SEMrush for Lawyers: Find out what keywords other law firms are targeting

SEMrush for Lawyers: Find out what keywords other law firms are targeting

| August 22, 2016

High-level and comprehensive data is crucial for being successful with online marketing. Search analysis tools like SEMrush1 help attorneys set bench marks, measure campaign performance and get fresh ideas on what to do with their site.

We’ve done posts in the past about SEO tools2 like Ahrefs, Majestic SEO and Moz’s Open Site Explorer (all fantastic SEO analysis tools). Here is how lawyers can use SEMrush to get a slightly different snapshot on their website.

What is SEMrush?

SEMrush is an organic and paid search analysis tool. It’s web-based meaning lawyers go to the SEMrush website3 to use the service.  Attorneys can use SEMrush to run analysis on keyword phrases, competitor paid and organic search activity, and other types of advertising.

The thing that sets SEMrush apart from other SEO and online marketing software is the comprehensive analysis it provides.  Some software is very strong with SEO but not so much with paid advertising.

Others focus on social media metrics and still others are very strong with link analysis but not with link analysis AND onsite SEO.  SEMrush is a very well-rounded service that connects various aspects of online marketing, onsite and offsite SEO for a birds-eye view of how an attorney’s website is performing on the internet.

Onsite Site-Wide Audits with SEMrush

Lawyers can get snapshot of how their onsite SEO shapes up using SEMrush. By adding a project, lawyers can choose from among several website analysis options (one of them being the audit).


The onsite audit report gives a host of information that helps lawyers understand improvements that can be made internally. Highlights include:

  • Number of internal broken links
  • Number of pages that do not have meta descriptions or that have duplicates
  • Number of pages that do not have header tags
  • Issues on a page by page basis
  • Crawl comparison
  • Statistics on page condition (viewing percentages of pages that have issues in comparison to the whole)

In addition to all of this information, SEMrush shows lawyers how important some issues are over others with red, yellow and green indicators. Green means things are in good shape, yellow means there is room for improvement and items marked in red are a priority.

Onsite issues are a critical part of good SEO. While external links and social signals are important, if the foundational part of a website is no good then it will not perform as well in search as it could.

Competitive Analysis for Paid Advertising (Find out what keywords other law firms are targeting)

Legal advertising (and online marketing for lawyers in general) is extremely competitive. CPC values are extremely high for popular keyword phrases and many attorneys are extremely aggressive with their SEO efforts.

SEMrush has excellent competitive analysis data and reports not available in a lot of other web-based SEO tools. Lawyers can plug in a keyword phrase they want to advertise with in paid search and then see all of CPC data, competitor ads, related organic search results and search volume among other data.

Here’s an overview report for the phrase “personal injury lawyer florida”:


Within advertising reports, attorneys can find similar keyword phrases that people are using to find their services online. For the query above, here are some suggestions that SEMrush makes based on available PPC keyword data.


“florida personal injury lawyer” has a CPC (cost per click) of $71.79 per click

Lawyers can also take a peek at what their competition is doing. Within the advertising research report, ad copy that is available in real time can be displayed. This can be powerful information when designing PPC campaigns because lawyers can do research on a keyword phrase and then see how competitors are using it in their ad copy (or what ad copy it is triggering).


Note that the ad copies report is also handy for seeing who might be buying your attorney brand name in search.

Keywords Ads History

The Keywords Ads History report can show lawyers what competitors are buying the same keyword phrase they are. It also provides very profound insight into the amount of traffic that competitors are bringing in via Google AdWords search.



The Good Parts

Overall here’s a snapshot of the great things about SEMrush:

Easy Report Building:  Lawyers can pretty much plug in their website, name their project and instantly start scanning things and making reports that are easy to read and understand.  Data is presented in a fool-proof way (lots of colors with red for bad and green for good).  Much of the reporting is one-click and done.

Comprehensive Ad Research: Attorneys won’t have to go digging for all of the information that would help them make an informed decision on what keyword phrases to target, what their competitors are doing, or how well their campaigns might perform.  It’s all right there in the Advertising Research report and most of it is available after copying and pasting a single keyword phrase into a search box.

Rank Tracking Tools:  Lawyers can easily compare their own site against up to four other competitors in the same dashboard.  SEMrush produces easy-to-understand metrics on page rankings, keyword ranking and traffic estimates.

Overall usability:  Dashboards, charts, graphs, and the interface of SEMrush in general is extremely easy to use even for a novice.  There are numerous help icons and tips throughout the software that explain what things mean and how to get the most out of features.

The Parts that Need Improvement

No SEO or online marketing analysis software is perfect.  Even the tools that Google provides for free4 have flaws.  That being said here are some features of SEMrush that leave something to be desired.

Incomplete Link Data: We’ve seen a ton of SEO tools over the years and some of the link data from SEMrush seems off.  When comparing backlink counts from other sources, SEMrush counts far fewer backlinks than do dedicated backlink analysis tools.

Social network support:  While the main social networks are supported, there isn’t support for other popular networks that are important for link building like Reddit and Pinterest.