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Estate Planning Lawyer SEO

A Complete Guide for Law Firms

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Top spots for keywords like…

  • Wills Lawyer
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Planning Attorney
  • Wills and Testament Attorney

Getting New Clients with Estate Planning Lawyer SEO

As an estate planning attorney, you’re up against a rising number of rivals, and you need to get creative about keeping pace and growing your client base.

The key to finding new clients is through online marketing and Lawyer SEO (search engine optimization), ensuring your website and online media are visible and attractive to searchers.

Research shows young adults between 18 and 34 are 168% more likely than older adults to invest in wills after seeing online coverage. However, setting up a bare-bones law firm website and expecting it to attract clients won’t work in practice.

It’s time to get your online content optimized for search engines.

Our guide below takes you through the basics of estate planning lawyer SEO, why it’s so important, and how to start getting seen online with a bit of help from our expert marketers.

What Is SEO for Estate Planning Lawyers?

SEO for estate planning lawyers is a set of rules that helps make your website and online content more visible in SERPs (search engine results pages).

The more visible your website is to your searchers, the more likely they click and contact you before rival estate planning law firms.

SEO revolves around ensuring your online content is relevant to searchers’ interests, that it’s easy to access, and that people (and Google) know you’re an authority in estate planning.

No matter what changes Google brings in to shape SEO, you need to make sure your web content is:

  • Engaging and highly relevant to people looking for estate planning services
  • Accessible from smartphones and other mobile devices
  • Quick to load and read
  • Linked to and from other authority websites in your legal niche
  • Written with relevant keywords your audience searches for
Estate panning SEO - content requirements

Many SEO techniques take place on-site and behind the scenes. Off-site factors like using a Google Business Profile, listing in estate planner directories, and running social media accounts help boost visibility, too.

The golden rule in SEO is that it’s a long-term process, but it’s an investment that (with expert support) will bring a healthy flow of clients to your firm for years to come.

Why Does SEO for Probate Law and Estate Planning Matter?

Becoming more visible in search results means you increase your chances of getting clicks from people looking for your help.

People looking for advice on wills, probate, and estates aren’t going door to door. Around 64% of people claim to start researching legal concerns online, and 48% do so specifically to find an attorney.

SEO targets “organic” searchers – that is, people who click on search engine results that rank naturally. Organic and local search clicks make up 69% of all web traffic.

SEO techniques help you rank higher in search results and ensure your law firm appears reliable, authoritative, and knowledgeable. If you make sure Google knows all these things, you can do the same for your searchers.

People looking for estate planning attorneys and probate support don’t take research lightly. It is literally a matter of life and death. 

They want to work with attorneys with proven expertise in handling sensitive financial and family documents who will support them with patience and respect.

More than 200,000 estate lawyers are working in the US alone, and the number is growing. You need to stand out from other experts as positively as possible. 

That, too, is where working with law marketing experts comes in handy.

The Pivotal Elements of SEO for Estate Lawyers

Although your estate planning marketing SEO needs might vary compared to other law firms, there are always a few core elements in a healthy strategy. 

Let’s break them down.

What Does an Estate Planning Lawyer SEO Company Target?

ElementIn brief
SEO audit●     A breakdown of your website’s SEO strategies to help produce an action plan
Keyword research●     The process of finding terms and phrases people use to search for you
Website optimization●     A series of tactics to help improve user experience and boost your search results profile
Content creation●     The production of useful, insightful material, including blog posts, case studies, videos, and vlogs, to help inform visitors and encourage contact
Internal and external link building●     Strategies to keep your estate planning law firm’s website clearly signposted and to encourage other authority sites to link back to you (boosting your visibility in search results)
Technical SEO●     A series of in-depth background techniques to inform Google’s crawlers and help them index you in search pages
Local SEO and Google Business Profile●     Techniques like local keyword research and business profiling to appeal to nearby people searching for you 
Tracking performance●     Regular analysis of your website’s keyword performance, clickthrough rates, and other insights to help make SEO a long-term strategy

1. SEO Audit

An SEO audit analyzes your site’s performance regarding current site optimization. This strategy typically includes in-depth technical checks and tools, such as the popular Yoast plugin for WordPress.

Ultimately, your SEO audit gives your website a bill of health. It lets you know what it’s doing right and what needs improvement.

