Choosing your therapy practice name can be a confusing and overwhelming process. We’ll approach this problem from the holistic perspective of your website, brand, and marketing.
Getting your private therapy practice online is one of the most important things you can do. Like your therapy practice name, your domain name is a unique address that people can use to find specific websites. When choosing your therapy practice name, you should first check to see if the domain is available. This can be a costly mistake if your dream therapy practice name is not available for purchase (potentially tens of thousands of dollars or even worse, someone else using it who won’t sell it to you).
In this post, we will explore how to choose the best domain name for therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and treatment centers so that it fits your brand and makes your practice look as professional as possible.
Domain Name Best Practices
Let’s explore a few domain name best practices:
- Keep it short – ideally under 15 to 20 characters in length
- Choose a domain name that is easily type-able
- Avoid numbers or dashes – These can make your domain name harder to type or remember
- Don’t use slang or abbreviations
- Use keywords – Sometimes it makes sense to use keywords in your name
- Target your location – Sometimes it makes sense to target the location you serve
- Use a domain extension that makes sense for your business type
How to Choose a Domain Name
In this section, we will explore some domain name ideas to position your practice well to your ideal patients. Let’s look at some domain name best practices:
For therapists, psychologists, counselors, and psychiatrists who work by themselves in solo practices, here are some domain ideas:
- your name – ex: amyboyers.com
- your position + your name or your name + your position – ex: dramyboyers.com, amyboyersphd.com
- your position + your first or last name – ex: drwendy.com
Generally speaking, we recommend that therapy practices with one therapist name their practice using their name. This is because your patients want to work with you not a fancy brand name.
Name of a Practice or Treatment Center
If you are a practice with multiple mental health professionals or a treatment center, choosing a domain name that includes your name is recommended.
Here is an example of one of our treatment center clients:
This treatment center’s name came from arguably the most famous physician in the Roman Empire, Galen. This example shows that you can create your therapy practice name by using a famous historical figure of significance + a noun/verb like “hope” that is positive and uplifting for patients.
If your name is too long (over 15 – 20+ characters), consider using part of the name when purchasing a domain if it’s available.
For practitioners with a specific focus, you could choose to include that focus in the name of your domain. Here are some domain ideas:
- Condition + treatment type – eatingdisorderhope.com
- Condition + treatment type + location – miamianorexiatreatment.com
- Target client + treatment type – ex: christiantherapy.com
- location + therapy – charlottetherapy.com
If you’re a single practitioner, we recommend that you steer clear of specific focus names and stay with your name. It’s important that if you choose to go this route, that the name in the domain covers all that you offer.
Names to Avoid
This list of therapist domain name ideas wouldn’t be complete without a little guidance on names to avoid. Generally speaking, avoid names that are:
- Overly spammy – Don’t try to jam in keywords into your name – it’s better to be unique
- Too long – If your name is longer than 20 characters, it’s probably too long
- .org unless you operate a non-profit
- Complicated to spell or include dashes and numbers
Parts of a Domain Name
According to Moz, there are three parts of a domain name:
A subdomain is a name added before the domain name you choose. These are still the same website, but often are created to contain totally different information that is meant to be separate from the normal part of a website. An example of this would be “support.google.com”
The domain name is the name that you chose to represent your digital address.
Top Level Domain
Your top-level domain is the term for the suffix at the end of your domain name. These are also called domain extensions. The ones we will be discussing today include .com, .net, and .org.
The root domain is a combination of your domain name and the top level domain. This offers many different combinations for the same name. Theoretically there could be two different companies with the same domain name but different top level domain names.
Which Website Extension Should I Use?
.com is the most popular website extension. We highly recommend that you find a domain with .com
.net is a somewhat popular website extension. If .com is purchased already for the “perfect name” you come up with, .net can be a substitute
.org sites are typically used by non-profits. If you’re a non profit, .org is a great extension to use. We recommend avoiding .org if you’re not a non-profit. In our view using a .org extension looks spammy if you’re a for-profit company.
Registering Your Domain Name
Registering your domain name is fairly easy! If you know the host you’d like to use, we recommend using it to purchase a hosting plan and also buy your domain name. We use Siteground hosting as we’ve found it to be extremely reliable with great customer service.
If you just need a domain name without a hosting plan (for options 2 and 3 below), you can purchase your domain through a site like godaddy.com. It usually costs around $15 to $20 dollars per year to keep a domain under your control.
Connecting Your Domain Name to a Website Host
If you are building your own website through WordPress.org or similar via a host, you can follow these steps to point your domain name to your host. If you purchase your domain through your hosting company, connecting these two will be more seamless.
Securing your Domain Name
After you connect your domain name to a website host, we highly recommend getting what’s called a “SSL certificate.” According to digicert.com:
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and, in short, it’s the standard technology for keeping an internet connection secure and safeguarding any sensitive data that is being sent between two systems, preventing criminals from reading and modifying any information transferred, including potential personal details. The two systems can be a server and a client (for example, a shopping website and browser) or server to server (for example, an application with personal identifiable information or with payroll information).
Securing your site with a SSL certificate will also add a “s” to the beginning of your “http://” protocol making it “https://”. These are usually offered free through your host, and will make your website visitors trust visiting your site much more than they would if you don’t have one. Google will usually place a “not secure” or similar message next to your domain name at the top of your browser if you don’t have a SSL certificate.
Choosing a Website Content Management System (CMS)
When it comes to the technology your website is built on, there are many options.
We exclusively use WordPress.org, an open source content management system with millions of websites built. In fact, over 75 million sites are built with wordpress.org, roughly 30% of all websites.
Pros: Extremely customizable, very SEO friendly, “Free” to use. Many top mental health professional websites are made with WordPress because they are using marketing companies who perform high-end SEO on them (which is an amazing way to grow your practice).
Cons: You need to pay for a host. However, these are typically pretty inexpensive and are often paid monthly or yearly. A tad more complicated to use and manage than other options below.
Website Drag and Drop Builders
Website builders are a good choice for a mental health professional that is just starting out and wants to build their own website. Common website builders include:
- WordPress.com (not to be confused with wordpress.org)
Pros: Easy to build a website, include the hosting costs in their monthly price
Cons: Lack customization, often a “starter” site for therapists just getting started, Custom tracking, custom elements, and SEO may not be as good as WordPress.org
Prepackaged “Therapist Websites”
Some website companies are attractive to therapists because they offer premade templates that allow you to change words, colors, and images. These also claim to offer things like professional SEO but we believe that is misleading. Perhaps these prepackaged websites offer some “technical SEO” but not true custom strategies for long-term success against your rival local therapists.
Pros: Often cost less than $80.00 per month, allow you to get online quick
Cons: Not a great solution for SEO success unless you, the therapist, are driving a robust SEO strategy when building your site. Another con is that this site is non transferable. If you don’t want to pay the monthly fee, you’ll have to start over on another CMS platform. These types of sites are usually very similar looking to many other therapist websites.
Hiring a Professional Website Marketing Company
Thank you for reading our post on choosing a therapy practice name for therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists. For maximum growth, we highly recommend getting a custom strategy and website built for your practice. If you’re at the stage in your private practice business where you want to grow, see more patients, and thrive, we highly recommend a custom website solution. Learn about our process for building successful mental health practices – We manage all of the “techy’ stuff and build custom strategies proven to grow private practices.
Need some help starting or growing your private practice? We are a top mental health marketing company that works with therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and treatment centers. we look forward to speaking with you!