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Marketing Strategy Guide for Probate and Estate Planning Attorneys

updated
August 10, 2022
20 min
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Marketing

Have you been querying phrases like "marketing for estate planning probate" or "marketing strategies probate lawyers," only to come up with irrelevant results? Are you looking for law firm internet marketing tips, tricks, and strategies designed specifically for law firms that offer probate and estate planning services?

Do you need to refine your estate planning marketing strategy so that you can build your brand and grow your business, but remain unsure where to begin?

If any of this sounds all too familiar, then this article is precisely what you have been searching for. At Grow Law Firm, we understand that estate planning lawyers face a unique set of challenges when striving to market their law firms. With that in mind, we have created this comprehensive estate planning marketing guide.

Below, we provide insights on all things related to probate and estate planning marketing. From search engine optimization to paid search and everything in between, we leave no stone unturned.

Whether your firm specializes in one field or is home to both estate planning and probate lawyers, the information below will help you acquire new clients and extend your reach in the digital marketplace.

What Makes Estate Planning Law Firm Marketing Unique?

The subject matter of probate and estate planning services makes marketing these essential fields of law incredibly difficult. When partnering with an estate planning practice, clients must not only divulge intimate financial information but must also give thought to the morbid topic of their own death.

A probate lawyer attempting to market their brand must overcome a similar set of hurdles. The probate practice must work closely with the loved ones and trustees of the decedent. Therefore, probate lawyers must make sure to demonstrate both empathy and professionalism while engaging in marketing efforts.

Find Your Voice, Tone, and Brand Image

Find Your Voice, Tone, and Brand Image

If you hope to optimize the efficacy of your marketing efforts, you must first define a voice, tone, and brand image for your estate planning law firm.

The terms "voice" and "tone" refer to the style and general vibe of your law firm marketing content. Your voice and tone should be consistent across all communication mediums. However, your tone can vary slightly depending on the type of content that you are generating.

For example, when creating advertisements, you should ensure that your tone and voice are consistent whether the content is written or video-based. Conversely, you will need to slightly modify your tone when creating content that is educational as opposed to advertorial.

Over time, your client base will come to recognize your law firm's tone and voice. If you deviate from your usual tone and voice in a way that negatively impacts content quality, your client base will be the first to know.

The tone of your content will have an impact on your overall brand image. Other factors that will contribute to your brand image include the core values that you share with your prospective and existing clients, reviews from past clients, and your reputation throughout the community.

When establishing your brand image, you need to differentiate yourself from other law firms that provide estate planning services. You can accomplish this by offering a free consultation, advertising 24-hour response times, or providing some other distinctive value proposition.

Once you have decided how you want your estate planning practice to be perceived by potential clients, you are ready to start engaging in digital marketing efforts.

A Great Website: The Key to Effective Estate Planning Attorney Marketing

Should you not have a website yet, then you will find it incredibly difficult to connect with prospective clients. If you do have a website, but it only contains a few pages designed to advertise your estate planning services, then your digital presence is pretty weak, to say the least.

Fortunately, you can remedy this shortcoming by revamping your website and turning it into a dynamic place to interact with potential clients. Check out these sites for inspiration:

Alexander Grossman

alexander grossman website

Alexander Grossman's website features an eye-catching top border before transitioning into simple yet professional content. The website has several different pages that can be accessed via an easy-to-use interface.

Malman Law

malman law website

Like the Alexander Grossman pages, the Malman Law site keeps things sleek and professional. However, the page designers elected to highlight key pieces of information with blue accents. This setup draws potential clients to information like the "live chat" button and the firm's phone number.

LOEW Law Group

LOEW Law Group's site is well-designed from top to bottom. In addition to the top navigation menu, the site's page also contains large buttons that clients can use to access information regarding the firm's specific practice areas.

Dean & Fulkerson

Dean & Fulkerson website

The design team behind the Dean & Fulkerson website crafted a captivating home page that features an image slideshow. In the foreground, designers superimposed several descriptive terms that outline the firm's best qualities, such as "Proactive," "Responsive," and "Dynamic."

Fritz Law LLC

Fritz Law LLC

Fritz Law LLC elected to take a more personable approach when designing its website. In the background of the home page, clients are greeted by a photograph of the attorney and two staff members. This design decision allows clients to immediately match a face to the name, which can help them feel more comfortable when seeking services.

Want a website that can compete with these dynamic pages? If so, then you may want to partner with a marketing firm that specializes in building websites for estate planning lawyers.

Effective Marketing for Estate Planning Attorneys: SEO Strategies

Search engine optimization (SEO) should be at the core of any estate planning marketing strategy. SEO is the practice of making a website more visible by optimizing content so that it aligns with search engines' ranking algorithms.

