Some attorneys become obsessed with ranking for short keyphrases like “car accident lawyer.” However, long-tail keywords can be equally important—and they’re often less competitive.
If you’re hungry for results but confused about different keyphrase terminology, read on. This article is a primer on long-tail keywords for law firms.
We define long-tail keywords, explain why they matter, how to find them, and how to use these powerful phrases properly in your marketing efforts.
What are long-tail keywords?
Long tail keywords have nothing to do with the length of the key phrase—although most long-tail keywords are longer than short-tail keywords.
Instead, “long-tail” actually refers to the shape on the distribution graph that represents the search volume for these highly specific keyphrases: a long and skinny tail at the end of the curve.
Here’s an example of how it works.
Short-tail keyword: If you search for “lawyer” on Google, you’ll get a ton of results but none of them will be very helpful because it’s not a very specific query.
Long-tail keyword: If you search for “how long do I have to file a lawsuit after a car accident” or “what happens if I’m in an accident with an uninsured driver,” you will get much more accurate results.
Why do long-tail keywords matter?
First of all, long-tail keywords matter because they are highly effective at connecting users and website owners who need each other.
For users, long-tail keywords work because they can find something highly specific. For website owners, the right long-tail can push their websites right up to the top of the heap on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
Secondly, long-tail keywords are becoming more and more common—especially in a time when 20% of searches performed on Google mobile are voice searches. You’d probably be more likely to voice search with a complete question like “What’s the best organic supermarket in New Jersey?” than a short-tail phrase like “organic supermarket,” right?
To sum up, long-tail keywords can help you:
- Rank higher in the SERP
- Earn more qualified traffic where the user intent is clearer
How to find long-tail keywords for your law firm
Here are some of our favorite data-based tools to find long-tail keywords for your law firm.
- Google’s autocomplete (here’s a quick guide from Neil Patel)
- People Also Ask questions—or a tool like AlsoAsked
- Google’s related searches
- Google Ads keyword planner
- SEMRush keyword magic tool
- Social media and forums like Quora and Reddit
If you get stuck, try finding inspiration in your unique selling proposition (USP). What is unique about your business? Can you transform that trait into a search phrase to attract potential clients who want exactly what you have?
How to use long-tail keywords properly
Natural usage: As with all SEO, keywords should fit naturally. Never force a phrase into a sentence where it doesn’t fit. Google will penalize you (and visitors will distrust you) if you sacrifice readability for keyword stuffing.
Align with search intent: Make sure your content matches the type of search intent behind the keyword: transactional, informational, navigational, or commercial. If it’s an informational query like “what to bring to a lawyer consultation,” make sure that your primary focus is to answer this question rather than to push them into taking action or buying something.
Consider paid advertising: The right long-tail keywords can give you a high return on investment with PPC. That’s because the search intent is often so clear that it’s worth spending the money on the click to connect with someone who is ready to take action.
Review and next steps
Long-tail keywords can help you connect with potential clients who need exactly what you provide. However, it’s critical to find the right keywords and implement them correctly.
Omnizant can help you and your law firm craft an SEO strategy that is specific to your practice area and your goals for growth. Please reach out if we can help you rebalance your lead-gen portfolio, tackle SEO, or redesign your website.