Is it time for your dental practice to ditch your .net domain?

There was a time that it did not matter what domain name your dental practice used for your website.   Twenty years ago, if you had a website, you were ahead of the curve so it didn’t matter if you had a .NET or .COM domain name.  Quite frankly, it still doesn’t usually matter.  If a prospective dental patient finds your business card on a local bulletin board and sees you have a .NET domain – that’s no big deal.

However, over the years we have all been trained that .COM is a sign of quality and .NET…. well not so much.  I’m sure you do your shopping at Amazon.net and get your news at CNN.net, right?  Of course not, and you would probably think it was a bit strange if a big brand had a .NET domain.

So, what does this all have to do with a dentist getting found in Google AdWords?  Good question, dear reader.   Here’s the thing.  AdWords rewards ads that are relevant to searchers.  Specifically, the Google Ad system measures ClickThroughRate (CTR) and rewards ads that get more clicks and have a higher CTR.   Here’s a dumb example.  If you are Google and you get paid per click and you see an ad for “World’s Best Dentist” gets a CTR of 15% and “Crappy Little Dentist” gets a .01% CTR, which Google ad do you want to charge more for and which Google ad do you want to place higher in the results?  Of course, you want to give the “World’s Best Dentist” ad better placement.   That overachieving ad is like a little cash machine for Google.  However,  nobody ever clicks on (or is likely to click on) the “Crappy Little Dentist” ad so they want to punish that Google ad and charge the advertiser much more for that poor performing ad.

So, here’s the big question.  If your dental practice is serious about Google ads do you want to consider ditching your beloved .NET domain?   Often times, top Google ad results for searches like “Dental Implants” can look almost exactly alike.  If the other dentist’s Google ad is getting clicked simply because they have a fancy .COM domain and you have a .NET domain that’s a bad thing.

Your .net domain has served you well.  But you should ask yourself this question.  If you walked into any of your dental patients in the grocery store and asked: “do you know my website address?” – do you expect they would really remember it off the top of their head?  The answer is more than likely “No”.    The good news is they would simply Google your dental practice name and find you that way.  Within a week, you could have a shiny, new .COM domain showing up in Google if you did some basic SEO.   If you are on the fence about your old .NET domain and are serious about getting found with Google Adwords it might be time to consider ditching your old .NET domain.

Of course, you do NOT want to ditch your domain if the domain performs well in organic (free) search.   However, if you’re not getting found organically or with PPC it is time to make a change.  One option might be to create a new .com site primarily used for pay per click and gradually wind down your old .NET dentist domain.  There are a million dentist SEO (Search Engine Optimization)  consultants out there that would be happy to help you.   Those dentist SEOs can help you determine how much “link juice” your .Net domain has and how you can transfer that link juice to your new .COM domain.

Of course, ditching your .NET domain is just something to consider but if you are considering building a brand new dental practice we definitely recommend you spend the extra time and money to find a great  .COM dentist domain.

ConversionSmiles is a Dentist Adwords Management company.

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