Last month, the ABA Journal published an advertising piece about ways law firms and lawyers miss opportunities online. Some of those opportunities frequently missed are effective ways to maximize a lawyer or law firm’s website visibility in organic search engine results. The good news is that there is now a new tool available for lawyers that may improve their ranking in search results – new specific top level domain names, .ATTORNEY and .LAWYER.
A few years ago Larry Bodine’s LawMarketing Blog reported the results of a search marketing study first published by Mark Sprague showing that when Internet users search for legal services they primarily use the keywords “ATTORNEY” and “LAWYER” to search for legal services online with “ATTORNEY” used slightly more often than “LAWYER.” Additionally, the research revealed that Internet users often search using practice area phrases such as “divorce attorney,” “criminal lawyer” and “DUI attorney.” When search engine algorithms crawl the Internet searching for content related to these key phrases they can now look for domain names containing these phrases (for example, www.criminalattorney.com) and/or content on websites containing these phrases. Although Matt Cutts, at Google, stated recently that new top level domain names (TLDs) wouldn’t necessarily boost search rankings, an SEO study suggests that new TLDs are having an impact on search. With the introduction of two new law specific TLDs, .ATTORNEY and .LAWYER, now available, search engines have a more efficient way of identifying relevant content in response to legal search terms.
Consider how valuable then, from a search perspective, registering “criminal.attorney”, “divorce.lawyer” or “patent.attorney” would be by a lawyer or law firm who wishes to highlight these areas of practice in which they have expertise. Also, consider the value of having a more specific email address such as email@example.com rather than Jsmith@firmname.com where “.COM” doesn’t tell your potential clients (or the search engines) what kind of services you provide, although a .ATTORNEY certainly does. Having an email address that contains a TLD that is relevant to a lawyer’s expertise looks more professional than a generic “gmail.com” or “.yahoo.com.”
Also from a traditional advertising and marketing perspective, imagine signs on commuter buses, billboards, or in subway stations that advertise legal services that direct consumers to visit “newyorkdivorce.lawyer” or “seattlehumanrights.attorney.” More meaningful, more memorable, more impactful.
Lawyers who already have a domain name or email address that ends in .COM do not have to drop their current online presence. Attorneys can still take advantage of having a .LAWYER or .ATTORNEY domain name by redirecting their new .ATTORNEY domain name to their existing website or a new .LAWYER email address to their existing email account.
Related: Get a .Attorney or .Lawyer Domain
Internet users want the most relevant search results in response to their search queries and search engines want to deliver the most specific content for those queries. In the highly competitive legal industry, being visible to current and prospective clients as well as to professional colleagues requires a good online presence and memorable branding. Having a .ATTORNEY or .LAWYER domain name adds to the professionalism of being a licensed attorney. For more information on registering a .ATTORNEY or .LAWYER domain name, you can visit Name.com, Rightside’s owned and operated domain name registrar.