Due to the complexity of this type of brand-building, many estate planning firms partner with a digital marketing agency that offers SEO services for attorneys. However, we have outlined several steps to leveraging SEO so that you can better understand this vital aspect of digital marketing.

Identify Keywords to Target

Today, algorithms on Google, Bing, and other search engines analyze a multitude of different factors when ranking websites. These algorithms look for the presence of internal links, outbound links, and backlinks (links from other sites to your page).

Additionally, they consider factors like the quality of meta descriptions, the presence and formatting of image tags, and many other technical website details. However, keywords remain a pivotal component of estate planning SEO. Keywords must be strategically placed in content, within meta descriptions, and in page headers and subheaders.

The challenge of keyword targeting is deciding which phrases you want to rank for. If you attempt to rank for the wrong keywords, you will have an extremely difficult time increasing the visibility of your estate planning law firm.

Naturally, common phrases like "estate planning lawyers" will be nearly impossible to rank for, especially if your current estate planning marketing strategy is virtually non-existent. Typically, well-established law firms with comprehensive digital marketing strategies dominate these key phrases.

Therefore, we suggest using one of two approaches. The first involves targeting long-tail keywords, and the second involves incorporating localized phrases into your content. Let's take a closer look at each tactic.

Long-tail keywords are phrases that typically include somewhere between five and seven words. These keywords are less competitive than short phrases like "estate planning lawyer" for two reasons.

First, potential clients who are in a hurry are more likely to punch in just a few short words. Second, incorporating short phrases into your attorney blog content in a natural way is much easier.

You can use these perceived shortcomings to your advantage by targeting relevant long-tail keywords. For example, instead of targeting "estate planning lawyer," you could use a phrase like "What does an estate planning lawyer do?"

keywords targeting for lawyers

When used effectively, you can leverage this tactic to acquire more clients. You might even be able to sneak onto the search engine results pages of prospective clients in your area when they query the shorter, more-generalized terms.

Speaking of estate planning clients near your law firm, that brings us to the second keyword targeting strategy — localization.

As with the first tactic, this strategy requires you to modify your keywords. However, instead of turning them into long-tail phrases, you simply add a location-based phrase before or after them. For instance, you could change "estate planning lawyer" to "estate planning lawyer in [your city]."

keyword localization for lawyers

Publish SEO-Optimized Content

Once you have decided which keywords you want to target, it is time to start pumping out SEO-optimized content. When creating content, remember that diversity is key. This rule applies to both the keywords you target and the type of content that you produce.

Ideally, you want a well-balanced library of content that targets several relevant keywords. This setup will help you broaden your reach and appeal to more segments of ideal clients.

You should also ensure that you are publishing more than one type of content. Specifically, your estate planning website should include content such as:

Articles

articles for lawyers

The terms "article" and "blog" are often used interchangeably. While the two types of content are quite similar, the major difference between the two is their average length.

Typically, blogs are under 1,500 words or so. Many blogs remain under the 1,000-word threshold. They are meant to be short, snappy, and easy-to-digest pieces of content that inform clients or prospects about your services. Conversely, articles are traditionally longer-form pieces of content that take an in-depth look at a particular topic.

For instance, you might create a blog that outlines common estate planning services. Conversely, an article on the same subject would explore the topic much deeper and would dive into subtopics like "why you need an estate planning attorney."

Infographics

infographics for lawyers

Infographics are visual pieces of content that include short segments of text. Each piece of text should briefly explain the chart or graph and how it relates to the subject of the infographic.

If you want to relay a lot of information in a condensed fashion, infographics are the way to go. However, you will probably not have very many infographics on your website because creating just a single one requires you to analyze a large volume of data.

Service Pages

service pages example for lawyers

Services pages are precisely what they sound like. They are specialized pages dedicated to a particular area of your practice.

For instance, if you offer both estate planning and probate services, you should have at least one service page for each. If your law firm operates in multiple cities or counties, you will need specific practice pages for each location.

Blogs and FAQ Section

blog example for lawyers

Blogs will compose the lion's share of your website content. You should regularly publish blogs on your law firm's website in order to address relevant legal topics.

Over time, you will find that you need to recycle blog topics. This approach is perfectly acceptable, especially if a year or more has passed since you last covered a particular topic. When rewriting an old blog, make sure to come up with a fresh title, refine the structure, and update specific facts and figures as necessary.

In addition to blogs, you should also create a frequently asked questions (FAQs) section on your website. You can list FAQs at the bottom of each service page or create a dedicated FAQ page on your website. FAQ responses should be concise and to the point so that readers can quickly obtain the specific piece of information they need and move on.

Webinars and Event Promos

If you participate in or host a webinar, make sure to publish this content on your website. You can also provide links to webinars or other video content that you have produced within your blogs. This approach will help you maximize your audience size and connect with new clients.

