Are you looking for the best way to make a veterinary website, and you’re starting from scratch?
If yes, then you are aware that a veterinary website forms the foundation of your online marketing strategy, right?
That’s why in today’s post, I’m going to teach you how to make a veterinary website that’s ready to begin converting more of your site traffic into email subscribers, leads, and sales.
But before we do, let’s clarify why your marketing strategy needs a marketing website for better results.
Owning your connection with customers is only possible by owning your website and everything on it.
Online marketing for veterinary clinics has become a requirement for success in 2021, and the trend doesn’t look like it’s slowing down.
Today’s consumers are conditioned to research purchases. Back in the day, this research may have played out over fifty questions between the car salesman, the sales manager, and the dealership’s financial manager, for one example.
Today, consumer research plays out through any, or all, of their connected devices.
This means large portions of your audience are looking for your veterinary website online, and them not finding it means they move on to your competitor.
It also means you are leaving lots of new leads on the table. That’s because if your veterinary clinic is unable to be found online, then there is no online user experience (UX) for your potential customers, which will make your brand look less credible.
But by quickly making your veterinary website available to search engines and your potential customers alike, even starting from scratch, you’ll be able to:
- Boost Conversions (Grow your email list for more sales opportunities)
- Improve User Experience (Empower your visitors to help themselves)
- Serve your business today and invest in tomorrow.
Now that you understand your need for a veterinary website let’s look at how to build it in a handful of easy steps.
5 Steps to Make a Veterinary Website From Scratch
The point of your veterinary website is to make your business stronger today and tomorrow.
That can play out through increased revenue and stronger customer connections, thanks to your digital efforts.
And while the strategic goal and website are both yours, their focus must be your customers across the various points of your customer lifecycle.
Your veterinary website is about the animal owners who take the time to visit your website to solve the problem they’re addressing for their animal(s).
They are looking for help from your website.
The bare minimum is to guide them to their solution using a veterinary website that loads fast and securely in their browser.
Step 1: Marketing Strategy
When it comes to your online marketing strategy, complexity does not successful, a strategy make. See what I mean?
I’ve learned to start the marketing strategy as simple as needed. More importantly, treat your documented marketing strategy as a living document, which helps keep you focused when spending your marketing budget.
Your Marketing Strategy Focuses Your Marketing Spend
Google defines strategy as “a plan of action to achieve a major, or overall, aim.”
Your first task is to define your strategic aim, aka your goal. Let’s start with the fact that you own a veterinary clinic.
And you are now deciding to begin to add online marketing to your veterinary clinic’s marketing strategy.
You want more revenue and more profit, which you know requires new leads. Keep in mind that leads earn most of their moniker on your website.
Website Traffic Fuels Your Online Conversions
Your website visitors use your veterinary website to learn enough about you to decide if they trust you enough to pay you. Whether that decision goes for or against you depends on many factors, including how they got to your website.
From where and how does website traffic arrive? (It ain’t magic.)
- Create content online that a person clicks in a search engine result.
- Create social media posts that people click on a social media site.
- An email subscriber opts into your email list, and you send them an email that they open and then click a link in the email body that returns them to your website.
- You pay Facebook or Google and then create an ad and tell them whom to show the ad. Then, Facebook or Google put that ad in front of their audience so that people interested in your solutions can click a link in a paid advertisement to visit your veterinary website.
- A third-party website sees your content and links to it on their website. Then their visitor clicks the link.
- And then there is Local SEO, which stands for “local search engine optimization.” Because attracting local customers can be the key to success or failure for any veterinary clinic.
After reading through that bullet list, do you see why and how your veterinary website forms the hub, nay the very core, of your marketing strategy?
Good, now we’re ready to define the first version of your veterinary website. When your customers visit your vet clinic, their visits begin at the front door, yes?
Keep Version One Of Your Veterinary Website Simple But Complete
I like starting with the home page when teaching small business owners, their customers, and their team to use the small business website from scratch.
Same user experience for your website. AND I’m applying that truism to both the experience you create for your website visitors as well as how you plan your veterinary site’s initial version.
Start version one with a completed home page. And for your convenience, you will find that your choice of WordPress theme includes your decision of how your website will look and how your homepage content is laid out in version one.
You Want Visitors To Interact With Your Website
Being a veterinary clinic, I recommend making your business name, address, and phone number very easy for visitors to find. I would include all three in the header area of every page of your website; for your customer’s convenience.
