Everything you do to promote your practice should be supported by what patients find on your website. So, when building your website, use the power of your name. On the Internet, you will have a domain name. The name should be descriptive, yet easy to remember; and it should reinforce the “branding” that you are creating for your practice.
For example, a patient might type in “yourname.com” to see what comes up. If you’ve done your naming correctly, chances are good they’ll find you, and not end up on the site of some questionable practitioner in a far-off country.
You might think, “Well, I’m going to be “DrSmithchiro.com.” If only getting your name on the web were that easy. There are a few issues to consider when creating and purchasing a domain name for your website. A reputable web-building partner can do the name-search work for you and help you decide on a name if your preferred name is taken. Using such a partner is definitely an option; however, the process will go more smoothly if you understand how domain names are created and what they mean.
A website name will end with a top-level domain (TLD) name. A TLD is a naming extension, such as .com or .edu. The main naming organization for the Internet is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (www.icann.org).
Internet domain names are registered on a first-come, first-served basis by sanctioned organizations. If you check ICANN, you will be directed to affiliated sites that register domain names. You might find that “yourname.com” is already taken.
Or, if you’ve already secured your domain name, you might learn that someone else has taken “your” name and attached a different TLD to the end. It can and does happen. It is important to know who’s using variations of your name and how they are using them. You want to protect your brand on all fronts.
ICANN is in the process of approving a number of new TLDs, including:
The .pro extension might be of particular interest to chiropractors, as it is going to be reserved for “professionals” such as doctors, lawyers and accountants. Exact details of who will be able to register this TLD and how they will be registered were still unclear at press time. Updates will be provided as they become available.