Are you a student or fellow? Maybe you’re just graduating and starting your practice?
Heck, you could even be starting out on your own or finally deciding to get online and take control of your online presence.
In any case, a domain name for your website is a critical first step in establishing the proper foundations for your marketing efforts.
Domain Names 101
Before we hop into how to select a domain name for your medical practice, lets go over some quick basics about domain names.
.com’s domains are best
It’s best to use a .com for your domain whenever possible. The .com signifies a professional image that patients trust. That said it is possible to use other TLDs and be successful. Dr. Mark E. Pruzansky uses HandSport.us as his domain name successfully.
Your domain name should be easy to remember
Don’t be afraid to go with something catchy, but remember, simple is best. The shorter the domain, the better. The longer the domain name, the harder it will be for patients to remember.
Your domain name should be easy to spell / type-in
You, your office staff and your patients will have to type your domain name many times, so make sure you select something easy to spell and type. Many chiropractors, doctors, dentists and other healthcare providers like to use their last name in their domain name. Do this only if you last name is easy to remember and dead-simple to spell. A great way to see if something is simple or not is to say it, then spell it aloud or over the phone.
Now that you’ve got that little primer out of the way, let’s get on to how to actually choose the domain name for your chiropractic, dental or medical practice!
Choosing Your Identity – Brand vs Name vs Specialty + Region
The first thing you will want to decide is the style of domain name you want to use. There are three types:
This is the brand name for your practice. Example: SmithSpine.com
This is simply using your personal name. Example: DrMillerMD.com
Specialty + Region
This is combination of your specialty and geography. Example: AmherstChiropractor.com
There are pros and cons to each domain name, but much of the decision is based on personal choice (and your overall marketing strategy). As you learn below, there’s also no reason not to have a few potential domain names and register them all.
Note, it was once believed that having a popular keyword that patients search in combination with your local city or town would boost your search rankings. While we have seen some success, it hasn’t been universal, so don’t go out of your way here.
Finding What’s Available – Searching for Domain Names
Once you’ve got a domain name in mind (or a list!) it time to scoop it up. This actually pretty easy, but is going to cost you some cash.
Select a registrar
There’s lots of places to register domain names, such as GoDaddy. We regularly register domains for our clients as well. Stay with something reliable.
Search for available
Registrar selected, search to see if your desired domains are available. If so, add them to check out or email your representative, to secure them.
Purchase the ones you want
Yes, virtual real estate has a price tag. Domains cost about $15 – $20 per year, depending on which way you go. We recommend locking up solid domains for two to five years at a time.
Build a Portfolio – Protecting Your Turf in the Future
That’s right. There’s one more thing.
Actually, a big thing. A powerful strategy, something any provider can leverage to help themselves…and block competitors!
There’s more healthcare providers yearly, but limited great/good domains
You should consider registering as many good to great domains names your can afford to pay for each year. They’re not making more domains, but more providers come into your local area every year.
Prevent competitors from registering domain names
If you register all of the good domains in your area, you prevent your existing (and future) competitors from accessing them. This will make it tougher for them to have marketable domain names for their practice.
Build additional online properties to promote your practice
While you may just be getting started, if you do it right, you will someday want to expand your online marketing beyond one website. Having a stash of great domains to use will ensure you can easily execute on this advance strategy.
Choosing the right domain name for your medical practice is a major step.
If you’re considering doing it, but still need some more help, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! We’d be happy to help you.