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Attorney Website Design Blog

Monday, April 22, 2013

Exact Match Domains: How important is one for your SEO strategy?

The law firms we work with often get notices from domain vendors offering to sell them highly coveted domain names for a small fortune. These attorneys generally call us to ask if the desirable domain name which is supposed to be top-notch for SEO is worth the investment. For many years, having a domain name that was an exact match to the search query essentially guaranteed top placement in the search engine result pages (SERPs). With this great SEO benefit, exact match domain for highly competitive searches like “Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyer” (chicagobankruptcylawyer.com) could easily be worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Over the past few years, in an effort to ensure only quality sites with relevant copy (not just relevant domain names), rank well in the SERPs, Google has started to give much less weight to those sites with exact match domains. If your firm is considering purchasing a new domain name to get one of those “exact matches,” realize that this won’t be your golden ticket to a top spot.

 It’s also important to note that these exact matches aren’t always optimal for the visitor and can easily be mistyped. Suppose you purchase chicagolivingwillslawyer.com and run an advertisement with this information. A prospective client makes a mental note to check out your website but when they sit down later, they’ve forgotten the exact thread and instead type in chicagolivingwillsattorney.com. Instead of your site, they come to one of a competitor. In many cases, use of the firm’s name or initials is more easily remembered and less likely to be confused with a local competitor’s site.

The best way to optimize your site is through a dynamic content strategy. Spend less time worrying about “simple fixes” like changing your meta descriptions and purchasing exact match domain names, and instead devote more time to making your site a valuable resource for visitors. This will yield better results and allow you to avoid too much turbulence in your organic search ranking.

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