Most animal hospital websites are designed exactly the same way. The home page consists of a picture of the facility or members of the staff, there is overused language such as “We are dedicated to compassionate care” or “We treats pets like family,” and there are a number of links at the top of the page such as “About Us,” “Our Services,” and “Contact Us.” None of these things in themselves are problems when it comes to veterinary websites. The problem isn’t even that most websites lack originality, what really matters is that most veterinary websites lack a clear call to action.
A Call to Action is a marketing term that refers to any prompt or trigger that marketers use in order to get a prospective customer or client to take action and take the next step toward converting into a sale or in this case a visit to your veterinary hospital. Within the context of Internet marketing for your animal hospital, such terminology that would be associated with a Call to Action would be “Schedule an Appointment Now,” “Click Here to Call,” or “Fill Out This Form.”
Calls to Action are an essential element to help convert pet owners who are searching for veterinary services online into new clients – especially when it comes to websites and optimizing them for conversions. In order to do this you must think beyond the content aspects of your veterinary website and start to think about ways to tap local pet owner buying behavior and the process they go through when they are making a decision as to where to bring their pet(s) for veterinary services.
As Internet use has become the primary way that local pet owners find information and make decisions on where to take their pet(s) for veterinary care, it’s become essential for veterinarians to integrate calls to action into their websites. It’s easy to think this is something that only restaurants and hotels can take advantage of, but with mobile and search use so high veterinary practices can benefit from this idea as well.
Example calls to action for veterinary websites
Many times people that come to your website are just looking for a phone number so they can call your practice and talk to somebody directly. Thus, it is essential to display your phone number prominently on every page on your website and for added convenience utilize a “Click to Call” or “Click to Chat” button so they can easily connect to your office. While there may be some logistical hurdles to enabling visitors to chat with someone at your clinic during business hours, you would certainly set yourself apart from other veterinarians and prevent a lot of potential clients from leaving your website without committing to come in for a visit.
If your veterinary clinic runs primarily by appointments you must start making it easier for today’s mobile enabled pet owners to book appointments online or at the very least, request a time to bring their pet(s) in to be seen right from your website. This might mean adding appointment booking functionality to your website so that potential clients can schedule a time to see the vet when it’s convenient for them. However, because most veterinary practice management software does not integrate with online calendar tools at this time this can be difficult. In this case, you could add a form to your website for clients to fill out requesting three times that work best for them. In addition, in the disclaimer section of the form you could clearly state that a receptionist will be calling or emailing to verify the appointment slot is available and scheduled.
Price is a huge consideration for many pet owners who are searching online for a local veterinarian. Offering Free Quotes or Free Estimates on your website is a good conversion optimization tactic to get website visitors to submit their contact information to you. After they submit their information through your web form you can then call them back and give them the best estimate that you can with the caveat that until the veterinarian is able to evaluate their pet you will not know exactly what the visit will entail.
To summarize, many veterinarians in competitive markets are starting to spend at least some advertising dollars online to drive website traffic. Online advertising can be money well spent because of the tremendous opportunity it presents for veterinarians to attract new clients via targeted ads to your website. However, driving traffic to a website that lacks a clear Call to Action will diminish the return you get for those advertising dollars. In order to maximize the return on investment you receive for spending money advertising online you must optimize your website so that it converts pet owners that visit your website into clients.
Not sure where to start with optimizing your website? We can help! Contact us for a free veterinary practice website analysis so you can start converting more website visitors into new clients today!