There is a new top-level domain (TLD) available for healthcare websites. Earlier this year, 287 companies, organizations and individuals applied for the use of the .health TLD. The domain has proved to be popular with everyone from Apple and Facebook to Taylor Swift. However, rather than being a simple domain for everyone to use, it is designed as a top-level domain to benefit healthcare businesses, websites and their customers. Now, owners of health sites may be asking themselves whether they should make the switch to the new top-level domain.

Interestingly, health websites could reap a number of benefits from using this TLD.

Sending A Clear Message

People often underestimate the importance of a domain name. They tend to think that since over 90 percent of user searches online begin with a search engine, domains are less important for SEO purposes and gaining customer support. However, this is far from the case. The right domain can send a clear message, and this is why some of the best are often incredibly expensive.

However, a TLD like .health has the extra advantage of sending a clear message. The CEO of .health believes that it can be a symbol for customers, users and patients online. They hope that sites using the .health TLD will be seen as the ultimate resource for health information and become a group of a trusted health sites. While it’s unclear whether this could occur, users online could certainly have this perception of sites with the new TLD.

SEO Advantages

As we’ve written about in the past, Google’s official stance on SEO with a TLD is that it brings no advantages or disadvantages. However, this has been disputed by SEO experts. Many believe that a TLD could impact keyword SEO and as such may lead to higher levels of traffic. Other’s suspect that the Google algorithm may determine the relevance of a TLD on a case by case basis. As such, it’s possible that for .health to provide an SEO advantage if enough trusted health sites used that specific TLD.

The fact is that TLDs like .health are simply too new to fully understand the impact that they might have on SEO. It may have a keyword match impact, or it could leave you in the exact same position on the SERPs as using a .com. For the most part, it is worth taking risk because there appears to be no downsides.

Easy To Switch

The good news is that switching to the new TLD is easy and Google will support you with this move. There is extensive reading for those interested in making this change, and you can ensure that it does not impact your online performance.

Stand Out Online

The bottom line is that the new TLD is going to make your health site stand out online. Don’t forget there are millions of sites online, so anything that you can do to make your site a little more different is worth considering. It may not have a significant advantage for an SEO campaign, but with only a limited number of sites using this TLD, it will, at the very least, make your site more memorable for users.

Looking to switch to the new .health TLD or redesign your medical website?