How to Select a Domain Name for Your Law Firm
Law firm domain names — the main part of website URLs — carry a lot of weight. Your law firm’s domain name should be easy to remember while also fully conveying your expertise and brand. It must pass any number of legal and usage hurdles, and it cannot hint at anything potentially offensive or embarrassing. Last, it has to suit your own taste and style.
How can you choose a law firm domain name that meets all those criteria? The easiest way is partnering with an experienced law firm web development company like Legal EFX to answer the following questions and address all the issues that arise from the answers you settle on. For bona fides, we point to our own domain name of “legalefx.com.” It uniquely identifies and brands us, scans easily and reads well when spoken out loud. It is also short and raises no eyebrows. How to design B2B website
Is your preferred domain name already in use or too close to domain names being used by direct competitors?
A domain name reserves a specific chunk of Internet real estate and is protected by copyright and trademark. Consequently, each domain name can only have one owner/user at any given time. Tools exist to quickly search whether a particular domain name is currently registered and/or in use, as well as to help you get in touch with the person or organization that holds the rights to a URL you want to claim as your own. Buying a name from an existing owner can make sense, but such a decision must be made while considering the cost and the likelihood that taking over exactly that domain name will produce benefits like improved branding and greater search engine optimization.
A related consideration is that you do not want your law firm’s domain name to match the domain names of your competitors too closely. The web is a crowded place. Don’t make standing out harder by selecting a domain name like “Ohiopersonalinjurylaw.com” when “Ohiopersonalinjury.com” and “OHpersonalinjurylaw.com” are already in use.
What does your preferred domain name look and sound like, and what information does it communicate?
Many law firms select their domain names by combining two or more of the following elements with “.com”:
- The law firm’s business name
- The first initials of partners’ last names
- Their primary practice area
- The city, region, or state they serve
- A professional identifier like “law,” “lawyer,” or “attorney”
Using the initials can help with generating a unique URL, but you need to watch for gaffes. Johnson, Edwards, Richards & Knight may be excellent attorneys, but they will probably attract more chuckles than clients with a domain name like “jerklawyers.com.” A valuable service staff from your law firm web development partner will offer fresh eyes to potentially problematic domain names.
Will potential website visitors wind up on the wrong site when they type your preferred domain name into their web browser?
You have four main ways to increase the chances for potential clients to type out your law firm website’s URL correctly on the first try:
- Keep it short, with fewer than 20 characters being a good target.
- Avoid hyphens and underscores, which are easy to mistake for each other and to overlook altogether.
- Use “.com” instead of another identifier like “.law” or “.attorney” because people will reflexively type in “.com” for a business.
- Purchase a few URLs that redirect visitors to the domain name you actually use.
Your web development partner can offer advice on which alternate URLs to set up as redirects.
A final good law firm SEO and branding practice is to use your domain name as your email address. For instance, contacting Bill Smith at Smith & Adams about a defense strategy in a criminal case will be easy for someone who can visit www.sacriminallaw.com before sending a message to email@example.com.
For help choosing your law firm’s domain name and handling all other aspects of website development and maintenance, reach out to Legal EFX.