5 Things Dentists Should Know About Domain Names

domain extensionsAre you one of many dentists who own 20 or more domain names? Do you wonder if you should renew them when they come due? As little as two years ago, having multiple, keyword-rich domain names was beneficial to a dentist. In fact, some people bought domains for coveted keyword phrases, like cosmeticdentist.com and dentalimpants.com (for example), and tried to sell them to dentists at inflated prices. You may have paid a few hundred or a few thousand dollars, if your domain name features a popular dental keyword phrase. Alas, things have changed, as they continually do with online marketing.

  1. Keywords in domain names is no longer important. In fact, your website’s actual domain name has no bearing on your SEO rankings. You could call your website xyz53_92.com, and it wouldn’t have any more influence on SEO than if your website was on cosmeticdentist.com. Why? Because Google decided that exact match domains (that is, those that exactly match keywords) are no longer a factor in rankings. The part of the indexing algorithm that gave credit for keywords in domains was erased. It’s still practical to choose a memorable domain name – something your patients can call to mind quickly should they share your website with a friend or coworker. I also believe that dentists should purchase their name, with DDS or DMD behind it, and their name with Dr in front of it. So, JimSmithDDS.com and DrJimSmith.com would be advisable purchases for Dr. Jim Smith.
  2. Reputation and longevity are still important domain name factors. While the exact match domain is no longer relevant to search, the reputation of a domain is vital. Domains that are currently blacklisted will not show up in search. Google blacklists a domain when it has been found to employ unethical, or black hat, SEO methods. Another consideration is a domain’s longevity as a live, active website in good standing with Google. A domain that has housed information about dentistry for 5 years has earned reputation with Google, so the doctor who is re-designing his website might fare best by continuing to use his current domain name for the new site.
  3. Dot com versus dot org versus dot us… Is the .com version of a domain more SEO-friendly than the .org or .us version? What about .co and .tv? While experts tell us that domain extensions should be no bearing on SEO, my experience is that .coms seem to consistently rank higher. I always suggest purchasing the .com for a main website.
  4. What to do with multiple domains… If you own multiple domains, you can choose to keep them. Your web host can redirect those domains to your primary website. Then, if the domain is typed into a browser, your main website will automatically show up. I advise this in cases when domains were used in print marketing. For instance, you purchase a practice that comes with a website, but your practice won’t keep the previous name. In this case, you can either redirect the old domain to your new site, or you can redirect your new domain to the old site. Your web company needs to look at the domain’s standing to determine which option has the most SEO benefit.
  5. 5.      The best option for multiple domains… Redirecting a domain has zero SEO effect. However, if you place content on all of your domains, you will expand your Internet presence and support a stronger SEO strategy. Google tells us that “experts,” that is website owners who have a wide and deep presence online for one specific topic, will rank higher in search results. The more original, informative content you have indexed by Google, the better you’ll do in search. Adding just a single landing page, loaded with content, to a domain is a good idea. You can take this further by adding multiple pages and building a microsite.

Dental Marketing Help

MDPM Consulting offers complete dental marketing, from logos and branding to website design, development, and strategic SEO. Give us a call today if you have questions about domain names or would like a free website and SEO analysis. Call 972-781-8861 or email [email protected]