Whether you’re a new vet practice, new to blogging, or just deciding whether to keep your current blog going, this article is for you! Your vet practice blog can bring in new clients and help you keep old ones, if you do it right. I’m going to share the benefits of a good blog for your veterinary clinic business, and give you some hints to make sure you’re making the most of this valuable bit of digital marketing.
What is a blog?
A ‘blog’ is page of your website that shows ‘posts’, also sometimes called ‘blogs’ or ‘articles’. These pieces of content are regularly posted – usually weekly or monthly – and can contain news or informational content. They can be short or long, contain mostly pictures – or hardly any – and be written by one person, several team members, or even outsourced. Think of a blog like a newsletter, but it’s freely available on the internet for everyone to find.
Does my vet practice need a blog?
If you’re wondering whether your veterinary practice or clinic needs a blog, the answer is definitely yes! Blogs are a key form of digital marketing and can have lots of benefits for veterinary businesses. Let’s look at some below:
Regular posting increases Google visibility
Google gets bored if websites aren’t regularly updated. On a search results page, the results are ranked on a huge number of factors, but one is how recent the content is. Regularly releasing new posts keeps your blog at the forefront of the Googlebot’s mind (and at the top of their results pages).
Blogs provide keywords to Google
Google reads words on websites, and uses them to categorise your website. That way, when someone searches for something, the bots know whether you are a close match for what they’re looking for. The more (relevant) words there are on your website, the more Google learns about you, and the more effectively they can return your webpage when someone types in a query. For example, if your practice website carefully covers how you’re a vet practice in Birmingham, that you see small animals, and that you have a specialist orthopod, then Google knows a lot about you. But you wouldn’t necessarily come up in a search for ‘dog broken leg what to do’. Your potential client is going to read another article, then search for a vet practice nearby – and they won’t necessarily choose you. But if your blog covers that exact topic, or even a news piece about how your orthopaedic vet mended some broken legs, it will help Google realise that your website might be what they’re looking for after all.
Blogs can improve perception of value
Everyone likes getting something for free, and your clients are no exception. By providing educational content through your blog, they feel they’re getting better value out of being your client. This may improve your client retention.
Blogs can attract new customers
Aside from increasing your visibility and improving your keyword reach, blogs can attract new customers through ‘content marketing‘. This means giving away pieces of useful information that help your potential customers. This increases their trust, meaning when they’re in a position to buy (or move practice!) you’re their first port of call.
Blogs can help staff feel valued
Using your blog as a way to show off your team’s hard work can help them feel valued and therefore more satisfied with their job. Try to celebrate the little things, not just the lifesaving surgery carried out once in a blue moon – a student vet nurse passing her exams, a particularly nice bit of client feedback, or even the out-of-work things, like a charity bike ride.
Blogs can save vet time
Your vets are overworked. They want to do their best for their patients, but they don’t have enough time in the day to answer every last question. Blog articles about key diseases can help to save vet time by giving clients a trusted source of information. Now all your vet has to do is give their client a link (we like using a QR code) and they can learn more about their pet’s diagnosis in their own time.
Blogs can improve animal welfare
It’s not that owners necessarily avoid coming to see the vet, but it’s clear that some check Google first, to see if there’s another option – or even to make sure they aren’t wasting your time. Your blog can give your owners a trusted source of information that explains exactly what to do in certain situations, allowing them to seek your advice sooner. It can also be a good way to myth-bust some things that they might read elsewhere on Google, so they have the information they need to make good choices about their pet’s nutrition, exercise, or medications.
How to make the most of your vet practice blog
Your vet practice blog should showcase your practice, team, skills, and knowledge. I could fill a whole article with tips on getting the most out of your blog, but here’s three to get you started:
- Choose your keywords carefully to make the most of Google’s search function
- Keep posting regularly (scheduling several articles in advance helps)
- Analyse your results to see what works, then create more articles like that one
A vet practice blog can be a really useful digital marketing tool for veterinary practices. It’s a useful way to connect with your clients – both current and potential – and to differentiate yourself from the competition. Now you know why you should create a blog for your veterinary clinic, why not take a look at our summer pet owner education ideas?
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