Choosing a Dental Website Domain Name

domain namesA website domain name is a sequence of characters, that humans can identify with better than numbers, that becomes the Internet address for a webpage. Most often, a domain name includes words that have to do with the business. For instance, the domain name of this blogsite is ModernDentalMarketing.com. When you engage in building a website for your dental practice, you’ll have to select a domain name.

Over the years, the strategy for wisely choosing a domain name has changed. The following true or false statements explain some of the myths and facts that you need to understand before selecting your dental practice domain.

Having keywords in a domain name is useful for SEO.
False. Google made a change late in 2012, so now, exact match domain names, or EMDs, no longer factor into SEO rankings. If you have an EMD, like “dallassmilemakeover,” the keywords in your domain should not be a factor in your SEO rankings. However, the change should not harm EMD rankings, if the site’s current rankings are based on the factors Google deems important: original content, quality information, moderate keyword integration, relevant incoming links, etc., and not reliant on the EMD.

A dentist’s website domain needs the doctor’s name in it.
False. While I recommend doctors purchase their names’ domains (so that someone else doesn’t own them), websites should be placed on dental practice names, in my opinion. Why? It’s about money. A website with great SEO is valuable, meaning that it can actually help a practice sell for greater profit. The value of a website is connected to its domain. Therefore, if you sell your practice, and your website is on a domain that is your personal name, the new owner will not benefit as much from your website, because the website has to be moved to a new domain. If you sell your website with your practice, and the site comes with a domain that has a great reputation with Google, the value remains intact.

Purchasing a .com is best.
I think true! The official word is, the domain extension, whether .com, .org, .info, .tv, or whatever, does not factor into SEO. However, I’ve not seen this to be true. In most cases, the .coms rank higher, faster. Many of my blogs do not have the .com extension, but because I write on them often, they rank high. The fresh content makes a huge impact on their success with Google.

The words in a domain name have no bearing on what and how patients think about the practice.
From a marketing perspective, I think false! Sorry, folks, but catchy domains are easier to remember. If the domain name for your practice name is not available, you could purchase the domain with dashes between the words. However, consider creating a rhyming domain. It may sound hokey, but people will remember “milesofsmiles” and “healthymouthinthesouth” better than they’ll recall “chamberlaincountydental” or “orthodontistofkentucky.”

My webmaster owns my domain name.
Can be true or false. As a consumer, you need to have control of your domain, should you decide to change webmasters, hosts, or marketing companies. This does not mean that your domain has to be registered to you at the time of purchase. You simply need to know that it will be transferred to your name, should you make the request. Also, no one owns their domain. They rent a domain for a predetermined amount of time. Once that time ends, the domain name must be renewed or it will be put on the market. The company from which you rent your domain, or your webmaster, can tell you when the domain is coming up for renewal. Do not be fooled by domain name scams!

I need to register my domain for one year at a time, in case I sell my practice.
False. You can register a domain for as little as one year, but according to Google, the longer your domain registration contract, the more SEO potential your domain has. Renewing a domain for 10 years (the maximum time allowed) tells search engines, like Google, that you’re serious about your domain and your business.

Need Domain Name Pointers?
Visit MDPM online at www.moderndentalmarketing.com, email [email protected], or call 972-781-8861 for more information. We can help you brand and market a new practice or re-invigorate an existing practice.