Zebras and tigers both have stripes, but they are very different. For instance, even in a pinch, I wouldn’t ride a tiger. I also wouldn’t advise petting or hand feeding a tiger. A zebra, on the other hand, sure! Sounds like fun!
Another obvious difference is that Zebras live on the plains of Africa. Tigers call the jungle home.
My point is, like zebras and tigers, your practice name and website domain name have different homes, different purposes, and thus should be dealt with differently. That’s not to imply that your practice and website shouldn’t have the same name, but I recommend you put some thought behind your decision. These names should be with you for a long, long time.
As with most marketing and advertising concepts, I recommend attacking the naming issue with logic. This Q&A chart should help.
|Question||Practice (Zebra: fun, memorable, unique to people)||Domain (Tiger: aggressive, enticing, means business to search engines)|
|What is the purpose of the name?||To appeal to the community at large. To distinguish my practice from others.||To attract qualified patients online. To distinguish my practice from others.|
|Who is the target audience?||Patients in need of my services. (ex: young families, adult professionals, seniors, teens, cosmetic-conscious adults)||Internet savvy patients in need of my services.|
|Does the city need to be in the name?||Not usually||It’s best|
|Do you want your last name in the name?||Matter of opinion||It can be, but don’t make it priority unless you’re very well known.|
|What are the practice and domain names of your competitors/local peers?||Come up with a list of 5||Come up with a list of 5|
|What are other important considerations?||Be creative. Consider words you like. Pull from your mission and vision statements. Choose a name that you can brand (logo, color scheme, tagline, overall marketing). Don’t let the name get too long.||Be practical. The word “dentist” or “orthodontist,” for example, are great in domain names because these are words people search for. Your city name is also a practical and smart addition. Don’t let the name get too long.|
|Any other advice?||Choose something memorable. Check with your county office to make sure the name you choose is not being used.||Choose something practical. Go to www.GoDaddy.com to see if the domain you like is already in use.|
So, let’s say you have a new practice in downtown Dallas. You’re a general dentist with a focus on cosmetic and restorative cases. Most of your patients will be professionals who can walk to your office from their workplace. You don’t take insurance, but you pride yourself on clinical excellence and superior service.
|Practice Name Ideas||Domain Name Ideas|
|Smiles of Dallas||Downtowndallassmiles|
|Dallas Distinct Smiles||Dallasdistinctsmiles|
|Elite Dentistry of Dallas||Elitedentistryofdallas|
As a marketing professional, my mind is going into hyper drive right now. Each of these practice and domain names have great potential. I see an array of branding options: colors, logos, taglines, and events. This is where it gets fun! And profitable!
If you’re having some trouble coming up with a good domain name and practice name for your dental office, don’t stress or postpone…just call me. I would sincerely love to help you. I’ve said it before…at MDPM, we’re in the business to make dentists smile!