- Web & Digital
5 digital marketing ideas for vets
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Get your veterinary practice ONLINE
Compete with bigger vet chains and attract more furry, scaly and feathered friends to your practice with these proven digital marketing ideas for vets.
Times are changing. Traditional marketing for vets is no longer a viable way of competing with bigger veterinary practices. Relying on word of mouth isn’t a sustainable means of generating new business either with social distancing altering the way people interact.
This has placed ever-increasing importance on the internet. According to the latest research, 97% of people learn more about a business online than any other medium, while 89% of customers begin their buying process with a search engine.
So, if you’ve previously relied on other marketing methods or your glowing in-person experience to generate more business, it might be time to rethink your strategy.
In this blog, we share some valuable digital marketing ideas to help vets create an online presence and attract new customers.
One of the most important digital marketing strategies for vets is to develop a website which is optimised for mobile. With over half of worldwide internet traffic happening on mobile devices and 61% of people stating that they’re more likely to contact a business if they have a mobile-friendly website, mobile optimisation is a must for any veterinary practice.
This includes adding Click-to-Text buttons on the website. This will allow customers to tap the button on their phone and be directly connected to your veterinary practice’s landline phone number. By simply adding this into the footer, header and contact page, you’ll convert more leads.
Images and text should also be resized to suit a mobile user too. Make things proportionate in size and keep the copy readable and concise. As veterinary practices are all relatively similar in terms of services, first impressions are vital. So, when a customer sees your website on their phone, the online user experience needs to mirror your excellent in-person experience.
Interestingly, “near me” and “close by” type searches grew by more than 900% over two years. It seems location is becoming a major factor for businesses.
From a digital marketing budget and resource stance, it’s not feasible to compete with bigger vet chains on a national scale. However, this market shift does give you a golden opportunity to establish your practice as the leaders in your local area.
Local-based marketing, also referred to as local marketing and neighbourhood marketing, is the process of optimising your online reach to customers within a radius of your company.
One of the best local marketing strategies for vets is to focus on improving your search engine optimisation (SEO).
Local SEO refers to strategies that help your business appear higher in local search results on Google for relevant keywords. To improve this, your website content needs to include more location-specific keywords such as “vets in city/town”, instead of just “vets”. By doing this, you’ll maximise your chances of being found by customers conducting their “near me” and “close by” searches.
Google’s algorithm also uses keyword clusters to find affiliate content for customer search terms. So, if they search for “dog flea treatment”, the platform will display websites which offer “dog treatments”. Therefore, it’s essential to cover all bases and create a list of similar search terms.
Another local-marketing SEO strategy is to ensure you list your vet’s site on Google My Business and Yelp. This will instantly give your veterinary practice an online presence and help local customers find you more easily.
As an ongoing part of this process, you should encourage your existing customers to leave good reviews on Google. This will not only make your business look more trustworthy to new customers, but it could help you boost your ranking on Google too.
PPC ads are another top digital marketing strategy used by vets. These online veterinary ads are either a form of paid search result ad (appearing at the top of a relevant Google result), or display ads (popping up on other websites).
PPC ads are useful in boosting your online presence as they allow your vets to show up at the top of search result pages above organic results. You can target these ads to reach specific audiences, again, focusing on your local audience.
PPC ads are an extremely cost-effective method of digital marketing for vets as you only pay when someone clicks your ad. Generally speaking, customers will only search for a vet when they need something, so, there’s a good chance a lot of clicks will convert.
To get the most out of PPC ads, you need to:
- Create dedicated landing pages that are designed to suit the PPC ad campaign
- Increase your ad visibility by improving its quality score – i.e. Google’s rating of the quality and relevancy of your PPC ad
- Boost click-through rates by using ad extensions to include extra information in your ads
Email marketing for vets is a quick and simple way of building relationships with your local community and getting people to keep bringing their pets into your practice.
If you haven’t got an email list, your first action is to get permission from all existing customers when they pay you a visit. You can then start running a refer a friend scheme via email, encouraging your loyal customers to get their friends to sign their pet up to your vets and email list. To make this a success, add an incentive, such as a free pet goodie bag or discount off their next visit.
Email marketing can be used to upsell to existing customers as well. For instance, you could push your pet insurance packages, treatment subscriptions and range of foods.
The final digital marketing idea for vets is social media. Using Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will help you stay connected with your clients and increase awareness of your practice.
You can use it to:
- Send out general updates – such as opening times and booking info
- Share adorable pet pics – pet owners take pride in their loveable pets, so share their lovely pics all over your social feeds
- Highlight success stories – going to the vets shouldn’t be seen as a negative. Share positive news stories from your practice and flip the perception
- Run competitions – launch a refer a friend incentive and pet pic competition to boost your social audience and email list
- Invest in paid ads – social media advertising can generate some quick results online and significantly boost your local audience
A proven track record in generating leads
Knowing what to do is one thing, but finding the time to do it effectively is another challenge altogether. At Eighty3 Creative, we specialise in digital marketing for vets.
Over the years, we’ve helped various local veterinary practices generate some fantastic online results through PPC, SEO, social media and email marketing. This includes:
- PPC campaigns – £130 ad spend generated 37 conversions which consisted of 20 new pet registrations and 17 new appointments. This equated to just £3.50 per lead.
- SEO – over 6 months, we helped a veterinary practice move their average position keyword ranking from 110 to 34. As well as an increase of 5 keywords into position 1 which were originally on pages 3 and 4 of Google.
- Facebook Ad – £180 spend generated 20 leads from contact form submissions.
If you like what you see, get in touch with us today and let us help you improve your online presence through smarter digital marketing for vets. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.