Typical problems an auditor might address include:

  • Pages loading too slowly
  • Poorly written or not enough content
  • Lack of security measures
  • Outdated or inadequate keyword strategy
  • Broken links and orphaned pages
  • Poor site structuring
  • Lack of technical elements
  • Frustrating mobile navigation 

2. Keyword Research

Law firm SEO experts research keywords to find out what your ideal estate planning clients are searching for. Tools such as Semrush, Ahrefs, and Google Trends help specialists tap into organic phrases to target to become more visible in their search results.

Regular research ensures websites keep up to speed with changes in searcher behavior and trends in estate planning law.

With this, SEO experts provide keywords you can use to create blog topics and optimize web copy. 

To demonstrate, Costa Law Firm optimizes phrases like “wills & estate lawyers in Toronto” to direct searchers to its service landing page:

Estate panning SEO: example of content build around keyword

Using research tools, experts rank phrases based on the following:

  1. Relevance, which tells you how likely a phrase is to target the right audience
  2. Volume, which shows how many people search for a phrase each month
  3. Difficulty, which informs you how many paid advertisers target a given phrase, thus measuring competition

One of the most effective keyword optimization strategies is to use long-tail keywords. These are highly specific and target a niche audience, meaning you’re more likely to get clicked, though search volumes are lower.

Here’s a quick diagram to demonstrate the difference between short- and long-tails:

Estate panning SEO - Long tail keywords vs short tail keywords explained

Costa Law’s keyword use above is a good example, as is Forum Law’s below. In both cases, they affix a local area to a keyword, a local SEO strategy.

Estate panning SEO - short tail keyword + location

3. Website Optimization

Website optimization covers a broad set of on-site checks. Many of these aren’t visible to the general visitor but greatly affect their experience with you.

This series of checks helps guarantee your website is fast and accessible for visitors who click through from search pages. Up to 64% of people using search engines organically do so from mobile devices, so play to their needs.

Here’s an example of a streamlined website that’s optimized for mobile devices:

Estate panning SEO - website oprimization for mobile

During website optimization, an expert might:

  • Make changes to speed up your website
  • Monitor and update keywords
  • Ensure your website is easily accessible across all devices
  • Check pages with traffic loss and high exit rates
  • A/B test different templates for your website
  • Introduce interactive elements
  • Measure conversions

4. Content Creation

Google’s algorithm changes in recent years have moved toward “helpful content,” prioritizing ranking in search listings for websites that answer searcher questions directly, offer unique insights, and provide authority support.

That means making sure your content shows experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness – part of a formula Google refers to as EEAT.

“Content” isn’t only written words in your blog or front page. It’s an umbrella term that covers:

  • Web copy
  • Contact pages
  • Social media posts and content
  • Videos
  • Podcast material
  • Landing pages
  • Email marketing
  • Newsletters
Estate panning SEO - Content marketing

Strong, engaging, authoritative content helps assure visitors they can trust you. What’s more, truly helpful content might encourage other sites to link to you.

Here’s an example of niche estate law content posted on Forum Law’s blog:

Estate panning SEO - an example of blog

Here’s an example, too, of specialized social media content; this is a lawyer’s Instagram, which helps lead followers to specific blog posts:

Estate panning SEO - social media marketing


Content creation can seem intimidating to some lawyers, especially those without much experience in creating their own material. 

Ask for help from writers, graphic designers, video creators, and social media managers who can take care of content for you via marketing agencies.

5. Internal, External, and Backlink Building

Google needs reassurance that you’re an expert in estate planning and wills. They can’t just take your word for it; you need to build internal and external links across your website.

Internal linking occurs when you insert a link within web content that helps readers explore your site. 

The example below links readers from a landing page on wills to an associated guide about divorce law:

Estate panning SEO  - example of interlinking

Building links helps people navigate your site and helps Google’s web crawlers understand how it works. This strategy helps the search engine index and rank your site more efficiently.

External links are links that point to pages outside your website. They are used to refer to the statistics as well as provide more valuable information about the topic.

Finally, a backlink is where another website links to your content. It’s possible to gain external links by producing unique, authoritative content. Alternatively, you can “guest post” occasionally on other websites and get links back that way.

Here’s a guest post that David Costa of Costa Law Firm wrote for the Ottawa Business Journal:

SEO for Estate planning - link building example

6. Technical SEO

Technical SEO specifically appeals to Google’s web crawlers. It’s a series of strategies that help keep a website performing at its best. Technical checks are also important for boosting user experience.

