We have witnessed many law firms having to change their domain names due to partner changes. None of them anticipated the changes several years ago when they choose their law law firm names, and later, their domain names. When they had changes, they encountered significant expense having to change their domain names and start over with portions of their Web design, traffic, SEO, business cards, stationary, signage, etc.
Unless a firm’s brand is very strong and the firm is confident the firm name will not change, e.g., if the name consists of a few founding partners’ names, it is usually best to avoid partner name domains. If the brand is established, it is best, however, to continue using the partners’ names.
Multiple Website Domain Names
Choosing domain names also comes into play when a firm adds additional websites. We recently wrote an article entitled, “Should a law firm have multiple websites?” that discusses reasons a firm might choose to maintain additional websites. While choosing a keyword rich domain name is not as important as having high-quality content, relevant back links, proper positioning of keywords and some other factors, choosing a good domain name is important for several reasons. The reasons include search engine optimization (SEO), branding, traffic and others.
Domain Choice Considerations
When two sites are equal, the keyword-rich domain name will outrank the general domain name. Anchor text is very important. It is often difficult to convince potential link sources to choose or accept strong anchor text. An easier way to accomplish this is to choose a domain name that contains anchor text keywords. Your goal needs to be to help people intuitively choose good anchor text. Having the right domain names can play a huge role in this. Another factor is that Google is moving toward localization of search results. Geographic domain names can play an important role in localization rankings’ success.
If possible, choose a domain name that will allow someone to know what you do by just seeing the domain name. Google’s algorithms use the same logic. Google wants to deliver the best match for the query. If someone searches for a Hilton Hotel, they want to deliver a Hilton Hotel, not resellers of hotel rooms. If a searcher wants to find a gall bladder removal lawyer, Google wants to deliver the highest-quality match. This site www.lawwebmarketing.com, for example, ranks very well for queries on law web marketing and related phrases such as law firm Web marketing, legal Web marketing and others. Most domain name sites also offer options if a desired domain name has been taken. You can see examples on our legal domain site or e.g., whois.net. Domain names typically cost $10 each.
Branding – Bear in mind that partner names can be combined with keywords, e.g., SmithJonesInjuryLawyers.com or SmithJonesRaleighAccidentLaw.com. Branding a name such as MesotheliomaHelp.net has distinct advantages over partner names for non-Web advertising, pay-per-click advertising, articles and other materials.
Perception, Memorable, and Easy To Type Domains Names, – Domain names such as MesotheliomaHelp.net, gallbladder-removal.com, TruckInjuries.com and WakeTrafficTicket.com indicate that the firm focuses on these areas and are more appealing to someone needing specialized help. Additionally, these domains are short, memorable and, if the site is developed properly, will rank well.
Longevity – The major search engines consider a domain that has been registered for an extended period of time to be a commitment to the domain name and not, e.g., a temporary spam website. Consider investing in a good domain name. If you are going to invest thousands developing and marketing a website, why not also invest in buying a domain name that will rank more quickly. If possible, buy a domain that is established, has strong back links and already ranks well. We and other legal vendors have many good law firm domain names.
Other Domain Tips – Buy similar versions and common misspellings of your domain to avoid confusion. A few of the domains can be redirected to point to your website. Avoid having numerous domain names linking to your site. If you choose a hyphenated domain, try to also obtain the non-hyphenated versions.
We hope this is helpful. To obtain more information, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com or call us at 800-872-6590.