By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
A chiropractor e-mailed me the other night with a really great question regarding domains. He mentioned that he owned a number of domains related to the field of chiropractic and he had questions regarding setting up multiple websites for one’s chiropractic office. After purchasing the domains he stated “I’ve never really been sure what to do with them besides use domain-forwarding to pipe them straight to my website.” He then asked the question… “When you purchase alternate domains for your office, do you copy the content from your main site and replicate it onto the new domain? Or do you domain-forward them all?” It came to light that this is a very important topic to be discussed amongst chiropractors (and other small-business owners working with more than one website). Two very important topics: domain-forwarding & replicating content (a.k.a. duplicate content).
To the left is a screenshot of something called a Whois Record for planetchiropractic.com. If you own even a single domain name, I strongly suggest you take the time to perform yearly checkups and make sure the information for your own domain is up-to-date. There are many sites that allow you to check this data but my favorite are the tools provided by whois.domaintools.com. Simply enter the name of your domain where it reads Whois Lookup and select search. If your name is not listed as the registrant or at least administrative contact you may not actually own your domain (this could be very serious for obvious reasons). You may have selected to use some form of privacy protection, which would prevent your information from appearing, but that’s a different story altogether. These are really topics for a separate post but I do strongly advise you at least check on the ownership of your domain.
Regarding the two questions I was asked by the chiropractor, let’s take a look at a common scenario a chiropractor owning websites may be faced with. Let’s assume for example you have registered the name of your practice for your website. My chiropractic office is ADIO Los Angeles so several years ago I registered www.adiola.com.
The Internet being the way it is with keywords and search keyphrases you may have at some point decided to register more than one domain name. For example, a chiropractor practicing a form of instrument adjusting may consider activatorchiropractor.com as a domain alternative. That same chiropractor may even use that instrument only for adjusting the first bone of the cervical spine. If that were the case, atlaschiropractor.com may make for a good domain choice. Something like chiropractorwebsite.com may even seem obvious to a chiropractor who has a website.
Were not limited by dot-coms and new domains extensions (such as.net .org and .us) seem to becoming more available each and every day. One non dot-com example would be chiropractordirectory.us. So it could be a fairly common scenario for a chiropractor to own more than one domain. The questions were do you copy the content from your initial website to the second site you created or do you redirect traffic from the second site to the first site?
I’d strongly advise chiropractors not to create additional sites that have the same web content. I’ve made this mistake in the past and it’s well-known that search engines will likely penalize the website showing duplicate content (a major reason I think template web sites by chiropractic hosting companies are a very bad idea).
Depending on the domain, or the amount of time you have to focus on building a secondary web site, I’d lean towards the practice of redirecting the domain to your original site. How to Properly Implement a 301 Redirect by Lisa Barone provides all the details you’ll need, I’d prefer you read her post rather than getting into the topic here.
If you’re going to create a 2nd site and you’re not going to redirect the domain to your original one, do something unique, and don’t just park the domain (I’m guilty of that as well). The best examples I can think of would be separating your practice into different categories. Let’s say you primarily practice family chiropractic but wouldn’t mind increasing your personal injury services as well. You may consider creating a website uniquely focused on information related to personal injuries and information consumers may be seeking regarding automobile collisions or even motorcycle accidents. Maybe you’re not into personal injury at all, but you have been taking courses in pediatrics and want to expand your focus on chiropractic and pregnancy or chiropractic care for kids. A pediatrics site would be very different from a motor vehicle collision website but my point is that could be unique from your standard family chiropractic web site you have now.
So, three things we should get from this post. #1 Check up on your domains and make sure they are in your name for ownership. #2 Read up on 301 redirects so that you’re properly direct in traffic to your site or blog. #3 Consider creating unique websites focused on specialized topics if you own any additional domains. Posts like these sometimes leave people with more questions than I’ve given answers, click the yellow envelope near the title of this post to e-mail if you seek additional information.
planetc1.com-news @ 10:03 pm | Article ID: 1232690641