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Seattle, WA 98104
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Why should healthcare organizations buy .health domains?

RFP Project Roadmapping

Why Should Healthcare Organizations Buy .health Domains?

By Blayne Fielder, Senior Director, Digital Marketing
MedTouch

For many years, clients have asked us about the necessity of buying URLs for their healthcare sites. Should we purchase every possible domain that could be affiliated with our brand? Every .net, .biz, etc.?

There’s some misinformation that additional domains could offer some search engine optimization (SEO) benefit. We’ve even had cases where “squatters” have tried to resell a client’s similar domain name back to them for thousands of dollars.

Purchasing extra domain names is almost never necessary. There’s absolutely no immediate SEO benefit from a new domain unless it’s already in use on another website. The .org and .edu domain suffixes most healthcare organizations use is authoritative and recognizable enough to distinguish brand sites from similarly-named URLs.

But a recently released domain suffix has us changing our tune. On July 20, 2017, dotHealth, an internet registry company, released the domain suffix “.health” for healthcare and health industry websites. We recommend our healthcare partners consider purchasing a .health domain right away. It’s a smart move short-term to provide a branded digital marketing option (think owned landing pages), and long-term to plan for the flexible growth of your brand. If your brand name ends with “health,” then stop reading and register right now!

Why we recommend applying for a .health domain now

During the current industry-access period, only organizations and brands that are validated to provide high-quality health information, services, and products will be allowed to apply for the domain. The .health domain suffix will open to the public in December 2017, with specific regulations they must follow. However, now is your chance to pick up affiliated URLs before anyone else has the chance to snap up your domain of choice.

Mayo Clinic, Pfizer, Amazon, and Google already are registered for .health domains, which work just like .com, .org, and other high-level domain suffixes. And as more medical centers move from “healthcare” branding to “health” branding, the .health domain suffix can become a natural and attractive extension of the brand. For example, if “Cedar Rapids Health” had the current website URL crhealth.org, we would recommend purchasing cr.health.

The .health domain suffixes provide unique opportunities for branding and current and future digital marketing campaigns the often live on third-party domains

And if a site is redesigned in the future, healthcare organizations will already own the URL and could potentially use it for their new site, depending upon the success of the .health domain suffix. Either way, it’s an option that’s worthwhile and that we recommend.


Schedule a free 15-minute call with Blayne Fielder to discuss digital marketing ideas for .health URLs.

How to get a .health domain

All organizations that want to purchase a .health domain suffix must go through an application and qualification process. Healthcare and health and wellness organizations and brands must validate that they are qualified members of the health industry. To do so, you must get an Industry Access token directly from dotHealth at www.get.health/apply, or from a health organization partner of dotHealth.

Read more articles.

MedTouch at a Glance

  • Year Founded: 2004
  • Employees: 100+
  • Independently owned; national client base
  • Offices: Boston, Louisville, Cedar Rapids, and Seattle
  • Inc. 500 | 5000  fastest-growing companies, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016
  • BBJ list of fastest-growing companies in Massachusetts, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016
  • Sitecore Platinum Implementation Partner
  • Google Premier Partner
  • Microsoft Azure Partner
  • CBJ "Coolest Places To Work", 2015
  • 100% focused on academic medical centers, integrated delivery networks, health systems, hospitals and health plans
  • Case Studies

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    Banner Health

    A large health system partnered with MedTouch to move away from numerous sites to a single, unified experience using Sitecore.

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    Edward-Elmhurst Health Open Scheduling

    The integration of Epic MyChart’s open scheduling, which allows patients to schedule appointments in real-time.

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    Baystate Health

    A multi-year, comprehensive digital action plan launched with the new Baystate site built on Sitecore with Personalization.

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    Edward-Elmhurst Health

    A cohesive, interactive game-based site that engaged patients with consistent messaging across web, social and mobile platforms.

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    Alameda Alliance for Health

    A regional health plan focused on delivering a vastly improved user experience, complete with new member portal.

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    Newton-Wellesley Hospital: Intranet

    A comprehensive medical center creates a reliable and useful Intranet.

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