A great website is essential for modern and successful veterinary practices. But what are the elements of great veterinary website design? It has to be designed with veterinary clients and their needs in mind, and it also has to be found on the world wide web. A website is also an important tool for growing your veterinary business. Let's explore the details.
What is Veterinary Website Design?
Veterinary website design is the process of creating a website that is accessible, functional, and appealing to veterinary clients. A website is a powerful marketing tool that can be used to generate new business and build relationships with existing clients.
Design with the Pet Owner in Mind
First and foremost, your veterinary website should be easy to navigate. Pet owners should be able to find the information they need quickly and easily, whether on a desktop or mobile device. The layout should be logical and consistent, with clear calls to action that encourage visitors to take the next step, whether it's scheduling an appointment or signing up for your newsletter.
Great veterinary websites use high-quality photos and videos to show off the facility and staff and make sure the overall look and feel are consistent with your brand. Colors, fonts, and imagery should all work together to create a professional and trustworthy impression.
Choose photos of the types and breeds of dogs and cats you see most often in your clinic, as this will help visitors feel more comfortable and reassured that you're the right veterinary team for their needs.
Visually you should convey that your practice is special and unique, that your team is friendly, warm, and loves pets, and most importantly - that they should choose you over other veterinarians in the area.
Helpful content for pet owners
Your veterinary website should be a source of valuable information for pet owners, and it should be updated regularly with new blog posts, articles, and other content. This will not only help you attract new visitors, but it will also encourage existing clients to keep coming back.
Pet owners may search for:
- information on common pet health problems
- nutrition and diet advice
- tips for choosing the right dog for the family
- information on veterinary services you offer
- what to do in a pet emergency
Content should be well-written and engaging, with a focus on providing value to the reader. Make sure to include calls to action throughout your content, encouraging visitors to contact your veterinary practice or schedule an appointment. It's also a good idea to include social media buttons so that readers can share your content with their friends and followers.
Many veterinarians opt to include a blog on the website. Blogs are a great way to share timely and relevant information with clients and can be a great tool for your website with search engine optimization (SEO). More about SEO later.
A window into your team and culture
Include a page for staff biographies and photos, especially for the clinic's veterinarians. Bios introduce visitors to your team and culture. When pet owners can see that you have a caring and professional staff, they're more likely to trust you with their pets' care.
Include photos of veterinarians and staff interacting with dogs and cats and clients to show off the great environment at your veterinary practice. Remember to get permission from pet owners before you post their photos on the Internet.
Is your hospital accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)? Is the clinic Fear Free Certified? If the practice has these credentials or others, highlight these important achievements and show pet owners that your practice is at the top of its game.
Prominently display logos and certificates and be sure to mention these achievements in your content as well. This helps build trust with potential customers and reassures them that they're making the right choice by bringing their animal to your hospital.
Veterinarians that hold special credentials should specifically be promoted as well, particularly in the doctor's biography or any specialty services pages.
Does your clinic have a Facebook page or Instagram account? Do you post videos on a YouTube or TikTok channel? Add icons to your homepage and contact us page and encourage your community to follow you. Pet parents enjoy dogs and cats on social media and it's a great way to show off your veterinary team's personality too.
Side note: Make sure to link back to your website from your social media accounts so that you can drive traffic to the site. And be sure to post content that is shareable - images, infographics, and videos are all great choices.
Today it's necessary to be fully ADA-compliant. This means that the website should be accessible to people with disabilities, including those who are blind or have low vision.
Some of the most important things to keep in mind for accessibility are:
- Use high-contrast colors for text and background to make it easier to read
- Use clear and concise language
- Include alt text for images
- Provide transcripts or captions for videos
For more information on components for ADA-compliant websites, visit ada.gov for a helpful checklist. If you're not sure if your site is ADA-compliant, there are several online tools available to help.
Mobile Responsive Design
Most people carry the Internet around in their pockets or purse these days, so great veterinary websites must be designed with mobile users in mind. A mobile responsive website will reformat itself to fit the smaller screen size of a smartphone or tablet, making it easy to read and navigate.
If your website isn't mobile-responsive, you could be losing out on potential business. Studies have shown that over 60% of people will leave a page that isn't mobile-friendly and go to a competitor's site instead.
