Internet marketing and where to start with it may feel a little daunting. So, in no particular order, we've put together our top five ways to market your practice in the digital space...
1 Email Marketing
In the veterinary industry this is wildy overlooked (read our email-specific blog post for all the joys of email marketing and why it's a must). Emails can be used to share important information with your clients and, if done properly, can be used to track which clients have seen your news. They can be used to increase your social media following, your online reputation and your overall footfall. So what are you waiting for?!
2 Social Media
Social media is HUGE and it is the most human way of connecting with your clients online. The possibilities are endless and are incredibly exciting. A well managed Facebook page can build a loyal community of potential and existing clients, all poised to read about your latest patients, new services, staff news, pet care advice, the list goes on, and ready to share them all with their friends and family. Social media takes time to do properly, but spend the time and you will see the benefits (and love them).
It is rare that a veterinary practice won't have a website these days, but just having one is no longer enough. A vet practice's website needs to display contact details clearly, needs to make the visitor feel comfortable and knowledgeable about your practice (think your 'About Us' page), needs to provide useful pet care information (think symptom guide) and needs to be accessible via every device (think smart phone). If your website doesn't do all of this, your competitor's probably does or soon will.
4 Online Reputation
What is the first thing a potential client will do when they are thinking about registering with your practice? Most likely they will Google you. The results of this search is broadly what we refer to as your online reputation and it is most likely here that any reviews that have been written about you will show up. Manage your reputation by encouraging clients to leave you reviews on reputable platforms. Install the free (with our directory package) VetHelpDirect.com review widget on your website to make it easier for clients to find where to write a review about you. Online reviews are becoming more and more important, you cannot ignore them (but why would you when they are of such huge benefit?!).
5 Local SEO
The basics of SEO are much simpler than you think, they are simply tactics for making a website more appealing to Google and they really are common sense. Things like making sure the search terms you want to be found for (keywords) appear throughout the copy of your website and getting relevant websites to link to you to show Google how important you are. But what is often overlooked by vets practices is the importance of Local SEO. Boost this predominantly with your Google+ page, with location-specific keywords, with reciprocal links on local business' websites and with articles in the local press.
This is just a tiny taster of what you should be doing online and where to start, contact us for specific advice or to find out about our training sessions where we can talk you through things in more detail.