Beyond making sure that your firm’s website domain name is legally available, there are several other things to keep in mind when choosing a domain name that will aid your online attorney marketing. There is nothing more frustrating than putting hours and hours of work into your firm’s website (or paying someone to do so) to only get minimal traffic to your site. Having a smart domain name is the first step in bettering law firm online marketing.
Domain extensions are one aspect to keep in mind when building your domain name. Many web masters struggle not only with picking the highest-quality domain name, but with what domain extension to put behind that domain name. Following are a list of the most used domain extensions, and what they represent: .com stands for “commercial” and is by far the most-used domain extension; .edu is used for educational institutions, .net means “network host” and is usually used by hosting companies; .org stands for “organization,” and .info is used for informational sites.
In addition, if a local market is your primary focus, you may want to use a local domain.
Domain extensions that are country-specific, such as “.com.au” for Australia and “.co.uk” for England can be valuable if you do any legal work internationally. In that case, you may want to register both the American and international version of your chosen domain name.
Secondly, it is very important to be different, if not unique, in your domain name. Distinguish yourself from your competitors in the legal sector with a name that is easy to remember and original. Also, make sure that your domain name won’t cause any marketplace confusion.
Thirdly, include RELATED keywords in your domain name that will increase your law firm marketing visibility. A keyword-rich domain name will help you rank high for those specific phrases or keywords.
Domain name spacing and hyphenation is a topic that is debated amongst different search engine optimization specialists; “my-domain.com,” for example, is perhaps better to understand than “mydomain.com,” but hyphens are also harder for clients and potential customers to remember. I recommend just registering both the hyphenated version and the non-hyphenated version of your domain name, as each has its benefits, and domains are relatively inexpensive investments. It will be worth your money towards law firm marketing in the long run.
Finally, the shorter your domain name, the better. Between eight and ten characters is widely considered to be the ideal length, but this is not always realistic. Just try to pick a domain name that is not excessively long and easy for others to remember.
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