Some key things to keep in mind with mobile responsive website design:
- Use large, easy-to-tap buttons. It should be simple to contact the front desk or quickly map directions.
- Menus should be easy to navigate
- Avoid using Flash, which is not compatible with most mobile devices
- Make sure it loads quickly on a 3G or 4G connection
SEO Geared Toward Local Visibility
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it's a process of making your website more visible in search engine results, like Google or Bing. When potential clients are searching for veterinary services online, you want your business to be one of the first they see.
There are several things you can do to optimize for search engines, including:
- Use keyword-rich titles and descriptions
- Use alt tags on photos
- Create fresh content regularly
- Utilize veterinary website design best practices
SEO Keywords for Veterinarians
Identifying the right keywords to focus on is a great first step for veterinary SEO. Keywords are the words or phrases individuals might use when searching for veterinary services in your area.
If you're located in Chicago, for example, keywords to consider targeting might be "veterinarian Chicago" or "vet near Chicago." If you offer specialty services, like orthopedic surgery, keywords to target could be "veterinary orthopedic surgery Chicago."
A website design company that specializes in the veterinary industry can help you identify the right keywords for your hospital or clinic and incorporate them into your design and marketing strategy.
Think of Google as the map that is referred to when a traveler seeks out a destination. Naturally, if your location isn’t prominently marked on that map, visitors simply won’t know you exist and will pass you by. Google has the power to not only put you on that map – they can also recommend and even route potential customers directly to you, making it the ultimate online guide.
The best veterinary website designs will help the business appear on the map.
Good design means making it easy for the user to contact the practice. This means that you should include buttons or links that encourage patients to take action, such as scheduling an appointment or signing up for your newsletter.
Types of calls to action may include:
-Schedule an appointment
-Contact Us form
-Download a puppy or kitten care guide
-Sign up for the newsletter
Veterinary Website Design Extras
Many clinics offer the ability to chat with a team member right from the homepage. This can be a great way to answer quick questions or help potential clients who may be on the fence about whether to use your veterinary services.
Including a payment portal on your website can make it easier for clients to pay their veterinary bills. This can help increase customer satisfaction and improve your bottom line, plus free up staff time processing payments. If you decide to include a payment portal, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Make sure the payment process is secure
- Provide instructions on how to use the payment portal
- Include customer service contact information in case there are any problems
Check with your credit card processor to see if they offer a payment portal that can be integrated with your veterinary website.
As veterinary medicine evolves, more and more practices are offering telehealth services. Telehealth is the use of technology to provide remote or virtual veterinary care, such as by phone or video, and it can be a great way to offer convenient care to clients.
If you offer telehealth or veterinary telemedicine services, be sure to include this on your website. You should also provide instructions on how to use the service and include front desk contact information in case there are any problems.
If you use veterinary software that includes a patient portal, be sure to promote this too.
It's a great way to access medical records, and treatment plans and keep up-to-date on pet healthcare. Not to mention a simple way to contact the veterinarian or request an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I hire a veterinary website designer or can I DIY?
There are a lot of great veterinary website builders out there that make it possible to achieve professional-looking results without having to hire a designer. However, if you want to stand out and help generate new clients, we recommend working with a website design company that specializes in the industry.
How much does a veterinary website cost?
The cost will vary depending on the features you want to include and whether you work with a veterinary website design company or DIY. Generally speaking, you can expect to spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars.
How often should I update my veterinary website?
You should aim to update content regularly, or more frequently if you make any changes to your veterinary practice. Updates could include things like adding new services, hiring new staff, posting new blog articles, and any changes to business hours.
Can my veterinary website help the practice get more new clients?
Yes! It can help you get more new clients by giving you a platform to showcase your services, post special offers, and provide potential clients with an easy way to contact your hospital or clinic.
Now that you know what's included in the best veterinary website designs, it's important to understand how it fits into your overall marketing strategy. Your website should be one piece of a larger, strategic marketing plan that includes other marketing tools like social media, email marketing, and pay-per-click advertising (PPC).
By following these tips, you can make sure that your website is working hard to bring in new clients, provide useful information to existing customers, and grow your veterinary business.
Looking for help from the pros with your veterinary website design? Speak with one of the professionals at DVM Elite!