Technical checks can get quite in-depth, so it’s worth working with an SEO expert who can adjust for you. Like optimization, technical SEO analysis should be performed regularly alongside checks for changing search habits and client intent.

SEO specialists focus on technical areas such as:

  • How clean your website’s code is
  • Broken links leading to 404 errors
  • Your sitemap, its readability, and whether or not Google has access
  • Crawler instructions via robots.txt
  • Security measures such as protocols and site certificates
  • Meta content for web crawlers
  • How quickly your pages load

Here’s a good example of a site with a clear map and layout that visitors and crawlers navigate with ease:

SEO for Estate planning - sitemap

7. Local SEO and Google Business Profile

Local SEO for lawyers is a sub-strategy that covers a few different ways to reach people searching for you from specific areas.

As we saw earlier, Costa Law Firm targets searchers looking for “estate planners in Toronto.” That’s a long-tail keyword that reaches specific searchers looking for services nearby.

Many people seek local wills services as they’re physically easy to reach and cover local legislation.

You can further boost your visibility in local searches by optimizing your Google Business Profile, or GBP.

A GBP appears as part of search results and condenses important details searchers can use to decide whether or not to click or call. They can appear as map results:

Local SEO for Estate planning

A GBP filled out in full tells searchers the following at a glance:

  • Recent reviews and ratings from your clients
  • Your contact details
  • Firm opening hours
  • What you specialize in (e.g., probate and trusts)
  • How long you’ve traded for

It’s a useful snapshot for searchers, saving them time and effort to pore through websites and find specific details. It’s also an honest depiction of your firm, showing Google and your searchers that you’re legitimate and highly rated.

Google business profile helps boost local SEO for Estate planning

Online reviews aggregated through GBPs are great for attracting paying clients, particularly as 87% of people read local business reviews before deciding to make contact.

Hosting your contact details and an embedded map on your website, too, helps Google further understand where you’re based and that you’re legitimate:

embed maps to help your potential and existing clients find your business


8. Tracking Performance and Committing to Continuous Improvement

Unfortunately, you can’t expect SEO to bring traffic in overnight.

SEO specialists use various tools to track the following elements and keep improving your optimization and visibility in search results:

  • Keyword resonance and new opportunities
  • New trends emerging in your industry
  • Domain authority (do people link to you from authority sites?)
  • Traffic volumes for specific pages
  • Bounce rates (i.e., people exiting pages)
  • Click-through and impression numbers

Always track these vitals regularly to keep your website performing strongly in search results while your initial measures pay off. Your rivals are likely measuring and altering their SEO strategies regularly, too – and you don’t want to fall behind.

6 Proven Tips for SEO for Estate Planning Attorneys

Now you know why SEO for estate planning attorneys is so important, so let’s explore the best ways you can put it into practice with some demonstrably valuable tips.

Best Practices from an Estate Planning Lawyer SEO Company

TipIn brief
Build a knowledge base to support your clients●     Produce content that shows your expertise and genuinely answers searchers’ questions (thus building your authority)
Make it easy for people to contact you●     Make contact numbers and emails obvious on your website so people don’t have to search around
Encourage reviews and build trust●     Show genuine case studies and host client reviews so prospects have more than just your word
Prioritize video content●     Create videos that appeal to an older demographic who want a more personal and direct consultation
Check in on the competition●     Gain inspiration on topics to write about and keywords to target by visiting other estate lawyer websites in your area
Sign up at an estate law registry●     Boost authority and trust and add another link to your website by applying to professional estate lawyer directories (the modern equivalent of the phone book)

1. Build a Knowledge Base to Support Your Clients

As an estate planning practice attorney, your biggest asset is your knowledge, and your second is your approach. 

People looking for help with wills and probate want to know their lawyer can handle the intricacies of planning for families after death.

One of the best ways to do this is to build a “knowledge base” via your blog.

Work with an SEO expert to find niche, long-tail keywords on topics within estates and wills. From there, develop ideas for blog posts that cover as unique topics as possible, taking deep dives into concepts and drawing on your expertise and experience.

For example, here’s a knowledge base offered by Peck Ritchey, LLC, that dives deep into specific estate planning topics:

an example of the knowledge base to boost SEO for estate planning attorneys

These topics target long-tail keywords and appeal to external sites in your sector that might want to draw on your research.

