4 Signs You Need to Upgrade Your Veterinary Website
As a veterinarian, you may have found yourself so busy taking care of people’s furry, four-legged family members that some business tasks just get pushed to the side indefinitely. In our experience, updating your website may be one of these tasks.
In order to stand out from other offices in your region, it’s important to have a recent, upgraded veterinary website for your clients. This can help them find your office, learn more about what makes you different, and encourage them to get in touch.
It can be difficult to know when it’s time to upgrade your site, especially if it’s worked just fine for the past 3+ years. If you’re unsure, take a look at these 4 key signs it’s time to upgrade your veterinary website so you can keep an edge on the competition instead of falling behind.
1. It’s Not Mobile Responsive
Your veterinary website must be either mobile-friendly or mobile-responsive. This means that some version of your site works just as well on mobile as it does on desktop.
Mobile responsive sites will:
- Have text that’s automatically sized to be readable on mobile devices
- Have formatting that adapts to mobile devices
- Feature navigation options and simplified layouts so that they’re easy to use on mobile
- Smaller file sizes for images and/or videos for faster loading times and reduced need for data usage
- Mobile-responsive features like clickable “call now” that enables users to call directly from the site with a few clicks
- Full functionality on mobile, without technical glitches that interfere with usage in any way
Many sites today are automatically created to be mobile-responsive, but if yours isn’t working on all mobile devices (including both Apple and Android), it’s time to update that.
2. It’s Not Driving Organic Search Traffic
Your veterinary website should be easy to find by users within your zipcode who are searching for keywords like “veterinarian near me,” “emergency vet,” and “dog dental cleaning.” You want people who are looking for services that you offer to find you and get in touch.
If your site isn’t SEO optimized or it isn’t optimized properly, you won’t see significant traffic coming from search engines like Google or Bing. It also means that your competitors are likely getting all that traffic (and all the clients).
Strong optimization includes the following:
- Recent research to determine what keywords users are looking for, and which you should use on your site
- Strategic placement of keywords on the right pages and in specific places in your content
- Site mapping and structuring to ensure that your site is crawlable and can be found by Google
Installing Google Analytics on your site can help you assess whether or not you’re successfully driving traffic from your site. And if your numbers aren’t where they should be (or you aren’t sure), you may not be optimizing your site properly.
3. It’s Not Accessible
Having an accessible site is essential in 2020; not only does it ensure all of your potential clients can fully use your site, but it also is a legal requirement.
“Accessible” in this context refers to ensuring that your site follows the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This ruling states that businesses must provide equal access to potential customers regardless of disability, and that goes for their site, too.
For websites, the biggest accessibility concern is typically ensuring that users who are blind or who have limited sight will be able to use screen readers to access your content. Any CTA buttons should have alt text that users can read, and navigation options that don’t rely on clicking a mouse.
In order to connect with all of your potential customers (and avoid potential lawsuits), take a look at the standard Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and consider hiring a professional agency to assess the accessibility of your site.
4. It’s Taking Too Long to Load
If a mobile site doesn’t load in three seconds, 53% of mobile users will abandon the site outright. That time frame is even less for desktop sites. Slow site loading speeds may also impact your potential ranking in the search engine results pages, hurting your SEO potential.
Your veterinary website needs to be loading lightning fast, even if you’re anticipating that potential clients are simply coming to do preliminary research. Factors like uncompressed images and the need for improved site hosting can cause delays without you even realizing it.
To check your current site loading speed, you can use a tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to evaluate the performance of both your mobile and desktop site. The tool can offer specific suggestions for what could be improved, too.