Common Mistakes to Avoid on Your Veterinary Website
If you have had your veterinary website up and running for some time but are not producing the traffic that you were hoping for, there may be a few reasons why. Having a unique, well-designed website that effectively communicates your business to visitors is no longer an option, but a necessity as a business owner.
In order to attract more visitors to your website, you have to understand what having a great site entails. We are here to tell you some of the most common mistakes people make with their website and how to avoid them in order to increase web traffic for your vet practice.
1. Poor Website Navigation
Never underestimate the power of intuitive website navigation. When visitors click through to your site, their exploration should be as simple as possible. You don’t want prospective clients to struggle to find certain information like your vet practice’s contact details.
Issues with navigability can be detrimental to your site’s web traffic. Today, people want information delivered instantly, and if they cannot find it on your website, they will find it somewhere else. But don’t worry, you can make a few quick fixes to your navigation experience.
The first step in making your website easy to use is to create a navigation bar that is easy to locate. At the top of every page is the most traditional and accessible place. This prevents any confusion about where to find things. Your navigation bar should also have specific pages that allow visitors to find what they are looking for in one click.
These categories include:
- About page
- Contact and appointment booking page
- Products and services page
- Resources page (your blog or any other content you create including infographics, videos, ebooks, case studies, etc.)
2. There is Too Much Happening on Your Website
Have you ever visited a website where there is so much happening on their homepage that you have no idea what to do? The most important thing that you want visitors to know about your veterinary clinic should be one of the first elements displayed on your website.
If people don’t know who you are as a business and what you do within the first few seconds of entering your site, they are more likely to leave. Avoid cramming too much information and other web design elements in a small space.
Some other confusing design aspects to avoid on your site are:
- Illegible fonts
- Extremely bright colors
- Huge images or too many images
- Long text displays
A simple, stylish design that is universally appealing can demonstrate your professionalism and ability to create a welcoming look and feel to your website.
3. Slow Loading Pages are Holding You Back
Not only can having too many moving parts on your website confuse a visitor, it can also drastically slow down your loading speed. Do you know how long it takes for your website to load? According to Search Engine Journal, the average expected load time is 3 seconds. That’s right, you only have three seconds to make a lasting impression on a new visitor.
If your website takes longer than that to completely load, the average user may leave your site. To prevent this from happening to you, try to limit the number of flash content, large files, pop-ups, and images with extremely high resolutions.
In order to see how fast your website loads, use PageSpeed Insights, a free tool offered by Google, to check how fast the web pages are on your site while also showing you the changes you can make to improve the speed of your website.
4. Your Veterinary Website Is Not Optimized
You may have heard of SEO before, but what exactly does it mean? According to Moz, search engine optimization is the process of improving the quality (reaching your target audience that is genuinely interested in your business) and the quantity (amount of web traffic) you get to your website through organic search results (traffic that comes to your website without the use of paid ads).
The better the SEO on your website, the more valuable you are considered to search engine giants like Google. When search engines see how important your website is to users making search queries for services you provide, products you sell, content you create, etc., that helps to increase your Google ranking. As your ranking on the search results improves, you’re more likely to see an increase in traffic. You can improve your website’s SEO in more than one way.
Try implementing these strategies to improve your SEO:
- Publish useful, quality content, and update it regularly to keep things fresh.
- Identify and target specific keywords and phrases that are relevant to your industry and integrate those keywords into pages on your website.
- Don’t neglect the meta description, title tags, and alt tags. They should also include keywords.
5. A Lack of or No Clear Calls-to-Action
A strategic call-to-action (CTA) can be very effective in increasing your conversion rates by capturing the attention of your visitors and inspiring them to take the next step in their client journey, whether that be to learn more about your practice or book an appointment. It all depends on what you are instructing them to do.
Some important aspects of crafting an amazing CTA that will get more clients to your practice include:
- Copy that is focused on performing an action – you want the instructions to what someone is supposed to do to be as clear as possible but also explanatory. For example, if your practice has created a tip sheet for pet dental health, avoid just using phrases like “Download” without telling the user what they are downloading. Be transparent about what they are getting and instead phrase it as “Download your free copy of our pet dental health tip sheet”. Taking this route will ensure there is no confusion and they know what they are getting by following your CTA.
- Adding a sense of urgency – focusing on the importance of urgency is a great way to get visitors to make the decision and complete the action now. This is especially important if it is a limited-time offer, a promotion that is expiring soon, or maybe even a webinar with only a few spots left. A sense of urgency prompts visitors to do something about it now rather than waiting until it’s too late.
- Design that grabs users’ attention – in order to click the CTA, visitors need to be able to see it. You can combine elements of design that match the font, style, and colors of your brand to be consistent.
Creating an Effective Veterinary Website
There are a lot of moving parts involved in creating a veterinary website that will generate the conversions that you would like to see. Design, navigation, SEO, and focusing on user experience are all essential aspects of constructing a successful website. But, the creation process does not have to fall on your plate entirely.
If you are ready to become the owner of a professional site that gains interest from new patients while fulfilling the needs of existing ones, VetMatrix can provide you with the website and services to execute your plan. Give us a call at 800.792.8384 or click here to learn about our veterinary digital marketing solutions.