Selecting the right estate planning keywords is critical if you want to get more cases through digital marketing. Finding and using keywords that your ideal clients search for online is the cornerstone of any search engine optimization (SEO) or pay per click (PPC) ad campaign.
But having a list of keywords and knowing how to use them for maximum effect are two different things.
Over half of all website traffic comes directly from keyword searches. Estate and probate lawyers have the opportunity to use these terms to tap into a pipeline of people looking for your help. Choosing the right keywords to rank for is the first step to that.
The table below lays out the top 100 keywords for estate attorneys.
And reading the rest of this guide will set you on the path to putting these keywords to use.
We’ve sorted our keywords based on one variable. Monthly search volume.
The list above is a picture of the terms in your practice area that people search for the most often in a given month. We’ve also included the cost per click. That’s the estimated amount you would need to pay Google each time someone clicks on your ad.
Note: We limited this list to only show national search terms. Most parts of the country will also have high-volume terms specific to their region or city.
Having this list of keywords is a great first step into digital marketing, but there are a few things you should know about using them.
How to Use These Keywords
Keywords are valuable in two areas of law firm marketing:
- Creating and optimizing SEO-driven content
- Reaching ideal clients with PPC ad campaigns (through Google Ads)
Choosing between them is not always an either/or situation.
Where you use these keywords depends upon your law firm’s marketing strategy. Some firms choose to focus more on PPC, others go heavy on SEO, and some firms balance both.
Estate planning firms that are new to online marketing and need time to play the long game often choose to run PPC campaigns to begin with.
These firms create SEO-driven content in the background. They drive new clients to the site with ads while letting their SEO content gain traffic. Then they scale down their ad spend after seeing growth from SEO.
Here's how to put these keywords to work with both tactics.
Using Keywords for SEO-Driven Content
Building pages and posts on your site around relevant target keywords is the nucleus of law firm SEO.
The goal of search-optimized content is to capture the attention of your target audience. Your ideal client searches for these terms. It’s up to you to identify these terms and create content that satisfies the reader’s reason for searching.
Our list of estate law keywords is jumping off points for creating content on your website.
For example, some terms form the basis of blog posts, like the question
what is an estate tax or the phrase
asset protection. Other terms are best for service pages like
estate planning or
How and where you use your target keywords on each page you publish matters. The most common places include:
- In page titles
- As headings on the page
- Within the page’s text
- Within the page’s URL
- As alt text for relevant photos on the page
- In your meta descriptions
There’s a delicate balance to using keywords in each piece of content.
Working keywords into your content is a core part of on-page optimization. They help search engines like Google and Bing contextualize the meaning of each page on your site. This allows a search engine’s algorithm to determine when and where you should rank in search results.
But overusing keywords on a given page leads to something that’s stilted and hard to read.
The goal of SEO is to educate your clients and build trust with them. It’s a way to showcase your knowledge of their problem and give them a solution. Content that overuses keywords causes readers to walk away before you can build that trust.
SEO is a wise investment if you’re interested in playing the long game.
Your efforts will start to snowball with each piece of high-quality content you create. SEO-driven content gains traction when you start to build an interconnected web of pages centered on relevant keywords.
But adding PPC alongside your SEO efforts is worth considering. The traffic from ads will drive new clients to your firm while you wait for your SEO content to pick up steam.
Using Keywords to Reach Potential Clients with Google Ads
PPC advertising is a little simpler than creating SEO-driven content.
You pick the keywords that you think are most likely to convert the people who search for them into new clients.
Then you bid on those terms and create a landing page. Bidding on keywords in Google ads allows your ad to appear in the search results above the organic rankings. You pay a fee to Google each time someone clicks on your ad.
Then Google directs that person to your landing page.
That’s the simple part.
The harder part is choosing the keywords with conversion intent and building a good landing page. The best course of action is to run ads only on words and phrases that indicate someone is ready to hire a lawyer right now.
Jumping that hurdle is the key to Google ads for lawyers.
You’ll have a solid pipeline that brings new potential clients to your site if you get that step right. The only downside is that you have to pay for each click. The good news is that estate planning keywords have a much lower cost per click than hypercompetitive practice areas like personal injury.
Finding the Right Keywords is Just the First Step to Successful Campaigns
It's too expensive and time-consuming to throw things at the wall and see what sticks with SEO or PPC campaigns. You need to know how to use these keywords to avoid that haphazard approach.
Too many lawyers get frustrated with organic search efforts and paid ad campaigns because they don't see the results. Most of the time, it's because something is off in the way they’ve set up their campaigns.
Here’s what you need to know to run successful campaigns.
