These days, 97% of people turn to the internet when they want to find a local business, and veterinary clinics certainly fall within this category. What are prospects seeing when they get to your website? What kind of impression are you making?
These are critical questions to ask because it takes the average user all of about 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about a website and determine whether it’s worth staying. That equates to just .05 seconds. So, yeah, first impressions are kind of a big deal when it comes to your online presence.
To maximize the impact you make on your target audience as quickly and effectively as possible, your veterinary practice website absolutely must feature the following elements.
The human brain processes images exponentially faster than the written word, so catching the eye of your web visitors can give you an edge above the competition. This includes complementary colors schemes, compelling images (hint: not pictures of your building or surgical suite) and a logical, aesthetically pleasing layout. You want your visitors to see immediately that you are different from the rest, and that can be accomplished instantly through a visually appealing look and feel.
Another powerful way you can quickly connect with your target audience is through your website’s copy. That is, content that speaks directly to prospects and triggers an emotional reaction. Remember – just because you may focus on the clinical aspects of your practice, doesn’t mean that’s what your prospects will be looking for. Instead, they’ll come to your site seeking answers about their beloved pet. Use your website copy to paint a vivid picture of how choosing you will benefit their pet.
Straightforward, Easy Navigation
You want your web visitors to be able to find the information they need as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you risk losing them altogether. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and logically organized. Most importantly, display your contact information prominently at the very top of your home page and make sure your phone number is clickable. Keep things simple and streamlined, and don’t overdo it. Information overload can lead to confusion, which can lead to a higher bounce rate.
Your Genuine Story
When local pet owners do a search for a vet in your geographical area, chances are yours won’t be the only practice to show up. So, how can you tip the odds in your favor? Easy. Be genuine. Along with a visually appealing design and compelling copy, use your website to share your story. Explain why you are different in a way that is warm, engaging and relatable. For instance, include bios of your team that contain personal stories about themselves, their pets, their hobbies, etc.
An Active Blog
Last, but certainly not least, your veterinary website should feature a blog that is updated on a consistent basis. Not only are blogs a great tool for disseminating information to the masses and keeping clients informed and educated, but they’re also a powerful driver of search engine optimization (SEO). The better your site’s SEO performance, the higher it will rank in the search results when someone goes online and Googles local vets. The higher on the list you are, the more likely prospects will be to click, and once they reach your optimized website, the more likely they’ll be to convert.
Your website is like the virtual face of your practice. As such, you want to leverage it to make the best possible first impression on as many prospects as you can. By implementing the five essential elements above, you’ll put your best foot forward and maintain an online presence that will drive your clinic’s profitability.