And don’t forget to give website visitors a way to email your business from your website. While also clearly setting your customer’s expectations for your team’s email response.
My day job, with awesomemotive.com, happens to own WPForms, the easiest form builder to use in WordPress. I recommend WPForms, both because I’m mainlining Syed’s kool-aid but also because I believe WPForms.com is the ideal form builder when starting from scratch.
The WPForms free subscription will cover your online form needs until long after you decide to invest in WPForm’s paid subscription.
Step 2: Choose Your Domain Name & Hosting Partner
When you moved into your brick-and-mortar clinic, your user experience played out from the front door threshold until the visitor left, typically by crossing that same threshold. The front door threshold of your veterinary website is the home page.
And what is at the top of your clinic’s front door? The street number, which is part of your brick-and-mortar street address. Your website address is its domain name.
Jasonhobbsllc.com is my domain name.
A domain is comprised of the domain name (JasonHobbsLLC) plus a top-level domain, aka TLD. I use the .com TLD, but you will see there are loads of other options.
Pick your domain name and pay for year one (I’ve used IWantMyName.com to buy and manage my domains for as long as I can remember) so you can connect your domain name to your new instance of WordPress, which your hosting partner hosts.
Yes, I Said Hosting Partner
I meant what I said. As a business owner, you need to view your hosting provider as your partner in hosting your business website. Together you keep your vet site secure and your pages loading as fast as possible.
And you need to be prepared to pay for performance. You’re not going to get blazing fast web pages for visitors across the globe from a free hosting account.
Ok, now, you’re ready to set up your WordPress theme, WordPress Pagebuilder, complete your home page and all the pages that your homepage links to in version one of your veterinary website.
Use your chosen WordPress theme to style all of the parts of your website and determine the home page’s layout.
This is important and helpful since your home page will define the scope of the first version of your veterinary website.
Step 3: Furnish and Move-In (WordPress Theme and WordPress Pagebuilder)
I use WordPress*** to build small business websites, and I host my WordPress websites with Kinsta.com’s WordPress hosting.
WPEngine, the team behind the Genesis framework and Genesis Pro plugins, also offers hosting that can include their Genesis themes and the Genesis Pro plugins under one price.
I use Kinsta because I trust them and their support team with my business and because we have successfully partnered on my hosting needs for close to three years and counting.
Here are the steps to create your Kinsta.com account, and once you have your WordPress website attached to your domain name, you are ready to complete your home page and each page to which it links.
WPBeginner also offers a hosting alternative https://www.wpbeginner.com/start-a-wordpress-blog/. That post will walk you through setting up a WordPress installation that’s attached to your new domain name and an awful lot more, too.
Time To Make Version One Of Your Veterinary Website
I recorded a video showing you how to complete version one of your website. It picks up once you have your new site created in Kinsta.
At which point you’ll have a WordPress instance ready for you to install and complete the Essence Pro home page and then use Genesis Pro to create landing pages quickly.
To style version one of my example veterinary website and lock in the homepage layout, I used the Essence Pro Genesis child theme* and the Genesis framework.**
Remember that today, we are focused on starting and launching version one, and toward that end, here are the landing pages in version one:
- Successful appointment booking landing page
- Successful email subscription landing page
- Unfollow from email list landing page
Now that you have made version one of your veterinary website, it’s time to start letting the search engines, social media sites, and, most importantly, animal caregivers know that your website stands at the ready.
Step 4: Break The Online Ice Between Yourself And Local Animal Owners
Campaign 1: BrightLocal Citation Builder Service
Future campaigns will target new traffic, but for your first campaign, as a veterinary clinic?
Local SEO citations help your business show up in Google Maps to people geographically near your brick-and-mortar location and searching for veterinary services.
However, if the citations aren’t using the exact same mailing address, phone number, and business name, then your citations are working against you.
I use BrightLocal.com’s Citations service to handle this. You can set your budget, but even starting with a couple of hundred dollars can turn the most important citations from working against your marketing goals to helping your business gain more traffic.
You’re Responsible For Conversions
As the website owner, it is your job to convert the traffic from strangers to email subscribers so your business can qualify your solution for the visitor’s need and their need for your solution.
This mutual qualification happens after the visiting stranger opts to subscribe to your email list.
So you will need to choose your email service provider, I have used many over the years, but for the past few years, I’ve used ConvertKit.com to manage my email lists.