Keywords Only Provide the Initial Direction for SEO Actions
Your content needs to rank if you want to win in organic search.
Having a list of keywords is no guarantee that the content you publish based on it will rank. There’s more to consider than which terms have the highest search volume.
First, you need to consider the search intent of every potential target keyword.
Search intent is all about what the reader is actually looking for when they type a specific phrase or word into Google. Content that’s not aligned with the intent will lose the reader’s interest. So they'll visit your site, but quickly bounce back to the search results.
And that’s a clear signal to Google that your page should not rank.
For example, let's say you choose something like
living trust attorney as a target keyword. What if the actual intent of that search is for an article about when and why someone needs a living trust attorney? And what if you create a living trust service page instead?
Missing the intent like that shows Google that your page doesn’t help that searcher.
Investing your time into uncovering search intent helps you create pages that meet searchers’ needs. It also prevents you from having to backtrack and rewrite content. But it takes significant time investment before each piece you make.
Second, you need to select keywords in a way that protects your pages from cannibalization.
Cannibalization happens when you have more than one page targeting a given keyword. This isn’t just a problem of duplicated effort. It also confuses Google because the algorithm won’t be able to tell which of the two (or more) pages should rank.
The end result is having your cannibalized content compete against each other for a slot on the second page of Google.
There’s a way to prevent cannibalization before it happens, though.
Keywords fall into clusters. Google sees terms like
estate planning lawyer and
estate planning attorney as the same thing, for example. Identifying those clusters lets you determine which group of keywords a single page should target.
But clustering those keywords takes a ton of time and effort.
You have to find massive lists of related terms. Then you need to compare the search results for each term against each other to see if they belong together. That’s a massive time sink for lawyers who just want to create content that stands a chance of ranking.
That brings us to the third aspect of putting keywords to work for you—the time it takes to create pages.
Planning, writing, editing, and publishing don’t just take valuable time away from your schedule as an attorney. It's also a different writing style than what most attorneys use every day.
Writing for SEO is its own skill set that calls on knowing how to write for people on the web. This involves things like:
- Eliminating jargon
- Developing structured content
- Checking for readability
- Making each page easy for the readers’ eye to scan
You also have to know how to optimize your content for both search engines and people. That requires balancing both the technical aspects of SEO while also providing helpful, targeted information to a human reader.
But SEO isn't the only place where lawyers struggle to get success when they take the DIY route.
Looking Before You Leap with PPC Keywords is a Recipe for Disaster
Using your keywords for PPC is a little more of a plug-and-play scenario than SEO.
Google is good at getting your ads in front of the right people once you select your keyword set. But there are still a few things to think about for successful campaigns.
The first is knowing how to validate keywords for conversion potential.
It's a waste of your money to bid on terms for people who are not yet ready to hire a lawyer. You have to spend time qualifying terms to see if they have conversion potential. It’s a lot like checking your keywords for search intent. But it’s even more of a guessing game since someone who is new to PPC won’t have historical data that shows conversion trends.
A good example of this is the keyword
power of attorney.
That’s a term that has a high monthly search volume. It’s also directly related to something in your practice area. But the intent is anything but conversion-focused. People who search for that want Rocket Lawyer, not a flesh-and-blood attorney.
The next thing to keep tabs on is your budget.
Estate planning keywords aren't as competitive as the personal injury field, but every click counts against your budget. You need a way to determine what your bidding budget should look like to stop yourself from spending too much or too little. You also need to watch your results so that you can make budget adjustments.
The third consideration with PPC is that it's not as simple as picking a good keyword and throwing money at it.
You have to have a place for those clicks to go. That means creating high-quality landing pages that convince people to contact you for legal help.
This poses a similar problem to SEO content creation. You’ll need to set aside time to create each landing page. And you’ll need to invest in persuasive copywriting since landing pages need to be much more conversion-focused than many SEO pages.
There is a way to sidestep all of these problems with both PPC and SEO.
Partnering with a team of law firm marketing experts takes all the weight off your shoulders. You can focus on the things you do best for your clients. And you can rest easy knowing that an experienced team has the marketing planning and execution in hand.
Work with an Expert to Get Results for Your Estate Planning Law Firm
You stand the best chance of improving your traffic and bottom line when you know the right ways to use your estate planning keywords.
But keeping track of SEO and PPC efforts is a long and involved process. The most successful law firms partner with outside marketing agencies who are well-versed in SEO and PPC to get the most out of every aspect of their plans.
At Rankings.io, we're known for delivering results with our SEO services for lawyers and PPC campaigns. Contact us today for a call to discuss your content marketing goals.