What is a blog to you? Perhaps you think blogs are something only posh foodies write to critique their latest five-star meal. Or, maybe you have your own blog page. Maybe you’ve even written a few blogs, but with the recent business uptick, your blog page is likely now collecting dust. Every veterinary practice should communicate regularly with their clients—and potential clients—and a practice blog is a great way to do that. Here’s why.
Blogs increase your website’s search engine optimization
Your website is not working to its full potential if it is accessed only by your long-time clients. For your practice to grow, you want your website to appear in potential clients’ search results. Google uses complex analytics to decide which websites will pop up, and in what order, when someone searches a veterinary-related topic. A number of factors can increase or decrease your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), or ranking, and regularly posting unique content is one of Google’s favorite selecting factors. In other words, producing content on a regular basis (i.e., blogs) dramatically increases the chances that your website will appear for a searcher, who will click on your site, and, impressed by your knowledge, become a client.
Notice that I mentioned posting unique content. Google does not like repeat content, and simply reposting information you find on other sites can actually hurt your SEO. Blogs are the easiest way to publish fresh, new content on a regular basis.
Blogs help you communicate with your clients
When the pandemic began, many veterinary practices scrambled to inform their clients whether they were open, and about curbside protocols. How did your clients find out how you were handling business last spring? Was your phone ringing off the hook? Among the lessons we have learned from COVID-19 is the importance of established, reliable communication channels for your clients. Practices with an active blog page and social media channels simply posted messages about curbside appointments, new hours, and social distancing protocols, and went on with business.
Whether you are renovating, adding an exciting new service, or a new associate veterinarian has joined your hospital, blogs are the perfect way to let your clients know all about your practice, and help them feel like part of your family.
Blogs establish you as an expert
Client education is one of the most important reasons you should publish blogs. Blogs for clients about pet health and behavior topics, such as parasite prevention, puppy socialization, and common diseases, will help them become better pet owners, and they will look to you—not Dr. Google—for important information.
Wondering where to start? The client questions you answer most frequently make great blog topics. Start with basics such as heartworm prevention, the importance of vaccination, and puppy care. Don’t assume your clients know what you know—your blogs should help the average pet owner better care for their pets.
Blogs increase client compliance
Better educated clients will understand that heartworm prevention is more cost- and health-effective than treating heartworm disease, and an unvaccinated puppy can catch deadly infectious diseases. Most clients absorb only part of what you say in the exam room, and following up with written information can help drive your points home. Cat newly diagnosed with kidney disease? After showing the owner how to administer subcutaneous fluids and reviewing medications, email them your blog about caring for a cat with kidney disease. That way, they can read and re-read the information at home, when they are not reeling from the news their cat has a progressive disease.
Wish you had time to write blogs for your practice? That’s our jam. Let’s chat about how we can help you take your client communication to the next level.