In many cases, a potential client will type in a literal keyword and be directed to a website with the exact same name. Some websites directly match the keywords that people search for online. At first glance, it can seem like those websites are doing well on search engine results pages. However, that is not always the case. If you are a lawyer in the process of creating a website, here are some tips that you may want to consider when choosing your website’s domain name. Continue reading to learn more about exact match domain websites for your law firm and whether this can help or hurt your overall search engine optimization.
What Are Exact Match Domain Websites (EMDs)?
Exact match domain websites (EMDs) are some of the websites that were once popular with many law firms. These websites are website domains that match a specific keyword or phrase that clients type in search engines.
For example, if your clients are searching for a Maryland truck accident lawyer, for your website to be considered an EMD, it would be www.marylandtruckaccidentlawyer.com. In the early 2000s, EMDs were very popular with law firms and other businesses for obvious reasons. Clients who typed in specific keywords would be more inclined to click on the website that matches exactly what they are looking for. But in recent years, Google has changed its algorithm to punish digital marketers for using exact match domains.
Changes to Google’s Algorithm
Because exact-match domain websites were becoming more common, it was difficult for Google to determine which websites were legitimate or full of spam. As a result, Google made changes to its algorithm that discourage law firms and other businesses from using them.
Additional SEO Factors
Does this mean that EMDs are never beneficial for law firms? Not necessarily. It depends on the high-quality content that is included on your website.
There are several factors that Google’s algorithm considers when it comes to SEO and website domains. These factors include:
- Mobile-friendly functionality. The more mobile-friendly your website is for your users, the better it will rank in the search engines.
- The type of content on your website. Websites that are filled with spam are considered websites with low-quality content. The content that you include on your website is crucial. It must be relevant and practical for your clients. Google looks more at the content of your website than your domain name.
- Page speed. The faster your website pages respond to your clients’ queries, the higher they can rank on your search engine.
- Secured sites. The more secure a website is, the higher it will rank in search engines. To check whether a website is secure or not, search for the HTTPS sign. This means that the website has an SSL certificate.
- Quality backlinks. Your website should have credible links from legitimate websites. Having these types of backlinks gives your website more authority in the eyes of Google.
Benefits of EMDs
Even with the changes to Google’s algorithm, there are still some benefits to EMDs. Having a website that directly matches your clients’ keyword searches makes you seem like an expert in your niche. As long as your website uses other SEO strategies and great content, you may still gain benefits from an EMD.
How to Improve Your SEO Strategy
Whether you want to use an EMD or not, you will still have to create a website with high-quality content. Even if you have an EMD, improving your SEO strategy will help keep your website high in the rankings.
One of the actions that you want to take is to create the best content for your website. Content includes articles, blog posts, local practice area pages, and videos. Keeping the most relevant content that meets your potential client’s needs can keep your website high in search engines, as you are providing value to your readers.
Digital Marketing Next Steps
If you are in the process of choosing a name for your law firm or a domain name, it is important to create a comprehensive strategy for your brand as a law firm. Make sure that you think of how your domain name will also intersect with your social media usernames and your Google Business Profile name. Make sure to show Google and your potential clients a consistency among your law firm’s name and branding throughout the internet.
Annette Choti, Esq. graduated from law school 20 years ago, and is the Founder of Law Quill, a legal digital marketing agency focused on small and solo law firms. Annette wrote the bestselling book Click Magnet: The Ultimate Digital Marketing Guide For Law Firms, and hosts the podcast Legal Marketing Lounge. She is a sought-after keynote and CLE speaker throughout the United States and Canada. Annette used to do theatre and professional comedy, which is not so different from the legal field if we are all being honest. Annette can be found on LinkedIn or at at firstname.lastname@example.org.