There are a number of critical elements that make up an effective website; a captivating design, intuitive navigation, smart copy and a compelling call to action that resonates with visitors. A domain name, although rarely given the attention of design or content, is equally important.
Quite simply explained, a domain name is what a web user types into his or her browser to arrive at your site. In the case of our website, our domain is zolainteractive.com. For many medical and dental offices, the domain name is simply the practice’s name but in some cases, this isn’t always the best approach. Consider the following when selecting a domain name for your practice:
1. The name should be easy to remember (and spell)
On many occasions, your practice’s domain name will be shared with a prospective patient or colleague in conversation. It’s important that the name be memorable (in case the individual can’t jot it down on the spot) and easy to spell. While it may seem intuitive to use the doctor’s name for the domain name, this may be problematic for a visitor who is unfamiliar with the name. In cases where a name is difficult, you might instead use initials combined with your specialty or geographic location.
2. Select A .com Ending
In searching the web, you’ve undoubtedly encountered domain names with a .edu, .org, .net or .biz ending. Whenever possible, avoid these domain extensions and instead go with a .com domain name. While it may be tempting to purchase .net when you find your dream domain with a .com is already taken, this too can become a hurdle for a website visitor who, by default, types in your domain name with the most prevalent extension. In some cases, this misdirection may even send your prospective patient onto the site of a competitor.
3. Don’t Be too Concerned with An Exact Match Domain
Over the past few years, in an effort to ensure only quality sites with relevant copy (not just relevant domain names), rank well in the SERPs, Google has started to give much less weight to those sites with exact match domains. If your firm is considering purchasing a new domain name to get one of those “exact matches,” realize that this won’t be your golden ticket to a top spot. It’s also important to note that these exact matches aren’t always optimal for the visitor and can easily be mistyped.