The aftereffect is that visitors see you’re deeply knowledgeable about will and estate planning and feel more confident calling you.

That said, keep things concise yet helpful, as around 75% of people prefer to read content that’s 1,000 words or less.

2. Make It Easy for People to Contact You

Many people seeking help with wills and estate planning simply want to discuss things with a professional. Consider that you likely work with an older audience who prefers to get face time or speak directly to lawyers rather than poring through online content or using chatbots.

As a priority, fill out your Google Business Profile. This gives searchers a phone number, a review score, and a location without them having to click through to your site.

Doing so is also vital for keeping your local searchers happy. Google reports that searches using “near me” suffixes have increased by 200% over two years.

In the meantime, consider making your contact details clear and easy to find via your website. Take inspiration from Costa Law Firm, with a clear telephone number inserted into their main page banner:

an example of great placement of the contacts of an estate planning law firm

Forum Law, too, presents contact details front and center. You can easily find telephone numbers, a contact page, and a chat agent from its front page:

SEO for estate planning - contact placement on page + CTA

3. Encourage Reviews and Build Trust

Without reviews, your clients only have your word to go on. Even persuasive copy isn’t enough to convince many people seeking help with sensitive matters like wills.

Consider the value of your Google Business Profile again. It’s here where you can consolidate client review scores into a simple snapshot.

Surprisingly, despite the fact that many people check online reviews before contacting a local firm, 22% of law firms don’t think online ratings are important:

SEO for estate planning law firms best practices: reviews importance statistics

By introducing a review process of your own, you’re already ahead of two out of ten law firms.

Start by encouraging happy clients to leave reviews on Google. It’s here where prospects see ratings first through your GBP.

Don’t be afraid to ask for longer testimonials and video reviews to host on your website.

One of the quickest and easiest ways to prioritize reviews and testimonials is to embed a Google Reviews carousel on your website, like so:

an example of testimonials on the website of the estate planning law firm to boost SEO


Here’s an example of an estate lawyer embedding YouTube videos and case studies on their website to share testimonials:

an example of mixing video content strategy and testimonials to get most of the estate planning SEO


4. Prioritize Video Content

Consider you’re likely to represent older people who want to get their affairs in order. 

81% of people aged 72 and older have arranged wills, while only 24% of people between 18 and 34 say the same.

Therefore, it’s wise to prioritize video content for older people who prefer face time with lawyers and who might not feel confident using chatbots or clicking through endless web content.

With the help of a video SEO marketer, you could create a series of videos about estate planning and wills that address complex or sensitive topics.

Aion Law Partners hosts regular videos and discussions via YouTube, covering a range of important planning topics:

enhance your SEO with video content strategy

The immediate benefit of hosting videos is that many people feel more at ease when they listen to others talk, compared to reading text.

The bonus is that by creating a separate knowledge base on YouTube, you’re appealing to a different audience of searchers. The people looking for help on YouTube aren’t necessarily the same as those who use Google.

Don’t underestimate the power of video content. Online video reaches 92.3% of internet users each week, with 26% watching educational and tutorial videos.

5. Check in on the Competition

As an extremely competitive law sector, monitoring the estate law competition is healthy. As explored earlier, an SEO specialist will monitor keywords and update strategies in line with changing searcher behaviors and client needs.

You can also take inspiration from rivals by reading their latest articles, checking their social media strategies, and reading their testimonials. What are they doing to go the extra mile for their clients?

Checking a rival firm’s blog posts or knowledge base, too, should give you food for thought. Always make sure keywords related to pieces that interest you are worth following by checking in with an SEO expert:

SEO for estate planning attorneys - check your rival's blog


Review interactions between your competitors and their clients on social media, too. Don’t focus on one firm; harness the power of local search for yourself and compare the content strategies of several local businesses.

6. Sign up at an Estate Law Registry

Registering your law firm via an online registry or directory gives you access to a whole new audience, not only those searching for firms via Google.

During our research, we found that some estate planning attorneys recommend listing in phone directories. That’s because people from older generations are more inclined to use traditional research methods. 

However, we recommend you combine this with a modern approach.

Specific law directories reassure prospects that you’re legitimate, qualified, and professionally recommended. It’s also an extra link to your website, enhancing your authority.

