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The Power of Your Practice's Name

Upload: April 14, 2014When setting up a new site for your practice, it's important to consider several factors that will affect your online presence. For example, if you're contemplating changing the name of your practice as part of your site's new look, make sure that you consider how that will impact your search engine rankings.

Changing your practice — even slightly — can make it significantly harder for patients to find you, especially if your practice currently shows up high in search results under your existing name. It can take years for a practice to establish its online presence and search engine rankings.

Changing your practice's name can be damaging to your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts. When building a new site for your practice, you may want to go with a new name to go with your fresh new look, but consider whether the name change is really necessary. If you’re looking into changing your practice's name due to a new location, new staff edition, or simply because you’re trying to “rebrand” your practice, consider the suggestions below.

Do's and Don't for Renaming Your Practice:

  1. Steer clear of changing your website domain name. Switching domains can result in losing a lot of search engine traffic. If you must change your domain name, make sure you have a plan in place to build links to your new site.
  2. Localize your new practice name. Consider using a location term in your new business name. For example, Search Engine Land, which features news about search engine marketing and optimization, states that “Bell Family Dental of Carlsbad” may perform better than “Bell Family Dental”.
  3. Update information on all online directories. This includes review sites and business directories such as Yelp. Google uses your NAP data (business name, address and phone number) to help determine how you rank in local searches. Make sure your business listing is updated to reflect your new practice name; this includes your Google+ Local listing!
  4. Update your social media accounts. In addition, be sure to update your social networks with your new business name. This may mean changing your Facebook page name and Twitter handle. Please note, you may only change your Facebook page's name if you have less than 200 likes!
  5. Broadcast to your social networks. Let your social networks know about your new business name in advanced so no one is confused or surprised.
  6. Tell your patients! Perhaps most importantly, let your patients know. Tell them about your new practice name by word of mouth when they visit, and send an email blast or even direct-mail post cards. Get the word out about your practice's new name!

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