Face it: your clients are online. 15 years ago, when a pet owner had a medical question they’d go to their veterinarian first then go home and research what they heard. What do they do now?
Right. When people have a sick pet, most go online first THEN call the veterinarian if they think their problem is worth an office visit. With the explosion of smart phones, I’ve had clients literally researching what I’m telling them WHILE I’m talking to them! I didn’t find it threatening….as a licensed veterinarian, I should know what I’m talking about….but it was an indicator of a new reality. After all, people do the same thing for their children! I was recently on a family trip and one of our kids came down with a rash that defied description. What did I do first? I didn’t call a dermatologist….I searched the internet for information about what this might be. I didn’t mean for that to REPLACE a dermatologist, but information is everywhere and I wanted instant gratification. Can you honestly say you’re any different? This trend is only going to strengthen: mobile search recently overtook desktop search in the US with no signs of stopping. For good and bad, we are surrounded by information that has never been easier to access. When it comes to content, it’s really hard to beat Google, so don’t waste your time. Instead of trying to keep a current library of articles/info on everything from anesthesia to zoonotic disease, link to a website whose content you like, or to a veterinary school’s site that has reliable info.
It’s a good idea to apply this same thinking to your practice’s website. When people come to your site, they aren't looking for a commercial or to be sold. They are looking for information. They are hoping to learn. If you provide value to them, they will engage with your hospital.
So what should be on your website?
- Information that is unique to YOUR practice
- Info about your staff, pictures, videos, etc.- give a personalized view of who you are and what your practice stands for
- Information that would be of interest to someone who is looking for a new veterinarian - most new clients will look at your website before visiting
- Your love for pets! Your genunine touch will make a huge difference.
Your website is an ever-present billboard of what you stand for. While you can’t beat Google, you can sure take advantage of it by spreading your message and getting new clients. Good luck!!