Consider looking for estate-specific directories first. Nolo, for example, is a professional directory that organizes lawyers and firms in multiple sectors, with estate planning being an option.

estate planning firm directories give you backlinks to help your seo efforts

In Canada, we recommend using services like LawyerLocate:

SEO for will lawyers - register at directories

3 Ways to Get Started with Estate Planning Lawyer SEO

If you’re keen to dive into SEO for the first time, here are the three ways to do so:

  1. Learn estate planning lawyer SEO best practices and DIY it
  2. Build a team of in-house estate planning and probate SEO specialists
  3. Hire an expert estate planning lawyer SEO company

Here’s what you need to know about each route.

1. Learn Estate Planning Lawyer SEO Best Practices and DIY It

Many lawyers in wills and estate planning manage their organic search optimization, and some succeed.

However, it’s time and effort you could spend more efficiently by getting to know your new clients. After all, you only get five-star reviews if you can commit to a five-star service.

The SEO basics shouldn’t take long to learn, but it takes years of practice and training to become effective at optimizing and maintaining content. 

Even if you feel confident, you can still get things wrong. That’s not simply time wasted; you also risk Google penalizing your website and causing it to fall down the search rankings.

DIY might be the least expensive option, but it’s the riskiest and consumes the most effort.

2. Build a Team of In-house Estate Planning and Probate SEO Specialists

This option is much safer because you’re hiring people who are optimization experts. There’s no guesswork, just pure strategy.

That said, although in-house specialists are experts available to help you on demand, you need to pay for salaries and benefits. They only work on your campaigns during fixed hours, too, meaning there’s little flexibility.

Add in extra demands such as taxation, finding space, and providing tools, and it’s a considerable time and money commitment. 

You also have no guarantee you’re hiring the right people until several interview rounds and months of onboarding. This route carries different risks than the DIY option.

3. Hire an Expert Estate Planning SEO Company

Hiring an SEO company specializing in supporting estate planning lawyers is the least risky option of the three. What’s more, you can access experts with their own tools anytime – and you don’t have to worry about paying salaries. Just pay for the expertise you need when you need it.

Choosing an SEO agency for estate planners helps you make the most value out of your marketing budget. 

However, you must compare agencies and experts to ensure you register with the right team.

Start by digging deep into client portfolios. Are the pages they present still live, and are they demonstrably benefiting in search rankings? What do they look like on mobile devices, and are their experts available outside of office hours?

Also, prioritize agencies willing to work and collaborate with your own marketers and teams. It’s important to keep everyone on the same page.

The best probate lawyer SEO agencies keep things exclusive. Experts such as dNOVO don’t share their expertise with your rivals for as long as you’re a client.

SEO for Estate Lawyers: Boost Your Visibility

SEO for estate lawyers gets your firm seen by those who need you the most.

It’s a wise investment that will help make your practice more visible, authoritative, and appealing to those who need sensitive planning.

The best estate planning lawyer SEO strategies take time and effort to perfect. It’s always wise to get an experienced marketing team with experience in your sector. The estate law SEO experts at dNOVO are ready to help you make a lasting impression on new clients.

If you’d like to know more about how we could help transform your online presence and get ahead of the competition, contact us.

Otherwise, we recommend you learn more about other ways to market and promote your estate planning firm. For instance, our guide to Google’s Local Service Ads could help you reach the summit of search results.

Beyond search, there are also plenty of reasons to explore email marketing for lawyers – we explain why in our guide.

Estate Planning Lawyer SEO: FAQs

Before you go, read our answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about estate planning lawyer SEO.

Why is SEO Important for Estate Planning Law Firms?

SEO can help estate planning law firms increase their visibility in specific search results, making them more competitive against rival firms in their sector.

Optimizing search results means estate lawyers appear more authoritative, appealing, and knowledgeable

Is Local SEO for Estate Planning Lawyers Worth It?

Yes, local SEO for estate planning lawyers helps target searchers looking for quick advice and support in their local area. 

By following local SEO strategies, lawyers are more visible in highly specific search results and more appealing to searchers using location services. Read more in our guide.

How Do I Choose an SEO Company for Estate Planning Law Firms?

First, look for an agency that specializes in your legal sector. Then, check their portfolio and see if the sites they work on are visible in search results. 

Also read and watch testimonials from real clients to get reassurance, and always choose an SEO company that works exclusively for you in estate planning, not your rivals.

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