The most important ability in web design is thinking from the user’s perspective. Your veterinary website will be most successful at converting users into actual hospital visitors when you’re able to be sensitive to these needs and to build an environment that best satisfies them. In this article, you’re going to learn exactly what those needs are, along with actionable tips that you can implement right now in order to generate more business from your website.
When most people engage in this exercise, they typically will tell you that the user will be looking for your relevant business information – such as your animal hospital’s phone number, address, and maybe a list of services. And while it’s true that this is what people consciously believe they are looking for, it is really only one (rather small) part of the equation. We’ll call this the logical need, but what people are really looking for is the emotional need.
The user is looking for someone to trust. That’s the real need that is going to determine whether or not they are motivated to moving forward with a relationship. This is exactly how we work when meeting new people, and it’s exactly how we work when interacting with your veterinary website. Trust is not a logical calculation – it’s a feeling, closer to an instinct, that arises under very specific circumstances. We trust you when we feel you share our values, we trust you when we feel you are fully competent at the task at hand, and we trust you when our community trusts you.
In order to instill trust, you should show (in pictures and words) that you are fully competent to perform the task at hand, and that you value their pet’s life just as much as they do. High quality stock photos are ok to use selectively, but you should be sure to use actual high quality photos of you and your staff in action throughout the website. We’re very visual creatures, and until we see you in action, our ability to trust you will be considerably limited.
It’s also incredibly important to use modern website design – fair or not, we equate antiquated web design with antiquated business practices. When your website looks like something that isn’t really cared about or professionally managed, doubt begins to creep in. It’s important to follow modern design standards and to provide the user with an experience that is engaging, informative and fun.
We mentioned that we trust you if our community trusts you – the obvious thing to do here is to make testimonials a focal point of your website. Consider strategically placing them at multiple locations throughout your website, so that a user keeps reading different testimonials as they get to know you better.