The best way for a local practice to meet new customers is online. A major local traffic driving force that is majorly underutilized by veterinary practices is the website’s blog.
One things we hear a lot from veterinary practices is how to come up with veterinary blog ideas. A veterinary practice may be small or may employ many full time veterinarians and serve hundreds of clients.
Believe it or not search engines are immune to that fact. Since most people select medical services for themselves and their pets online, a well-designed website and a steady stream of veterinary blog ideas is the most effective way to reach potential clients and keep current clients up-to-date with new developments in your practice.
A veterinary website increases your marketability and makes it easier for new clients to find you. One of the major (and most overlooked) benefits of a well written veterinary blog is that it positions your practice as an authority in the community. No amount of marketing dollars can produce the results that market authority can produce for your practice.
Additional benefits of an online presence are:
• Routine questions may be answered online
• You can offer information about services for current and prospective clients
• You can share your mission statement & how it ties into your community
• Offer an information page about the doctors and staff – (people want personalization!)
• List your location with directions and hours of operation – (never overlook the basics)
One of the best informative resources for any pet owner is the veterinary blog. A veterinary website’s blog can offer insights and behind the scenes information that clients don’t usually know about.
Developing Veterinary Blog Ideas
Before posting anything on your blog think about the message you want to convey to your clients and prospective clients. Consider what makes your practice unique and why clients keep coming back. (If you don’t know- ask them!)
Another factor to consider is what clients are looking for in a veterinary practice. It’s essential for veterinary practice owners and practice managers to write content for their blogs that pet owners and lay people can understand. No one wants to (or will) read anything that isn’t written in a way that is easy to consume and has a clear call to action.
A great way to keep fresh list of veterinary blog ideas is to involve the whole staff. At your next practice meeting have a brainstorming session with the whole group. By allowing the entire practice to get involved in generating your veteirnary blog ideas you will see the practice from a new perspective and fresh set of eyes. You’ll become more intimately aware of the questions your staff are being asked every single day. (Pro tip: allow other members of staff to write the blog posts- it keeps employees engaged and feeling valued & it allows clients and potential clients a different perspective. It’s a win-win)
Important Factors in Veterinary Marketing
A blog is one of the most important ways to establish a local online presence and grow your practice. Your blog won’t be accomplishing its purpose unless it’s successfully managed.
Here are some of the most common issues practice owners and managers face with veterinary blog management.
- Eyecatching Titles: Your titles should be enticing enough so that readers want to learn more about the topic. Google ranks content on blogs and websites based on targeted keywords so choose carefully to increase your chances of ranking higher.
- Be Consistent: In terms of SEO content, search engines check for high-quality shareable content with frequent updates. Ideally, one-two blog posts per month are what you should aim for. The blog tasks can be divided among staff members that can contribute relevant content.
- Connect With Your Audience: In any busy veterinarian practice, it’s difficult to keep to your schedule and engage with your clients during regular office hours. When you write articles for your blog, take the time to read the comments and engage with your audience by answering questions. (Pro tip: Don’t be thrown off by negative comments or reviews- embrace them!)
- Content Promotion: Adding a blog to your website isn’t enough if you want to have a consistent following. Most practices have social media accounts. Include a link to your blog in your email newsletter, and share updates on Instagram and Facebook.
- Keywords and Keyword Density: To get to the top of the listings in your area, relevant keywords should appear in your blog posts. The density of your keywords should be one to two percent of the total word count.
What To Write About
Some of the top veterinary blogs feature a team of veterinarians, technicians, trainers, journalists who specialize in pet care books and articles, and animal behaviorists. Some blogs feature specialty veterinarians such as oncologists.
Here are some of the best veterinary blog ideas.
