Internet registry company dotHealth released the domain “.health” this summer, making it available for organizations that provide healthcare or health information, market health products or services, or develop health-related technologies. The intention of the domain is to help consumers find reliable health information on the web. Mayo Clinic, United Healthcare, and Johnson & Johnson have already registered for .health domains, as have Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google.
Should you follow suit? The short answer is yes.
Benefits of a .health domain
Reserving a .health domain for your organization is important for a few reasons, including the fact it:
- Provides new marketing opportunities: The potential for differentiating yourself from your competition abounds with new TLDs – names that would never be accessible in “legacy” domains like .com and .net are now available in .health. There are multiple ways your organization can take advantage at a system level and a service line level – consider www.abchospital.health, or even www.heart.health for an unbranded campaign website. [Editor’s note: Check out how health organizations are already using their .health domains on dotHealth’s case study page.]
- Protects your brand: If you don’t buy the .health version of your current domain names, another organization can. And you’d have no control over what content is posted on that domain. This puts your brand at risk. Even if you decide not to use the .health domain, reserving it ensures that you are in control of how it does – or does not – get used.
- Saves money down the road: You’ve probably heard of someone buying a domain and then selling it through the private market When this happens to a domain you want to purchase, you’ll likely have to spend a significant amount of money to purchase that domain.
- Offers a potential SEO impact: No one knows exactly what the effect of .health domains will be on search. But if Google decides to give extra weight to .health URLs in the future, your investment could pay big dividends.
How to get the .health domain
Since the goal of .health is to provide reliable health information on the web, organizations interested in purchasing the domain during this early-access period must go through an application and qualification process. The first step is to get an Industry Access token from dotHealth. You must submit your application for a token before 11:00 a.m. on November 29, 2017.