Keywords are a hugely important part of SEO, but keyword research is one of the hardest and most time consuming pieces of the SEO puzzle. However, there are a few opportunities out there to help lawyers and other small businesspeople get assistance doing their keyword research, from people and computer programs.
The tools out there can essentially be divided into two main categories (though there is a lot of diversity within the categories): human tools and automated tools.
Automated Keyword Research Tools
There is a huge range of automated keyword research tools out there on the internet with different functions and levels of effectiveness. Many of them can be had for free, but the best of the best are often very expensive – meaning that they’re almost exclusively used by SEO marketing firms like ours, because the cost is completely prohibitive for anyone not doing SEO for more than one business (unless it’s a large corporation).
Luckily, there are also plenty of keyword tool lists and reviews out there to help you find the tool that’s right for your combination of needs and financial and/or temporal resources.
One of the most popular tools was actually offered by Google until relatively recently, but since it has been merged with the Google AdWords Traffic Estimator – meaning that you must have a Google AdWords account in order to use it. While it’s certainly effective, and may have an unknown advantage because it is under the Google umbrella, you will have to decide whether or not it’s worth it for you to sign up for an AdWords account. This tool, which used to be known as the Google Keyword Tool, is now called the AdWords Keyword Planner. There’s also plenty of advice on using Keyword Planner available.
One of the most lauded completely free keyword research tools is WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool. There are also very good paid options at Moz and SEMrush, both of which are often available for free on a trial basis.
Automated keyword research tools are a popular choice because they are often much cheaper than human help, and in most cases provide instant results. However, don’t settle on an automated tool (especially one you have to pay for) unless you’re sure you can use the tool to do all the keyword research yourself, and that you don’t need human help (like you would get from an SEO marketing firm).
Human Keyword Research Tools
There are firms that will sometimes consult with you on keyword research alone for a fee. However, most of the time, if you want to hire another person to help you with your keyword research, you should simply hire an all around SEO marketer, preferably one with a focus on law firms and the unique challenges that come along with marketing them online.
Professional SEO marketers will do most of the work for you, not only finding you keywords, but optimizing your site in various ways to appear in the SERPs for those keywords.