Veterinary practice websites five biggest mistakes - content is key
YOUR WEBSITE CAN BE YOUR BEST FRIEND
Life in practice is busy. It’s chaotic. There’s so many things you want to do to grow your business, but the clinical strain means you just don’t have the time.
Well I’m here to tell you that a top notch website can do the work for you.
But only if you get it right.
I’ve been writing about the five biggest mistakes I commonly see with veterinary practice websites.
MISTAKE NUMBER FOUR: CONTENT – THE OLD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
Content is a difficult one for practices.
Can it be beneficial to both your clients and your business? Sure.
But it’s difficult to get right, and requires a lot of work to maintain.
So practices are faced with a decision: accept all of that work and absolutely nail it, or decide that the reward doesn’t justify the outlay and leave it out altogether.
Both options are fine. The problem comes when a practice falls somewhere in the middle – start off ambitious but then fall by the wayside as clinical concerns suck the oxygen out of the brilliant content plan you spent all that time devising.
Old, badly written, rushed and pointless content all do more harm than good.
Owners don’t appreciate how hard you’re working, they don’t consider that you don’t have time to put together and stick to a digital content strategy.
All they see is a lack of care. And they can make assumptions based on that.
Here are the main issues – and our advice on how to avoid them.
OUT OF DATE CONTENT
When I’m reading through practice websites I often come across content that has been written for a certain moment in time.
At that point, it may have been fantastic. Often, it wasn’t. But its quality is irrelevant.
Because at the point I’m reading it, it is meaningless.
A great example of this in our industry is bonfire night.
When I first joined the industry I saw this as a great opportunity for content every year, writing about feliway diffusers and reducing anxiety. I’d spend absolutely ages creating a suite of marketing material. It’d go out a couple of weeks before bonfire night.
And on November 6th, all of that work was now pointless.
The secret here is to avoid writing in a way that dates your content – we call it evergreen. It isn’t just on bonfire night that pets get scared of loud noises. Write about how to deal with nervous pets and you’ve automatically insulated that content, meaning it can be reused throughout the year.
MAKE A PLAN – CAREFULLY
I always advise practices to think carefully before committing to news sections or blogs.
You enter into them with the best intentions, and at the start they’re humming with vibrancy and fresh ideas. But all so often it doesn’t last.
That isn’t anyone’s fault. Practice life is busy. Ideas for content are hard to come by. It may be that the person most passionate about the project moves to another role, or even out of the practice.
The point is, they’re a lot of work to maintain, and it’s very difficult to do them well.
I often hear of practices encouraged to create blogs in order to rank for SEO keywords.
In reality the opportunity for independent practices to rank nationally for animal health related keys works is incredibly limited. You’re fighting against massive corporations who have been doing this for years and who spend a lot of money and time getting it right.
It’s approaching a zero sum proposition – and it can leave you putting in masses of work churning out content that is rarely read and not achieving much for the practice.
Then if you fall behind or abandon your content plan, clients browsing your site will see a blog that hasn’t been updated for months and form judgements.