Your website is an extension of your practice, and is essentially an online waiting room for your customers. It’s a space where they can learn more about your business, get to know you, and make sure you can provide the right kind of care for their pets. It’s important to make sure your website is welcoming and inviting, and is a representation of your business.
We’ve put together a quick list of the Dos and Don’ts of a veterinary website, to help you achieve your marketing goals and represent your veterinary space in a positive way online.
In just one month, there are about 97 billion local searches on Google. Your veterinary website is the first impression you give the world, which is why it is essential to create a website design that will appeal both to potential customers and to search engines. Here are some of our favorite design elements for websites for veterinarians:
Veterinary website design is constantly evolving alongside the internet and all its emerging technologies. What was cutting edge a few years ago can quickly become dated and stand out for all the wrong reasons. The following veterinary web design trends all work individually, but taken together, reinforce each other and create a holistic aesthetic for your veterinary website.
Focus On Content with Vet Website Design
With internet technologies becoming more complex and sophisticated, it can be easy to lose sight of what is most important: content. Forget all the bells and whistles and focus on the reason people are visiting your site. As a veterinary website, people are coming for information, therefore the site should be designed around delivering that information in the most intuitive way possible.
It’s no secret that the world has changed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than ever before, people are checking websites and digital platforms for important information about the businesses they choose to spend with before they decide to make a purchase or become a customer.
Your veterinary website is a direct reflection of your practice. It should give visitors a clear idea of who you are, what you do, and how you operate. A great tip is to think of your website as a digital waiting room, where visitors can learn about your services, make appointment requests, and get information that will impact the health of their beloved pet. Does your website have all they need?
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that the usual ebb and flow of “normal” life is not guaranteed. Businesses from veterinarians to grocery stores had to completely pivot and adapt to a new world that emerged overnight. Here at Beyond Indigo Pets, we saw one very strong trend that grew even stronger in this year of unknowns: there is always a need to market your business.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but high-quality written content can have just as much of an impact. In the digital age, people are accessing your website via their phones and mobile devices while on the go. You have to make each word count if you’re going to maximize your ability to attract new clients and maintain existing ones.
When creating website content, it can feel like there’s a laundry list of factors to consider. Outside of the usual best practices for writing, writing for websites has its own set of standards, which take things like mobile users and SEO into consideration. Included in this is original content – but why?
Google’s goal is to provide users with the best answer to their question. If you were searching and came up with the same answer over, and over, and over again in your search, would you find that as valuable as if your search brought up several different answers to choose from?
For this reason, Google filters search results so that only the original source is listed. You may also hear this referred to as a penalization, but in reality, it just means that if your site contains content that is the same as or very similar to another source, also known as duplicate content.
Google filters duplicate content out of searches in favor of the original source. It’s certainly not a slap on the wrist; it’s just an attempt to show the most relevant answer to the query, improving user experience. While it’s not an outright penalization, having duplicate content still may impact your site ranking, which, of course, isn’t favorable.
Having a website is a must for any veterinarian. As your primary online presence, it promotes your practice and represents your brand to a wide audience.
Visitors to a website are collectively referred to ‘traffic’. Traffic is monitored through tools like Google Analytics, which analyzes several factors, such as:
- What webpage within the website did the visitor land on?
- How long did they stay before leaving?
- Were they viewing from their smartphone or computer?
- Is the visitor from your area or out of state?
Everyone says content is king, and it’s true. With that in mind, when was the last time you reviewed and updated the existing content of your website?
Working on the Help Desk, I see a lot of content change requests come through on a daily basis. Most of the time these changes are visual – a client had some new construction done and now the building looks different, a new staff member has joined the team, a new in-house marketing event is being launched and the client would photos posted… the list goes on.
Content changes of the written variety come through a lot less often, though. This is concerning because these types of updates to your website are the most important changes of all.