As a veterinarian, your job is to help animals. But how can you help any animals if their owners can’t find you? If you seem to have few patients walk through your doors, the problem may be with your website. A lot of veterinarians overlook the importance of an attractive and functional website. But in the digital age, your online presence can make or break your business. That’s because an astounding 97% of consumers use the internet to research local businesses and services – this includes veterinary offices.
It may seem counterintuitive but in order to help as many animals as you can, you need to focus on digital marketing – namely, your website design. Your website should be inviting, easy to navigate, and have all the information your patients (and potential patients) may need to make their animals well and keep them healthy.
In the following guide, we will be going over the most important design elements that veterinary websites absolutely need to utilize.
1) Pet Insurance
A growing number of Americans are investing in pet insurance. With nearly 70 billion dollars being spent on pet medical bills in the United States annually, pet owners and employers are wising up. More and more companies are offering pet insurance to employees as part of their benefits packages. So what does this have to do with your website? When a pet owner visits your site, they should be able to find out whether you accept their pet insurance. Be sure to have a page or section of your website that lists all the pet insurance plans you accept.
2) Practice Photos
We all love our pets. And as pet owners, we need to feel comfortable with the veterinarians we bring our furry friends to because they can’t speak or choose for themselves. Some high-quality photos of yourself with some animals you have treated, happy patients, and your smiling staff will go a long way in instilling trust in potential patients.
3) Exceptional User Experience
While this design element isn’t exclusive to veterinary websites, it is still very important. The fact is that every website, including yours, needs to be responsive. It has to load fast, be easily navigable, and be accessible across all platforms. Invest in a UX designer to help you with your site. Things like first contentful paint, mobile device access (being able to easily navigate your website from a smartphone or tablet), and flat architectural site design are some points of emphasis you should discuss with your UX designer.
4) Essential Pages
There are a few pages that every veterinarian should have on their website: an about page, a contact page, and a services page. The about page should be written to convey what it is that makes you stand out among other vets in the areas. This is a good opportunity to list your credentials, certifications, education, and areas of expertise and to tell patients about your bond with animals. The contact page should have all the necessary info like office hours, email address, phone number, physical address, and any other contact information. The contact page should have links that enable a visitor to send an email or make a phone call with a single click (if they are on a mobile device). You may also want to install a message reception system where people can simply type in a message right on your website without having to send an email. And your services page should provide a clear list of all the medical services you provide (check-ups, x-rays, vaccination shots, emergency care, etc.).
5) A Blog
One interesting phenomenon that is occurring among pet owners is that more and more, they are turning to the internet for help concerning their pets. In a recent study, it was revealed that 70% of participants (pet owners) have used the internet to research information about pet health. In fact, many pet owners take to the internet first before they consult vets, general practitioners, or even friends and family. So in order to capitalize on this trend, you may want to start a blog that focuses on pet health topics. This will draw a ton of traffic to your site form concerned pet owners seeking your specialized knowledge.
6) Local SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is a method of getting your website noticed and ranked on internet searches. But as a veterinarian, you are probably focusing on your local market. So your website should emphasize local SEO. Localized keywords (a good example would be something like “veterinarians near me”) are a good place to start. But schema markup, geo-location functions, and review management are also helpful local SEO tools that will bolster your click-through traffic.
7) Patient Reviews
While your business should be claimed on all relevant third-party review websites like Yelp and Google My Business, you should incorporate patient testimonials on your own website as well. Patient testimonials go a long way toward instilling trust in the minds of potential patients. In fact, 84% of people surveyed in a poll run by Inc reported that they trust online reviews as much as referrals from their friends and family. Having a healthy amount of reviews readily available for visitors to read on your website will not only make your website look more attractive but draw in new patients as well.
Digital Marketing for Veterinarians
So what makes us qualified to talk about the most appealing design elements of veterinary websites? Here at Nolan Walker, we specialize in digital marketing for veterinarians. The veterinary industry is one we have a lot of experience with. We have helped hundreds of veterinarians all around the country implement effective digital marketing strategies and expand their practice – and we can surely do the same for you. We know what goes into effective marketing for veterinary practices so put our team to work for you right now!