When building a brand, it is often recommended to protect your business by registering negative domain names. For example, Microsoft owns MicrosoftSucks.com. This is called a defensive registration. The idea is simple, beat your competition or unhappy clients to the punch so they cant put up negative websites. This isnt a common practice for Veterinarians, but I am starting to see it a little bit more than I used to. The question has been coming up, should we be worried about the new .xxx domain names.
The answer is No. Right now a .xxx domain registration costs about $100 per year. The odds of someone else registering it are pretty slim as a Veterinary practice. In addition, it is barely widespread that anyone would look for or type in .xxx into their browsers. For the time being, I am recommending holding off on registering any .xxx and take a wait and see approach.
Yesterday I was speaking to a practice that had quite a few domain names. The owner of the practice had been registering a few domain names every week for almost a year, thinking he was helping with marketing. He was in fact, doing himself a disservice by having hundreds of domain names. Even if he is getting a great rate on domain registrations, he is going to be paying about $8 per year per domain name. Just 100 domain names (and he had more) will cost roughly $800 per year and generate little to nothing in returns.
When registering domain names, don’t go overboard. You only really need one. The exception to this rule is if you are in a major area and you have what are called type-in traffic domains. An example of which would be NewYorkVeterinarian.com. This domain name would actually get traffic without indexing on search engines. However, odds are, all domains with this kind of traffic have been registered years ago by either competitors who had the foresight or domain investors who know how to make a buck.
Pick a short domain name that clearly describes what your practice is. In this industry, a geospecific domain name is usually best. Something like – CarlsbadVeterinary.com. Tell us the city and the service and its relatively easy to remember for traditional marketing purposes.