You should also use your website for advertising local events that you are either hosting or partaking in. Examples of events you could promote include conferences, webinars, and Q&As.

Creating video-based event promos and publishing webinars are great ways of connecting with your target audience. Consumers love video content.

Apply to Niche and Local Directories

Nolo legal directory

While those three to four-inch think Yellow Pages books may be a thing of the past, consumers still turn to directories when they need to find information about a business.

However, instead of breaking out that big yellow book, they now grab their smartphone or laptop. So what does this have to do with marketing your law firm, you ask? Simple — you need to make sure your estate planning law firm is listed in various legal directories.

Listing your law firm's contact information and services in local and niche directories will help you compete with other law firms in your region. Creating a presence on these platforms will make it easier for clients to locate information about your firm as well.

With that being said, there are many directories out there. Creating a listing for each and every one would be incredibly time-consuming. That is why we recommend that you focus on directories that highlight law firms and similar businesses.

Clients using these specific directories already know that they need legal services and are simply attempting to connect with law firms in their vicinity.

Optimize Your Google Business Profile

google my business account

Formerly known as a Google My Business (GMB) account, a Google Business Profile is a free profile for local businesses. You can sign up for a Google Business Profile account, claim your business, and provide some additional information about the services you offer.

Once this is done, you can ensure that details on Google Maps like your address and phone number are correct.

When clients search for estate planning attorneys in your area using Google Maps, your website will appear in the results. If they conduct a location-specific search on the Google search engine, your Google Business Profile will appear in this set of results as well.

google lawyers search result

Once you have claimed your Google Business Profile, you can take advantage of several other free tools as well. You can link your firm's phone number to the profile so that clients can contact you directly from the app. This setup will help you track the number of leads and calls that your firm is receiving each month.

You can also check out our Google My Business guide for lawyers to learn more.

Study Retargeting on Google

While it is true that Google is banning third-party cookies, retargeting is still a valuable marketing tool for your firm. In case you are not aware, cookies are small pieces of text that websites send to users' browsers. These cookies identify which websites the user has visited and allow those sites to engage in retargeting.

Retargeting is the practice of "aiming" paid ads at potential clients who previously visited your website. Proper retargeting is useful because it allows you to market to individuals who have already expressed some level of interest in your services. These individuals may be on the brink of converting into leads but might just need a little extra encouragement.

Although third-party cookies are on their way out, first-party cookies are still an option. A first-party cookie is a cookie that you transmit from your website directly to a user's browser. When someone visits your site, you can send them a cookie and then retarget them with ads later.

Gather More Testimonials

lawyer reviews example

When searching for legal services, the first thing that many prospects look for are reviews from past clients. If your law firm has zero reviews, quite a few prospects might scroll on down to the next law firm in their results list. Negative reviews can be even more detrimental to your ability to obtain more clients.

Whether you have accumulated a few lackluster reviews or have none at all, it is time to take a proactive approach to gathering feedback from past clients. When you are nearing the end of a relationship with your clients, make sure to ask them to leave you a review on your website or on Google directly.

However, before you start soliciting reviews, gather some informal feedback. Ask your clients if they are satisfied with the quality of service that you provided them. If they are luke-warm about your firm, you may not want to ask them to leave you a review. But if they are extremely satisfied with your services, encourage them to review your firm.

After you have compiled a large volume of reviews, create a testimonials page on your website. Highlight some of the best reviews and pull quotes from previous clients to demonstrate the quality of service that you provide.

Social Media as an Estate Planning Lawyer Marketing Tool

social media for lawyers

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are great for advertising certain types of businesses. However, they may not be as effective a tool for marketing services as nuanced as estate planning or probate law.

While having an active presence on a few social media platforms can certainly supplement your other marketing tactics, these channels should not be used as primary methods of acquiring more clients.

Instead, we suggest using your law firm social media accounts to draw attention to your blogs, service pages, and webinars. If you need to generate some short-term boosts in web traffic, you can also launch a paid social media marketing campaign.

Consider Paid Marketing for Estate Planning Attorneys

Speaking of paid marketing, leveraging paid ads is a great way to generate some extra web traffic and draw in some fresh leads. There are two primary types of paid marketing that you can use, which are outlined below.

PPC Marketing Strategies for Estate Planning Attorneys

Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is a tactic that allows you to display ads at the very top of Google's search engine results pages (SERPs). When setting up your campaign, you will need to select a keyword to target and decide how much you want to bid for ads using that phrase.

When a user queries that phrase, Google's algorithm will display three or more of the highest-bidding ads. However, the winning bids will not be charged unless a user clicks on the content provided.

