What is a Keyword? An Overview of the Basics

What is a Keyword? An Overview of the Basics



Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of using various best practices in content creation to increase your website’s search rankings. One of these best practices is the proper usage of keywords throughout the content.

A keyword is a word or term that people are likely to use when searching for something online. For example, a person looking for an attorney in their area might look for “personal injury attorney” or “estate planning lawyer in San Francisco.”

Keywords are important because they instantly provide a link between what a client is searching for and your services. When properly used, they educate search engines about the topics of your content and make sure your content reaches the intended audience.

However, keyword research and implementation can be complex. Here’s a quick overview of the basic information you should know about keywords when performing SEO work on your website.

  • Choosing keywords: To determine the keywords you should use, you should think about the words or phrases your target audience is most likely to use in a web search. For attorneys, this will usually include a combination of relevant case types and locations. We used a couple examples earlier, but think along the lines of “Chicago car accident lawyer” or “Las Vegas business attorney.”
  • Number of keywords: Typically you’ll have a single main keyword you attempt to rank for, and a variety of related keywords. Each page on your website may have different keyword strategies. Usually you shouldn’t try to rank more than three keywords per page, as that could quickly get messy and complex.
  • Keywords per page: How many times should you use a keyword on each page? This is where a lot of the strategy has shifted over time. The early days of SEO involved people trying to stuff their keywords into content as many times as possible. This, however, resulted in low-quality content that read as though it were written by robots. Keywords should be implemented naturally and should reach around a two percent density, but should not be used so frequently that it disrupts the flow of the content.
  • Keyword locations: Keywords are effective when used in titles, subtitles and headers. They should be used at least once in the first couple paragraphs of body content, and can be sprinkled in throughout the content where appropriate. Keywords can also help SEO when used in URLs and meta descriptions.
  • Tracking keywords: You can track the success of your website’s keywords using a wide range of rank-checking tools, such as Moz Pro, SEMrush, Ahrefs, Serpfox and many more. You can see which keywords are getting you the most search engine and which pages on your website are getting particularly strong results.

To learn more about keywords and proper SEO tactics for your law firm, contact us at Conroy Creative Counsel.


I'm Karin Conroy

Founder of Conroy Creative Counsel, an award-winning recognized leader that has cracked the code of smart, sophisticated, and strategic marketing for law firms.

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