5 must-have features for your veterinary practice website

Take a fresh look at your veterinary practice website, and see it as your clients and prospective clients do.

Is it easy to find information on location, hours and services? Can clients find a phone number, or request or book an appointment? Refill prescriptions? If your website hasn’t been updated for a decade, or looks like a series of bad additions have been tacked onto a once-graceful home, it’s good business to bring your site up to date. Some considerations as you go through the process:

Use strong colors and visual images with an upbeat vibe. The most common lead image on veterinary websites is a picture of the building. No doubt your practice’s curb appeal is good and you’re proud of it. But a picture of the building doesn’t tell the story of the what goes on inside: Caring for pets. Sharp, clean, well-lit images of smiling pets should tell this story, and these happy images, along with strong color choices, should define your page.

Optimize for smart phone and tablet: An increasing number of people access the internet on mobile devices, and your website needs to look good and perform well on various screen sizes. Not to mention: Search engines look for websites that have been optimized for mobile devices. So make sure your web designer is on top of this.

business-hero-2015-12General information easy to find, and help clients get in touch: It should go without saying that your address, hours and phone number should be easy to find on your home page, but it does need to be said. And part of having your website work for mobile devices is making sure when they click on your phone number their phone dials your practice, and clicking on the address triggers their GPS to help them get to your door.

Up to date information, with no broken links: Websites tend to grow like vines, spreading all over the place. When sites are revised, it’s easy to lose pages or have links that are outdated. We’ve been dealing with this ourselves at Nationwide as we convert all of our pages to our new name and branding. Make sure every click goes where it’s supposed to, and any design changes are reflected throughout your entire website.

Social media links:  Last but certainly not least, display social media icons at or near the top of your page, and double-check that the links work correctly. In many cases social media handles don’t match well with the name of a business, making it hard for clients to find Facebook pages, or Twitter, Instagram or other social media accounts. While using the name across all platforms is ideal – such as our NationwideDVM and NationwidePet – if that’s not possible, make it one-click easy for clients to locate your social media from your website.

We could go on for an entire book on website issues, but we’ve hit the basics with these five tips. So open your browser on your desktop, tablet and smartphone and take a fresh hard look at your website!

This article was one of those featured in the December edition of Practice Insights, Nationwide‘s free monthly e-mail newsletter for the veterinary community. Don’t miss a single issue: Click here to sign up. Your information will not be used for any purpose except sending you the newsletter.