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  • Top SEO Strategies for Estate Planning & Probate Lawyers

    Estate planning is a profitable service, but you need a steady flow of leads to generate meaningful revenue long-term. 

    Like most businesses today, attorneys rely heavily on lawyer SEO to generate and convert leads into paying clients.

    While it’s still worth advertising in physical spaces, like magazines and journals, internet traffic will be responsible for the majority of your revenue.

    If you’re an estate planning attorney, you need a strong search engine optimization (SEO) game that employs strategies designed to increase targeted traffic, boost your website’s ranking in the search engines, and get more clicks.

    This article will explain how SEO can help you establish yourself as an authority in legal niche, garnering you more leads and ultimately more revenue. 

    What is SEO for estate planning attorneys?

    statistics on SEO

    Source

    Optimizing an estate planning attorney’s website for search involves the fundamental aspects of SEO:

    • Keyword research
    • Content optimization
    • Technical SEO
    • Backlink building
    • Local SEO
    • Tracking, monitoring, and adjusting

    All of these elements are the foundation of SEO in every niche, but get customized to catch the attention of people who are searching for estate planning services. Some elements – like technical SEO – don’t require constant work. However, building a backlink profile is an ongoing process.

    Here’s a more in-depth look at how each of these SEO elements apply to your business.

    1. Keyword research for estate planning attorneys

    Keyword research involves finding relevant keywords and phrases that your leads might type into a search engine while looking for estate planning services. For example, someone might search for “estate planning services in Denver.” However, there are a variety of phrases that get included in the final list of keywords to target.

    Most keywords reveal the user’s intent, which means you can target the phrases most likely to be searched for by your hottest leads. People who are looking for estate planning services immediately will be searching for different phrases than leads who are just trying to learn more about the process. You want to target both groups of people, but with different content.

    1. Content optimization for estate planning attorneys

    Optimizing the content on your website plays a critical role in optimizing your site for search. On a general level, you want your content to include keywords and phrases your leads are searching for, but it’s equally important for that content to contain valuable information that provides answers or solutions for readers. This can be educational content, answers to frequently asked questions, or pages that sell your services.

    For example, you might publish one article titled, What is Estate Planning and Why Do I Need it? Another article might be titled, How an Attorney Can Help You With Estate Planning. You can rank both of these articles in the search engines, but each one is likely to bring you a different type of lead. The former will bring you people who are curious about your estate planning practice, and the second will generate leads who are specifically searching for an estate planning firm.

    In addition to speaking to specific segments of your market, your content should be easy to read, unique, and authoritative. It should contain some kind of call to action (CTA) that asks the reader to contact you right away.

    1. Technical SEO for estate planning law firms

    The content published on your website will speak to your potential clients, while the technical aspect will speak to search engines. Technical SEO is all about optimizing the back end of your website to make it easy for search engine spiders to crawl and index properly. This includes optimizing the following elements:

    • Page titles
    • Meta descriptions (these are seen in search engine results and can influence people to click)
    • Image alt tags
    • Heading tags
    • URL structure
    1. Link building for estate planning law firms

    Most websites need a strong backlink profile to get decent visibility in the search engines, but it’s important to be intentional about where you get your links. Backlinks have always been a ranking factor for Google, but your links need to come from good sources or they can hurt you.

    Estate planning lawyers benefit from link building on sites with content related to estate planning law firms, like probate, power of attorney, wills, death taxes, asset protection, trusts, life insurance, and beneficiary designations. However, good backlinks can also come from other types of websites that publish quality content, are in good standing with Google, and have a positive reputation and/or authority status.

    There are several main ways to get quality backlinks, including guest posting, manual outreach, broken link building, and other tried-and-true methods. It’s also beneficial to clean up your backlink profile if you have spammy links that can hurt your rankings.

    1. Local SEO for estate planning attorneys

    If you offer your services nationwide, there are an overwhelming number of estate planning lawyers who will be competing for the same leads. However, when you target local leads, the competition thins out and you have a better chance.

    Local SEO involves optimizing your content to reach people in the specific areas you serve. At a basic level, you might include your address, phone number, and all the cities and counties you serve in the footer of your website. The same information should be included in your Google business listing.

    If you don’t already have a Google Business Profile, that should be at the top of your list to create. Anytime people search for services, optimized business listings that rank get displayed at the top of all organic search results, and you want your business to be visible in that section.

    1. Tracking SEO performance

    Once all the initial work is done, you’ll need to monitor your website’s performance and rankings to find out which strategies are working and where there’s room for improvement. By tracking important metrics, you’ll have the data necessary to make better decisions about where to go with your SEO strategy.

    Now that we’ve covered the basics of SEO for estate planning attorneys, let’s explore some implementation strategies that will help you start getting results.

