Is your website working for you? Do you wish that you had more traffic, that visitors stayed on your site for longer, and that you saw website visitors actually come through your practice doors? If it feels like your website isn’t making an impact, it might be time to make a change. But before you consider a complete overhaul, try these easy tips. Sometimes the simplest things can make a big difference in how effective your website is!
1. Organize your content to make it easy to find what they’re looking for.
You may have learned how to format paragraphs and essays in high school English, but the web has its own special method of formatting text. Specifically, writing for the web requires breaking information down into chunks. People on the Internet are often skim reading or searching for something, so web writing takes this into account and uses formatting tricks like headings, subheadings, and bullet points to make information easily searchable and digestible.
This blog post is a great example of breaking text up using subheadings. For another good example, see our ClientEd Online page, where information is broken down under headings and using bullet points. There is a lot communicated on that page, but it is divided up so your can more easily skip around to the info you’re most interested in.
If you haven’t already, consider dividing up your web pages with more headings and cutting down on large paragraphs to avoid overwhelming visitors. If there’s too much text, you risk losing clients who are intimidated by having to search through excessively long blocks of text to find the exact information they want.
2. Make sure your site is up-to-date.
If your website features services you don’t sell anymore or if your hours from Christmas in July, you might be losing clients. If they have any reason to believe that the information on your website might not be totally accurate or up-to-date, potential clients may leave and search for a veterinary website with updated information. Avoid this fate by keeping your banners and general information always up-to-date. As an added bonus, updating your website regularly is good for SEO too!
3. Prominently display contact information.
If you haven’t already done so, make it unbelievably easy for interested clients to contact you. Don’t just settle for a contact page. Display your contact information, including address, phone number, and email, prominently on every page! Many WebDVM websites have the contact information listed directly in the website header, so that the contact information is presented above the fold on every page of the website. This enables potential clients to contact you the moment they decide your practice is right for them!
4. Add CTAs.
CTA stands for “call-to-action.” A CTA is a phrase or button that tells the reader what they should do next (e.g., “Call Now!” “Visit Our Practice,” or “Learn More”). It can be as simple as sending them to another page, or as complicated as having them call you to book an appointment. CTAs can be very compelling, and if a client is reading information about your practice, but not sure what to do next, a CTA can help them find their way.
For example, if a client is reading about your boarding, include a CTA at the bottom of the page that says “Interested? Get started now!” The CTA would send them to your boarding form, so they can fill it out and engage with your practice right away.
5. Reduce the number of pages in your main navigation.
This is a big one we see with veterinary practices. Between services, the pet health library, online forms, about you, events, contacts, emergencies, resources, pet portals, etc, you have far too much information to share. It can feel really difficult to pare down on the number of items in your main navigation, but consider consolidating information and making really good use of your sub-navigation.
For example, if you have “Location” in your main navigation, consider moving it under “Contact.” Visitors will know to look for it there. Or if you have separate navigation items for Resources and your pet health library, put them together. A pet health library is absolutely a resource.
6. Start a blog.
We know that we sound like a broken record when it comes to talking about blogging. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re saying, you’ve told us a million times to create a blog. But we cannot state enough the value of having a blog on your practice website. The LifeLearn blog is responsible for over 50% of all incoming traffic to our website. Sure, not all of those 50% stick around to check out the rest of the website, but you can bet that we’ve seen valuable conversions from people visiting our website through our blog. And like regular updates, blogging is fantastic for your SEO. So even if you’re only adding a post once a month, give it a try. Even committing 4 hours a month to a 500 word blog post can make a big difference, we promise!
(Here are some great resources to help you get started on a successful blog:
- 12 Habits to Help You Blog Faster
- Blog Your Way to More Business
- Blog Post Ideas for Every Month of the Year
- How to Get Your Whole Practice Involved in Blogging)
7. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple…Seriously!)
And as always, keep it simple, seriously! Some of the best websites out there are incredibly simple. They work because they don’t overwhelm the viewer with information, or force them to wade through page after page to find what they’re after. Where at all possible, try to minimize the number of pages, and the number of clicks a pet owner has to make to get to the info they want to see. A good rule of thumb is that no information should take more than 3 clicks to get to from the home page. Wherever possible, use this rule to make browsing your website a pleasant experience for your visitors.
This acronym can also be applied to other parts of your website as well. For example, the names in your navigation. It can be tempting to use fancy names for your pages, like “Our Philosophy,” or “Menu” instead of “About” or “Services.” Avoid this temptation, as it makes searching your website far more difficult for visitors. Keep your navigation names simple. It may not be as fun, but your visitors will thank you for it!
Try out any of these tips to boost the effectiveness of your practice website. Hopefully, they’ll make a difference in keeping pet owners on your site for longer and increase your conversions. If you’re still having problems, maybe it’s time to consider an overhaul. Find out how a WebDVM website, designed specifically for veterinary practices like yours, can make a big difference in helping you connect with clients online and get them walking through your practice doors!