According to a recent survey, 92% of hiring managers research social media profiles when evaluating a job applicant – they’re looking to see how the candidate presents him or herself, and establish a first impression. It should come as no surprise, then, that consumers tend to do the same thing when evaluating the best veterinary care for their pet.
If you suspect your online presence might be the elephant in the room when it comes to your marketing strategy, there are a few ways to be sure – and to change things up so your practice can attract and retain more clients.
So how does your practice stack up?

Let’s start by having a look at your social media

Social media is one of the easiest ways to establish your practice’s online presence.How many followers do you have?
This number might seem superficial, but it actually plays a big role. People do tend to follow the pack, so if you only have a handful of followers, people might assume (albeit incorrectly) that there’s a reason for this, and that it isn’t worth their while to jump on board. You can fix this by starting conversations with other users and “liking” other pages – people on social media tend to reciprocate.How engaged are your followers?
A well-populated feed is a happy feed. If new visitors scroll through and see few or no likes, comments, or other interactions on your page, it can come across as though you’re misunderstanding your followers and what they really want – or worse, it could seem like you’re not involved with your clients.
You can tackle this issue by interacting with your followers – and even by posting content just for fun.How often do you share content?
Posting only once a week is generally too little, while posting dozens of times a day is probably too much. There’s a happy medium in there somewhere!
How much you post will depend on the social media platform you choose; for example, the general rule of thumb for Facebook is two posts per day, although some research has shown that less is better in some situations, whereas Twitter can range anywhere from one to five posts is best for maximum engagement.
Keep in mind that there is no definitive answer for how often you should be sharing content – you may have to conduct a few experiments to figure out what works best for your practice.What are you posting?
It’s easy to fall into the habit of just marketing your practice on social media, but it’s important to remember that this platform is about connecting with people and forming relationships. Limit self-promotional posts, show your personality, have some fun, and share helpful information.

Now, let’s have a look at your website

Even if social media is where you start connecting with people, you want them to end up on your website.Is your content up to date?
There’s nothing worse than visiting a website and seeing information about an “upcoming event” that’s already happened. Today’s content management systems make it easy to go through your website’s content and ensure that everything is up to date.
If the issue is a lack of time, schedule a few minutes at the end of the day once a week or so specifically to ensure that everything is up to date.What does your website look like?
They say a picture is worth a thousand words – and well, so is the appearance of your veterinary website. Your color scheme, choice of fonts, and page layouts will all play a huge role in how appealing your online presence is to potential clients.
It’s important to make a great first impression with a website that shows off your practice’s values. It should also translate well to mobile devices – 80% of today’s Internet users own smartphones, and nowadays more Google searches happen on mobile devices than on desktop computers.Is it easy to navigate?
Can people easily find what they’re looking for on your website? Are your social media links and contact information up to date and easy to find? The answer to these questions needs to be yes, or visitors will head elsewhere for their needs.Does it show up on the first page of search results?
Let’s face it – people only go to the second page of results in very dire circumstances. It’s essential to ensure that your content makes the most of search engine optimization (SEO) to make sure that your website can get found online.
Take the time to understand keywords and SEO coding tactics, and stay up to date on Google’s best practices.

What are others saying about your practice online?

Online marketing isn’t just about what you say about your practice – it’s also about what others say about it.What are they saying in reviews?
According to a recent study, 91% of consumers will read online reviews for a local business – and 28% of consumers think that reviews need to be less than a month old to impact their decisions. It’s essential to keep an eye on your online reviews, and don’t hesitate to ask satisfied customers to recommend your practice online.What are they saying on social media?
Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn are common social platforms for folks to voice their opinions of services. It’s important to monitor and respond to comments – both the good and the bad.Your online profile can’t be overlooked. If you’re not getting the traffic you want from your online presence, have a look at what you could improve, and take on the elephant in the room. It may well mean the difference between welcoming new clients to your practice or sending more business to the competition.

Mobile-friendly, SEO, blogging, online forms, ClientEd Online – you can have it all with a WebDVM website!

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