Back in the early days of the web, picking a domain name for your site was fairly easy. The best approach a few years ago was to use a domain name that targeted the keywords you were trying to rank for, such as seattleattorney.com. When the web was young and innocent, the search engines would look at that domain and say, “Well, this site must be for a Seattle attorney!”
Obviously, this approach didn’t last long, as it was far too easy to spam the search results. Because of this, domain name keywords have become less and less important. If you can manage to register a domain like this and you build a quality website with original content, it certainly can’t hurt your ranking, but it isn’t a deal breaker.
Here are some things to consider when picking a domain for your site:
Make it Memorable
If you are targeting clients who will see or hear your television, radio, or print ads and who will be physically typing in your domain name, you want to have a domain that’s easy to remember and catchy.
Keep it Short
Duiandaccidentattorneylosangelesca.com is going to be tough for people to remember. If you’re expecting clients to enter the domain, something short is going to be more effective.
When Keywords Are Important
Keywords are important if you’re running PPC (pay per click) campaigns, like AdWords or Bing ads. If someone types in a search for, “Seattle Motorcycle Accident Attorney,” and you’re running ads for the keywords, “Seattle Motorcycle Accident Attorney,” and you have an ad titled, “Seattle Motorcycle Accident Attorney,” with the domain seattlemotorcycleattorney.com…you’re going to get a pretty good click-through rate on that ad.
Should You Have Multiple Domain Names?
There are some good reasons why you should and shouldn’t have multiple domain names for your legal website.
- If you’re hoping to game the search results with a bunch of different keyword optimized domain names, it won’t work. Google can easily see what you’re trying to do and will detect the duplicate content. Google will set one domain as canonical, and basically ignore the rest.
- Multiple domain names can be effective if you wish to have one domain for people to type in and another for people to find in the search engines or AdWords. Just make sure you use a 301 redirect for those domains. That tells Google which domain is the actual, SEO-focused domain.
Changing Your Domain Name
Once you have your legal website established online, it’s really not a great idea to change your domain name. Building credibility in Google’s ranking takes a lot of time and energy, and if you change domain names incorrectly, you can set yourself back months. If a domain name change is required, though, there are proper ways to do that that will avoid any kinds of penalties or drop in ranking.
As you can see, there are quite a few things to take into consideration when choosing a domain for your firm’s site. Our staff is here to help you choose a great domain name and work at getting it to rank well in the major search engines.
As part of our $99 Legal Website, we help you choose a domain name and take care of registration and renewals for you each year. You can also use your existing domain and maintain your own registration, if you wish.