This post was originally published on January 28, 2013, and has been updated to be even more informative!
Have you ever heard the phrase, “People do business with people, not companies,” or the other version, “People do business with people they like?” These phrases are popular in part because they’re true, especially when it comes to using a personal service or resource. People like to know who they’re dealing with.
For instance, you probably wouldn’t use just any random hairdresser, accountant or babysitter for your needs. These services are too personal to pick a random provider, right? We’re guessing you rely on favorite go-to resources you’ve come to know and trust. The same is true for many if not most pet owners. They like to know the folks who are caring for their pets, whether it’s the dog-walker or the veterinary practice.
Take advantage of this “friendly face” notion when marketing your veterinary practice to pet owners in your community.
We want to help you share your friendly faces online. Learn how a WebDVM website can help your practice get found online.
It seems that many veterinary practices have fallen victim to “stock photo syndrome.” This marketing condition occurs when websites are filled with images from stock photography companies, so they look like any generic practice anywhere — not the friendly faces you’d meet if you went to that clinic for pet care.
Don’t get me wrong. Stock images are fine when presenting general pet care information, such as how to clean a pet’s teeth. But to make a warm and welcoming first impression where your team is truly saying to prospects, “Come on in! We’d love to take care of your pet,” your veterinary website should include photos of your own team members and practice setting.
Not only will this present a friendly face to your prospects, you may be the only local practice doing this! Therefore, you’ll seem like the best local choice. Prospects will think, “I feel like I already know the doctors, staff, setting and even resident pets (if applicable). It looks like a nice place.”
The pages on the veterinary website shown below include real staff photos, presenting a friendly face to their clients and prospects. You can do this too!
We recommend adding real photos to any or all of these areas of your site:
- Home Page, right at the top like this site
- About Us page
- Staff Bio pages
- Practice Tour
- Blog Posts
- Featured Cases or Patients
- Event Announcements (such as Pet Halloween Costume party or a Spring Wellness Clinic)
- New Service Announcements
- Stories about your team’s community outreach efforts
- Funny Patient Features
In addition to adding personal photos, make sure you’re taking these extra steps to help search engines “read” your photos (this helps with search results):
- Be sure to include photo captions with your practice name and the staff’s names and roles.
- For sites run on a WordPress platform (like WebDVM4), you can also alter the “alt-text.” This text is what displays when some one accesses your site with a text reader, and it’s also read by search engine crawlers. A best practice is to edit the alt-text to reflect the image. In the case of staff photos, this could mean editing the alt-text to say “Vet tech Karen working with a dog at ABC clinic.” You shouldn’t put your clinic name or town for every photo or you may be penalized by search engines, but you can add it where applicable.
Have we convinced you yet to add your own practice photos to your website? Check out our tips for taking better photographs, and help your clients feel like they know your practice before they even step foot through your doors!