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Keys to Effective Estate Planning Website Design

Posted On: September 15, 2022

By: Jennifer Goddard

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Written by: Jennifer Goddard

Jennifer Goddard is CEO and co-founder of IMS. She has been at the helm of the agency since its start-up in 1995. Jennifer specializes in helping estate planning and elder lawyers grow 7-figure firms with digital marketing. Jennifer has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master's degree in business administration from Michigan State University.
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IMS CEO Jennifer Goddard

There's more to marketing an estate planning law firm than just a website ... but a great estate planning website is the hub of your online marketing efforts. It should attract your ideal clients, position you as the market leader, and convert qualified prospects into bonafide leads, calls, and initial consultations.

In other words, effective estate planning website design will attract and convert great prospects who become great clients.

The Challenge for Estate Planning Attorneys

The Marketing Imperative

Unlike other practice areas, one or two great clients for an estate planning attorney probably won't keep you busy for years ... or even months. Estate planning attorneys a steady flow of great clients who want and value your services. That's a strong marketing imperative ... you need a website that continuously delivers website visitors and prospective clients!


Most of us live day-to-day with our heads in the sand, believing on some level that we will never die ... or at least not for a very long time. So, it's natural for people to avoid the topic of estate planning, thinking they will get around to it someday ... just not today. Your estate planning website has to overcome your prospect's natural tendency to procrastinate and get them to take action!


When was the last time you saw an advertisement for a do-it-yourself DUI defense ... or wrongful death lawsuit? It just doesn't happen. But as soon as your prospect starts searching online for wills and trusts, they are bombarded with DIY solutions that sound soooo easy ... and cheap! Your website has to compete with all that online clutter!


There are few practice areas more personal than estate planning ... your clients share with you their finances, their family relationships, their hopes and dreams and their greatest fears. An estate planning website has to show them that you're approachable, credible and ... likable!

One more thing ... and here's what most estate planning marketeers won't tell you ... people aren't swarming the internet searching for a death attorney. What I mean is, by focusing your practice in estate planning, you've niched down to a pretty narrow slice of the market. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that estate planning marketing requires a bit of experience, knowledge, and sophistication. This is not mass-marketing and a lot of what marketeers believe about online marketing just doesn't hold up when it comes to estate planning.

Don't miss opportunities to attract clients

When people see your listing show up on Google, you better be well-armed to get them to click-through. Remember, you're not the only one showing up -- you're sharing that online space with some pretty big players. Showing up is one thing, and that's tough enough in competitive markets ... but getting your ideal next client to click through on your listing and visit your website, that's a whole other ball game.

Here are two quick tips to get your next client to click through on your listing:

  • Google Business Profile. Make sure yours is robust and up-to-date. Post photos and interesting, relevant content at least a couple of times each week. Make sure your profile accurately displays your hours, your location, the services you offer and how to book a call or make an appointment.
  • Google Reviews. Here's the bottom line: if you don't have a lot of 5-star Google reviews, you're not really in the game. Your best next client will click through to visit someone else who does. It's that simple. And, if you're worried about a bad review, remember that the best defense for a bad review is to have lots and lots of great ones. No one is perfect, and most reasonable people (aka the type you want to work with!) understand that. The best time to get a 5-star review? Right now. Go. Now. Ask your best clients and give them the direct link to make it easy for them!

Effective Estate Planning Website Design Starts Here

Establish your website's purpose

A website's purpose is to deliver on two goals: to attract new clients and to support the current client base. The website should be designed with the ideal client in mind, speaking directly to their needs and resonating with their values. The website should also be designed to attract new clients who are within driving distance of the office.

The first thing to do, before anyone starts coding a line or picking out fonts, is to get super clear on these five points:

  • Your Brand. Remember, estate planning is a very personal service. But the internet is an impersonal media. It's not as easy to come across as trustworthy, credible and likable online as when you meet in-person, like at a workshop ... and you can't parlay the trust of a referral source. You have to build it with your personal brand.
  • Your Mission, Vision and Values. These are the things that drive your purpose, keep you excited about your work, and resonate on a deep level with your ideal clients.
  • Your Standards. Start with standards. Who is your ideal client? Who are the people you most want to serve? Design your marketing to speak directly to them. Conversely, who are the people who absolutely will not take on as clients? Make sure you are not inadvertently attracting them. For example, if you're really tired of people giving you push-back on your fees and swear to yourself you're not going to take on a single new client who argues with you over every penny ... then why are you listing your fee schedule on your website ... or using adjectives like "affordable" ... or even talking about money? Your estate planning website sets the tone of the conversation -- and you get to choose whether this is a conversation about money or about more important things like values, family, and personal responsibility.
  • Your Target Market. Where are you located? Set a target to dominate the market within driving distance of your office ... usually not more than a 25-mile radius. This doesn't mean you can't branch out to neighboring areas, or even to your entire state, but a shotgun approach just doesn't work with Google. Grow where you're planted ... then look to broaden your influence.
  • Your Goals. Be very clear about your goals for your estate planning website before you get tangled up in the design questions about fonts, colors, photographs and whether your best friend's college roommate who once designed a website likes the look. Your website needs to deliver on two goals. The rest is fluff.

