How to Select the Right Domain for your Law Firm’s Website
Most law firms have websites, and if your law firm has one, you may already have a domain name that you’re already fond of. If, on the other hand, you’re starting a new firm, you don’t have a website, or you are looking to select a new domain name that is more memorable or better reflects the image of your law firm, then this guide is for you.
You may already have a few ideas in mind, but some of those may already be in use or are unsuitable for other reasons. With a little creativity and forethought, however, you can come up with a unique domain name that suits your law firm website.
What is a Domain Name?
You may have noticed that web addresses, or URLs, follow a standard format. For instance, the web address for On The Map Marketing’s homepage is https://www.onthemap.com/. The part after the www. and before the .com is our domain name: onthemapmarketing. That domain name is registered to our lawyer SEO company and cannot be used by another site—at least not with a .com designation. If you have an existing lawyer website on the internet, you also have a lawyer domain name and a unique web address.
7 Tips on Choosing a Good Lawyer Domain Name
Not all domain names are created equal. Some are cumbersome, long, unwieldy, forgettable, and may even spell undesirable words when none of the words have any spaces between them. Then there are those good attorney websites that follow the best law firm domain name practices, practices that we outline here.
1. Domain Name Spelling
For the most part your law domain name should use the common spelling. Clever, or otherwise strange, spelling choices are confusing to potential clients, who may end up inadvertently clicking on another firm’s web address while searching for yours. If the name you want is already taken, choose another name.
2. Brief and to the Point
Superlativecriminaldefensesolicitors.com is a terrible name—still available at the time of this writing, by the way. But we chose one that was ridiculously impractical to make this point. Your web address has to be easy for people to type into their phones or they’re less likely to go to your site. Additionally, you want it to neatly fit onto stationery, business cards, et cetera. In the event that your email is tied to your domain name, you don’t want your clients to receive mailer-daemon warnings when they miss one letter in that lengthy name.
3. Easy to Type Out
Most forms of punctuation can’t be used in a domain name, but you should also avoid hyphens (which are allowed in domain names). Clients aren’t likely to remember to use the hyphen and even if they do, who wants to include extra step of going to the different keyboard on your phone? So stay away from law site domain names like smith-davislawfirm.com. Instead, opt for something like smithdavislawfirm.com.
4. Make Sure Your Domain Name is Compatible with Your Practice Areas
When selecting your domain name, it is necessary to really drill down to the main focus of your practice, whether that is criminal law, family law, or something else. You should concentrate on what part of the law in which your practice specializes. For instance, if you are a family lawyer that specializes in child custody cases, then childcustodylawyer, or something similar, should be a part of your domain name, instead of the broader family lawyer term.
You should also add the region you serve in the domain name as well, so if you serve Miami, then your domain name would include the words miamichildcustodyattorney, or something along those lines. If your law firm has an attorney who is well known and has a good reputation, then their name can be used in the domain name instead. Also, if your firm specializes in buzzed about, newsworthy cases, like mesothelioma for example, then you can incorporate that into your domain name.
5. Make a Statement
Here is where you have a little freedom to be creative. Depending on what your firm’s name is, it may or may not also be suitable to be a law firm domain name (e.g. alexjoneslaw.com). Sometimes, you can combine your practice area with your geographical region (e.g. utahmaritimelaw.com). Sometimes you can make a good phrase or sentence into an excellent domain name (e.g. duidefenders.com).
Make sure that any domain name follows the rest of the rules and isn’t already taken.
6. Go for the .com
If you find that the name that you’ve had your heart set upon is already taken, you may consider registering your domain as a .net, a .co, or a .lawyer, but that also exposes you to the risk of a potential client entering your domain name and finishing their input with “.com” out of sheer habit, which will, of course, send them to the website of another law firm. If you find that the .com version of your domain name is taken, you may want to go with another name option.
Consider registering the .net version of your website along with the .com. It will discourage others from trying to piggyback off of your success by copying your domain name.
7. Your Name Needs to Last
You may change the name of your law firm every time you add a partner, but this practice is not advisable for your lawyer domain name. Google and other search engines give authority to domains that have been around longer. Additionally, you’ll need to change your business cards, stationery, email addresses, et cetera.
Is Your Law Firm Domain Name Available
Before you go to your partners, family, and friends with your clever new law firm domain name idea, you should probably check to see if it’s even available. It’s easy to check out whether a domain name is available on a registration site like Go Daddy.
You can compile a short list of names, and then run them by other decision makers in your firm.
Other Factors When Choosing a Law Domain Name
Purchasing Existing Names
You may find that a name you want is available for purchase. In most cases, the monetary value of the existing name, which is tied to the domain name’s authority, isn’t equal to the price. If you have just fallen in love with that name, however, it may have personal value to you.
Using Multiple Domain Names
Google won’t give you bonus points for having more than one domain name, but there may be reasons specific to your law firm that would necessitate the use of multiple domain names. For instance, if you are a criminal defense lawyer, but you wanted to market the DUI defense area of your practice separately, you might launch a separate website with a different domain name. You could then choose how closely you want the new site to be associated with the other parts of your practice. You can do this by interlinking them or by referencing the sites on each others’ pages.
Your domain name is important, but what’s even more crucial is that you show up in search engine results, regardless of your law firm domain name. Some potential clients may try to find you by typing in your website address, but most are going to be looking for a law firm in your location and area of practice. Search engine optimization focuses on getting your law firm to the top of those rankings, so that potential clients see you first. On The Map Marketing is the premiere company for lawyer SEO. If you’re not convinced, type “lawyer SEO” into Google and see who’s at the top of the organic search results.
Want to learn more about legal marketing? Take a look at some of our top resources:
- SEO for Lawyers
- Best WordPress Themes for Lawyers
- Law Firm SEO Agency
- Law Firm Marketing
- Law Firm SEO Case Study
- Divorce Lawyer SEO
- Personal Injury Lawyer SEO
- PI Law SEO Case Study
- SEO for DUI Attorneys
- Local SEO for Law Firms
- SEO for Immigration Lawyers
- Link Building for Law Firms
- Best Law Firm Logos
Article by Damian Allen
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