• http://www.ThunderSEO.com Max Thomas

    Great post. Thanks for sharing all of this analysis and recommendations. You mention “They are doing information searches using a lot of vague terms”. Is it possible to provide some of the terms that indicate the searcher is looking for information that is distinct from type of practice, lawyer name, law firm name, geographic, etc. We work with several law firms and this approach to determining the searcher’s behavior via keyword usage is very intriguing. Thanks again.

  • http://www.periscopix.com allydent

    Hi Mark,

    A great in-depth piece of analysis thanks. It’s interesting to segment searchers in this way by the words included in their search queries.

    You say early on: “In a PPC campaign, it’s cheaper when you have the option to target fewer keyword phrases.”

    I disagree on this point. If you have more keywords (assuming they’re still relevant) then you can reach the same traffic off a lower average CPC. If you conversion rate holds up, then you’re looking at cheaper conversions by having more keywords, surely?

  • workbox

    Thanks for the post. This is a great, real-world example of how 2 keyphrases, although extremely similar, can have such different implications and results for search engine marketing.

    I’m going to use this as an example to help people understand how this stuff works!

  • Stupidscript

    Mark, excellent article of an amazing amount of use to me, personally. Fantastic!

    @Max Thomas

    As the SE guy for a large law firm, perhaps I can answer your question about “vague terms” … ? Here are some examples:

    (1) “murder trial”, (2) “how many people are convicted of dui”, (3) “wire fraud”

    (1) Seems like a generic query to find info about murder trials, but could be looking for lawyers who handle murder trials, or reviews of lawyers who have handled them

    (2) This is either a question from someone accused of DUI, who will probably need a lawyer, or someone doing research for a school paper or something

    (3) We see that someone who just searches on a type of crime will about half the time be looking for a lawyer that defends people accused of that type of crime.

    Hope that helps … and, Mark, I hope that’s correct in the context of the article … ;)


    It depends entirely on where your keywords are in the scale of things. For example, keywords in the long tail (longer terms) are less expensive than keywords in the short tail, pretty much across the board. If you can make your nut by only using a few select long tail terms, (a) you will definitely pay less and (b) the traffic you get will be more targeted and more likely to convert, resulting in a higher ROI, which is the whole point.

    If you can target your keywords more to exactly what you offer, and what your landing pages can support, then you are much more likely to break even faster than if you tried the same thing with a higher number of lower-performing generalized keywords.

    So it definitely IS cheaper “when you have the option to target fewer keyword phrases,” because you spend less to get an equal amount of income … better ROI.

  • http://www.ThunderSEO.com Max Thomas


    Thanks for following up with some examples of search phrases and behaviors. It sounds like you can recognize these quickly from experience. In asking my question, I wasn’t sure if there’s a group of searches that tend to indicate the searcher is looking for general information, versus case-by-case search phrases. This is helpful. Thanks again.

  • http://www.ilawyermarketing.com/ Mike

    Hi Mark,

    Real nice post here. Google Adwords keyword tool numbers don’t always seem to be that accurate when compared to analytics data though. In my experience working with law firms over the last 10 years and analyzing Google analytics data, web traffic has always been higher for the term ‘lawyer’ more than the word ‘attorney’. I always wonder how much of the Adwords data is skewed by SEO companies or the law firms themselves checking the rankings which would show more impressions in
    Adwords but not actual clicks to the websites. Most of the clients we work with are personal injury law firms so maybe it’s just consumers searching for personal injury law firms that use lawyer vs attorney more often.