Choosing the Right Domain Name for Your Dental Practice

by Larry Emmott on January 25, 2012

in Digital Marketing,Internet

Guest blog from Deploy Dental

Choosing the right domain name is vital in establishing your online presence. Here are six helpful tips to consider before purchasing a domain name for your dental practice.

1.         Keyword Brainstorm

Write down the top 5 or so keywords related to your business.  Start adding simple prefixes and suffixes to your keywords.  For example, if you are a dentist who specializes in implant dentistry procedures, your keywords could be something like this: dentist, implant dentist, tooth replacement, and implants.  You then need to consider incorporating your geographic location into your keyword choices, as this is one of the major ways potential patients search for dentists online.  (Editor’s Note from Dr. Emmott. I agree with the suggestions here on sample keywords and domains, however I strongly suggest you get your actual name and obvious variations whenever possible as a domain name as well. You are not limited to a single domain but should have several that all point to your web page.) For example, if you are located in New York City, your domain choices should look something like this: NewYorkCityDentist.us, NYCDentist.com, ImplantsNYC.com, and so on.  Just play with different combinations until you find an available domain name. (This step may be harder than you think, as many of the prime domain names have already been bought, especially in larger markets)

2.         Make It Unique

Failing to perform basic market research before choosing a domain name can result in unintended consequences.  For instance, if an existing dental practice uses the domain name NewYorkDentalCare.com, the available domain name of DentalCareNewYork.com would not be the best choice.  That is because, when considering people’s search habits, if you tell a patient your site’s address they will often enter that term into a search engine instead of typing in the direct URL.  In many cases, the search results will bring back your competition’s website ahead of yours.  So make sure to research your competitive market before settling on a domain name.

3.      Only Purchase a Dot-Com if Available

There are numerous gTLD’s (generic top level domain) to choose from.  The most common of which are .com, .net, .org, and .us.  However, generally speaking, the Dot-Com is always your best bet as it is most widely recognized by almost everyone.  Google, Yahoo, and Bing usually do not weight your domain selection as long as it is a gTLD, but the advantage to selecting a Dot-Com is that almost every person will generally assume that your website ends in “.com”.  If you’re website’s address isn’t the Dot-Com, you could be very well be sending valuable traffic to your competition.  When in doubt, it is advisable to purchase more than one domain name, as they are usually less than $10 per year.

4.      Make it Memorable

Both word of mouth and dominance marketing rely on the ease of remembering your domain name and capitalizing on keywords in your URL.  Successful strategies for this include making it rhyme, using alliterations (SeattleSmiles.com, BrentwoodBraces.com), having a play-on-words (RespectYourMouth.com, VineyardDentalUrgentCare.com), and just KIS (Keep it Simple).  Keep in mind that this is your online identity and will be used in your print collateral and on practice signage as well.

5.      Set Yourself Apart With Your Brand

You can use a unique nickname or alias for your website like WebMD.com or FreeCreditReport.com.  They accomplish the goal of letting your audience know what it is you do with out them ever having to visit your website.  Industry examples would be “TampaTeethWhitening.com’”, “DenverDentalImplants.com” or “CelebrityDentist.com”. Those are great domain names since they let your audience know exactly what procedures and service areas you provide.

6.    Tools & Research

Here are a few tools to help speed up the process of checking the availability of domain names.

A dental domain name is a valuable asset and a marketing tool for a practice, and choosing the right one is maybe the most important first step to establishing your online presence.

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