Attorney vs. Lawyer: Is One Term More Dominant Than the Other in the World of SEO?

Services: Law Firm Website Design . SEO . Internet Marketing . Law Firm Marketing Guide . Content Marketing . PPC

Most people (in the U.S. at least) use the words “attorney” and “lawyer” interchangeably. Some believe the terms are one in the same, while others will strongly argue their differences. However, for the sake of argument, let’s just say the two words mean essentially the same thing. If that’s the case, all things should be considered equal and you should receive the same results when you run a search on Google, Bing or Yahoo, right? WRONG!


Just looking from February of 2015 through February 2016, Google Trends shows that the term “lawyer” was searched for 74,000 times per month, while “attorney” was searched for only 60,500 times per month.

So, does that mean you need to go and change every reference on your current website to be “lawyer” instead of “attorney?” Not necessarily. You will need to do some research in order to determine what will work best for your firm. Depending on a user’s needs, people may actually search more for “Dallas car accident attorney” instead of “Dallas car accident lawyer.”


A few short years ago, the trend showed that “attorney” was used more in Google searches. It was searched for almost twice as much as “lawyer.” So, how can you keep up with the changes? Google’s keywords tool lets users obtain data on exact keyword matches, as well as broad matches, and sometimes the result can differ from one to the other. That is why it is important for firms that are interested in optimizing their sites for SEO purposes to do the work and conduct thorough research. In many cases, something as simple as adding a geographic qualifier could change the results dramatically.


As a side note, SEMRrush recently released data regarding the top 100 most expensive keywords on Google. Just focusing on the top 10 on that list, all except one of them were law-related phrases, with “San Antonio car wreck attorney” being the most expensive and “West Palm Beach criminal lawyer” rounding out the number 10 spot. Many law firms are willing to pay big bucks for a top ranking on Google, so shelling out $600 or $700 would not be a problem if it would yield great results and bring in clients.


As you continue to think about whether “attorney” or “lawyer” will work best for your website, you will want to be sure to consider the entire keyword phrase you intend to use. The more specific a keyword is, the more relevant a user’s search results will be in Google or any other search engine. That said, you will want to consider the specific client base you’re trying to reach, as well as the practice area and your location.

You can also use some of the free tools that Google offers to help you, such as Google Trends, Keyword Planner and Google Suggest.

If you would like help creating a more user-friendly website for your business, contact PaperStreet today.

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