Do Domain Names Still Matter?

By Guest Author, and JJD Certified Partner, Matt Prados of GotchaLocal.com

There are many reasons to pick your domain – the URL name which points to your practice’s website. And in fact you should probably own a few domains.

You should of course own yourbusinessname.com. But sometimes yourbusinessname.com is a terrible domain name for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and/or Adwords.

For instance, a website I recently saw was healthysmilesdc.com it was the yourbusinessname.com for Healthy Smiles Dental Center. From an Adwords point of view, if you see this domain in an ad it does tell you it’s a dentist, it doesn’t tell you where it is, and since DC stands for Doctor of Chiropractic, you could could confuse some.

From an SEO stand point Google though, even with one of the most advanced algorithms ever written, is like a 4 year old child and likes simplicity. So all the same things that would stop someone clicking the ad will also stop Google from ranking it high in the search results.

A recent case study for Wellness Springs Dental of Salem, which was converted from Softouch Dental a few years back in a re-brand went from softouchdentalsalem.com to wellnessspringsdentalsalem.com. After having ranked #1 for years suddenly started dropping. We applied all the standard SEO practices when it was softouchdentalsalem.com and we applied all the standard SEO practices in the transition to wellnessspringsdentalsalem.com, but Google just kept letting the site drop in the rankings for “dentist salem Oregon.”

So what happened? We still had “dental” and “salem” but we went from 8 to 14 characters before the words “dental” and “salem” to almost double. Also softouch is a very popular dental name sometimes with 2 t’s but still popular, google identified this. ‘Wellness Springs’ has nothing to do with dentistry from a 4 year old’s perspective. This also was an issue.

We had the opportunity to acquire an aged domain http://dentistsalem.net. This is a great domain because it has the word “dentist” which is better than “dental” and it has the word “salem” both at the beginning of the domain AND it has no other words. Additionally it is AGED meaning it was not just created today, it had been registered for more than 6 months, which is a HUGE bonus.

Within 30 days of changing the domain we had recovered a nice chunk of lost rankings we had slipped from #1 all the way to the bottom of page 2 over the last 6 months and nothing we did seemed to help until we changed the domain. Back on page 1 rapidly climbing into the top position.

Additionally when looking at it from an Ad in Adwords point of view, if a person is in Salem and searches for a dentist and sees a domain that says DentistSalem.net they immediately think, “Hey that is what I was searching for!”

So I highly recommend that you own yourbusinessname.com AND dentisttown.com or dentisttown.net or similar. I recommend buying the .com whenever possible. I recommend buying an aged domain whenever possible. I know that a new domain is ONLY $10 and that an aged domain can be thousands but think about it as an investment if YOU own dentisttown.com, no one else can. That is great defense, and if you get 1 more new patient a year for 10 years because of that domain that cost you $3000 and your average patient value is low at $1500, you still make 5x’s on your investment. I know every one of you would sign up for a financial plan that stated invest $3000 today and it will be $15,000 in 10 years…

Marketing is strategic investing for immediate and future returns in your business.

Matt Prados
Founder
Gotcha Local
www.GotchaLocal.com

Making Your Phone Ring Period.

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