Feel Free to Contact Me if You Want to Know More
No. One way I keep prices affordable is by eliminating the time and expense of travel. If face-to-face contact and/or visuals are needed, I set up a Zoom meeting and send you a link.
You are free to send me an email or leave a voice mail message at your convenience, any time of the day or night. I typically respond the same or the following business day and prefer to do most of my work on weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. Occasionally I work on weekends or holidays when I believe my client will benefit from an immediate response.
Of course, keeping your logo is an option. I evaluate the quality and appropriateness of your logo as part of your free Marketing Vital Signs Check and, if your logo is attractive and appears to be working well for you, I recommend you keep it. If the logo looks dated, the quality of the design work is poor, or the original scalable vector art files are not available, I recommend you replace it.
As the name implies, the Vital Signs Check focuses only on marketing essentials, using my subjective first impressions and a few simple tests to assess the quality and likely effectiveness of your veterinary practice’s digital marketing assets. I provide this “free sample” of my consulting services to help practice owners see their existing websites and Facebook pages from my perspective as a marketing communications professional.
Because I have chosen to specialize in veterinary services marketing, I always welcome the opportunity to review practice websites and talk about marketing with the practice owners I meet on the video calls. The Vital Signs Check reports are not sales calls, but if I see issues I can help resolve or have ideas for improving the quality and effectiveness of the practice’s marketing efforts, I say so.
The Diagnostics, Triage and Treatment Plans service is a far more comprehensive paid consultation service, done as a first step toward planning and implementing one of my Virtual Veterinary Marketing Management Plans. In addition to making a thorough evaluation of my client’s digital presence, I look at two directly competing practices to find opportunities for surpassing them. I also examine and look for opportunities to improve my client’s offline marketing initiatives.
My recommendations for improving your website are broadly based on my research and analysis of your specific goals, priorities, preferences and available resources. As part of the Marketing Diagnostics, Triage and Treatment Plan phase of our work together, I also evaluate your market and compare your website to those of your two most direct competitors.
To find the best ways to improve your website, I start with a subjective evaluation of design, writing and navigation and follow a detailed checklist for reviewing how well the site communicates with visitors, how it ranks in search engines and how well it functions technically.
For a number of reasons advantageous to my clients, I build sites exclusively in WordPress. If your site is built on another platform, I will expect to the site in WordPress. If you already have a WordPress site, but your vendor designed it using a page-builder application or theme, I will recover the site, using a lighter-weight, less intrusive theme and the native block editing functions in WordPress to re-create each page while streamlining the code to improve page loading speed and flexibility for future redesigns.
Depending on quality and quantity, I may recommend salvaging existing content, or I may suggest a fresh start with new text and images. Based on keyword research, best practices for search engine optimization and four decades as a professional writer, I will , write, edit and refine page text as needed. I will work with you to secure suitable custom and stock images for the site.
At their core, the sites I build for each of the three Virtual Veterinary Marketing Management Plans are the same. The differences are in alignment with the scope and budget of each of the three plans. The Basic Plan sites typically have fewer pages and features than Intermediate and Full-Service Plan sites. See the Custom Website Services page for a comparison of sites built as part of the three plans.
Both traditional search engine optimization—SEO—and local SEO are concerned with how your site ranks in the list of results generated by search engines in response to keywords typed into a browser. Both use similar techniques, but as the qualifier implies, local SEO prioritizes ranking well for searches by people in proximity to your practice. Because veterinary practices are local businesses, they stand to benefit from effective local SEO.
Google dominates global search engine market share by a wide margin, accounting for 86.86% of online searches, followed by Bing’s 6.43% share, as of July 2020. So most SEO and local SEO strategists concern themselves primarily with Google’s search engine results pages—SERPs—and Google Maps, where being in the “three-pack” of featured listings is a prized advantage.
When searchers enter the name of your practice, called a branded search, Google usually presents a knowledge panel showing a listing with your location, contact information and reviews, as well as additional information you enter, photographs you upload and responses to reviews after claiming and verifying your listing. Part of local SEO involves optimizing your knowledge panel through your Google My Business account.
Google uses more than 200 known factors to rank pages on your web site, and it reportedly makes changes to its algorithm nearly 1,000 times each year. The goal is to deliver relevant results to match searchers’ intent. SEO strategies and tactics are aimed at creating useful content and adhering to technical best practices to earn the highest possible ranking—ideally in the top position, or at least the top three, where your page has the best chances of being visited.
Once you’ve optimized our website and our Google My Business listing for search engines, how long will it take for our site to rank above our competitors in Google Maps and search engine results pages?
Depending on the competition for the keywords you are targeting—like “vets near me” or “best veterinarians in Anytown”—and the quality of the improvements in your site’s on-page and off-page SEO factors, you may see your rankings begin to improve within a few weeks, or perhaps a few months. Google’s proprietary algorithms change frequently, and it is difficult, if not impossible to predict exactly how and when your rankings may shift. Even with best SEO practices fully implemented, there can be no guarantees of the timing or full impact of SEO on your rankings.
The most engaging social media posts—and the photographs to go with them—usually originate from within the practice. Since I work remotely, I encourage team members to create the day-to-day postings in-house based on a content calendar I help them plan and coaching I provide to improve the quality and timing of their posts. My posts to clients’ social media accounts are in addition to the team’s regularly-scheduled posts, and are most often meant to publicize posts and new pages on the website and share industry news as opportunities arise.
It depends on the goals of the survey, the nature of the questions and your preferences as to how you want your survey designed and conducted. As a general rule—particularly for more sensitive questions—clients and employees are more forthcoming if they know their responses will not be directly attributed to them. They tend also to be more comfortable being frank with me, as an independent contractor, than they would be with a team member they know and will encounter at future visits.
The smaller the sample size and the more familiar you are with the respondents, the easier it is for you to guess their identities. So it’s essential to make it clear from the outset that anonymity cannot be guaranteed. I also tell respondents up front that I will reveal their identity and share their complete survey submission with the practice owner, should immediate, personal follow-up be called for.
Sure! I often write and design branded handouts to fit the clinic letterhead so they can be desktop-printed in small quantities, as needed, in-house. Any handouts I design for you can also be provided as PDFs for emailing and uploading to the clinic website. I select typefaces and create the look and feel of the design to be consistent with your other branded digital and printed marketing materials.
As a way to supplement face-to-face conversations and handouts, email is ideal for connecting personally with clients and delivering complex, detailed information, in writing, at a volume and rate that can be absorbed and retained. Using autoresponder features, course content can be prepared in advance to be released to course subscribers automatically, in sequence. Clients are free to unsubscribe, should they decide they no longer wish to receive your messages.
I set up a separate email account to keep the course materials and subscription lists separate from the main clinic database. I also recommend using this separate email account for clinic newsletters.
There may be opportunities for cost savings if, instead of being branded and apparently operated individually, the practices are branded as one business with multiple locations. I am always open to discussing special arrangements to accommodate owners of multiple practices.
Once you’ve paid in full, your clinic owns the rights to any custom writing or practice-branded design work I do for you, and you and any subsequent owners are free to use the materials to promote the practice for as long as it’s in business. You also own the content and have full administrative access to the website I create for you. If I provide web hosting, you have access to your own cPanel.
My company owns the rights to any writing or design intended for use by multiple practices, such as emailed courses for clients. For full details, see the Service Terms.