PPC vs SEO for Estate Planning Law Firms

Due to the nature of estate planning being more of a temporary service, you always have to be on the lookout for new clients. In the past, hosting dinner seminars and relying on local word-of-mouth referrals were adequate strategies. However, these days, there are many more effective and scalable ways to grow your estate planning client base. 

Two of these strategies are search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Below, we’ll break down the differences between these two legal marketing tactics and explain which one is better for your law firm. 

Estate Planning Law Firm Marketing Strategies

Both SEO and PPC offer powerful results in estate planning law firm marketing. They can help your law firm:

  • Boost its website traffic
  • Get discovered by a potential client
  • Grow its client base

However, they go about achieving these goals in slightly different ways. Let’s take a look at how they differ when it comes to estate planning:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

When you search for something on Google, the word or phrase you type into the search bar is called a “keyword” or “keyword phrases” If you’re like 70 to 90% of people,1 you rarely look past the first page of search results to find what you’re looking for. 

With that in mind, it’s very valuable to have your law firm’s website show up on the first page of Google for relevant keyword phrases, like “estate planning los angeles” or “wills and trusts boston.” Law Firm SEO is the marketing strategy that can make this happen. 

SEO strategy  is the process of optimizing your law firm website so it will show up higher on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). By implementing a combination of SEO keyword strategies, you may be able to earn a first-page spot on Google for your target keywords. 

SEO Impacts Organic Search Results Positions

One important distinction between SEO and PPC is what search result positions they impact. 

  • Organic positions – SEO helps your website show up in “organic” SERP listings. These are the ten listings in the center of a search results page that aren’t ads. 
  • Paid ad positions – In contrast, PPC helps your website show up in the paid ad listings, which are usually located at the very top and bottom of a SERP. 

Getting your estate planning website to occupy one of these high search engine ranking positions can earn you a ton of website traffic.

How Does SEO Work?

SEO involves a combination of tactics, including:

  • Making sure that your law firm website loads fast, is mobile-friendly, and has a stylish web design.
  • Adding keywords to website for SEO in strategic locations, like the title tag, meta description, image alt-text, URL, and web page copy.
  • Getting other authoritative websites to link to yours, like local news sources, local business websites, and other trustworthy legal websites. 
  • Generating useful content in the form of blogs, videos, infographics, and social media posts that encourage people to visit your website.

These are just a handful of the SEO techniques a professional marketing firm would implement to get your website to rank higher on Google. Since Google is always updating its algorithms, an SEO campaign requires close monitoring and continuous optimization.

When done right, an effective SEO campaign can bring you a consistent influx of estate planning clients for years to come. 

How Long Does SEO Take?

Seeing results from SEO can take time—generally around 4 to 6 months.2 More significant results can take up to a year. As a result, SEO is considered a long-term marketing strategy. 

If you can’t afford to wait this long for results, you may want to explore your options with PPC instead. 

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

PPC advertising is a marketing strategy where you purchase ads on Google, Facebook, or other social media platforms. PPC gets its name from the fact that you only pay for these ads when someone clicks on them. 

When it comes to price, supply and demand plays a role in PPC advertising. The amount of money you must pay for each click depends on your location and the amount of competition there is for your target keywords. The more competition there is, the more expensive the clicks will be. 

Fortunately, you can be extremely targeted with your PPC campaign, so every PPC ad is a direct investment to expand your client base. We can even tailor your campaign to the specific type of case within your practice area.

PPC Ad Targeting

When you set up your PPC campaign, you get to choose which demographics of people you show your ad to. You can also decide exactly when and where your ad shows up, specifying the approved:

  • Times of day
  • Days of week
  • Geographic regions
  • Device types (mobile vs desktop)
  • Household income

For instance, as an estate planning attorney, you may want to target your ad to people of a specific age group and household income. By employing this type of precise targeting, you can ensure that your advertising money goes to good use.

PPC Impacts Your Paid Search Results Positions

As we mentioned before, PPC helps your website get placed in a paid ad listing on Google. The ones that are located at the very top of a SERP generally cost more, due to their high demand.

In the past, paid ad listings didn’t instill as much trust in internet users as organic listings. However, recent data shows that the tide of trust has been turning in PPC’s favor.3 

As long as your ad is written properly, a PPC campaign can be incredibly successful at boosting your law firm’s website traffic and attracting new clients. 

How Long Does PPC Take?

Compared to SEO, PPC delivers extremely fast results. It is an extremely effective short-term strategy and can skyrocket your website to the top of the SERPs in a matter of days. 

As soon as your PPC campaign is up and running, you can start getting new clients from it. Thus, it’s an enticing option if you need consistent clients as soon as possible. 

How Does PPC Work?

Here are some of the basic steps involved in setting up a PPC ad campaign:

  • Write the ad copy – If you want internet users to click on your ad, it needs to showcase compelling copy that invokes trust and generates interest. Most PPC ads have a headline and some introduction text. Your headline should capture readers’ attention and your introduction should compel them to click on the ad by promising some sort of value. 
  • Target the right keywords – As with SEO, you get to choose which keywords your PPC ad will show up for. To choose the right keywords, you’ll need to do some research. Generally, local SEO keywords (like “san diego estate planning attorney”) are much more affordable and effective than generic keywords (like “estate planning law firm.”) 

However, determining which keywords offer the most opportunity for your law firm takes a lot of strategic analysis. It’s often better to leave this process to PPC professionals. 

  • Bid on keywords – PPC is a very competitive undertaking. There’s a limited amount of ad space to go around and an increasing number of companies vying for it. To win one of these valuable paid ad positions for your estate planning law firm, you’ll need to outbid the competition for your target keywords. 
  • Select your audience targeting – Finally, you can narrow down your ad’s audience by targeting specific age groups, demographics, geographic regions, device types, times of day, and days of the week. As the data from your PPC campaign performance comes in, you can optimize your targeting accordingly.

At Convert IT we take care of absolutely everything. All you have to do is tell us what types of cases you’re looking for and we’ll manage the rest. 

However, unlike SEO, you must continuously fund your PPC ads to keep the campaign active. As long as your PPC ads bring in clients, this recurring investment will be worth it for your law firm. 

PPC vs SEO: Which One Is Better For Estate Planners?

As you can see, both of these marketing strategies can support your estate planning lead generation efforts. If you have the budget to implement both, they can work in tandem to deliver you more clients.

If you want to invest in just one marketing strategy at this time, we recommend PPC. Due to its immediate results, it can provide your law firm with the fast influx of new clients you need to pay the bills. As your revenue grows, you can then begin investing in SEO.

Convert IT: PPC Made Easy

PPC is an effective and profitable way to super-charge your estate planning practice. If you’d like to invest in PPC, Convert IT can help. 

At Convert IT, we specialize in legal PPC campaigns. Even if you have a limited marketing budget, we can set up a PPC campaign that delivers powerful results. 

Best of all, you don’t need to sign a contract to try out our services. If you don’t get any new clients within 30 days of working with us, you can cancel for free. Learn more about our marketing services today. 


  1. Forbes. The Value Of Search Results Rankings. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/10/30/the-value-of-search-results-rankings/
  2. Marketing Land. A New Click Through Rate Study For Google Organic Results. https://marketingland.com/new-click-rate-study-google-organic-results-102149
  3. Forbes. How Long Does SEO Take To Start Working?https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2015/02/07/how-long-does-seo-take-to-start-working/
  4. Moz. New Findings Show Google Organic Clicks Shifting to Paid. https://moz.com/blog/google-organic-clicks-shifting-to-paid