What domain name to select?

Law firm domain nameHaving a webpage is vital for almost any law firm. The reality is that a webpage for a law firm is a necessity. A webpage can be a source of gaining new clients. Others in the legal community are likely to check out your webpage presence. It could even be other lawyers or judges in the area reading about your law firm.

But before getting into the design and look of the webpage, one of the first questions is the domain name. The domain name is what individuals will type into search engines to find your webpage. A URL is another way to refer to a domain name. To get to your domain, most type in www. and then your domain name.

In the end, the domain name can have an impact on the success or lack of success of your law firm’s efforts online. Once you select that domain, just like the name of your firm, it is not something easy to change. Thus, it is crucial to think about it long and hard about settling on a domain name.

Many law firms simply buy the domain that correlates to their law firm name. So, long as the name is not too long and memorable enough, this simple strategy can work well for many law firms. The problem for some, however, is that some law firms can have many named partners.

Some law firms with many named partners might decide to trim down the name by only having the first two partners in the domain name alone. Or, some law firms might opt for the initials of the partners in the law firm name.

Either approach can generally be effective. However, just listing the first two partners in the domain name might be a more pithy domain name, the named partners not listed might not like their omission.

For this reason, some law firms opt for the initials of their partners in their domain name. So, as an example, some law firms might opt for a domain name of abcdlawfirm.com.  Putting in the initials can be a good strategy for some law firms. However, some law firms might worry that using initials might not have the branding effect they desire.

Using a keyword for the area of law in which they practice is another approach to consider. As long as it is memorable enough and not too long, this can work. So, take the example of abcdcriminallaw.com. However, most law firms do not want to include too many keywords. Too many keywords can make the domain name too long.  Some also theorize that a domain stuffed with too many keywords can be frowned upon by the search engines.

However, one thing most experts agree should not be in a domain name are hyphens. Hyphens correlate to spammy behavior with the search engines. It can also make the domain hard to remember. At most, domain names should only have one hyphen, but most experts agree using no hyphens is the better approach.

While most law firms will not have a reason to use numbers, most agree that numbers in a domain name are also a bad idea. When a number is in a domain name, most will not know whether to spell the number or type the actual number. The potential for confusion is what makes numbers a poor idea.

Some law firms may attempt to put city or state names in their domain name. The hope is that this helps with SEO. However, most research shows adding a city or state name does little to help with the placement in the search engines.

Instead, search engine rankings have more to do with the content of the webpage. It is also more based on the number of relevant links coming into the webpage itself that raises relevant trust flow. Putting a city or state name in can also detract from memorability of the domain name.

If the law firm is including a city or state in their domain name, they just have to be careful that they are not making the domain name too long. One also has to wonder whether putting in the city or state in the domain name detracts from the brand name of the law firm. For these kinds of domains with the city or state in it, they might be better used as a redirection to the law firm webpage than the domain of the webpage itself.

The name of a domain is essential for law firms. Law firms should think long and hard about their domain name before selecting one. Once it is selected, and it is known and backlinks start coming into it, changing the domain name later can be problematic in terms of search engine optimization.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.

 

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