Digital Marketing, Email marketing, Facebook, Google My Business, Instagram, Live Chat, Local search, News, SEO, Social media,
How can veterinary practices improve their online visibility to attract new pet owners
With so many practices competing to be noticed by the same audience of pet owners in your local area, capturing attention from the right people is reliant on your ability to interact with local pet owners in the digital space.
The great news is that there are many simple ways to enhance the way in which both your existing and potential clients engage with your practice. This is important because engagement will keep your practice connected to both the wider industry and your specific local community and will help you to build client confidence and trust in you and your team. This, in turn, will enhance your visibility and lead to an increase in new clients over time.
Let’s look at a few ways you can boost your engagement in an ultra-competitive local and digital landscape.
From engaging long-time clients to connecting with new pet owners, email is an effective channel through which to communicate and even converse directly with the right people.
Not only can you create specific communications for every stage of the marketing cycle, but you can also deliver personalised, informative and valuable content directly to your client’s inbox. From interesting practice updates to annual vaccination reminders, personalised emails will make the recipient feel more valued by you and your team which, in turn, will transform them into an increasingly loyal client. Remember, for most practices, 80% of your income comes from your loyal bonded clients. So, every casual client you can move into that zone of trust is a massive business boost, as well as a reputational one.
As with any communication channel, it is important to monitor your inbox and respond to emails from your clients in an engaging and timely manner.
Blogging and search engine optimisation (SEO)
Creating and publishing fresh, optimised, educational content to your website often and consistently in the form of a blog will allow you to establish your vet practice as a leader within your local area. Page views can provide some insight into how well your content is performing, but this figure alone will never tell the complete story.
Investigate your bounce rate using tools such as Google Analytics and see if there are steps you can take to hold your clients’ attention for longer. Incorporating a clear call-to-action at the end of each blog post and linking to other relevant pages on your site will both reduce your bounce rate and see other engagement metrics and your Google Rankings soar.
Most successful businesses have a clear social media strategy that enables them to create a community of loyal followers, and this is no different for Veterinary practices. It’s important to note that social media users don’t want to be constantly sold to. In fact, pet owners are more likely to want to follow your vet practice on social media if you consistently share a variety of relevant, engaging and educational content.
Keeping an eye on your engagement metrics across your chosen social platforms is key to understanding the types of content your audience enjoy seeing and want to interact with. It can be easy to be distracted by vanity metrics, such as the number of social media followers you have accrued.
Instead, it is imperative to focus on the quality of the engagement you are receiving when you post something to your feed. In addition to likes and shares, it will be worth deep diving into who is interacting with you, and whether there are any important industry conversations taking place that you could join in with to cement your authority in pet care and advice.
Times are changing, and increasingly, people are turning to online resources for all aspects of their lives – including when it comes to looking after their pet. If you’re not active online, your competitors will be there to educate and engage with the pet owners in your community.
As technology improves, consumers (pet owners included!) are becoming increasingly accustomed to being able to access the information they need, precisely when they want it. So, in real terms, this means that where possible, you need to be in a position to respond to both existing and potential clients as quickly as possible to ensure you are consistently meeting the expectations of your audience without adding extra pressure on your busy teams.
One simple yet effective way of doing this?
Live Web Chat. It is one of the most efficient modes of customer service.
The important thing to remember is that success in the digital sphere is largely reliant on a joined-up approach, within which every component plays a distinct role in marketing your veterinary practice.