Blog Archives

Keyword Planner For Professional Firms

Wordle - Keywords

The day Google killed its Keyword Tool

August 28th, 2013 was a sad day in the annals of DIY bloggers and content-makers. Once it was easy enough to find keywords for your firm’s website. You looked into the bowels of the Google Keyword Tool and presto, there they were, keywords of every shape and description. The results also told you how often (or how little) that term was searched by prospective clients looking for a service just like yours. It was a godsend.

But godsend no longer, not after August 28th, 2013. A day of infamy.

What is Keyword research?

Keyword research attempts to predict the words clients and prospective clients might type into a search engine when they look for the service you provide. You then use those words, strategically placed in your website content, to attract them to your firm’s website. Keyword research is basic, and should be looked at by anyone who writes targeted (optimised) content. It should also be conducted for every page on your website, and every blog post you write.

But how does the search engine know what searchers specifically want if, as is usually the case, the searcher does not type those specific words (in fact often the searchers don’t know, that’s why they’re doing “research” or “surfing”).

Using the Google Planner

Google still has a lesser keyword tool, the Google Keyword Planner, but it associated with its paid Google AdWords. You get it when you sign up for an AdWords account. You can use it to get the average monthly searches for the terms you have identified as potential keywords. Again, your ideal keyword has low competition and high search volume, but they are obviously scarce.

First use the “new keyword or ad group ideas” function. Then type in a broad search term for your professional service e.g. “family law”. You will receive a list of “related words” to check. So “family law” might return “divorce lawyer” “financial agreement” “custody” etc.

Then check the search volume and level of competition for that keyword. This is where it gets interesting. The most common failing of professional firms is to target keywords that are the most popular (e.g. “make a Will”), not understanding that the same keyword (or keyphrase) will also be targeted by larger competitors. This will be challenging (at the least) if you are a small firm competing with a much larger firm for the same keywords.

Look at the long tail

Although you might logically think the most popular search terms are the majority of searches, in fact they account for less than 30% of the total searches performed on the web. The remaining 70% are the so-called “long tail” of search. This is the treasure trove you can mine and refine with the Keyword Planner – the hundreds of millions of unique search terms that appear less often, but when added together represent the largest percentage of all searches.

Remember, for every person who searches a broad term like “accountant” or “lawyer” or “financial planner” or “insurance broker”, there are many more who search for a specific service by an accountant or lawyer or financial planner or insurance broker, e.g. “self managed superannuation fund” or “family law financial agreement” or “flood insurance broker in Smithville” or “family trusts tax returns”.

There is another element at work here. A decade ago we would be more likely to search for a standard keyword and use the search engine results to sift through the resulting information to clarify what we wanted. Nowadays there is an evolutionary development in the sophistication of searchers, who are more likely to begin the search for more targeted words. Those targeted words are more “long tailed” by nature, which makes them ever more important.

Don’t run to consultants

At best keyword research is problematic. This is even moreso given Google’s decision to withhold information that was once the bedrock of any keyword research, especially for those who relied on free research available through the Google Keyword Tool.

This is a complicated issue, because it may appear to make hiring an SEO expert a greater imperative. There is no doubt that the withdrawal of the Google Keyword Tool is a major setback to DIY keyword analysis, but at the same time other Google changes have also taken place in it’s algorithms, and the effects must be analyzed holistically. Content research is more than technical use of a tool – it’s also knowing your clients and the client you want to attract to your firm, the overall quality of your content, and the trust that your content engenders.

There is very much you can do on your own before you need to seek (expensive) outside help.

If you liked this article please share it on Twitter – click anywhere in the box below:

Thank you so much!

photo credit: cbucky via photopin


How Professionals Can Use Feedly To Create Website Content

What Is Feedly?

Feedly is a news aggregator that has blossomed on the back of the demise of the best known aggregator, Google Reader. Sometimes called a “feed aggregator”, these are web applications that collect syndicated internet content, including blog posts, podcasts, news reports etc. For the purpose of this post, we will concentrate on the aggregation of blog posts.

Let’s say there are twenty website you want to follow on a regular basis. This is especially helpful if you wish to maintain a protracted research effort. For me, this is to stay up to date with the latest information about content  marketing, especially as it impacts professionals. You can imagine how much time would be wasted if I was to go through a manual search of these blogs. As well, few bloggers post every day, so this would be at best a hit or miss practice. Instead an aggregator notes the blogs you wish to follow, and when a new article is posted, places it in your account, where it can be found and read the next time you visit.

For the past eight years, Google Reader has been the aggregator of choice, and the application that I used for some time. For reasons that are now irrelevant – there was much angst at the time of the announcement – Google chose to close it. There are many alternative aggregators on the market, none really as proficient, but like many others I decided to give Feedly a go. To be frank, I can’t remember why I chose Feedly, apart from it’s clean design and the fact that it worked hard to fill the breach. It also seemed to be closest to Reader in terms of functionality and was poised to take advantage of its years of development. It’s usage has exploded since Reader closed.

How To Use Feedly

It can be daunting to set up any aggregator. First, read the instructions at Feedly, they are helpful and you will quickly learn the mechanics of the process. But how can Feedly “feed” your blog? It’s simple.

As you look around the web, you will come across articles that appeal to your professional needs, and are worth a look for your clients’ content needs. For example, if you are a family lawyer, you will notice that there are hundreds of blogs that deal with a myriad of family law issues, many which are relevant to your clients, or can be used as research for an article. If your family law firm is interested in collaborative law, you may find a blog that deals specifically with this topic (in fact there are many). You therefore add that blog to your Feedly account and it will aggregate any future posts.

In other words, everything is handled through the Feedly site, there is no need to visit the blog again. Simple.

My Feedly

You add blog URLs to your “My Feedly” section. There you can categorise it (e.g. put it under the group “Collaborative Law”) so it appears with all the other posts that deal with the same subject. Each time you open Feedly, the unread aggregated feeds are grouped under headings, as well as an “All” category that tells you how many articles you have to read. When you click on the categories you are taken to a line summary of the article, so it’s easy enough to choose whether you want to read the full article or quickly delete it. Over time you will learn to scan the articles and streamline the process.

So try Feedly for an ongoing source of ideas for your blog. Remember, a blog is the best way to feed content  to your site, the search engines, and most important to your clients.

If you liked this article please share it on Twitter – click anywhere in the box below:

Thank you so much!

photo credit: tecnomovida via photopin


Connect With Me

In The News

"Lawyer and plain-English expert Geoffrey Winn wants to set you free to make the legal and financial decisions that will help you take control of your life."

the-sydney-morning-herald

 

"Practice Management: How to Get To The Top" by Geoffrey Winn               

Law Institute of Victoria Journal May 2014  

 LIJ

 

Opt In Image
Download My FREE 230 Page Step-By-Step Guide To:
  • Learn straightforward strategies to quickly and effectively write website content for clients.
  • Create high impact website content to gain new clients.
  • Write website content that is discovered and shared.

A clear, actionable Plain English Guide – written by a professional for fellow professionals.

For lawyers, accountants and all retirement, insurance and finance professionals.

 

I will never use your personal information for spam.

Bulletproof Your Life

"I wholeheartedly recommend this book by Geoffrey Winn that actually makes the law interesting and understandable.”  Derryn Hinch 3AW

“This book will help you avoid nasty financial surprises.”  The Age

“Geoffrey Winn wants to help you take control of your life.” InvestSmart

“This is a book every family should read now rather than later.” Sydney Morning Herald