I just did this.
I can recommend two things.
1) Download Carbon Copy Cloner. It can make an exact duplicate of the internal drive to an external drive, including recovery partitions. It has a 30-day trial that will let you do this.
2) Get a USB to Sata cable. Connect your SSD as an external.
Using Carbon Copy Cloner, you can make an exact copy of your internal drive to the SSD. After you've done that. You can hold Option while booting up, to bring up the menu to select the boot volume.
Choose the external drive. If it boots normally, you are all set. Just swap it into the laptop. Once you do that, don't forget to go into System Preferences and choose the new default boot volume. If you don't it will search for the old one every boot up, and will take a long time.