Is it Time to ‘Trade Up’ to an Interactive Veterinary Website

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Veterinary websites are an essential tool for pet clinics and hospitals looking to increase new business and service existing clients.

In the post World War II era, a phenomenon hit the housing market — “prefabs.” These were modest houses built in a factory and delivered intact to a building lot. They had few frills but they met the needs of returning GIs.

Later, those GIs had growing families as well as growing bank accounts and financially rewarding jobs. They were no longer satisfied with their prefabs. They upgraded to larger, more expensive housing.

In cyberspace, the same has happened to websites. Veterinarians have been able to acquire inexpensive, prefabricated websites built on templates. These “prefabs” have served a definite purpose: They created a presence for the veterinarian; they allowed information to be shared; and some allowed commerce to transpire.

Prefabs were a good place to start. But if you have outgrown your prefab or if you are able to go into a more “upscale” community right away, a custom-designed, interactive website may be for you.

What can a custom-designed website offer? It can provide:

  • Client Communication.

Keeping in touch with your current pet owners is important. An interactive website should be able to send out e-newsletters and e-cards. (E-cards can be scheduled to celebrate holidays, birthdays, anniversaries or other dates you program in.) You can also post information and pictures about yourself (your bio), your staff and your office. An interactive site can include a link to give driving directions. And you can even give virtual tours of your facilities and equipment!

  • Patient Management.

Another feature of an interactive website is patient management. Pet owners can schedule appointments, access patient forms and verify account history through the website — and they can do all of this prior to coming in to the clinic.

  • Patient Education.

The opportunities for online patient education are almost limitless: For example, you can provide resources on surgical and preventative care, complete with diagrams, illustrations and even videos!

  • Ancillary Income.

If you offer ancillary products, such as prescriptions, supplements, etc., you can offer these same things online, often with a direct shipment from your supplier.

  • Online Marketing.

When allowed by law, you can post printable promotions or coupons that can be used as incentives. An interactive site allows you to capture contact information so that you can follow up on potential clients.

  • Web-Usage Statistics.

A good interactive Web site will provide you with useful statistics — not just clicks per page. For example: Look for a design that will send you statistics on the percentage of users by month who viewed each article in the newsletter. This type of statistic can help you determine the type of content your visitors are interested in.

Seek out a website company who:

  • Understands veterinary care.
  • Uses innovative and standard search engine optimization techniques.
  • Can provide ongoing customer service and support.

Building a customized interactive Web site does not have to “break the bank.” But, expect to invest approximately $2,000 — a small investment for a large return.

Yamia Benhaim is the founder of http://www.VetMatrix.com , a design firm specializing in custom website design and consulting for the veterinary community. She can be contacted at 800.398.3933 or through the website http://www.VetMatrix.com.

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Yamia Benhaim
IMATRIX
800.398.3933
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