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Top 5 Client Requirements From Their Veterinary Practice's Website

Posted in Web Sites @ Sep 1st 2012 1:48pm - By Craig Stewart DKMedia
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What do your clietns want from your veterinary practie website?

While the topic of what a client may need from a veterinary practice website seems like it has the potential to turn into an open-ended question, I have found that there are 5 core items that good vet websites have which makes them stand out from all the others.

The top 5 things your clients need from your practice website are to:

  1. Find out how to contact you quickly;
  2. Be able to access your site from the road;
  3. See who is treating their pet;
  4. Find specialty services; and
  5. Have confidence in your clinic.

Let’s take a look at these in more detail.

1. Quick Contact

The number one purpose for a large percentage of your site visits will be to get your contact details. Having this information in a clear and easily found place within your website structure is a crucial component to any successful site. This information shouldn’t be confined to only the “Contact Us” section of your website, but should be a key feature on all pages.

Imagine someone has a critically ill pet and needs to contact you quickly. A quick Google search should deliver results for your clinic, so when they find your site, having your contact details quickly to hand is something that is really going to benefit them.

2. Access Everywhere

“One size fits all” has never been synonymous with website development and with the popularity of smart phones and tablet computers, the way people interact with you online will range considerably when it comes to the consumption of digital content.

It is important that any website focused on client information takes all these devices into consideration and be presented in the best possible way regardless of how your clients are viewing the site.

If we take the earlier example of someone looking to contact you quickly, we end up with the very likely scenario that they will be accessing your site from their mobile phone, so the site needs to have both the contact information easily accessible and presented in a way that allows your client to use that from their mobile device.

3. Know their veterinary practice team

As you know, many pet owners treat their pets as family and it is important to many of these people, especially first-time clients to get an understanding about the people who will be treating their pet.

Including relevant experience and qualifications is important, as is the fact that their vet is also a person who cares as much about their animal as they do. A little bit of personality in your staff profiles goes a long way and can be a great ice-breaker for a new client to the clinic.

4. Find Specialty Services

Does your clinic perform any specialist services or surgery that out of area clients would be looking for? Orthopedics? Oncology? Breeding Programs? It’s important to make a note of these services and promote them on your website. While there would no doubt be a referral system in place for these it’s always good to have this information available to the people who use your site so that they are aware of your expertise in other areas if and when the need arises.

Do you board animals or run a puppy pre-school? Your website is a great vehicle to advertise these services. You already have an audience engaging with you for general vet care so by advertising these services you open yourself up to the possibility of generating more business simply by providing this additional information.

5. Confidence

I’ve looked at many vet websites over the past year or two and have started to notice a pattern. I have found no end to the number of sites that seem to have been built 10 years ago and forgotten about or simply give the impression that no one looks after the site.

Given the need for information that your site visitors have come to your site for in the first place, it probably goes without saying that the content on your site is king. Having well structured and up to date information on your site is critical to validating the resourcefulness of a site and by extension the business it represents. For me, nothing puts the red flags up more quickly than a site footer dated 2007 or “latest news” items from 2 years ago.

In addition to this, if you have pet information or data that is constantly being reviewed and refined, it’s important that the information on your site is as current as possible. This is especially important for practices that have a client base who are accustomed to visiting their vet’s website and using it as a resource for all things pet related.

A well-structured and well laid out site will also instil a sense of confidence amongst your site visitors, as they will sub-consciously respond to the ease of use that a well planned site brings. While it’s not crucial for the site design to be dazzling, having a structure in place that makes it easy to find information or interact with your vet is essential.

Well there you have it, my checklist for the basics of a successful veterinary website. Why not take a look at your own website and see how many of these 5 points you can tick off?

I’d be interested to hear your feedback on these items, and tell me in the comments section below what your suggestions are for items that could  have been included in this post.

 

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