrush, Ahrefs is a great tool that we also use on a daily basis here at 9Sail. Their Keywords Explorer is excellent for conducting keyword research by showing you search volume, related keywords, and questions, as well as how competitive the keyword is. 

Google Keyword Planner 

Google’s Keyword Planner is a free tool you can use in order to do your keyword research. This can be accessed within Google Ads and provides data such as keyword volume and projected trends. 

Google Trends 

Google Trends is a free tool that analyzes the popularity of top search queries in Google Search across various regions and languages. Within Google Trends, you can search specific keywords to see how they are currently trending and how they may trend in the future. For example, see below what I’ve pulled for the keyword “Elder Law Attorney.” 

What is interesting about Google Keyword Planner is you can also compare keywords, so, for example, if I wanted to see if “Elder Law Attorney” or “Elder Law Lawyer” would be searched more, I could see that information according to recent trends in Google Search Results. 

As you can see according to trends on Google, users are searching for Elder Law services by using “Elder Law Attorney” instead of “Elder Law Lawyer.” Comparisons like this can help you decide which version of the keyword in question would be best to use for your law firm. 

People Also Ask Section in Search Results 

Another excellent free resource to do some keyword research is utilizing the “People Also Ask” section that appears within Google Search Results. It’s great because Google is explicitly telling you what people are searching for related to your main keyword. If we stick with the Elder Law example, below you will find what the People Also Ask section looks like when I typed in “Elder Law Attorney New Jersey.” 

This provides you with questions that people want to be answered in relation to elder law in New Jersey. This information can be used to guide your keyword research by giving you long-tail questions to target for your service pages, and can even serve as topics for future blogs. 

Refining Your Strategy for Maximum Impact

Once you have your initial list of your target keywords, you’ll want to track them in some way so you can see how you rank on search engines over the course of time. For example, Semrush and Ahrefs both have excellent keyword position trackers. 

This will allow you to see which keywords are performing well and which are not performing well. With this information, you can refine your overall SEO strategy so you can increase the impact and improve the position of specific keywords that need extra attention.

Lastly, you can and should revisit your list of target keywords periodically and add any new relevant keywords you’d like to track or even remove some that may not be relevant anymore. For example, if you add a new practice area to your firm, you would want to do keyword research around that area so the content for that practice is targeted for the specific keywords related to it.

Need Help Creating an Actionable Keyword List For Your Firm? 

At 9Sail, all of the SEO strategies we build out for law firms start with keyword research. This research is the building block of the whole strategy, and without a clear target from the beginning, the whole strategy could be thrown off. If you’re ready to get started on your SEO journey, contact us today!