by Kelly Gordon, Web Developer
Are you thinking about revamping your veterinary practice’s online presence? Whether you’re the owner, practice manager, or just that lucky person who has been chosen to head up this project, this guide to having a client-focused home page is for you.
To be successful you have no choice; you must have an online presence. Ask yourself these questions:
- “What message do I want to convey to my clients?”
- “What makes my practice unique?”
- “What are my current and potential clients looking for?”
Your client’s perception of your home page is what will encourage them to click through and experience your site.
There are 5 things that your home page needs in order to be useful and relevant to your client base. Don’t get caught in the pitfall of forgetting that your client base is reading your website from a position outside of the veterinary profession. Ensure that your website’s information is easy-to-understand so they feel that they are receiving value.
#1: Make the Site’s Purpose Clear: Explain Who You Are and What You Do
It’s prudent to keep in mind that you are marketing yourself to current and potential clients. This is your chance to explain and show your potential clients that your clinic is the right choice for their pets’ needs. Keep your word count low; 100-250 words. You will have other pages to be long winded, the home page is not that place.
#2: Clear and Easy to Understand Navigation
This is where you can begin the conversation by providing more information about your clinic and your services. Keep it clean, concise, and simple. This is not the place to get creative – websites, though very different from each other, all abide by a few unspoken rules. These include:
- home page link on the top or far left (depending on the navigation’s orientation)
- there must be an about page, a services page, and a contact page at the bottom or far right (depending on navigation orientation).
#3: Contact Information
It is imperative that all of your current and potential clients know where you are located and how to get in touch with you. We live in the age of smart phones and GPS- having an easy-to-find address and link for directions with Google Maps will ensure your clients don’t experience frustration with finding you before their appointment.
#4: Images Accurately Portraying You & Your Clinic
The most time consuming part of creating an online presence is choosing the images that best show your services, staff, and hospital. People are able to pick a stock photo from a mile away. Show you’ve vested in your image by having professional pictures taken, which extends a feeling of respect for the client’s attention and time.
Consider your website your “hub”. Your home page should have a link to all of your social media outlets- Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+. All of your social media pages should also be linking back to your website.
If you’re offering a newsletter, this is a great place to have an email sign up box. Remember that it should be explained what they are signing up for, that you take their privacy seriously, and will never sell their contact information.
If you can keep these 5 things in mind when you’re having your clinic’s website built, or if you’re redecorating your current site- you will be one big step ahead of your competition.
Kelly Gordon is the web developer for Halow Tassava Consulting. As an experienced veterinary practice manager, she brings her understanding of our profession to her work as a veterinary website designer and trainer. For more information about creating a new website for your veterinary practice, contact Kelly.