In 2015, 9 out of 10 paid search terms were legal terms, which means if you’re a lawyer or attorney, your paid ads are competing with a sea of other ads from similar professionals in your field. And that field keeps growing.
Since many people seeking legal services start their search online, it’s important for lawyers to have an effective digital presence—specifically in organic search results. With intense competition online among lawyers and attorneys, how do you stand out?
Invest in keyword-rich domain names
Send strong signals to search engines
Your website URL lets search engines like Google know what your site is all about. Having “attorney,” “lawyer,” or “legal” in your URL strongly signals the type of service you provide, showing search engines that the content showcased on your website is highly correlated with the search query. When someone searches using keywords that match the words in your URL, and your website is selected by the searcher, this influences your ranking in future search results.
Balance clarity of meaning and brevity
Using relevant keywords in your URL is an effective strategy to boost organic search rankings, but you’ll want to make sure you’re not “stuffing” so many words that you create an unwieldy URL that’s hard to read and remember. Using a .legal, .lawyer, or .attorney domain adds a descriptive keyword without adding length to your URL. Now you can have miamipersonalinjury.attorney instead of cramming everything together in one long word: miamipersonalinjuryattorney.com.
Utilize practice-type and geographic keywords
These domain extensions also affiliate your business name with your specialty, which is especially helpful when you’re using your own name as the name of your practice. Someone looking for legal representation might not know that you’re an attorney if they just see johndoe.com, but johndoe.attorney indicates that you’re someone who might be able to help someone searching for legal advice. When your URL contains information about geographical location or the type of practice you have, you’ll capture the attention of people looking for those exact specifications. Something like houstondivorce.lawyer or truckingaccident.attorney tell potential clients a lot about your service before they even click to go to your website. Plus, they’re easy to remember and pass along for word-of-mouth referrals.
Here are a few examples of lawyers that use keywords in their domain names, and how they appear in search results:
This law firm has their specialty right in their domain name. When someone does a Google search for “workplace rights lawyer” their domain name is an exact match.
Anyone searching for “cyber insurance lawyer” will see right away that Scott Godes specializes in exactly that.
This domain name shows the location (Bellingham, WA), the specialty (DUI), and the field (lawyer)—all highly relevant to what a potential client might be searching for online.
Capture more traffic using multiple domain names
Knowing what we do now about the power of legal domain extensions, what should you do if you have an established website, and you’ve already started building your SEO ranking using that domain?
In this case, we recommend creating multiple legal domains and using 301 redirects to permanently pass that traffic directly to your established site. Read more about how to use 301 redirects and gTLDs for SEO.
If you’re a personal injury attorney in Boston using “examplename.com,” now you have the opportunity to capture organic search traffic with lots of rich, relevant keyword combinations, all of which redirect to your established johndoe.com website:
You’ll be able to leverage the power of keyword domain names while preserving your existing search rankings.
With these strategies in place you’ll stand out in search results and create an even stronger online presence, so when a potential client is looking for the service you provide, you’re easy to find.