If you want to maximize the return on investment of a PPC law firm campaign while also sticking to your budget, you must carefully decide which words to target. Since running a PPC campaign can get quite complicated, you may want to partner with a digital marketing agency that offers pay-per-click campaign management for attorneys.

Local Advertising

While PPC marketing is a great tool for attracting new clients, you should not neglect local advertising. Marketing your law firm with billboards, signage, and other traditional tactics can help you strengthen your ties with the community. These tried and true methods still offer a lot of value, especially if you are working in a smaller city.

Other forms of local advertising include sponsoring a youth sports team or paying for ad space at a community restaurant. Many small town establishments still allow businesses to pay for ad space on their menus or windows. This approach can be an affordable and surprisingly effective way to advertise your law firm.

How to Get in Touch with Your Community

how to get in touch with your community

When offering a service as personal as probate legal guidance or estate planning, it is vital that you forge strong bonds with your community. There are many great ways to connect with community leaders and prospective clients. A few methods that we suggest include:

Volunteering for Estate Planning-Related Events

If there are any existing estate planning-related events in your community, volunteer to be a part of them. Donating a few hours of your time might draw in more clients and help you grow your business. At a minimum, participating in these events will demonstrate that you care about the people within your community.

For example, you could volunteer to speak at a retirement planning seminar. These seminars are often geared toward older individuals who are preparing to retire in the next five to ten years.

As these individuals prepare for the next stage of their lives, they may realize that they have a need for a reputable estate planning attorney. If they are not aware of the importance of estate planning, you can use these events as an opportunity to educate them.

Join Estate Planning-Related Committees

Joining an estate planning-related committee or board is another great way of connecting with community members. If your community does not have any such committees, consider joining the chamber of commerce.

Contact your local chamber of commerce and find out how much a membership costs. Keep in mind that most chambers have membership tiers. If yours does, ask for details about each option and determine which level would offer the most benefits to your law firm.

Finance Estate Planning-Related Meetings

Organizations that host estate planning-related meetings are always looking for sponsors. Hosting these events does not come cheap, especially if organizers are renting out conference halls, providing refreshments, and bringing in guest speakers.

When you sponsor one of these meetings, your law firm will be advertised to participants. Since the attendees are already interested in estate planning topics, getting your contact information in front of them will likely generate some great leads.

Host Lectures or Presentations

For the average person, the fields of estate planning and probate law are a bit of a mystery. Many people find these topics downright intimidating. You can clear up all of the confusion around your area of expertise and provide a valuable service to your community by hosting lectures or presentations.

Meet with local clubs and organizations to see if their members are interested in learning more about probate and estate planning law. You can reach out to the Rotary Club, local churches, the chamber of commerce, and other community-based organizations.

When you obtain a lecture opportunity, make sure to arrive well-prepared. These meetings are a great opportunity to leave a positive first impression on dozens of prospective clients, so make the most of it.

Banner

Measure Your Results

The only fool-proof way to determine whether your campaign is actually generating more clients for your estate planning practice is to conduct a performance analysis and review your results. According to Forbes, monitoring website traffic can reveal more than ten significant insights about your business and its marketing strategy.

However, measuring your results has many other benefits as well. Most notably, you can identify concerning trends and then explore ways to improve the quality of your marketing campaign. You can revamp existing content, create some new ads, or make changes to your strategy based on customer feedback.

When setting up your monitoring protocols, you will need to select several key performance indicators (KPIs) to track. There are quite literally dozens of different KPIs that you can monitor using platforms like Google Ads. The only real downside to the wealth of options available through Google Ads is that you can experience information overload.

Therefore, we suggest focusing your attention on only a handful of relevant metrics. Let's stick with the Google Ads platform as an example for continuity's sake. When using this interface, we suggest tracking KPIs like average cost-per-click (CPC), average cost-per-acquisition (CPA), and impressions, just to name a few.

Final Thoughts on Digital Marketing for Estate Planning Attorneys

The above marketing tips for probate lawyers and estate planning attorneys can help jumpstart your brand-building efforts. However, marketing a probate law practice or estate planning firm can still be incredibly challenging, especially if your business is in its infancy.

Therefore, you should consider partnering with a digital marketing agency for estate planning lawyers, like Grow Law Firm. Our team can craft a tailored marketing strategy designed to meet the unique needs of your business. Additionally, we offer comprehensive campaign management services that drive results and fuel business growth.

To learn more, contact our team of estate planning and probate law marketing professionals today. We can tailor our dynamic suite of services to suit your needs, budget, and business goals.

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October, 31st
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    Sasha Berson is a legal marketing expert

    Sasha serves as Managing Partner for Grow Law Firm, a Chicago-based digital marketing agency focused solely on specialized growth strategies for attorneys and their practices.

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