Why Your Practice Needs a Website
If your practice can’t be found online, you’re wasting money and losing business.
It’s hard to imagine a business today that doesn’t have an online presence. Yet the fact is that many still don’t. The results of a recent survey from business-to-business research firm Clutch show that nearly one-third of small businesses in the United States do not have a website.1 While this is an improvement from 2016, when Clutch reported that nearly half of all small businesses didn’t have one,2 there are still many that need to catch up.
If your veterinary practice is among that 30 percent still missing from the internet, it’s time to start building your website — and building it right. If time and money are your barriers, they can be overcome. A practice website is an investment that can reap great long-term rewards and opportunities.
After examining the following reasons why every veterinary practice should have a website, you may agree that the upfront investment is more than worth it.
What’s one of the first things you do before making a purchase? I’m willing to bet it’s research. I’m also willing to bet you use Google to produce the best results for what you want to learn.
- Building an Effective Website from Scratch
- Are You Guilty of Sidelining Veterinary SEO?
Pet owners are no different. If a pet owner in Syracuse, New York, for example, is looking for a new veterinary practice, that person could easily search “veterinarians in Syracuse.”
In return, pages of results will drive the pet owner to practice websites and client reviews. Doesn’t your business deserve to be found by prospective clients?
The bottom line here is that the more easily your practice is found online, the more likely prospective clients are to find you.
Your practice website is the place to:
- Describe your practice. Explain who you are, what you do and why clients should bring their pets to you. Feel free to share your philosophy and approach to care, as well.
- Help clients find you. Make it easy for clients to contact you — display your practice address, phone and email address prominently. Note your hours of operation front and center.
- Promote your services. Describe everything your practice offers: surgery, boarding, training, clinical trials, pet loss support, adoption, etc.
- Introduce your doctors and staff. Offer employee bios that highlight the experience, certifications and education of your team. Pictures also help clients put faces to names.
- Leverage word-of-mouth. Do you have happy customers? Ask them to provide a short testimonial or review of their experience. This not only allows you to receive feedback on what you can improve but also serves as an excellent marketing tool.
A website that authentically reflects your operation can build credibility. Think of your website as your digital storefront, representing how you want people to view your practice — professional, helpful, organized, etc.
Ease Your Administrative Burden
Simple tasks can take up a lot of time in the workday. Consider how often your staff handles calls to provide hours, services and directions; schedule appointments; and explain what types of payment you accept. A website can easily address common questions and even offer clients a place to request an appointment without the hassle of calling.
Don't Be Left Behind
If these reasons inspire you to build a website (or update an outdated one) but you lack the time, expertise or money to do it on your own, don’t be discouraged. A number of companies and consultants can build you a website that will help your practice grow.
Clutch forecasts that the number of small businesses without a website will drop to as low as 8 percent in 2018. Don’t let yourself fall behind — unable to be found online — and lose business to the competition.
Mr. Panebianco is chief marketing officer for Bankers Healthcare Group (bankershealthcaregroup.com), the leading provider of financial solutions for health care professionals. BHG has worked with more than 110,000 practitioners to provide more than $2.7 billion in capital funding.
- Peacock, A. Small business websites in 2017: survey. Clutch website. https://clutch.co/web-designers/resources/small-business-2017-website-survey#DONT. Published March 14, 2017. Accessed August 30, 2017.
- Soderlund, A. Small business websites in 2016: a survey. Clutch website. https://clutch.co/web-designers/resources/small-business-websites-2016-survey. Published February 17, 2016. Accessed August 30, 2017.