Whether you’re advertising plastic surgery or any other business online, the domain name of your website is very important because it’s what you become known by online. Choosing a domain name, however, can be a difficult and often frustrating task. Because many good domain names are already taken, you often have to get a bit creative. At the same time, however, it’s important that you don’t compromise the effectiveness of your domain. The following considerations should be taken into account when choosing a domain name:
- Your domain name extension. Every domain name has an extension, such as .com, .net, .org and so on. The .com extension is by far the most well known and tends to be remembered most by Internet users. Unfortunately, being so common, getting the domain name you want as a .com can be very difficult. The next best option is probably .net. The .org extension is typically associated with educational or more formal websites, while the more recent .info extension is another option with more domains available than the others but less known by Internet users.
- Your business name vs. a brand name. When choosing your domain name, you must decide whether to use your business name or to develop a brand name. For instance, when advertising plastic surgery, an example of using your business name might be www.drjohnsmith.com or www.drsmithplasticsurgery.com, while a brand name might be www.beautify.com or www.perfectimage.com. There is no right or wrong approach here. Consider several different domain names and how they sound, how well they relate to your practice, and how they might look in print on a business card.
- Using hyphens. There are several reasons why hyphens may be used in a domain name. First, your preferred domain name may already be taken so you might consider using the same domain with hyphens. Second, using hyphens can make your domain easier to read in print, such as www.dr-smith-plastic-surgery.com as opposed to www.drsmithplasticsurgery.com. One great benefit of using hyphens is that the search engines can read all of the words in the domain name. However, some people strongly believe that hyphens should not be used in domain names. When domain names contain hyphens, they can be somewhat harder to explain. Further, many Internet users don’t expect hyphens and, thus, will rarely figure out that your domain name includes them unless specifically told so.
- The domain registrar. The domain registrar is the company you pay to have a domain registered, and there are many, many domain registrars to choose from. When choosing a registrar, be sure to find out the following information: if you hold sole ownership of the domain or if the registrar controls some percentage of it; if the registrar will allow the domain to be transferred to another registrar; if domain administration includes an online control panel; and if the domain Name Servers can be easily changed.