What I Mean About Attorneys Buying Keywords:
Most attorneys buy keywords such as "Virginia Car Accident Attorney" from Google Adwords or other PPC (Pay Per Click) sites and think that will do the trick. It is no secret to PPC companies that attorneys bid high for keywords. After all, it is very easy and attorneys could see themselves on Page One very quickly under sponsored links. Some are easily seduced by this and will gobble up as many keywords as they can, more often then not, without tracking or budgeting. But, heck, they are on Page One!
Why it is a Mistake for Attorneys to Buy Keywords:
Here are some search terms and Googles suggest bid or cost per click:
new york mesothelioma lawyers - $347.94
austin texas dwi lawyer - $96.76
los angeles criminal defense attorney - $65.02
philadelphia personal injury lawyers - $122.42
It's a fact - more people click on organic links than sponsored links. So that is where you need to focus your efforts.
I know that this goes against everything you have been told by SEO specialists for years. The conventional wisdom has been to dump thousands of keywords into your META TAGS (code...).
This may be the way it USED TO WORK back when search engines were stupid and needed lots of help. Early search engine technology required keywords and that is the reason META KEYWORDS were even conceived.
Now, leading search engine's like GoogleTM, YahooTM AskTM and MSNTM are very intelligent and don't need a list provided to them to figure out what is on a particular website page. They figure it out on their own! They do this by actually scanning the content by sending their "spiders" out to billions of websites.
What Should Attorneys Do on Their Website Instead of Buying Keywords:
The reason why it's called "organic search" is because it is meant to be natural. Writing articles about the areas that you want to be found for will naturally have those keywords in them.
If you write articles about "Traumatic Brain Injury" and use real words that actual people (not lawyers) use, then the chances are much greater that you will get indexed for that search term. Make sure that you support this keyword with many variations (on the details) and add a short page about each variation.
You need to try and capture as many different kinds of searches related to the same subject. If you want to be found for 10 different search terms, the old way was to write a long webpage listing every variation of the search term you could imagine - usually leading to long-winded and confusing copy that wasn't very informative or helpful to the reader. The new and more effective way is to write a smaller more specific webpage for each relevant term you want to come up for.
In short, the old way was keywords. The new way is content. You need to build content equity in your website and you do that by adding relevant content for the kinds of cases you are looking for.