How to Choose the Right Keywords When Optimizing Your Website

By Chris Roberts


Category: SEO

Keywords are critical in the process of optimizing your site and they enable you to choose in which searches your website appears. To choose the right keywords, at first, try to determine what your potential audience will be searching for online that is relevant to the services you offer. Create a list of the possible keywords based on the relevance, and consider using SEM Rush, Moz’s Keyword Explorer, or Google AdWords Keyword Tool. It’s also helpful to check what your competitors are targeting on their websites to come up with the right keywords.

Why Are Keywords Important

Keywords are not only important but crucial in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is a process of increasing the quantity and the quality of the traffic to your websites from search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. By having keywords, you make it possible for users to find your content online by the words and phrases they search for. Discovering keywords is part of the keyword research process, which is normally the first step in Search Engine Optimization. To put it in a simple way, keyword research is almost like market research for the online world – you try to figure out what are your clients’ needs, what they try to find online, and how they formulate their phrases to find the right information.

Steps of Choosing the Right Keywords

First, the right keywords will come to your mind by simply thinking of the services you offer. When you have a law firm, some of the first keywords that come to mind are probably a lawyer, legal, attorney, court, dispute, litigation, law school, lawsuit, and others. Although it might seem easy to find the right keywords for your business, the process isn’t that fast. After you create the list with all the possible keywords that come to mind, you will need to figure out how many people search for those keywords.

Keyword Search Volume

Keyword Search Volume is a number of searches for a specific keyword in a particular time frame. Keyword Search Volume is usually examined within particular timeframes to enable SEO experts and marketers to see how a keyword can drive traffic over time.

Why does Keyword Search Volume matter? If there is nobody searching for a keyword, there is no point in targeting it, as it will not help anyone to find your content. However, if you choose the keywords that are extremely popular, you might end up competing with bigger companies.

Seasons affect the search volume, as people are more likely to search for Halloween costume ideas in October than in June, and they are more likely to search for summer vacation ideas in June than in December.

Now, if you have a law firm, you aren’t concerned about keywords connected to Halloween or vacation ideas, but you can use seasons for your business, too. For example, did you know that many legal experts believe more divorces happen after New Year? January, for many people, is the beginning of a new chapter in their lives. As the new year comes, many couples are going to reevaluate their marriage. According to official statistics by, most legal breakups happen in January.

Now that you know people are more likely to need a lawyer for their divorce in January, you are probably guessing that they are more likely to search for keywords related to divorce law – you are correct! If you offer divorce legal services, here you go! Optimize for keywords like divorce law, divorce attorney, divorce law firm, divorce legal services, divorce legal advice, and others, in January.

In order to find out the search volume for a keyword, you could use tools like SEM Rush. This tool will allow you to search for a keyword and choose a country for results. If you are based in the United States, choose the United States. Otherwise, choose a country from the drop menu. It will ask you to create an account, but you can hit the button “skip trial” on the bottom of the page. SEM Rush will provide information about the search volume and competitiveness of the query. In this case, we searched for “divorce attorney” and here are the results:

Here you can see the approximate average search volume, rate of competition, and how competitive the keyword is.

Another great tool to use is Moz’s Keyword Explorer. To see the results, you’ll need to create a free account. It’s super simple. Just type in your email, and the name you want to be displayed for your account. After this, you will get an activation link on your email and will be ready to use the tool. Here are the results for “divorce attorney” we got:

Not only did it give us the information about the desired keyword, but it also gave us keyword suggestions! This is a great way to find more keywords you want to optimize your website for.

Google AdWords Keyword Tool is a wonderful tool if you want to use advertising for keywords. However, this information is only accessible to those who have a Google Ads account and have an active AdWords campaign.

What Is the Desired Volume for Your Keywords

If keywords have higher volume, it means it will have more exposure, as more people are searching for it. However, it also means more competition. High competition makes it difficult to rank high (appear at the top of the search results) as you will end up competing against the biggest players in the field. Besides, if you plan on advertising, the price of Ads will be higher.

Choosing the right keywords also involves determining your goals. If you are a brand new law firm with a fresh website, you might want to target keywords with low competition at the beginning. If you are well established and up for the challenge, go for keywords with higher volume.

We cannot exactly tell you how Google algorithms work, but we can ensure you, your content plays a key role in the way Google organizes search results. So, as a part of the process, make sure you have really valuable content on your website, as opposed to putting all your energy into only finding keywords. Consider having a blog: it helps Google understand your website is fresh and alive. It might also help you look trustworthy to clients, and will help them find some valuable information regarding their search.

If you are up for a challenge and want to choose the keywords with high competition, another thing we are going to suggest using is Google predictions.

Go to and start typing in keywords. Google will show you predictions for those. To demonstrate, we typed “divorce lawyer” in the Google search bar and here is what we got:

If Google gives us suggestions for certain keywords, it means people actively search for those! It will also generate some keyword ideas for you.

Short-Tail vs Long-Tail Keywords

Short-tail keywords consist of only one or two words, while long-tail keywords are made up of three to five or even more words.

Users, intending to get more relevant and specific results, tend to use long-tail keywords – for example, “How can I divorce without going to court”. If your firm offers divorce mediation, make sure to optimize for these types of keywords so the potential clients know they can get your help in the process.

If someone is searching for a general topic or service, they are going to use short-tail keywords. The keyword that we used to determine the volume for “divorce attorney” is for people who use short-tail keywords. Most likely, they haven’t decided whether or not they want to go to court, or maybe they do not even know a service like a divorce mediation exists.

To give you an idea of how short-tail and long-tail keywords work, we search for both keywords on Google. The first one is the short-tail keyword “divorce attorney.” Here are the results:

And the second one we searched for is the long-tail keyword “How can I divorce without going to court.”

As you can see, the long-tail keyword is slightly less competitive. Not only it’s relatively easier to rank for, but most likely, people who search for those keywords are more likely to use the services you offer. That’s because they have invested time in coming up with a more specific and longer keyword and are determined to find what they are looking for. It makes us think, if they do find what they need, they will utilize the search results.

To find more long-tail keywords, you can simply go to your website and look at the content you have; you’ll be surprised how many keyword ideas you’ll get by just looking at your services and business information.

As a conclusion, both short-tail and long-tail keywords are crucial in the process of optimization, and you should invest your time and energy in finding the right keywords for your website so your content and services reach your potential clients who want to do business with you. The better you perform on search engines, the more clients you get, and keywords are essential in the process.

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