What are New Clients Looking for in a Veterinary Website?
by Noelle Beaudin, Client Success Manager
It can be tough seeing things through someone else’s eyes, especially when it comes to your marketing, and particularly your website. We all tend to put a lot of thought into the layout and design of our websites and our digital and print marketing campaigns, but do we really know what local pet owners -- your prospective clients -- are looking for? What really matters to them?
For many veterinary professionals this can be an open-ended question. However, focusing on just a few key components can transform your website from a confusing mess of information into a well-organized marketing machine.
Let’s take a look at these topics from your client’s perspective:
- How do I contact them?
- Who is going to be treating my pet?
- I need special services!
- How can I trust them?
- Can I access their site from the road?
Contact Information Needs to be Front and Center
If your website is hiding your contact information, then you need to fix that immediately. If your client is looking for a way to get in touch with you: by phone, email, social, or even in person… then your website should make that as easy and intuitive as possible.
Having your contact information in multiple locations, both above the fold (or in the space above any need to scroll down the page) and in the contact footer throughout your website, is key. Consider how this information is also displayed in desktop versus mobile devices. Do you only have click to call on mobile? Why? Many desktop users may utilize Skype or some other communication tool to call a number displayed in their browser. Make it easy, simple, and intuitive for the client to contact you, and they will!
Telling Local Pet Owners “About Us”
A well-constructed Staff Page and expert videos on your homepage bring clients to your door. Numbers don’t lie. Here at GeniusVets we typically see Staff Pages ranking in the #1 or #2 spot on our sites for new visits, and there’s a reason for that. Potential clients want to know YOU before they will trust you with their pet. These clients are skimming your bios, looking at your pictures, and reading up on your company culture – your mission and values. So how do you attract potential clients?
First, make sure that all of your bios and pictures are formatted exactly the same way.
Nothing spells disorganization more than bios written from different perspectives or even with a different feel (i.e. friendly versus conservative, third person versus first person).
Second, pictures should be professionally done, have the highest resolution available and be similar in size or characteristics.
No client wants to see your fuzzy selfie – it sends the message that you don’t care, and that’s not a good message for a client!
Third, make sure both your bios and your pictures exude your company culture.
Are you a hospital that has a humorous side with lots of “staff” animals? Then include those pictures and bios of your “Official Greeter”. Are you an old school hospital that specializes in large animal medicine? Then include pictures of your doctors and staff in action with those animals or on location at the farm.
Fourth, videos speak volumes.
Many websites are now incorporating a video on the homepage featuring a doctor greeting an animal in a waiting room, or a staff member welcoming a new client and their pet to reception. These short clips are extremely valuable in telling so much about your doctors, your staff, and what your hospital or clinic looks like upon first visit. They are an extremely effective way to tell your story.
Specialty and Referral Services should be Detailed and Promoted
Is your hospital introducing laser therapy? Do you have a new digital radiography machine? Did you just hire a new Oncologist? Have you expanded your boarding services to include Puppy Kindergarten? All of these services are ones that clients are looking for and will want to know about. But where do you advertise them on your website?
No matter what you decide to invest in for your business, from a new Dog Daycare play area to upgrading all your in-house laboratory equipment, your website is the vehicle for marketing those services.
Does Your Website Have a Blog?
If you haven’t already implemented a blog on your website, then now is the time. Leveraging your blog to discuss new services and new upgrades to your business helps significantly on driving traffic to your website. Providing a call out on your homepage for each recent blog topic also helps “hang the sign”’ in your website storefront for all your website visitors to see what’s going on with your hospital or clinic. Never underestimate the power of new content. If you ever have to ask yourself, “Should I be adding new content to my website about this?” the answer is usually – YES!
Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
Nothing builds trust like reviews. According to Forbes magazine:
- 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business
- 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
- 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
Reviews scrolling throughout your website help, but access to social media helps much more. Your website should prominently display the social media accounts that you are connected to: Yelp, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
Even more importantly, your digital marketing agency should help you with streamlining the ability to access and respond to those reviews. When reading reviews, the way a company responds to their reviews (both good reviews and bad reviews) says as much about the company as the review itself – so be sure to have a way that easily allows you to respond in a Genius way!
Google Maps help Clients Find you FAST; Service Areas Define your Marketing
Seeing a map is a big draw for your potential clients. It allows them to see where you are located and find you if they are on the road already. But does embedding a Google Map on your site actually provide any other benefits? Yup.
When you optimize your Contact Us section with a map, you’re telling Google that there is more information on your website for them to index. That location marker is going to allow them to pull local clues from your site, which in turn benefits any Adword or PPC marketing you decide to do.
Google Maps also help you rank well in the Google My Business Local business listings rather than just in the website listings. More often than not, searches consist of “veterinarian near me” so tapping into that local listing is KEY!
There’s a lot of great things that you can do with your website. No matter what you decide to incorporate, make sure that your website communicates very clearly your Corporate Culture – your mission, culture ,and values. After all, the goal is to get website visitors to become YOUR clients. In the end, you want to attract the type of clients that fit you too!
If you have more questions about how your digital marketing should attract local pet owners, please contact us!