Have you ever wondered how your potential clients are searching to find your law firm online? How exactly do they find you amongst all of the noise in today’s market? To answer these questions, it is our job to learn and study your users’ search intent.
What Is Search Intent?
Search intent refers to the reason why someone is searching for something online. It is the motive behind a person’s search query. It’s the underlying reason or purpose that drives them to type specific keywords or phrases into a search engine. When someone types in a search query, they are actively seeking out information or a solution to a problem and are anticipating relevant results.
Search intent can be broken down into four main types
Informational search intent refers to when someone is looking for information on a particular topic. This could be general information or high-level information. These searches often begin with the words: who, what, when, how, guide, and tips. Examples of this search would be, “What is bankruptcy?” or “How to file for divorce.”
Navigational search intent is when someone is looking for a specific thing, website, or page. They may already know about a brand (or your firm) and are looking for something more specific, like a certain service, product, location, or contact details. Someone searching for this may be ready to purchase a product or availability of a service. They may just be looking for more information. An example would be “Green Cardigan Marketing contact” information.
Commercial search intent is when someone is actively searching for a product or service to purchase. It is characterized by keywords such as “buy,” “best,” “discount,” “deals,” “top,” and other similar terms. The user has already decided to make a purchase, and their search is focused on finding the best product or service that meets their needs at the best possible price. Examples of this could be, “compare divorce law firms in Chicago” or “top litigation lawyers in Ohio.”
Transactional search intent is when someone is looking to complete a specific action, such as making a purchase or hiring a service. This search means that the person has already done their research and is ready to act. They know what they’re looking for, and that’s what they want to find. Examples of this would be, “best personal injury lawyer New York” or “hire personal injury lawyer Georgia.”
According to the SEMRush State of Search 2023 results, informational search intent is the most common type of search intent, making up nearly 60% of all searches in keyword search volume. This means that potential clients are likely searching for information on legal topics related to their case before they even consider hiring a law firm.
Users want quality information. So does Google. Understanding the share of each type of intent can help you determine your market niche and how to reach users. For example, you might want to turn your website or social media into a repository of high-quality legal information.
How Search Intent Affects Your Law Firm
So, how does this information affect your law firm’s site strategy? SEO includes both small changes and broader long-term strategies. Determining search intent is part of content creation. But, understanding how it affects your law firm’s website is important also.
It’s important to understand what intent a page will fulfill and optimize it accordingly. For example, if you have a page on your website about a specific legal topic, such as “how to file for bankruptcy,” you should optimize it for informational search intent. This could include adding informative content, relevant keywords, and links to other helpful resources.
Click Through Rate
Optimizing for click-through rate or CTR is also crucial for law firms looking to be found online. CTR refers to the percentage of people who click on a particular link after seeing it in search results. Title tags, which are the blue links that appear in search results, have a significant impact on CTR. It’s important to make sure your title tags accurately reflect the content on your page and include relevant keywords. Aim for longer title tags. Research shows that longer title tags– between 40 to 60 characters or 6 to 9 words– have higher CTRs than those outside of that range.
Optimizing your URLs can also have an impact on CTR and search results page ranking. URLs should be concise, descriptive, and include relevant keywords. For example, a URL for a page about bankruptcy could be “yourlawfirm.com/bankruptcy-lawyer.” This URL is easy to read, includes the relevant keywords, and accurately reflects the content on the page.
URLs that have keywords or words similar to a keyword have a 45% higher click-through rate compared to URLs that don’t have a keyword. Including longer or long-tail keywords (between 4 to 9 words) tends to lead to higher CTRs than single-word ones.
Optimizing Current Content
Make sure that all of your web pages’ content are aligned with their search intent. This means that the content should be relevant to the keywords and phrases used in the search, and provide valuable information that answers the user’s query. It’s also important to ensure that the content is well-organized, easy to read, and includes relevant images and videos.
You should regularly review and update your content to ensure that it remains relevant and useful to potential clients. This can include updating outdated information, adding new sections or pages, and incorporating new keywords and phrases that reflect changes in search trends.
Creating Content that Aligns with Search Intent in Your Niche/ Market
Google’s main objective is to provide users with the most relevant content for their searches. Therefore, it ranks pages higher that are most closely aligned with the search intent of users.
So how do you create content that aligns with the search intent of your target market?
1. Infer Search Intent
The first step is to understand the intent of a search for your website and web pages. A navigational search will likely include the name of your firm or attorneys. A commercial search will have words such as review, comparison, top, or best. Transactional searches will include words like buy, hire, or purchase. Informational searches will use words such as who, what, where, why, when, how, tutorial, ideas, guide, learn, examples, or similar phrases. These are words you can include in the keywords you use for each of your web pages, as well as in the actual content of each page.
2. Craft Your Content for what users want
The next step is to create content that is optimized for that intent.
As you craft your content, make sure it aligns with the content type, format, and angle that are relevant to the search intent. The content type you want to create should be what content people want to see and this depends on whether that content is a landing page, blog post, or practice area. The content’s format can be used to attract users. For example, it can be how-to guides, opinion pieces, lists, or reviews. And, the angle is how you get people interested. When you meet with a client you present them with your strategy, your angle. Your online presence should reflect that.
What is your law firm’s digital marketing strategy?
Understanding how potential clients find you online is crucial for establishing a strong online presence, and to do that you need to understand search intent. By understanding search intent, you can start to create content that resonates with your target audience. At Green Cardigan Marketing, we specialize in helping law firms optimize their online presence and attract new clients through targeted content, SEO, and other digital marketing strategies.
We get it, this stuff is complicated and you do not have the time nor should you be spending your time on learning what your users’ intent is and or other detailed SEO specifics. You do the lawyering and leave the marketing to our team!
Contact us today to learn how we can help your law firm succeed online to produce more traffic to your law firm.