Keyword Research for Lawyers: 3 Ways to Find “High-Intent” Opportunities

Robbie Richards
August 20, 2018

“I’m getting more traffic, but we’re not seeing any more leads or cases. I don’t understand.”

This is a statement we hear from law firms (and other professional services businesses) all the time. Truth is: More traffic does not always equal more cases.

After performing content audits for clients we find the main reason firms don’t attract enough qualified visitors to their site is because they lack an “intent-based” content strategy. i.e. They focus solely on search volume, instead of answering specific questions their target audience is asking at each stage of the buyer journey.

Here are a 3 actionable strategies you can use today to find out what questions your audience is asking so you can create a more intent-based content strategy that drives lead (and case) generating traffic to your site.

Prefer video? Watch me breakdown each of the 3 steps in this short video overview:

#1: Sprinkle Some Keyword Magic

SEMrush’ Keyword Magic Tool makes it easy to unearth a treasure trove of high-intent keyword ideas.


Enter a top-level service term like “accident attorney”, and select the “questions” tab. SEMrush will generate a report showing the exact questions potential clients are asking online around that topic:

GIF showing how to use SEMrush KW Magic Tool

As you can see, this report not only shows which questions are being asked, but also breaks down the keyword difficulty (KD), Cost-Per-Click value (CPC), and Volume of searches for each question. 

This report helps not only fill your backlog with seed topics for informational blog assets, but also reveals how many people are searching those topics per month and how difficult it would be to rank for a  particular keyword. This data makes is extremely valuable as you prioritize the target keyword set.

Remember: While search volume for these keywords is relatively low – people searching for them are the ones most likely looking for (and evaluating) attorneys. i.e. a high-intent audience. 

#2: Answer The Public

A free alternative to finding valuable intent-based content gaps is Answer The Public

As with SEMrush, drop a top-level service-based keyword into the search bar. For this example, we’ll use “Divorce Lawyer”:

The results will be available to you in two different formats, “visualization” and “data”.  

Visualization will look like this:

And the Data view like this:


The key to using this tool is to find the prepositions and types of questions someone looking to hire a divorce attorney might be asking.

One that immediately jumps out is “can a divorce lawyer represent both parties?” This is the type of inquiry made by someone seriously considering hiring a divorce attorney. Answering this question in a blog post would be a great way to position your brand as a trusted resource during the critical evaluation stage of a buyer journey. Again, high-intent traffic. 

#3: Expand the Keyword Set with Ubersuggest

Like Answer The Public, Ubersuggest is another free tool you can use to mine targeted question-based keyword opportunities. The functionality of the tool is comparable to the others, but with a couple unique features.

Start by dropping a top-level service keyword into the search bar:   

Ubersuggest will populate “keyword ideas” relating to the topic. However, the list will take a little more manual filtering as there will be a lot of keywords everyone else is targeting. You want to find untapped opportunities. 


Enter “divorce lawyer” into the search bar. Near the bottom, on page one of the results, you find the keyword phrase “child custody rights for fathers”: 

This is the type of search performed by someone likely going through a divorce in immediate need of an answer to a very specific question. Perfect blog post material.

If you hover over the bar graph next to the results, it will provide a month by month breakdown showing how much search volume (and for how long) a particular term has been getting:

This trend data can give you additional insights into the best time of the year to write about a given topic, whether it is becoming more popular over time, and how sustainable of an organic traffic source that topic will be.

We recommend using at least two of the tools to build a backlog of high-intent topical keyword ideas. Each tool will find opportunities the others missed. 

The reason high-intent keyword targeting has been so successful for firms we work with is because it not only drives more qualified traffic, but the topics are so specific that the competition is rarely targeting  them. Lower competition = faster rankings and organic traffic gains.

In the ultra-competitive legal niche, finding high-intent keyword targets is a great way to create a competitive advantage by positioning your brand as a trusted resource during a pivotal time in the attorney evaluation stage. It’s also a great way to reduce your law firm’s dependency on expensive PPC campaigns.  

Need help building out a more intent-driven SEO strategy? Get a free consult here