We look into the trends over the last 2 years of when people are searching for wills and probate services.
One of the most effective ways to track trends within business, including the wills and probate industry, is to analyse the terms people are searching for on the internet regarding associated services. Although these figures are rough estimates and averages, it will give you a good indication of the peaks and troughs within the market.
Knowing when the general public are seeking services is vital for any business, as this allows you to plan ahead to market your offering and even predict when there could be busier and quieter times within your business. This is particularly important for any will writer, estate planner and probate practitioner as these are generally not considered as “all-year-round” requirements.
When looking at the search engine terms across the last 2 years (July 2015-June 2016) there have been around 250,000-450,000 searches every month for words that could be associated with wills and probate. That is a significant number of people looking for services, information and help and many are likely to be potential clients for you as well as your competitors.
Interestingly, although many would assume search terms for these services will increase towards the end of each calendar year, when analysing the graphs, the spikes tend to be in the first quarter – around January-March. Granted, this is now often the coldest time of year, making the elderly more vulnerable and more likely to require a will, or pass away and lead to related services being required. However this could also be down to people getting prepared for the start of the financial year or being driven by the New Year and need for a fresh start, preparing for the year ahead.
The top search within the group is “inheritance tax”, receiving an average of 49,000 per month. There was a clear peak within the last 2 years during April 2016. The next most searched for is “power of attorney” which sees 40,500 searches on average per month. The most popular months for this term were witnessed in Q1 2015 but other than this period, the figures remain steady throughout the year.
Other key search engine terms include:
- “Will writer”: peaked in August 2015 and during Spring 2016
- “Making a will”: peaked in Q1 2015 with a surge at the beginning of each year
- “How to make a will”: consistent peak every January
- “What is probate”: receives on average 5,400 searches per month and remains at a consistent level throughout the year
- “Will writing service”: there are no clear patterns for this term, though there tends to be a spike at the beginning of the year
One key term that has seen an intriguing pattern is “Writing a will” which has gradually increased since 2014. Here, people could be seeking to write their own will and need tutorials or instruction, but it would also be those searching for services and they don’t know where to start with the process.
Would you like to see more in depth analysis for search term trends? Do these results correspond with your business levels?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.