After Law School graduation, many attorneys go through a mental checklist. If they intend on starting their own firm one of the top priorities is establishing an identity. Traditionally, the name of the firm is inspired by the names or initials of the founders. Many domains on the web are either identical or a slight variation of the firms name.
This is a prudent strategy for an already established firm, however, there is an alternative that will benefit sole practitioners and firms just starting to establish their identity in their city and on the internet.
Focusing on the service you provide and the region in which you practice is a practical approach to boosting your visibility online. Think of the domain name itself as the large sign or banner on a physical storefront. As you know, this is known as the fictitious business name. The true business name likely differs from the name the public sees, which is fine. Apply this concept to the web- unless you’re already well established, people in need of your services won’t be doing a search for “Starsky & Hutch, P.L.L.C”. Rather, they’ll likely be looking for “Personal injury attorney in Portland”, “Real estate lawyer in St.Paul” or “Family law in Wichita”.
Choose your domain name accordingly. Remember, once the visitor lands on your website the branding efforts you’ve made will establish your identity for you (along with the work you do). The domain name you select should increase your chance of being found by the people in need of your services. The last time you took a walk downtown looking for something to eat, it is likely the restaurant you chose proudly displayed what they offer. Once you entered, you got a better impression of the establishment and this either validated your choice or prompted you to continue your search for lunch. Either way, had it not been for the obvious and clear message “PIZZA, SALAD, SUBS” you may have never entered to begin with.
Once you’ve selected a domain name that is inclusive of your practice areas and geographic region, you’ll be well on your way to increasing your presence online.