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How to design a veterinary practice website with your pet owners in mind
Your veterinary practice sits at the heart of your community, providing vital services to pet owners in and around your local area. Investing in the construction of a high quality website that showcases the value that your practice offers is one of the best ways to build a loyal client base. Here are some tips to keep in mind during the design process.
Did you know that mobile web traffic permanently overtook desktop web traffic in 2020?
This means that more people worldwide are browsing the web using mobile devices rather than desktops.
But what does that mean for your practice’s website?
Well, you can be certain that many pet owners will access your website via a mobile device, particularly as a local service. So, while having a fully functioning desktop site is important, it’s imperative to ensure that your website functions seamlessly on all mobile devices.
What exactly does a ‘mobile first’ approach to web design look like?
There are many different facets, but it primarily focuses on how best to utilise the available screen real estate, which is significantly less than the screen size of laptops and desktop computers. This ensures that all your site’s key elements and features are accessible and functional.
It’s one thing to have a website filled with useful information, but it’s another thing entirely to have a website that ensures the useful information it contains is easy to find. The best website navigation menus are easy to use and clearly signpost visitors in the right direction without taking them on the scenic route throughout your site.
The Three Click rule
Theoretically, from a UX (user experience) viewpoint, visitors to your website should be able to find the information they are looking for within a maximum of three clicks, no matter what page they enter your website.
If information takes longer than three clicks to find, you risk losing potential clients to a competitor practice that can offer a better user experience with less frustration.
After all…pet owners are looking for practices that demonstrably go above and beyond to make everything easier for them to care for their beloved pets.
Clickable contact information
We live in a fast-paced world where we have collectively come to expect everything at our fingertips. So, something as simple as ensuring the telephone number of your veterinary practice is clickable and immediately connects you with your client can have a huge impact on the number of new patient registrations you receive and the number of repeat clients you see.
Live Chat functionality
With a live chat feature integrated into your website, your visitors have a way to contact an RVN and obtain the information they are looking for when they need it.
But what exactly can this feature offer?
Well, a Live Chat service can be used in various ways, including to deliver general animal care advice, arrange appointments with veterinary professionals, and provide information about your services and prices.
Plus, in addition to ensuring that your practice can demonstrate that you are available when your competitors aren’t, a Live Chat feature can also help you avoid missed calls and start building meaningful relationships with pet owners immediately using synchronous communication.
Simple forms and self-service areas
Integrating simple forms and self-service functions into your website can enable your clients to arrange appointments at a time that is suitable for them without needing to call your practice.
Forms can also be used for referrals and prescription requests, all of which will ultimately streamline your clients’ overall experience when engaging directly with your practice.
As part of your mobile-first approach to website design, you should ensure that your site visitors can access and engage with the information they are looking for without any unnecessary and disruptive pop-ups.
Nothing is more frustrating than landing on a website using a mobile device, only to find that the content you want to access is completely covered up by an advertisement or pop-up notification that is difficult to dismiss! If you must use a pop up to deliver important information, make sure to keep that updated or remember to remove it when no longer needed.
You’d be surprised at the number of COVID-19 pop-ups still on veterinary websites, even in 2024!
Accessible fonts and colours
As a provider of services essential to all pet owners in your local community, it is important that you don’t inadvertently prevent anyone from accessing the important information on your website.
Clean colour palettes and readable fonts are key elements of ensuring that your site content reaches your audience and properly conveys what your practice has to offer. Selecting the right font and colour will enhance the overall readability of your site, helping you connect with a wider audience.
So, while it might be tempting to select a font that isn’t commonly used by other veterinary practices in order to stand out, it is always wise to select a common, highly readable font to ensure it is properly displayed, doesn’t affect the speed of your site and doesn’t prevent anyone from engaging with the information you are sharing.
All of this means that veterinary practices must prioritise creating a mobile-firstand user friendly website to thrive in the modern digital era. Emphasising simple navigation, clickable contact details, live chat features, and straightforward self-service forms enhances the user experience, fostering client loyalty. Steering clear of pop-ups and selecting accessible fonts and colours ensures your website is inclusive and effective for the diverse community of pet parents.
For veterinary practice owners keen to improve their online presence, contact us to explore how we can transform their website into a vital tool for engaging pet owners in their community.