Guest Post by Brian Craig, Founder and CEO of LegalScapes
We’ve got to get on a soapbox for a minute.
Please, please own your firm’s domain name. Don’t let your IT company own it. Don’t let your SEO company own it. Don’t let your web designer own it.
It needs to be in your name, with your contact info, with a username and password you have, paid for with your credit card at a registrar you choose and have a direct relationship with.
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We’ve seen a couple of firms come to us over the past year with “rented” domain names, and many times they don’t even realize they don’t own it. Or worse, they end a relationship with their IT provider or “web guy” on a bad note and their domain name is held hostage.
What we see occasionally on the “rented” side is a marketing firm may provide you with a turnkey package including an already ranking domain, generally something generic (yourcity-divorce-lawyer.com or something similar). It sounds good – a domain name that’s already ranking well, complete with content they can customize for your firm – voila, skip the hard work!
But, it comes at a cost. Usually, firms that engage in this type of thing will be doing other grey/black-hat items as well, that will penalize your site in the long run.
And, what happens when you stop paying that exorbitant monthly fee? It’s all gone.
So, all this to say, make sure you own your domain name – it’s your firm’s identity on the web, and should be protected as much as you protect your personal identity like a social security number or bank account number.
About the Author
Brian Craig is the founder and CEO of LegalScapes, a full-service digital marketing agency based in North Carolina that works solely with law firms. With over 15 years of experience in online marketing, Brian helps lawyers across the United States get more clients through the Internet. When not working with clients, you’ll find him playing basketball, going to UNC games, and planning the next adventure with his wife and two daughters. Drop Brian a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (919) 646-8707, or visit him on the web at www.legalscapes.com.