What are informational keywords?
Traditionally, web marketers have categorized keywords by three general types:
- Transactional keywords
- Navigational keywords
- Informational keywords
People use transactional keywords to find specific products or services. An example of a transactional keyword from the legal field is best dui lawyer near me. These are the keywords people search just prior to making a purchasing decision.
People use navigational keywords to navigate to a specific website. For example, when someone searches your law firm’s name or domain name, that is a navigational search, because the user is looking for your website.
When lawyers invest in SEO, they instinctively understand the value of ranking highly in Google for transactional keywords (and they take navigational keywords all but for granted). However, lawyers and legal marketers often fail to recognize the importance of also ranking highly for informational keywords:
People use informational keywords to find information on a specific topic. An example of an informational query from the legal field is statutes of limitations personal injury texas.
Below are three reasons that failing to create and execute an informational keyword strategy is a bad idea.
3 Reasons Lawyers Need an Informational Keyword Strategy
Informational Keywords Fill the Top of Your Sales Funnel
Optimizing for Informational Keywords Builds Trust
Informational Keywords Build Links
At any given moment there are far more people who think they might need a lawyer than there are people who are ready to hire one. These people live in the top of the content marketing sales funnel, and they search informational keywords to in order to decided whether they should contact a lawyer:
In order to drive consistent leads with content marketing and SEO it is essential to cast a wide net. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from lawyers who rank on the top of page one in Google for their primary transactional keywords, but are still dissatisfied with the number and quality of leads they get through the web.
If you fail to optimize for informational keywords that live at the top of the sales funnel, you lose out on the majority of your potential prospects.
Every purchasing decision that we make requires that a certain level of trust be established with the person or company to whom we are giving our money. For lawyers trust plays an even more crucial role.
As a lawyer, you know how high the stakes can be for your clients. While sometimes hiring a lawyer isn’t as dramatic as life or death, sometimes it is!
In order to convince someone to literally trust you with their life, it’s essential that you provide them with access to authoritative, accurate information about the situation they are facing. Optimizing for informational keywords is an extremely effective way to build trust through knowledge.
One of the objections that we get from lawyers who are skeptical of content marketing is that many of the people who search informational keywords are not actually qualified potential clients. In many ways this is true. But, it doesn’t mean there is no benefit to driving these “unqualified” people to your site.
For instance, when someone is researching a topic related to your practice area so that she can publish a piece on that topic herself, she is often going to cite the material that she finds during her research. This citation frequently comes in the form of a backlink.
Don’t believe me?
A couple of years ago we implemented a informational keyword strategy for a client to rank highly for a variety of questions around the topic of reckless driving in Virginia. Our target keywords included things like:
- what is the average fine for reckless driving in virginia
reckless driving va insurance premiums
Despite the fact that we never tried to build links, that site has earned a number of editorial backlinks simply because we supplied accurate, authoritative information optimized for informational keywords.
Here’s a link from Huffington Post:
And here’s one from one of the client’s top competitors(!):
It’s essential that lawyers and legal marketers have an informational keyword strategy. Ranking for informational keywords increases your volume of potential clients at the top of the sales funnel, it builds trust with your audience, and it drives critical SEO signals, like backlinks, which are essential for ranking for your most important transactional keywords.