If you want to build an online presence for your business, the first step is to buy a website address, or domain name, for your website. Unfortunately, we’ve found that this first step is where many people freeze because they either cannot think of a good name, or their first choice is already taken.
Often, clients approach us asking for our advice and guidance. Choosing your domain name is not something to take lightly, but if you follow these bedrock recommendations, you’ll end up with a great domain name that will give you all the competitive edges needed.
OK. Ready? Here’s our advice on how to choose a GREAT domain name for your private practice website:
Our Top 5 Tips On How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Therapist Website
We’re going to start this post with a quick disclaimer: When it comes to choosing the domain name for your private practice, ultimately it should be a domain that you feel comfortable with and love. If you are stuck and struggling to come up with a name, this post might be able to offer you some guidance, but know that these ingredients aren’t absolutely necessary for choosing a website address.
Google’s algorithm for determining search engine rankings is complex, but including important keywords about your industry in your domain name is something that can exponentially help your search engine optimization (SEO).
Not only does this help Google determine what your site is about, but it also helps your customers easily determine what sort of services you provide. Some great keywords for your private practice domain name might include:
If we perform a search for “boulder therapist,” you’ll see that 6 out of the 7 local listing results that show up have the word “therapist” or synonym in their domain name.
Use your location
If you are a location-based practice, consider adding your city or state to your domain to make it clear which area you serve.
Again, this aids in search engine ranking because Google can see where people are searching from and match your location-based domain with their query.
If we perform a search for “therapist” and our location is in Boulder, Colorado, Google knows where we are searching from and will match both the term we searched as well as take that relevant location information.
As you can see, all of the local listings that showed up for this query have the word “boulder” in their domain, which helps Google better determine that these sites are good matches for people performing a search in this location.
Use your name
If you are building your practice as a solo practitioner, consider using your own name as the domain. The advantage to this is that the domain is probably not already taken, and it gives you a more personal connection to your practice and your potential clients. Add LCSW, MFT, or PhD to the end of your name for profession recognition.
Keep it memorable
This is where using your name might not be the best idea if you have an unusual spelling, pluralization, or a lengthy name. Ideally, your website address should be something that people can easily remember and that you can tell them without having to spell out. Keep the domain as short as possible (try to keep it under 15 characters) and avoid using filler characters such as hyphens—which are usually correlated with spammy behavior—if possible.
Go with .com
Most people make the automatic assumption that your website will end in .com, and they will likely remember it that way even if it doesn’t. You don’t wan’t to miss out on potential clients just because someone went to the wrong website.
How to buy a domain
Go to your domain registrar of choice and type in the domain you wish to purchase. If your domain is available, there is usually a “buy now” button.
We will use GoDaddy as an example:
Occasionally, you’ll see a domain that seems to be available for purchase, but for a large amount of money. Usually this means that the domain name is incredibly desirable due to its keywords.
In GoDaddy’s case, they call these “Premium” domains. GoDaddy does not actually own these domains, but can get you in touch with the owner so that you can bid on a price. In most cases, it is not worth it to buy one of these domains.
At Brighter Vision, your domain renewal fee is absorbed into the cost of our services, and if you’re just starting out, we can help you buy your domain as we build you a beautiful, professional private practice website. Call us today to get started!