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Choosing the Best URL for Your Medical Practice Website

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

healthcare website designThe near-constant atmosphere of change in healthcare is taking more than a few medical practices back to their marketing drawing board.

Doctors are forming new groups, practices are consolidating, and competition is escalating. And for many, the online workhorse of physician marketing—your trusted website—needs to change dramatically to reflect a new name, a new brand…maybe a “new everything.”

A completely fresh website do-over—or perhaps just a major update—should include a look at your digital domain name and URL (www.mypracticename.com or healthcaresuccess.com). The URL—Internet-tech-talk for Uniform Resource Locator—is actually quite a vital detail in your medical practice-marketing scheme of things.

Needless to say, your online address is the all-important connecting point in reaching patients and prospective patients. Ultimately, a good choice can help your online visibility, Search Engine Optimization and Google’s PageRank.

So, for minor or major “site surgery,” here are a few time-tested tips about devising the best URL for your medical practice and online marketing:

URLs ending in “.com” tend to rank better than “.net,” “.org,” “.us,” and “.biz.” Other options exist, but can be confusing. The old original “dot-com” is far more pervasive; almost expected.

Exact Match Domain (EMD) is helpful. For illustration only (and without getting too technical), if you want to be found in searches for “Irvine Doctor,” a good matching address to have would be “IrvineDoctor.com.”

Domain Age still makes a difference. Search engines consider the length of time that a website has been registered and active to be a sign of trust. It is possible to find the age of a domain name, including your competitors or a URL you might want to purchase.

Consider buying a retired name. Lets say you’re a urologist and a successful-but-now-retired doctor abandoned his URL when he closed up shop. Consider if there is lingering equity in acquiring the former website address.

Keep it short, easy to say and easy to spell. The goal is to be able to communicate your address in writing, over the phone and from person-to-person. (Also, avoid hyphens or numbers.)

Brainstorm around your top keywords, your name and your brand. Look for a convenient intersection of “who you are” and “what you do.”

Memorable is good, but cute can wear thin. What sounds really clever might not play well with everyone.

Speak civilian, not medical-ese. For example, you might want to rethink using “otorhinolaryngology” as part of your web address.

We can help you with these and other important steps in the process, if needed. So give us a call. And for related reading concerning SEO for medical practices, see:

Steve Jacobs

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