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6 Top Tips for Making the Most of Your Veterinary Practice Home Page

Posted in Web Sites @ Sep 25th 2012 - By Ali Burden-Blake
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Last time I spoke about whether you should do your veterinary practice website yourself, or if you should call in the experts, oh and wine, I spoke about wine a fair bit too! In this blog it doesn’t matter whether you’ve decided to go down the DIY route, or you’ve called a designer/developer in.  Your website is going to be a a substantial investment, whether in time or in money (or in some cases both!), so in my eyes it needs to work fairly hard to bring you a decent return on that investment. Gone are the days of your website just being a pretty brochure for your practice, it needs to be part of your marketing strategy.

Your home page needs to have some fundamental things on it to help make the most of your outlay and to bring in new clients. 

  1. Your contact details, minimum your phone number, needs to be up front, up top and glaringly obvious. Don’t hide it in the ‘contact us’ page, people don’t want to have to work hard to find out how to call you, especially in the case of an emergency. Make sure your telephone number is above the fold (before anyone has to scroll down), and that it’s on every page after the home page too.
  2. A sign-up for our newsletter box, to collect email addresses from clients and potential clients. Newsletters are a whole other blogpost (or several!), but trust me on this, you need to be gathering email addresses. If you’re serious about growing your database of potential clients then you might even consider giving something away in return for their email address, like an ebook, a voucher or small freebie. People tend to be quite precious about giving out their email address these days, make it an attractive prospect. 
  3. Testimonials, try and get one or two onto your home page, these days your potential clients operate very much on a social proof basis. If you have testimonials from happy clients right up front they will mean a whole heap more to prospective clients than what you say about yourself. To go the whole nine yards you’ll want to have a photo of the client and a full name attached to them too.
  4. Video, people do business with people, and they most certainly make emotional decisions rather than entirely rational ones. Give them the opportunity to see who you are and what you’re about. I’m not talking about some stiff, voice-over driven this is where we greet you, this is where we see your pet, we do operations in here kind of video, I’m talking about real human, real story type of video. Why do you do what you do? What makes you different? What goes on behind the scenes? Make it warm, make it human and make it different to everyone elses!
  5. A call-to-action, tell prospective clients what you want them to do next. Tell them to pick up the phone and make an appointment! 
  6. Your social media presence, make sure that if you’re on Facebook and/or Twitter, that you’re letting people know by having it up front on your home page. It’s another way that people can find out more about you and if you’re putting time and effort into social media then surely you want as many people to know about it as possible?

These six things will really help to differentiate your website from your competition. On a final note though, make sure that you’re not being overly verbose on your home page! People are inherently lazy when surfing online these days, they don’t want to read your carefully crafted mission statement and all about the fancy expensive equipment that you have. Save that stuff for another page, use more images than text and let people explore a little. If they like your home page they will stick around long enough to find out more about you.

Your website is your online reception and waiting room, make sure that you’re happy it represents you well and that you’d be proud to show people round!

 

 

  

 

 

 

Comments

Rhys Hayward @ Sep 26th 2012 8:31pm
Great tips thanks Ali!
Ali-B @ Sep 27th 2012 4:05pm
Thanks Rhys :-)

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