What Kind of Attorneys are Searched for on the Internet Most Often?

We get this question all the time – what types of attorneys are searched for the most often on the internet?  It would have a big impact on your law firm SEO strategy. Well, in the broadest sense, below is your answer – the 22 most searched for types of attorneys according to Google.


This chart is based on the local (United states) search volume and competition for the exact match keywords of macro-level legal practices.  I opted not to include long-tail keywords because the data set would have been massive.  Also, for many practices there very well might be more popular issue-centric keywords that would be good to go after, but to keep a level playing field, they were not included in this data either.  I used the word ‘attorney’  instead of ‘lawyer’ because it has been published often that people who search for attorneys online, use the word ‘attorney’ more often than ‘lawyer’.  This obviously doesn’t discount searches by non-prospective clients, i.e. other attorneys or attorneys doing competition analysis.  For a full list of the practice areas that were included in the results, send us an email and we will send along the report.

I also included the level of keyword competition.  This would be useful if you were thinking about running an Google Ads pay-per-click campaign. Attorney keywords can be some of the most notoriously expensive.  However, some of the results go against what you would have probably thought; both in terms of volume of searches and the competition for advertising keywords.

Some interesting results (and an explanation of keyword competition)

There were some interesting results, especially surrounding the keyword competition of the practice areas.  In terms of PPC advertising and Google Ads, keyword competition can be though of as an indication of how expensive it would be to advertise in Google Google Ads for that keyword.  The lower the fraction, the lower the level of competition.  Keywords with higher competition have more people advertising on them.  Google uses a kind of fluctuating market rate for what it charges per click of a paid keyword.  The more competition for a keyword, the higher the market price and the more expensive the click.

The most competitive keywords?  ‘Franchising attorney’, ‘investment attorney’, and ‘social security disability attorney’ in that order – ‘injury attorney’ ranked 15th…  The practice areas with the most opportunity for PPC internet marketing? (the ratio of lowest competition factored against highest volume of search, calculated by multiplying monthly searches by 1-the competition index) Bankruptcy, patent, and criminal defense.  The lowest overall keyword competition? ‘Derivatives attorney’ and ‘arson attorney’.

I also found the search volume rankings of some of the litigation based practice areas interesting.  You would think that the list, along with internet search for lawyers in general, would be dominated by practice areas that lend themselves to a direct L2C (lawyer to consumer) model – think personal injury, DWI, divorce.  Practices where it is an individual hiring an attorney, not a business or corporation where there are often multiple decision makers who have input on legal spend.  Corporate practices constituted much of the middle of the rankings.

The 22 most searched for legal practice areas on (Google) the internet


You can see from the chart that bankruptcy attorneys are searched for on Google just as often as injury attorneys.  ‘Premises liability attorney’ beating out ‘divorce attorney’ might be surprising too.  Another important factor to keep in mind (which is somewhat indicated in these results) is to make sure you know your audience when setting up your internet marketing campaign.  For instance, both the keywords ‘patent attorney’ and ‘copyright attorney’ are in practice areas where both the client and attorney have to be very technology savvy.  It makes sense that prospective clients who are used to using technology would turn to Google first when searching for legal representation.  By that same note, suspiciously absent from anywhere near the top of the list is ‘trust and estates attorney’; in fact, its ranked 109th on our list, behind ‘constitutional attorney’, ‘arson attorney’ and ‘RICO attorney’.  It makes sense that more senior individuals looking to manage their estate are not turning to Google for help (although ‘wills attorney’ ranked much higher).

Keyword competition

Here is a chart of the full data for the most-searched for practice areas and their level of Google Ads competition.


What is the takeaway?

The main takeaway is that if you practice law in any of these areas that are at the top or near the top of our list in terms of volume of monthly searches, you need to be marketing online.  If you are not marketing online for those practice areas, start; in fact, start yesterday, and do everything you can to get on the front page of Google.  A lot of people are searching for you, and if they can’t find you because you haven’t integrated internet marketing into your mix, they are going to someone else.

If you would like the complete list of over 175 practice areas and where they ranked, drop us a line, we’d be happy to send along the full report.  And as always, happy hunting.

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