The first email to send people that subscribe to your email list? Send them a short email Introducing yourself as the local veterinarian hoping to be trusted enough by them to help their beloved animals. And now that they know all that, you make the only call-to-action of the email, asking them to reply with whatever they want you to know about them.
You want them to talk to you about their animals, about themselves and their family. Their community. Etc al. That will get the two-way conversation between the two of you started. Then the hard part hits, keeping the conversation going long enough for them to make an educated decision about paying to solve their important and very personal problem.
Step 5: Monthly Online Marketing (It is not set it and forget it. You need a monthly plan to bring more traffic and convert more of it to your email list, etc. It won’t happen on its own.)
Remember the sources of website traffic from step one? Campaigns are where you invest in introducing “stranger traffic” to your website by trying to match your message to the potential audience and their current context.
These campaigns are adding people to the top of your “marketing funnel.” But you can also do paid retargeting ads, which can target folks much lower in your funnel. That is when you put a pixel on your website that tracks your website activity for your use in targeting your paid Facebook or Google ads.
Still, we are focusing the first campaign on shoring up the digital foundation of your website using BrightLocal’s citation cleanup service.
Using BrightLocal’s Citation service, Campaign One works to optimize your veterinary website for local search engine optimization.
It does this by cleaning up the citations, aka mentions of your business around the web, which typically include your business name, address, and phone number.
Cleaning up means that they manually make sure your information is exact and complete in each citation. Citations are very important, but more important is your investment in documenting on your website answers to the questions being asked by animal owners around you. Your documented answers comprise your blog, which is where your content calendar is published.
As you fill out your content calendar controlling the flow of content from your veterinary business into the website, keep in mind the search context for each keyword on which your article focuses.
If I am searching for an adoptable puppy, I am NOT a candidate for your grooming service. At least not NOW.
But if I am searching to find out if poodles have to get haircuts? Then that’s a relevant topic for your blog because it means I am a candidate for your grooming service. As long as your website has sufficient authority to rank for that topic and there is sufficient monthly traffic from that keyword, then it’s a great addition to your content calendar and, later on, your website.
And that’s all for today! This has been an in-depth guide on how to make a veterinary website.
I hope you enjoyed this article. If you did, you’d want to check out the following resources:
- My best ever (quick, simple, and affordable) pathway for Irwin Animal Clinic to begin marketing online
- Organize the online marketing for your local business in under 40 minutes
These articles will share more information on how you can increase your Veterinary clinic’s online conversions.
Curious about pricing to implement this veterinary website from scratch?
|A domain name, I use IWantMyName.com |||It depends; my domain is $15.00/yr|
|Kinsta Hosting|||From $300.00/yr for one website|
|Essence Pro Genesis Child Theme And Genesis Pro Plugins||| $360.00/yr|
|ConvertKit(Email Service Provider) |||Free for first 1,000 subscribers|
|GatherUp.com||| Completes your customer reviews website page and it makes customer experience the backbone of your business through reviews and customer feedback. From $99.00/mo.|
|BrightLocal Citation Builder Service||| It’s pay by the citation starting from $2.00/citation and a flat rate to submit to services.|
|POTENTIAL INVESTMENT||| From $1,848.00/yr+|
*In version one, Essence Pro takes care of the home page layout for you out of the box. However, remember that you can always use your chosen page builder to update the home page in a later version of your veterinary website.
**I used the Genesis Pro Pagebulder for this example because I haven’t tried it out before, but I will also use SeedProd’s pagebuilder by Awesome Motive in the future.
***The WordPress admin interface. The left column is the navigation column for managing your WordPress website.
- When you want to view your website, this is how you move from the backend (aka admin area) and the frontend (your visitor’s view).
- Appearance is important for this tutorial, but you won’t stop there too often after. The appearance menu item is where you’ll find the settings for your WordPress theme and the link to the WordPress customizer.
- WordPress plugins are the way you extend your WordPress website and add new functionality. These are the articles you write for your blog.
- These are the pages you create for your website. Unlike the Posts, Pages do not automatically have comments turned on.
- Number five is your WordPress Media library; every image or MP3, MP4, etc., you add to your website lives here. And you will find a URL for each image here as well. Not to mention finding all the media easy to insert into your posts and pages.
- Hover your cursor over this area to edit your WordPress profile, which also serves as your Author profile, and you can have it show below each of your articles.