Keyword Research For Law Firms (The 2006 way)

SEO Marketing for Lawyers: Keyword Research

A blast from the past is this old post below I dug up that’s from July 3rd, 2006.  A lot has changed in SEO and keyword research, but a lot has stayed the same.

It still comes down to finding the right keywords to focus on that are related to your practice, and that can bring traffic and potential clients to your site.  Finding keywords that are both high in traffic volume and low in competition is still a great thing in 2023!


Every law firm should do some kind of keyword research to determine which keywords to focus on. Keyword research is vital to a successful search engine optimization campaign, both for organic and pay-per-click search marketing. Below are some example data from Keyword for a law firm in Portland, Oregon.

Query Searches    Occurrences KEI Predicted Daily
oregon lawyer
578,155 1,010,000 5.11 13,200
oregon criminal law
383,994  1,010,000 4.70 8,767
real estate law
301,432  256,000,000 0.18 6,882
property law real estate law
19,211  77,900,000 0.04 439
real estate and portland oregon
16,012  10,400,000 0.30 366
12,902  991,000 1.56 295
real estate portland oregon
10,399  17,100,000 0.12 237
portland attorney
4,863  581,000 1.26 111
portland law firm
3,897  440,000 1.32 89
oregon bankruptcy law
3,843  n/a  n/a  88

These are the top 10 results sorted by the # of searches. Below is an explanation of what each column means.

Predicted Searches

Figures in this column provide a rough estimate of the total number of daily searches on the internet as a whole, for each given search term.

The predicted Daily count is just that, “PREDICTED”. The searches column contains the total number of ACTUAL searches in OUR DATABASE that is supplied by close to 200 search engines.


This column contains an estimate of the number of pages in which each search term appears.

The more pages there are, the more competition there is for the top position in the search results. This means that if there are a lot of pages, it will be more difficult for you to achieve good rankings.


KEI stands for Keyword Effectiveness Indicator.

It is designed to measure the effectiveness, or the value of a given search term. This is done by correlating a number of factors such as the number times a keyword is searched for, with the number of pages on which it occurs, etc.

KEI is a log scale with values from 0 to 10.

The concept is very similar to the Richter Scale used to measure earthquakes and this is a good way to think about the numbers. Search terms with the largest values tend to be less competitive and thus have the most potential to “shake” things up.

** If you want to see a more modern 2023 update on how to do keyword research for attorneys, take a look at this post on Keyword Research for Law Firms.