Can you believe the World Wide Web celebrated the 25th anniversary of its inception in 2014? Since its inception, the web has been in a whirlwind of constant change. A veterinary website designed and built even 4 or 5 years ago likely lack some contemporary standards for user friendliness, compatibility with new devices, and search visibility. This is perfectly natural—many of these technologies and approaches didn’t even exist 5 years ago. Like humans and animals, websites require regular checkups and maintenance to maintain optimal functionality.
At Beyond Indigo, we are fortunate to have incredible clients. We are proud of the relationships we build with each and every veterinary practice we work with; and are grateful for the opportunity to help vets alleviate their digital veterinary marketing stressors, so that they can focus on patient care.
Our clients come in all shapes and sizes. They may be family practices, emergency clinics, or specialty hospitals. They are established businesses looking to strengthen their client relationships in the digital marketplace, and startups that want to build their customer base and explore all that digital veterinary marketing has to offer.
When it comes to naming your veterinary website, you will need to purchase a domain. However, when it comes to domain names, there are a lot of technical terms and industry jargon that can be confusing for veterinary practice owners and managers.
Have you ever wondered what a domain name is, how it works, and how a website is maintained?
Do Domain Names Have an Address?
Every computer, server, and mobile device that is connected to the internet is assigned a unique number called an Internet Protocol (IP) address. This unique string of numbers is akin to a street address or phone number and allows your device(s) to communicate over the Internet.
Likewise, when you purchase and register your domain name (www.awesomevet.com, for example), from GoDaddy, Register.com, etc., it is assigned several DNS (Domain Name System) records, which enables it to be located on the Internet. DNS records are simply user friendly ways used to point portions of your domain to the servers and computers (via their IP addresses) that handle each function of your domain.
Until recently, lengthy website pages were the norm. However, in today’s mobile-friendly world, users are looking to connect with the information that they need quickly, which means that streamlined content is integral.
In the veterinary website space, this can certainly seem like a challenge, especially given the emphasis that many practices place on client education. Not to worry – streamlining isn’t as challenging as it may seem.
The modern web’s focus on simplicity and flexibility lends itself to big, bold imagery and typography. You may have noticed a trend toward large, photographic background images on new websites. These offer a captivating visual experience and establish a mood while communicating useful information. Used properly, large background images are more than just decorative fluff.
Now there’s a new tool in the web marketing kit, made possible by faster internet connections and more capable devices—video backgrounds on web pages, rather than static images. When used correctly, video integrated into your website’s design can make for a truly stunning experience. But used poorly, video can compound clutter and confusion. What steps can you take to ensure video is properly enhancing your website?
This past October, Beyond Indigo brought on Mark Clifton as the company’s Creative Director. This freshly-minted position was created in anticipation of some exciting changes coming to Beyond Indigo in 2015.
While you’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out about what is in store for our clients in the coming year, we are excited to introduce you to Mark and showcase the amazing talent he brings to Beyond Indigo’s table. Our blogger-in-chief, Kate Matthews, was able to arrange a little tête-à-tête with Mark and curate the conversation into this week’s post.
Facebook – When people think social media the first thing that tends to pop to mind is Facebook. It is the most climbed “social media mountain” for marketing journeys. The highlights of Facebook to know are as followed:
Numbers: As of October 4, 2012 there are over 1 billion active users. In the USA 137.6 million users.
Business Only Platforms: Yes, there is a separate business only pages vs. Personal.
Time Per User/Per Month: 7:45 hours a month in the US
Business Needs to Devote: Minimum of 5 hours a week on their Facebook Page.
Mobile: 54% of month users access Facebook through a mobile device.
When starting your marketing efforts in social media Facebook is one of the first ones to approach. Why? Because the sheer number of people using it and the amount of time they spend on Facebook. In eight years Facebook has become integrated into people’s lives. It is where they are building and maintaining relationships.
Many times at Beyond Indigo we talk to people who are moderately to extremely overwhelmed with their marketing Journey. For most veterinary hospitals they do not even know where to start, what to do or how much time it is going to take. I don’t blame people for being overwhelmed. There is significant amount work, time and knowledge involved in a marketing program. If you are on the overwhelmed train, here are some points to consider that I have gleaned from 1000‘s of veterinarians about why planning for this Marketing Journey can be so overwhelming. Maybe you can relate to some of them.
Overwhelmed Issue Number One: Since most veterinarians and their staff have had to conduct very little marketing until recently, there is a steep learning curve to get up to speed. Most veterinarians still tend to be between 1996 and 1999 in their online marketing initiatives. Hospitals still try to build websites themselves, have servers located in their physical buildings and are struggling weather to use Yellow Pages or not. The problem is how to quickly learn 15 to 17 years of knowledge in a short period of time? Where to start?
Overwhelmed Issue Number Two: Who in the heck does the marketing program? Many hospitals are trying to tackle it completely by themselves and noticing it causes a juggling problem. Multiple people are tapped to do different aspects of the marketing program but nobody really is in charge. Then the message from the hospital is not consistent either in tone or timing. Or the marketing program goes really great until a new problem or focus comes into play and it is forgotten for awhile. This causes gaps with building and growing relationships which is the primary function of online marketing today. The problem is how to have the staffing resources and time to keep the marketing program ongoing.