Consumer search is moving toward mobile, with location-based searches taking priority. Even Google searches conducted on a PC generally use location to determine results. For law firms, this is good news, meaning that when local residents need an attorney, they can easily find one nearby using the internet.
One of the most important things a business can do to be recognized locally is to make sure they have updated contact information on their websites. For Google, they also need to take advantage of Google My Business, which provides the handy sidebar with important details we see when searching for local services. However, some businesses have found it gives them an even better edge over the competition to choose a domain name that includes their location. It’s important to know as much as possible about location-based domain names so that you can decide if this is the best option for your firm.
Setting up multiple domain names can be complicated, requiring a certain level of tech knowledge to register and direct each URL to a specific place. Even with bulk domain registration, businesses will need to pay an annual fee for each name, as well as hosting for each site. You can opt to have each of those sites redirect to the same site, but search engines can decide to reduce the value of those secondary domains, counteracting the very thing you’re trying to accomplish.
With geolocation now available, some experts have questioned why companies would need to do this in the first place. Search algorithms do prioritize the SEO in titles, but if customers are only seeing nearby results, chances are they won’t input a city when searching anyway. However, for search algorithm purposes, there are specialty areas where law firms may see a benefit with multiple domains.
For SEO purposes, some law firms find it beneficial to include the type of law they practice in their URLs. A customer searching for an attorney likely has never heard of your firm by name, which means the hard work you put into securing YourFirmName.com will likely be unrewarded. Instead their searches will likely include keywords such as “personal injury attorney” or “divorce lawyer.” Unless you’ve incorporated keywords into your URL choice, you may find that you’re bested by competitors who do.
For most firms, though, this tactic won’t be an option, since doing so will make their URLs far too long to print on business cards or for customers to remember. Instead, ensure you’ve incorporated those important keywords once on each page. Simply listing your services on your landing page may be enough to place your firm at the top of results. Avoid cramming multiple instances of keywords into one page, though, since Google will penalize you for that.
The Page Name Option
Once you’ve set your website up, you have the option to create as many secondary pages as you need off of that initial URL. If your firm has multiple locations and each location sees clients in person, you can set up a Google My Business presence for each site. When a customer near that location searches for a law firm in that area, your business will show up as an option. They’ll also be able to see your operating hours and business location, as well as easily find it on the map. For search ranking purposes, this is the best way to ensure your firm captures nearby consumers searching for legal help.
Whether your business already has a domain name or is still searching, these tips can help you optimize your online presence. As more clients review your service, you’ll also find you’re beating the competition by being one of the best firms locally to specialize in your area of expertise.