    6 SEO strategies for estate planning lawyers

    SEO Strategies

    Starting with some of the simpler, easier tasks, here’s how you can improve your SEO game.

    1. Work on your meta descriptions

    Everyone wants first-page results for profitable estate planning and probate keywords, but ranking your web pages high in the search engine results pages (SERPs) isn’t enough. You also need users to click on your result.

    An effective SEO strategy will also include optimizing your page titles and meta descriptions to encourage more users to click on your listing in the SERPs. This is the content people see when you appear in the search results, so make it count.

    You may have noticed some search results have meta descriptions with a CTA that directs you to click, like “We offer the best rates in town, click to reserve your spot.” This is intentional.

    With a few exceptions, all of your web page meta descriptions should have a unique and compelling CTA designed to generate clicks. It should summarize the content and be persuasive at the same time. A good meta description won’t always include a direct request for a click, but it will make the content seem irresistible to the user.

    You only have around 160 characters to make an impact with each meta description, so it requires some thought.

    1. Improve your user experience

    Your site’s user experience plays a major role in conversions, but it can also impact your search rankings in several ways. For example, if your site has a high bounce rate, search engines can interpret that as a sign that your content isn’t relevant to the user’s search query and then your ranking will be lowered for that particular phrase.

    If your site is messy and doesn’t function on mobile devices, that can also hurt your rankings. So can intrusive pop-ups. Make sure your website is user-friendly, has clear and simple navigation, and won’t make people bounce.

    1. Dive into keyword research

    There are plenty of keyword research tools available, but the top two are made by Semrush and Ahrefs.

    If you are on a smaller budget, you can use any keyword tool to start.

    The first step is gathering a list of seed keywords. These are phrases that describe your main services and related subjects. For example, going back to the list of related topics in the backlink building section above, you might want to start with phrases like:

    • Probate
    • Power of attorney
    • Wills
    • Death taxes
    • Asset protection
    • Trusts
    • Life insurance
    • Beneficiary designations

    Once you have a list of these types of relevant keywords and phrases, you can enter them into your keyword research tool one at a time to find more related phrases. Most tools will give you a large number of variations for each word or phrase you enter.

    For each estate planning or probate-related keyword, you’ll get an estimated search volume, competition, average cost per click, and more.

    This will help you narrow down which keywords you want to target.

    For instance, phrases with a high search volume and low competition are the low hanging fruit. You’ll find most low hanging fruit to be long-tail keywords, like “life insurance for older people” or “special needs trusts.”

    Once you have a list of keywords and phrases, you’ll need to incorporate them into your content naturally.

    Don’t just drop them anywhere. You might need to rewrite some of your content to accommodate the additions.

    1. Optimize your main content

    Optimizing your estate planning content is relatively easy when you know what your ideal lead wants. Of course, you need to include your chosen keywords where relevant, but you also need to tailor each page to your market. For example, if you have a page dedicated to beneficiary designations, you’ll want to flesh out that content to include in-depth information that answers common questions and explains all the important aspects of beneficiary designations. These improvements will help that page rank higher for related search queries.

    If your content includes images or embedded videos, make sure they load fast, have proper alt tags, and are visually appealing.

    1. Optimize headings and subheadings

    Most people scroll through web pages only reading headings until or unless they get to a subheading that tells them they want to read the content that follows. Each page on your website should have a series of descriptive subheadings that tell people what each section is about. Your main title should be enclosed in H1 tags, but use H2-H6 for your subheadings.

    1. Hire an SEO agency to get you more leads

    You’re an estate planning lawyer, not a marketing or law firm SEO expert

    If the idea of creating and managing your own SEO strategy feels overwhelming, consider hiring an SEO agency to do everything for you.

    At SEO.co, we know estate planning and law firm SEO

    Not sure where to start? We can help. Our extensive experience working with attorneys will take the guesswork out of estate planning SEO.

    Through our professional SEO services, we can help you increase search engine visibility and boost your rankings to turn your website into a lead-generating asset.

    We have helped dozens of estate planning, probate and personal injury lawyers with their SEO.

    If you’re ready to take your SEO to the next level, contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

    Chief Marketing Officer at SEO Company
    In his 9+ years as a digital marketer, Sam has worked with countless small businesses and enterprise Fortune 500 companies and organizations including NASDAQ OMX, eBay, Duncan Hines, Drew Barrymore, Washington, DC based law firm Price Benowitz LLP and human rights organization Amnesty International. As a technical SEO strategist, Sam leads all paid and organic operations teams for client SEO services, link building services and white label SEO partnerships. He is a recurring speaker at the Search Marketing Expo conference series and a TEDx Talker. Today he works directly with high-end clients across all verticals to maximize on and off-site SEO ROI through content marketing and link building. Connect with Sam on Linkedin.
    Samuel Edwards