The coronavirus pandemic forced many veterinary practices to close down, which in turn, caused some worry among pet owners. However, as the economy slowly tries to rebuild, more and more veterinary offices are opening their doors once more. This presents new opportunities for veterinarians who wish to continue practicing while pursuing other avenues of revenue.
As previously stated, the pandemic forced many veterinary practices to close down. Now that the world is on the road to recovery, vet offices across the country are looking for ways to make up for the lost revenue. One option is to transition to an online marketing strategy. Today, we will discuss how veterinarians can use the internet to their advantage and how to market their practice online.
Why Online Marketing is a Great Option for Veterinarians
It is no secret that the internet has changed the world; many businesses, including veterinary practices, have altered their strategy and adopted an online marketing approach. While it is true that many veterinary offices have a brick-and-mortar location, the majority of the practice now functions virtually.
The coronavirus pandemic presented some unique challenges for veterinarians. Many practices were forced to close down, which in turn, caused financial hardship for the owners. However, as the economy slowly tries to rebuild, veterinarians have the opportunity to pursue new ways of generating revenue.
The first step towards taking advantage of this opportunity is by establishing an online presence. While many veterinary offices have a website, it is often under construction or lacking in content.
Since the pandemic, websites for veterinary practices have lacked several key elements. However, as the economy slowly starts to rebuild, this is something that businesses, including veterinary practices, can fix. Establishing a strong online presence is an essential part of any marketing plan and, as a vet, you should not be afraid to invest in this aspect of your business.
How to Market Your Veterinary Practice Online
Once you have your practice website up and running, you can begin to establish yourself as an expert in your field. There are several ways to do this, but none of them can come easily without some investment of effort. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of establishing an online veterinary practice, let’s discuss what you should know and look out for:
Pay Attention To The Basics
If you are reading this, I assume you already know the basics of website-building and online marketing. To bring this article to a close, let me reiterate that you should not underestimate the power of a well-designed and maintained website. It is, after all, the first thing that your potential clients will see when they visit your website.
If your website is well-designed, it will draw the eye and satisfy the needs of the user. By focusing on the basics, you can ensure that your website will be of good quality and provide a positive experience to your visitors. Following are a few tips on how to properly design a veterinary website:
- Colourful and bright images work better than dark ones. The eye is attracted to bright colours and, as a result, they work better as web-design elements. Using contrasting text and images will drive visitors to your site and make it easier for them to consume the content. Colouring outside of the edges of your images can help to expand the colours presented by your website.
- Avoid using too many ads, banners, and pop-ups. These elements can break down a user’s trust in your site and, ultimately, their engagement with your content. Keep your ads subtle and, when possible, implement call-to-actions (CTAs) that will guide the visitor to take action. Think about using pop-ups that contain information relevant to the niche you’re targeting, but don’t overload the user with too many.
- Vary the header and footer. Having a uniform look throughout your website can make it appear less professional and lack personality. Having a header that blends with the background image on your site can help to unify the design.
- Content is king. Once you have decent content on your site, the design will largely take care of itself. You should not be afraid to experiment with different layouts and design elements to come up with something special.
- Fonts, links, and buttons should be consistent throughout the website. If you use a different font or colour for links, buttons, or text, it can break down the overall design and make it hard for the user to find their way around your site. Having all the texts in the same style and colour helps to unify the identity of your website.
- Images should reflect the animals you treat and the environment you operate in. Veterinarians often provide general care for horses, dogs, cats, and pigs, but try to restrict yourself to a select group of these animal species in your photos. Be selective with the locations you shoot in as well. The more detailed the information you provide, the more specific your photos will be.
- Short articles are better than long ones. If you’re writing for an audience that expects to consume a lot of content, create shorter articles that will keep the reader interested. You should aim to provide enough information in each article to satisfy the reader’s curiosity while avoiding going into great detail about a topic that may end up becoming obsolete.
- Interactive components, such as quizzes, polls, and other contests, can help to establish your expertise. Having these components on your site can help to make it more engaging and, as a result, increase the time that the user spends on your site. It is usually a good idea to test different types of interactivity to see what works best for your audience.
- Make it easy for your visitors to contact you. There are many ways that a veterinary practice can make money, but they all come with challenges. One of the easiest ways to generate revenue is by letting potential clients reach out to you via email. Having an email address somewhere on your site makes it easy for visitors to get in touch with you. Of course, you can’t just leave your email address anywhere on the site and expect people to use it, so make sure that you have an inbox that is monitored and, if possible, replies are delivered to you.
- Mobile users spend more time on websites. Since many people now access the internet via their mobile devices, you should design your site with the mobile user in mind. This means that you should not only test the layout and design on a desktop computer, but also on a mobile. Having the same design on both platforms can cause problems for some users, since the mobile version will appear pixelated and lack quality compared to the desktop one (due to device resolution differences). Be sure to test different browsers, too, since each one of them has its perks and quirks. In addition to that, using plugins, such as the Google Fonts API, can help to unify the design of your site across platforms.
- User experience is king. As a veterinarian, you should prioritize creating a good user experience for your clients. A well-designed and maintained site will do wonders for your revenue generation efforts.
As a veterinarian, you obviously need to know a lot about animals and their health. However, one of the things that will help you to establish yourself as an expert in your field is by creating high-quality content and establishing an online presence.