As a local veterinary practice owner, your practice lives and dies by the number of pet owners you can attract. While having loyal current clients is great, you also need a steady stream of local leads for your veterinary practice. The most challenging part is getting potential clients in the veterinary industry to find out about you and then turning them into paying customers.
With so many practices and local businesses working to market to and attract customers, especially local veterinary hospitals, you need to do something special to stand out from the crowd. That’s where local lead generation tactics and veterinary marketing come in. It can address every aspect of the sales funnel, from increasing your visibility to producing more leads and then converting these leads into customers.
If you’re feeling lost about where to start, here are some of our tips for planning your veterinary marketing strategy for your vet clinic.
Set Up a Google Business Profile
When people perform a local search for a specific product or service, their first stop is the internet. Almost all customers will search for veterinarians using Google and having a Google Business Profile can do a lot to increase your visibility and generate new clients.
Setting up a Google Business Profile account is free and relatively easy. All you need to do is provide Google with relevant information, like your hospital’s address, phone number, operating hours, and company name. Google will do the rest and generate a comprehensive profile.
Your Google Business Profile helps to generate online local leads who are highly targeted as potential new clients. An online lead coming from Google My Business is primed to visit your clinic and sending them to pages on your site that are designed to convert will help you stand apart from other local veterinary practices.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the gold standard for lead generation and driving pet owners to your site. Essentially, what local SEO does is increase your ranking on Google searches. So, if you’re a veterinary hospital and pet owners search for keywords like “local veterinarians,” your website will be near the top to provide for their furry friends. You’ll be able to capture site visitors and future clients ahead of other local vet clinics.
In most instances, focusing on lead gen strategy is the best way to go. As a local area business, you don’t need to inform people a thousand miles away of your skills – you need to focus on local area lead generation to generate new sales.
There are plenty of ways to improve the visibility of your clinic, including starting a blog, displaying your contact information, and even including some positive online reviews from former and current clients to show off your well-deserved reputation. All that and positive Google reviews will help draw in more pet owners, and it supports your lead generation campaign.
The conversion rates from local area marketing efforts are typically high. This is a result of people using search engines like Google to search for your products and services (aka motivated leads). Instead of someone accidentally stumbling on your vet clinic’s site, SEO traffic already wants your services – all you need to do is convince the audience that you’re the best option. It truly is a great way to generate leads at a low cost.
PPC advertising is similar to SEO in that it puts your landing page at the top of a search in the ads area. The two main PPC avenues for lead generation are Google ads and Facebook ads.
Both provide potential leads with targeted ads for your veterinary services. When a person performs a local search and clicks on the ad, it will lead them to your site, and you’ll pay Google or Facebook a small fee, depending on the keywords you’ve chosen.
The main advantage of PPC for local businesses is that it produces almost immediate results. While you will need to pay for every lead, the increased visibility for your local veterinary clinic is worth it. You’ve likely clicked on Google ads or Facebook ads in the past – they are great for capturing quality leads when someone is looking for the products and services you provide.
A solid local lead generation strategy is to combine pay-per-click and SEO for maximum visibility. Paid ads offer immediate results and can improve the reputation of your veterinary services, which also makes local search engine optimization easier. Then, once you have reliable organic traffic to your site, you can dial back on the PPC and enjoy the benefits of high-quality, organic leads.
Both approaches require extensive research into keywords and a smart lead generation strategy for best results, but even short campaigns can prove cost-effective and capable of driving a pet owner to your site.
Leverage Social Media
Social media is an excellent, risk-free way to spread awareness, engage with existing clients, and generate local business leads. You can create a dedicated account for your veterinary business with video, blogs, and a space where your audience can chat and interact with you. You can even start a YouTube channel discussing what makes you stand out from other local vet businesses, how you contribute to the local community and its pets, or what makes your products, services, and quality care unique.
Many people look to social media like Facebook and Instagram for reliable referrals and trust the information they get from former and current clients and patients on social media. Social media can be time-intensive, but using a platform like Dooder to help provide you with consistent social posts frees up time to focus on engaging with your followers.
Building your social media accounts, creating a following, and converting them to leads takes a robust strategy. Also, having a profile that has few replies or that is not up to date will make your local veterinary practice look disreputable or indifferent and may even affect your current local lead generation efforts. This approach to your veterinary marketing strategies could harm the image of your practice in the same way negative reviews can. The goal is to use social media as one of your key marketing methods to attract new clients and collect positive reviews.
Your audience, potential new clients, know that there is a real person and a team of veterinary professionals behind your social media accounts who truly cares about their pet’s health.
Don’t Neglect Digital Marketing Staples
Most of the local lead generation strategies discussed rely on inbound marketing – where the local leads come to you via ads, organic search, or social media.
However, email as part of your veterinary marketing approach is still an incredibly effective tool to target specific demographics, like local pet owners, and generate local leads. You can start this local lead generation with an email capture form on your site that allows future clients to give you their email. After that, you can send out email ads that feature your vet clinic or hospital, promotions you may have, and calls to contact your local office by phone or an online form. Your form fields should be kept simple: first name and email typically suffice.
You need to manage an email ad campaign gently because while people like getting informative content about pet care and services, they don’t like getting spammed with ads. For this local lead generation strategy to be effective at generating leads, you need to identify your target market, people with pets who want to give them the best possible pet care, and create content that’s interesting, informative, and useful.
A Solid Landing Page for Lead Generation
People from paid ads and organic traffic will eventually visit your website, so you need to ensure that you have a way to convert these leads into paying pet owners. Lead conversion is the next part of the sales funnel and needs as much attention as local lead generation.
Landing pages are specific parts of your vet clinic’s site where you direct potential local business leads. These pages must entice the lead to visit or contact your veterinary office. As such, it needs a call to action (CTA) and should mention how your business can address the pain points of your clients and their pets.
If you’re relying on SEO traffic, the rest of your website also needs to be on-point. This means having a site that loads quickly, is mobile-friendly, looks good, and provides authoritative, useful content.
You should also create landing pages that support your marketing efforts. A landing page helps bolster conversion rates for new clients since it is tied to a specific promotion. For example, if a pet hospital is advertising free nail trims via Facebook ads or Google ads, they could send those leads to a page with the same message.
Managing local lead generation strategies can feel overwhelming. Many practices want to focus on serving their customers and existing clients- not spend time on a blog post, trying to create new, innovative content for their keywords, or creating a custom landing page.
Working with a dedicated digital marketing agency can streamline the process and produce visible results in the form of clients. If you want the benefits of local lead generation proven marketing strategies and solid veterinary marketing ideas, check out our Vet Marketing Academy! We provide veterinary marketing training to help veterinarians scale their practice.