Keep it simple

The website should be designed to be clean, efficient and easy to use. The primary focus should be to make it as easy as possible for visitors to find the information they need and take the next step, whether that's booking a call or requesting an appointment.

Make sure your contact information is prominently displayed

The website should have a clear and easy to find contact form or phone number so that potential clients can easily get in touch.

Use engaging visuals

Engaging visuals, such as images and videos, can help bring the website to life and make it more visually appealing. These can be used sparingly to avoid overwhelming visitors with too much information at once. Engaging visuals are also a great way to bring your law firm's personality to life.

Use clear and concise language

The website should use clear and concise language that is easy to understand. Jargon should be avoided as much as possible.

Have a call to action

The website should have a clear call to action, such as "book a free consultation" or "request more information." This helps visitors know what the next step is and makes it easy for them to take action.

Optimize for search engines

The website should be designed with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind to help ensure that it appears as high as possible in search results. This can be achieved by using keywords throughout the site, including in the content, titles and metadata.

Make sure the website is mobile-friendly

With more and more people using smartphones and tablets to access the internet, it's important to make sure that the website is designed to be mobile-friendly. This means that it should be easy to navigate and use on a smaller screen.

Get help from a professional

Despite the fact that there are a ton of DIY web design tools and platforms, designing a an effective estate planning website can be a complex process, so it's best to get help from a professional. You are an estate planning lawyer, not a web designer. A web designer or developer can help ensure that the website is well-designed and effective at achieving its goals. Your website should look professional, just like how you present yourself. Non-professional looking websites are likely to turn prospective clients away very quickly.

Estate planning lawyers should also consider hiring a professional SEO company to help ensure that the website is designed for optimal search engine ranking. The right SEO company will have experience designing estate planning websites and will be familiar with the latest Google algorithms and how to design a website accordingly.

Create effective content

Having good content on your website is important for estate planning lawyers because it will help you attract new clients (SEO) and keep the ones you have. The website should be designed in a way that speaks to the ideal client and resonates with their values. It should also be designed to attract new clients who are within driving distance of the office.

Blog page

A blog is important for estate planning law firms because it allows them to share their knowledge and expertise with potential and current clients. A blog can also help with SEO, as it will help the firm's website rank higher in search results for specific topics. In addition, a blog can be a great way to connect with potential clients and show them what your firm is all about.

The blog should cover a range of topics that are related to your practice areas and services your law firm provides. These topics can be anything from estate planning tips to new changes in the law. The key is to provide value to your readers and show them that you are an expert in your field.

In addition, the blog should be updated regularly with fresh content. This will show potential clients that your firm is active and up-to-date on the latest estate planning news and information.

Promote your website online

Once the website is designed and launched, it's important to promote it online. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO): This involves optimizing the website for specific keywords so that it appears higher in search results. Localizing your SEO efforts will ensure that your local audience is targeted for searches.
  • Pay-per-click advertising (PPC): This is a form of advertising where you pay for each person who clicks on your ad.
  • Social media marketing: Use social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, to promote your website and attract new visitors.
  • Email marketing: This involves sending emails to potential or current clients to promote your website.

Evaluate and improve your website regularly

From time to time, you should look at your website and see if it needs any improvements. You can do this by looking at how people use it and what they think of it. You can also ask your friends and family what they think. If you make any changes, you should test them out to see if they work well.

Google Analytics and Google Search Console are invaluable tools for tracking how people use your website and what they think of it. These tools can help you see what people are searching for, how they are finding your website, and how long they are staying on it.

In conclusion, designing an effective website for an estate planning law firm requires a bit of planning and effort. However, the payoff can be well worth it, as a well-designed website can help attract new clients and grow your business. Follow the tips above to create a website that will help your firm succeed.

If you need help designing or promoting your website, schedule a free discovery call with us.

We're experts at effective estate planning website design that will help you grow your estate planning practice.


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Disclaimer: Growing a small law firm to six or seven figures (or more) is not easy. The journey is both challenging and exhilarating. At every step you may be tempted to quit. Those who succeed are committed, coach-able and resourceful. If that’s you, let’s talk.