Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
How does your veterinary practice stack up against the competition from an internet and social media perspective?
The practice management services firm iVET360 in October released digital marketing benchmarks after surveying 1,000 U.S. veterinary hospitals.
“Our goal is to educate and help hospitals implement innovative and sustainable operational best practices,” said Justin Vandeberghe, managing director of creative services. “Many hospitals spend a lot of capital on marketing and receive minimal [return on investment].”
The Portland, Oregon, company’s State of the Industry survey looked at veterinary websites and the business pages hosted by Facebook, Google and Yelp. Among the findings:
- 71 percent correctly set up their website domain.
- 85 percent had a mobile-friendly website.
- 6 percent had a secure website with an SSL certificate.
- 6.5 seconds was the average page load time.
Why is load time important? The report noted that “Google considers page speed in their search engine rankings, so when pages load slower than their recommended three seconds, that page is likely to end up lower in their rankings.”
Facebook Business Pages
- 76 percent had a vanity URL for their Facebook page.
- 90 percent allowed direct messaging on their Facebook page.
- 58 was the average number of reviews on Facebook.
- 61 percent had their Facebook page branded to the hospital.
Why branding? “So your clients and other members of the community recognize you immediately,” iVET360 stated. “Your hospital name should be listed exactly as it is at your practice and on any signage you use, and the logo you use online should be the logo you use everywhere else.”
Google Business Pages
- 91 percent verified their Google business listing.
- 2 percent utilized Google posts.
- 40 was the average number of Google reviews.
- 3 percent utilized Google Business Indoor Street View.
There’s a lot of room for improvement with Business View, which iVET360 reported “gives searchers a virtual look inside of your business through a series of 360-degree photos … and acts as a tour of your facility. … Since such a small percentage of hospitals currently use Business View, this virtual tool can give you a strong edge over the competition.”
Yelp Business Pages
- 82 percent claimed their Yelp business listing.
- 12 percent utilized Yelp advertisements.
- 23 was the average number of Yelp reviews.
- 5 percent had a Yelp Check-In offer.
For the uninitiated, the report advised that “Yelp Check-In is a smart marketing option that provides incentives to loyal customers to check in to your hospital on Yelp. When clients use the check-in feature on the mobile app, this broadcasts to their friends that they’re at your business.”