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Turn keyword searches into keyword insights

Did you know you can use what your clients and prospects are keying into search engines to help you understand their current and relevant issues? Mining keyword searches to help you identify client opportunities turns keyword research into keyword insight.

Keyword research is primarily used to identify words and phrases you can use in your digital world to increase the likelihood that search engines will find you faster than others. There are so many online sources to help you find the right words/phrases to embed in your digital content that you can find that information for yourself.

I want to focus this month’s column on what your clients and prospects are keying into search engines to identify highly relevant client issues that you can use to fast-track your marketing efforts.

Understand your clients’ business — cutting through the clutter

A proven method of attracting your clients’ attention — and ultimately their work — is to understand their business. Aside from having your marketing and library staff dump a ton of financial reports, web site information, and press releases on you, you can cut through this information and see what’s really keeping your clients and potential clients up at night through what they are searching for online.

I won’t lie to you though, you do need to pay for a tool, or have a vendor of yours who’s paying for a tool for their clients, ask to make their information available to you. The tools are getting a lot better, cheaper, and more user-friendly, so there’s no excuse anymore. The intelligence is worth it.

From keyword searches to keyword insights

In the legal industry there are information distribution services such as Mondaq, JDSupra, and Lexology that take your articles and blogs (for an annual subscription fee, of course) and re-distribute them online. If you or your firm are subscribing to such a service, you can get into the “back-end” analytics of your content.

JDSupra provides its subscribers with keyword analytics; these are the words and phrases that readers of your content used to “find” your article. By looking at what words and phrases people use to land on your article, you can usually figure out what their current and relevant need is.

For example

As an example, you may have written an article about closely held businesses and touched briefly upon the effects of divorce on the shares of the business. You then find, in the analytics, that the keyword searches that led to your article were as follows:

•    voting shares husband wife,

•    closely held corporations and control,

•    control rights in closely held corps,

•    divorce and a closely held business, and    

•    equalization for closely held business owners.

You further uncover that these searches are coming from Ontario more than any other region.

This information has given you a number of insights you can use to re-focus your marketing efforts. You might:

•    Validate with Statistics Canada that there’s been a spike in divorces in Ontario. Then, with the high percentage of closely held businesses in that province, you might come to the conclusion that there is a huge opportunity in offering your services to help these businesses and their owners transition their businesses better. You might re-position your firm biography and LinkedIn profile to reflect this.

•    Discover that people are using different words than you do to describe this situation. You will now change the words you usually use to more client-recognizable and friendly words.

•    Want to find divorce lawyers who don’t have a business background and create a referral program with them so when they discover that their clients also share a business they will call you first to help.

The opportunities are endless and purely as a result of insight you gained from keyword searching!