In order to succeed in business today, you need a website. Period. There are a number of uses for a website such as drawing in potential clients, giving information for current clients, and providing a resource for pet care information. Having a website is one thing, but having a functional website is the cornerstone of a good foundation for marketing your business in today’s digital age. The big question – is your website is doing what it needs to do for you and your clients?
Take a look at your current website while reading through the following questions. This will help you determine if it is time to make a change and update your website.
1. Does Your Site Look Outdated?
Try to look at your website as if you were a first time visitor. Does this business have a modern, smart, engaging feel? Is your first impression that the business provides top-notch care from friendly staff with high-grade technology? Or does it look like your pages, and in conjunction your business, has been the same for 10 years?
Website design has evolved over the years and the difference between a page made today and a page made in 1995, 2005, or even 2010 can be huge. The best sites today have a clean design that is easy to navigate. We all judge a book by its cover, so make sure yours is fresh and easy.
2. Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly?
In July 2015 Google updated their local search algorithm to make a mobile-friendly website even more important. Since 65% of all internet traffic now comes from a mobile device, Google changed how businesses appear in the search results. If you do not have a mobile-friendly website your business will not appear on a mobile search. You want new, and existing, clients to easily find you. If you do not appear in search results then you are missing out on actual business!
Not sure if your website is mobile friendly? Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
3. Is Your Website Cookie-Cutter?
Many companies only provide template designs that utilize the same formatting and images for multiple businesses. You obviously want to look different, and better, than your competitors. Check out their websites and if yours looks the same or similar, then it is time to make a change! You can also use good ideas of formatting or available resources you’ve seen on other websites.
4. Is All of the Content Unique and Accurate?
Your website should show updated contact information, open hours, useful links for clients like forms, background information on the doctors or staff, and the ability to request an appointment. But hours can change, doctors and staff can move away, and even your services list can change quickly. Make sure the information you are presenting to the world is correct and that clients are not left wondering about something important (ex. the doctor’s full names, if your business offers boarding, how to request appointments, if the practice is open weekends, if you take exotic pets, etc).
Another thing to consider is if your content is duplicated from another page. Google rewards page who write and create original content, and pushes those with similar content further down on the Google results. If you’re unsure, copy and paste part of your website content into Google and see if it brings up another veterinary web page. If it does, you might want to write new content for your website to help boost your rankings.
5. Is Everything Available From The Homepage?
You are busy and your clients are busy. They do not want to or have time to, search all over your website to find what they are looking for. Make sure that a website visitor can find all content when they are sitting on the homepage. Using drop-down menus and links to other pages can help simplify the look while keeping information handy!
One feature that we suggest all veterinarians to have on their website is the ability to request an appointment online. With a growing number of working pet parents, giving them a way to create an appointment without picking up the phone can help increase the number of new clients that you receive and their experience with your clinic.
6. Is Your Website Difficult to Update?
We’ve given you some ideas of things to change and spice up on your website. But this does not do much good if it is hard to make changes. Your website should be both easy for users to navigate and for you to manage. Waiting for days to hear back from website support is ridiculous and you should feel confident about making updates and changes with them or on your own.
7. Does Your Website Have a Valid SSL Certificate?
Starting early July 2018, Google will begin marketing without SSL certificates as unsafe. If you don’t currently have an SSL certificate, your website may be inaccessible to individuals using certain browsers such as Google Chrome and Safari.
Having a website at all just 10 or 20 years ago would have put your business ahead of the game. With tablets and smartphones taking over these days your website needs to look great, work efficiently, and engage clients both from their desktops and mobile devices.
It’s important to recognize that your website is the central hub of digital communication for your veterinary clinic. Your website can help you increase the number of appointment requests, save the amount of time your customer representatives spend on the phone, and provide the accurate information your customer needs to be successful. Interested in learning about how PetDesk can get you set-up with online appointment requests? Click the button below to learn more.