In todays digital age it is essential that physiotherapists have an online presence, one that professionally represents their business like a shop front, and is optimized so that people and potential clients can find them online. This is often where many physiotherapy practices fall down: they have no or a very basic website and make very little effort to promote themselves online.
In this blog I want to look more closely at the recent inclusion of .physio domain names. Is the introduction of .physio as a top level domain (TLD) going to help the average physiotherapist to be found online? Lets have a more detailed look at what a TLD actually is and what, if any, advantage purchasing one of these for your physiotherapy business might bring.
What is a Top Level Domain?
Domain names are unique names that identify internet resources such as websites. We are all familiar with .com, .net, .org and .au. These are examples of TLDs which “identifies something about the website associated with it, such as its purpose, the organization that owns it or the geographical area where it originates”.
Why a new TLD?
With current trends of internet usage and the rise of online business, the more traditional TLDs such as .com and .au are becoming increasingly more difficult to obtain, secure and correspond with existing business names.
Although most web users relate .com or .au to generally being reputable and trustworthy, they are not at all descriptive of the industry the website represents.
Higher growth and increasing demands for TLD’s, led to ICANN – the global governing body for internet governance – deciding to allow a much larger number of domains to enter the internet to increase competition and consumer choice.
A few years ago, an entrepreneur and specialist musculoskeletal physiotherapist from Perth, Western Australia, Mr Glenn Ruscoe was reading about this and recognized the potential .physio had for the promotion of the physiotherapy and physical therapy communities around the globe. He decided then and there that it was something he wanted to bring to fruition and has spent the last 3 years working tirelessly to get .physio approved by ICANN. Applications for new TLDs closed in March 2012 and .physio was one of over 1400 new TLDs accepted. Since then Glenn has been hard at work getting .physio ready for launch.
What is .physio?
.physio is one of the newest domain names being offered to all individuals and affiliated parties involved in the physiotherapy/physical therapy communities. “As a niche-specific TLD, .physio will work to establish a credible domain namespace, both relevant to those looking for physiotherapy services, and to those in the physiotherapy profession looking for education, equipment, and networking resources”.
It is thought .physio will:
- Serve the interests of members of the physio community, as well as internet users more generally, by providing professional recognition as well as credibility and trustworthiness, in an online space reserved for all individuals and organisations affiliated with the physiotherapy and physical therapy professions.
- Provide an easily accessible and trusted resource for those searching out information and professional services, whilst aiding in identification and protection of your professional brand. Practices who choose to compliment their website with current evidence based information lend themselves to creating authority in the physiotherapy field. Modern day patients seek out information about their health; the more credible and reliable this is, the better.
- Add legitimacy to the industry, instilling significant user confidence and trust. The internet is full of information, but often users don’t know how to decipher the good from the bad, so creating trust and confidence in the source of information is invaluable.
How to use your new.physio domain name/s?
The following opportunities and ways of using a .physio domain include:
- yourname.physio – no brand is more important than your professional name,
- yourbusiness/organisation.physio – after your name, this is what people search most when they know you,
- yourlocation.physio – for new clients, help them find you by owning physio in your locations, and
- yourspecialties.physio – for new clients seeking experts in the field”
The descriptive nature and specificity of .physio offers search engine optimisation (SEO) advantages in that it immediately identifies you, your business name, location or speciality. We know from talking with Glenn Ruscoe that there has been quiet a lot of interest in the uptake of .physio domains with over 10,000 early requests already being made.
Generally I believe physiotherapists are an inclusive bunch – they like belonging to and are very proud of the profession in which they get to help people realise their full physical potential. I believe with more and more physiotherapy practices taking the leap into the online world, there will be a large number of practice owners getting in quickly to secure this exciting opportunity.
For those practices that already have a website you may wish to start the transition by directing your new .physio domain name to your existing site. That way visitors can access your website with either address. If you already have Google rankings and site traffic you want to make sure this process is done correctly to preserve all your hard work! Click here for help with this transition.
For businesses who don’t have a website or have one that needs updating with the latest technologies, click here to see how Project […] can help with both your website needs and securing a .physio domain.
 What is top-level domain (TLD)? – Definition from WhatIs.com. 2014. What is top-level domain (TLD)? – Definition from WhatIs.com. [ONLINE] Available at: https://searchsoa.techtarget.com/definition/top-level-domain. [Accessed 25 November 2014].
 .PHYSIO Domain Registration [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.enom.com/domains/physio-domain-registration [Accessed 25 November 2014].
 Registry.physio » Launch. 2014. Registry.physio » Launch. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.registry.physio/launch/. [Accessed 25 November 2014].
 Registry.physio » About. 2014. Registry.physio » About. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.registry.physio/about/. [Accessed 25 November 2014].