Using careful consideration when choosing the domain name for your firm’s website is just as important as making sure that your website has quality content. The last thing you want when trying to simply increase your online marketing as an attorney is to get caught in a legal battle for trademark violation down the road–or, in contrast, to have a website that receives minimal traffic despite all the work you put into it. So how do you pick a quality domain name that will help you increase your law firm’s marketing and be totally unique? Below are some of the first steps you should take.
Brainstorm: Make a list of keywords or phrases related to the area or areas of law that your firm practices.
Experiment: Try out different variations of the words in your list. Switch the order of the words around to create combinations that are usable and unique for potential domain names that you can use.
Check Availability: Check on the availability of the possible domain names you came up with, using a domain registrar like Network Solutions. If the domain name you want is already taken, many domain registrars will give you a list of alternative domains that are similar but available for the taking.
Check Trademarks: Make sure that no trademarks exist for a specific combination of words before you use it in your domain names. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (http://www.uspto.gov/) has one of the biggest searchable databases of words and phrases that are trademarked.
Test It: Try out the potential domain name to friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Ask them how the proposed domain name makes them feel and what their first reaction to the name was. If you do any legal work internationally or work primarily with non-English speakers, make sure you ask people from these demographics their opinion too. Words and their intended meaning do not necessarily translate well into other languages, and you don’t want to run the risk of unintentionally offending or alienating a potential target audience.
Buy It, and Variations of It: Once your potential domain name has passed all of the tests above, purchase it before someone else does! Additionally, because domain names are relatively cheap, I recommend purchasing variations of your domain name so that you can lock those up too. Then, from these variation domain sites you can redirect any traffic to your primary domain.
Good luck! Online marketing for attorneys is not always easy, but with these tips you should be able to create a specific, unique and high-quality domain name for your firm that will aid in your online lawyer marketing.
Written by Barrett Sharpe
Barrett Sharpe, founder of AdDaddy Networks, is a law firm marketing, attorney advertising, and search engine optimization specialist. He has had his hand in many successful projects, including Lawyer Search and the widely known LegalHub website where attorneys and clients connect. He is available, on a very limited basis, for consulting in a number of fields. Mr Sharpe also operates a seminar, coaching and consulting business for law firms. He accepts communications from interested parties via fax and FedEx exclusively. (phone calls or emails will not be accepted, nor answered.) Barrett Sharpe, 3201 B North Davidson St., Charlotte, NC 28205, fax: (704) 488-0552