Whether you are an experienced veterinarian or one that is just opening your own practice, marketing can play a big part. Yes, word-of-mouth can still bring in new business, but there are a lot of ways you can use the Internet to your advantage.
You may be reluctant to go into this area – you want to work with animals, not spend your time creating ways to advertise yourself. It can be well worth your time, though. Here are some ways that digital marketing for veterinarians can be done.
Using Pay-Per-Click Ads
You can combine this with keywords that you know people might search for. If they type in “Your area” and “veterinarian,” they will see you at the top of the Google, Bing, or Yahoo! search. Then if they click on that, you pay a small fee for the click. If you get a lot of patients through that, then the cost will be negligible.
If you are a veterinarian who specializes in certain services that other vets might not offer, then put those terms in the search queries. That way, you could help improve a slow month at the office by having people who use those terms see your practice show up. This is different from Search Engine Optimization – your website’s rankings won’t be taken into account when it comes to this.
Monitoring and Using Your Online Reviews
At first glance, this might just seem like wasting your time reading things that people say. But remember, sites like Yelp! and Google Maps are heavily referenced by people who are looking to make decisions … like where they should take their sick pet for veterinary care. So it is important to see what people are saying about you.
Yes, you need to take some reviews with a grain of salt. There are some who might have an axe to grind even if they were in the wrong. Still, you may need to present your side of the event. Ignoring things like that can give the impression that you don’t care about your patients and might lose potential business.
On the other hand, do you have a very satisfied patient? Ask them to write an online review for you and give you a high star rating. That will be there for other prospective patients to see. It adds credibility to your practice.
Having a blog allows you to create something that shows your personality and your voice. Again, you might feel like it takes you away from your practice. But it’s a great way to establish yourself as an authority – well, besides your veterinary degree – but it is also a way to display your humanity.
You should start writing the blog yourself for a good number of the first twenty or more entries. That way, if you do bring someone in to write them for you, you can point to those entries as a guide for the best way for them to match your voice and style. Otherwise, people might get suspicious if the tone changes.
A blog will bring traffic to your site and might get some people interested in learning more about whether you could help their pets. It’s a good investment of your time.
These are a few of the ways that digital marketing can help your veterinary practice. If you stick with them, you could find yourself with many new patients. Then all the time and effort you put into will have been worth it.