Let’s say you practice in a mid-size personal injury law firm in a metro area and you’d like to get more car accident cases. You do a Google search for “car accident lawyer” and see that your firm isn’t listed on the first page. So, you conclude that improving your rank for “car accident lawyer” should be a major marketing focus.
Like most people, you’ve probably assumed that the way youwould search for your services is how your potential clients would search as well. In many cases, it’s not. You may rank first for “premises liability lawyer,” but that won’t bring you cases if nobody is searching for that term. That’s because “slip and fall lawyer” has three times as many Google searches. Sure, you know the difference between the two, but your potential clients probably don’t.
Maybe you want to rank for “DUI lawyer” and your site performs well in organic search for related keywords. If you do some research, however, you might find that while about 80 percent of people search for “dui lawyer,” the remaining 20 percent use keywords like “dwi lawyer” or “ovi lawyer.”
Rather than build your marketing strategy around the way you think your target client is searching, focus on the keywords and topics you know they’re searching, based on research.
This Is Where Google Trends Comes In
The good news is there are many keyword research tools that provide insight into search trends and behavior. The bad news is that it takes a lot of time. Conducting a detailed analysis of a term such as “automobile accidents,” and crafting a content strategy, can take a seasoned SEO pro up to 20 hours. And, since search trends change quickly, it requires ongoing maintenance.
If you can’t afford a marketing agency or a full-time SEO professional, Google Trends can give you valuable insights into search trends — and generate ideas for your website, blog and social media content. While it’s not the best tool for in-depth keyword research, it is easy to use and can help guide your marketing strategy.
Here are five ways to use Google Trends for your law firm:
1. Explore topics. From the Google Trends home screen, use the top search bar to enter basic keywords you think you want your firm’s website to rank well for. Generally, this would be “practice area + lawyer” keywords like “criminal defense lawyer,” “dui lawyer.”