How to Choose Your Counseling Practice Name & Domain Name

A name is the most intimate thing any of us own. It’s a personal expression of who we are and defines us over the course of our lives.

That’s why it’s so important to choose a name for your private practice that aligns with both who you are and the type of counseling practice you want to own.

Your name will ultimately determine how you represent yourself to potential clients both offline and online, as a domain name.

In this post we’re covering everything you need to know to find a catchy name that works for you:
  • Why your counseling name is important.
  • How to choose a good private practice name.
  • How a counseling practice name connects to its website.
  • Where to purchase a domain name for your business.

Where To Start In Choosing A Name For My Private Practice?

Let’s break out a notebook (or Word document, or whatever you’re most comfortable with) and rev up those creative juices.

Don’t settle for a name that doesn’t feel as great as it sounds. Whatever name you choose will stick with you for the rest of your career (or until you rebrand).

It helps to ask yourself a few questions right at the outset:
  1. What do you plan to specialize in?
  2. What does your clientele look like?
  3. What strategies do you use?
  4. Is the domain name available?
  5. And Most Important

  6. Who do you want to be as a therapist?
Now, bearing the above in mind let’s look at some formulas for generating a practice name you may want to use.

Examples of Creative Names for Your Counseling Practice

There are a few formulas you may want to draw upon when choosing your name.

Even if they don’t work for you they will help you brainstorm ideas to find the name that does.
1. Your Name For Your Practice Name: You may consider using your own name for your practice, such as Jane Does Counseling (i.e. https://janedoe.com or https://janedoecounseling.com)

Using your name establishes yourself immediately as a counselor, and makes it easy for both potential clients and current clients to find your business and know who you are. And as far as your website is concerned, personal brands tend to drive higher conversion rates over the long-term.
Some marketers recommend against using your own name for your practice’s company name. They argue that it limits your ability to expand or rebrand. At the same time, they go on, if you wanted to sell your practice, who’s going to buy a business with your name on it?

I disagree with this line of thinking. If you’re committed to your practice, and feel most comfortable using your name, then go for it. We’ve worked with many counselors who use their own name and are so booked with clients they can’t accept new ones.

You can always change to a new domain from your old site if you wish to scale to a group practice. The process is simple, inexpensive—it can be done for less than $150 in many cases—and can be done without affecting your website’s traffic.
2. A Name That Captures Your Specialty If you’re specializing in one area of counseling you may want to incorporate that specialty in the name of your counseling practice. If you specialize in anxiety, and will work exclusively with clients with anxiety, your name could follow one of the two formulas:
  • Specialty + City (e.g. Anxiety Counseling Denver)
  • Specialty + Therapeutic Term (e.g. Anxiety Counseling)
This also applies to particular therapeutic techniques, such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy, e.g. CBT Denver Therapists (https://cbtdenver.com/).
3. A Name Based On Your Location

Names that incorporate your zip code may provide both name recognition and SEO value. Practices like “Denver Recovery Center,” or “Boulder Therapy” may not have as much personal value as using your name but they are easily remembered and are recognizable.

However, names based on your location may not be as readily available in larger metropolitan areas.

One way to test names is to combine keyword terms with the name of your city:
  • Therapy + city name
  • Counseling + city name
  • Therapist + city name
  • Psychotherapy + city name
  • Counselor + city name
You may also try reversing these formulas, e.g. Denver Counseling.
While all of the above offers easy means of generating names, what do you do if you want a personalized brand name?

A Personal Brand

What if you want something more? What if you plan to grow into an agency with many therapists, and you want a group-therapy name that captures the spirit of your practice?

There are a few rules when it comes to generating a personal brand name:
1. Professionalism: whatever personal brand name you choose, make sure it’s professional. This one should be a no-brainer. But it’s important to keep in mind that professionalism means the name inspires confidence in whoever happens to hear it. Say your name out loud. Hear how it sounds. And share it with friends and family to test their reactions.
2. Keep it Simple: the best brands often have the simplest names. Why? Because they’re easy to remember, and memory being so fickle, this is of paramount importance for sticking out in the minds of potential clients. People won’t be able to remember a long-winded name like “Sunny Side Therapists & Counselors of the Greater Las Vegas Area.”
3. Remember Your Specialty: whatever personal brand name you choose it should match your specialty, or specialties, as best as possible, or at the very least not imply something entirely contrary to what you specialize in.
And then there’s the most important point about any name you choose for your private practice.

If you can’t buy a domain name that matches your brand name, try again.

How Your Practice Name and Domain Name Connect

The domain name you choose for your website should be the same as the name you choose for your practice.

Why?
  • It makes it easier for potential clients to remember your practice’s website.
  • It makes branding easier.
  • It creates a singular identity linking your website and practice.
That’s why it might be helpful to generate your practice name by starting with the domain.

Head to a domain name registrar where you can search for available URLs and type in the private practice name you want to see if it’s available. (Any of the sites below will work for your search.)

Registrars include:
You can buy your domain name from these same websites as well.

Examples of Creative Names for Your Counseling Practice

Which brings us to our next point.

When choosing a practice name, and by extension a domain name, it’s never a bad idea to include keywords. Though including keywords is not necessary either to create a thriving practice.

But it does help you gain traction in Google’s eyes in the short-term, and creates easy brand-recognition.

By including the right keywords, you send a very clear message to Google and your audience about what your website provides.

We’ve already mentioned quite a few keywords above, without calling attention to them. They include terms like you city or specialty. But the main ones call attention to the fact that you’re in private practice, such as…
  • Therapy
  • Counseling
  • Counselor
  • Therapist
  • Psychotherapy
As mentioned before, combining any of the above with the name of your city is a fine way to generate a name for your practice. But it has the added bonus of including two keywords: [e.g. therapist] + [your city].

Domain Naming Tips

The following tips will help you choose your domain, but they also play to your practice name in general.
Keep it short. Long names are hard to remember, easy to misspell, and may not fit comfortably on business cards and other marketing materials.
Keep it simple. You want your website to be easy to find and leave an impression. A great URL helps you do both.
Don’t get fancy with .io or other endings. Users are familiar and comfortable with .com. You’ll want the most common ending for your country (in addition to or instead of .com) if you live outside the U.S.
Try not to use numbers, symbols, or hyphens—these are often read and entered incorrectly. Make it as easy as possible for potential clients to find you.
Taking time to make a strategic, informed URL choice now can increase traffic and give you a leg up on your competition.

Final Thoughts on Keywords and Your Practice Name

Including keywords in the domain can give your websites an advantage in search results.

While we recommend including one of the most common related keywords (e.g. therapy, counseling, therapist, etc.) plus your city name, doing so is not a guaranteed win.

Therapy websites that employ a sound strategy will always pull ahead of private practice counselors who use keywords in their domain name and don’t implement a strategy. A keyword-focused domain name is just one piece of a larger puzzle.

Ultimately, whether or not a site succeeds is due to long-term commitment, not a domain name.

Final Note

It’s easy to become so focused on how your URL looks that you forget to consider how it sounds to the reader when processed or read out loud.

Humans have a cognitive bias toward things we can easily think about and say. If site visitors have a hard time processing or pronouncing your URL, they’re less likely to remember it (or remember it positively).

A name should be short and sweet, and capture your practice.

Whether clients are finding you through organic searches, paid ads, directory listings, or social media, your domain name is the online door to your private practice.

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