Throughout history and literature, certain names have had the power to conjure up imagery and communicate ideas or values. As an example of what we mean, let’s consider a theoretical scenario. Imagine you’re a single guy and a buddy wants to fix you up with a blind date. He tells you the name of your prospective date — Jezebel. Instantly your mind flashes to an image of a woman–beautiful, and alluring , a temptress. Now, what if instead of Jezebel, your friend told you your prospective date was named Agatha? Do you get a different visual?

Here’s another example. One of our patients, a history buff, named his new son, Leonidas. Doubtless he wanted the name to capture the the bravery and heroism of that illustrious Spartan warrior. But in the future, this little guy will have some big shoes to fill.

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Obviously there’s a great deal of power in a name. Knowing this, it makes sense to put thought into the domain name you create for your chiropractic website.

What is a domain name?

Let’s start with the basics. A domain name is part of an internet address that is used to identify your internet web service. A domain name also keeps more technical parts of the internet address invisible to viewers. If it’s easy to remember and spell, it can be a great asset to your business.

You must decide two things when selecting a domain name — how you want to identify your business and what’s your preferred top level domain. (In the U.S. the top level domain is composed of the three letters that come after the period, such as .com, .net. info, etc.)

Selecting a domain name

In many cases you may want your domain name to reflect that of your business. This can be a great start in creating an identifiable brand. However if you have a common surname or any other frequently used business name, it may be impossible to find find an available .com or .net domain address.

For example, if your chiropractic practice is is Smith Chiropractic, you wouldn’t be able to secure either smithchiropractic.com or smithchiropractic.net. A quick search for registered domains on Godaddy.com shows that these top level domains are taken. Your choice then would be to find another available TLD, such as .biz or .info, or to change the domain name.

Since a website with a .biz or .info TLD isn’t as memorable as either a .com or a .net and may not rank as well in the search engines, we recommend option two. Add an additional word to convey more information about practice or add a city or state name to the domain.

Here are a few ideas of the type of variations that might be available.

SmithFamilyChiropractic.com; or
SmithChiropracticTX .com (if you live in Texas)
Smith-Family-Chiropractic.com

The last option is our least favorite. If you are planning on getting all of website visitors strictly from 0rganic (free) search engine traffic, adding hypens to your domain name is an acceptable strategy. However if you want your website address to be memorable for your patients, this can backfire. It can be difficult for patients to remember to add dashes:

Alternatively you could try a second method that for years has been the preffered choice of search engine optimization professionals—an exact match domain (EMD). An exact match domain is a domain that contains a frequently searched keyword. For chiropractors, this would include the word chiropractor, chiropractors, or chiropractic, and the city name in which you practice.

To begin you’ll want to find what keywords receive the most searches in your area. An easy way to check for keywords is to use Google’s free keyword tool. Watch the video below to get an idea of how easy it is to use the information this site can provide.

Following this example we decided upon the exact match domain www.garlandchiropractor.com for our most recent website.

Google’s EMD algorithm levels the playing field

In the past, the major search engines often favored exact match domains, causing such sites to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPS). This led to many internet marketers buying up exact match domains and filling them with duplicate and poor content to garner high SERP positions easily. Google addressed this problem with its EMD algorithm which was released in September 2012.

The EMD algorithm was designed to reduce “low quality” exact match domains in the search results. Considering this change, can an exact match domain still help you? Certainly–if your content is high quality and unique. However it will no longer receive an automatic “bump” in the ranks from Google.

There is one other distict advantage to owning an website with an exact match domain. If you decide to sell your chiropractic practice, the website can be included in the purchase. This is not inconsequential, as a custom built chiropractic website, with properly constructed content and navigation can be worth thousands of dollars. With only minor content changes, you can provide the new business owner with a valuable and fully operational chiropractic marketing tool.

Avoid these 3 critical mistakes

However you decide to select your domain name, you’ll want to avoid these three potential mistakes that could hurt your website traffic.

1) Overly long or confusing domain names – Ideally a domain name should be only a few words long. This will make it easier for your patients to remember and type. It also should reflect something pertinent about your practice.

3) Choosing tough to spell domain names – If you have a difficult to spell surname, you might want to pick a simpler domain name, so that prospective patients aren’t tripped up when they trying to type your domain name in the browser bar.

3) Domain names with numbers – Numbers pose a particular challenge when included in domain names. Your website visitor may not know whether to enter a number or to spell our the number. This is also particularly true when using the number 4 to subtitue for the word four.

Following this guidance you should have enough information to pick a memorable and effective domain name that will serve you well for years to come.

About the Author

Kerrin Kuntzman


Kerrin is a marketing specialist and online copywriter who creates engaging website content for local chiropractors. She is an ardent supporter of chiropractic medicine and uses chiropractic treatment not only for herself, but for her pets as well! You can view Kerrin's Google profile here.


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