Why You Don't Need Multiple Domains
We commonly speak to dentists who tell us that they own multiple domain names because they want to dominate search results.
Unfortunately, many business owners have spent a great deal of time and money purchasing and maintaining multiple websites without realizing that it can actually do more harm than good.
While, in theory, the idea of having multiple, fully-optimized websites for your dental practice sounds like a good way to own the search results, there are actually quite a few risks involved, not to mention the time, energy, and monetary investment.
First, each website would need to have it’s own unique content. Saving time by copying and pasting the content from one website to the other is only going to harm your search engine rankings, as Google will see this as duplicate content and could suppress your sites from search results.
This means you would either need to write all new website content for each of your domains or hire someone to do so.
The second content issue is the time required to produce fresh content for each website. It is no secret that Google likes websites that post new content, which is why blogging is so popular. Let’s say you have 4 websites and time to write one blog post per week. That means you would be able to post one new blog on each site per month.
Rather than dividing your time and content over 4 different websites, you would be better off to devote all that energy into blogging 4 times per month on one website to create one authoritative practice site.
Dividing Link Authority
Having other authoritative websites link back to your practice site shows the search engines your site is credible. This ultimately can help your site move up in the search results. But if you have multiple websites, which site will you ask others to link to? If you get some back links to one domain and some to another, you’re essentially dividing the link power when you could be directing it all to one website.
Patient and Search Engine Confusion
Multiple websites for one practice can cause confusion for patients and search engines. If a prospective new patient is searching online for a new local dentist and comes across two of your websites, they’re likely to see that both sites are for the same dentist. Successful practice websites are honest and transparent, so this type of confusion could cause immediate mistrust and send the patient looking elsewhere.
NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) schema markup is a critical component of your website’s local search engine optimization. Having this same information on more than one website confuses Google and they don’t know which website is the correct one to display. The end result could be that Google chooses not to display either one.
So, if you are going to have multiple websites for one practice, you need to have one primary site that includes your practice NAP properly optimized, and then include the NAP information in image format on the other sites so that Google cannot crawl it.
But without crawlable NAP, these sites are pretty much pointless—they are unlikely to appear in local search results, greatly limiting their impact on new patient production.
Redirecting Domains to Your Dental Practice Website
If you currently own multiple domain names, you can have them set up to permanently redirect to your one main practice website. That way any traffic they may get will be directed to your website, but you do not have multiple websites to maintain.
Have you ever thought about buying keyword-rich domain names to redirect to your site? Simply purchasing a domain to redirect to another site is not going to get you more quality traffic than your main site alone.
However, some people do like to do this to prevent local competitors from purchasing the domain name. It isn’t going to harm your practice website’s performance, but it isn’t going to help your search rankings or new patient generation either.
Invest in One Quality Dental Website
In the end, the best use of your time and money is to invest in having one high quality, authoritative website. Don’t divide your search engine authority among multiple sites when you can generate more new patients from one great site.