- Behavioral Issues
- Best Foods For Pets
- Breed Specific Dog Training
- Care of Senior Pets
- Euthanasia and Support
- Exercise For Pets
- First Aid For Pets
- Homeopathic Veterinary Medicine
- Pet Boarding and Daycare
- Pet Fostering and Adoption
- Pet-Friendly Hotels
- Tips On Traveling With Pets
- Wellness Tips
You can write about community pet news if there’s an event taking place for pets and their owners such as a meet and greet to benefit a local rescue or shelter. Personal stories about pets that have been treated and had positive outcomes are of interest to pet owners. You could describe what goes on when a pet stays at the practice for a day or overnight for a procedure. (Pro tip: Don’t be too graphic! What you may think is benign to talk about or images to share may be too hard for the general public to read or look at. It’s very important to have someone who is not in the profession to read the information and give an honest report to you if they think it’s too graphic.)
An excellent way to get insight about questions pet owners have is to ask your staff what the most frequently asked questions are and answer them in a blog post. Pet owners are more at ease when they’re familiar with the team at a veterinary practice. Once a month a staff member could be featured in an interview to give clients an opportunity to know them better.
What Not To Write About
Keep in mind that the blog on your website is for pet owners who want necessary information about caring for their pets and what services your practice has to offer. Avoid writing about complex medical procedures or medications, and don’t write about anything that could be construed as misleading.
This is worth repeating: (Pro tip: Don’t be too graphic! What you may think is benign to talk about or images to share may be too hard for the general public to read or look at. It’s very important to have someone who is not in the profession to read the information and give an honest report to you if they think it’s too graphic.)
How Long Should Blog Posts Be?
Ideally, blog posts should be between 800 and 1200 words. Posts that are longer are easier to rank than shorter posts. However, to write longer posts once or twice a month requires strong writing skills. it’s really important to include the staff for writing the article but it’s even more important someone is designated as the editor- so misspellings, basic grammar rules, etc are monitored for professionalism.
Blog articles between 1,000 and 2,500 words have a better chance of getting higher ranks on Google, but if you don’t have SEO experience, it’s best to leave it to a professional marketer.
Another excellent point about staying within the 800 to 1200 range is that people sometimes lose interest in longer posts. They want to read and digest the information quickly.
Why Images Are Important
When pet owners are searching for a veterinarian, the first thing they do is to check out the website to learn about the staff and the services they provide. Imagery is an essential facet of a veterinary webpage or blog. A lot of practices rely on stock images to post on their blog. The problem is that stock images are easy to spot since so many blogs use them. (Pro tip: find an up-and-coming photographer in the area who will work with you on a lower price for the positive review and to use the images in their portfolio)
You’ll make a more significant impact and personalize your blog by using photos of your staff at work in the practice. Pet owners like to see pictures of the people who will be caring for their pets and the environment in which they work. Clients feel more comfortable having you treat their pets when they get to know the staff at your practice. Investing some time uploading photos of your staff at work is one of the best marketing tools you’ll have.
Why Professional Veterinary Marketing Is Essential
- SEO Requires Experience: The reality of owning a veterinary practice is that you spend long hours at work, every day brings something different, and you never know what may or may not happen. Without writing or blogging experience search engine optimization can be complicated. You have to understand linking and keyword density or the search engines may never find you.
- Researching Keywords: Most veterinarians don’t understand the ins and outs of researching keywords. Without the most relevant keywords, your blog articles won’t get the ranking that an optimized marketing campaign can provide. Unfortunately the best written and informative blogs won’t get the attention they deserve or the local traffic they should without proper keyword research. It’s best to leave this part to the marketing professionals.
- Competition For High Ranking: Getting a high ranking when you have to compete with thousands of sites that target pet owners is time-consuming and can be tricky. Without a marketing professional practices can’t compete. If you have experience writing rather than spending time writing blog posts, get your work published, include links to your site, and have a marketing professional handle your blog.
A successful veterinary marketing campaign increases local awareness of your practice and the services you offer to clients. Your veterinary blog ideas should offer useful and up-to-date information about advances in veterinary procedures and helpful tips for pet owners.