As you build and strengthen your brand, position it to be easily found by people who are looking for you or a service like yours. Recent research revealed that most consumers (more than 78%) use internet search when looking for a veterinarian or information about their animal. About 20-25% of that number will use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or something similar.
Therefore, it is important to select a domain name or URL that corresponds to your brand. In most cases, it is preferable to select a domain name that ends in .com, as those domains are the most frequently used and even assumed by most consumers. When you establish your domain, it is recommended that you establish email using that domain name so that your brand is communicated every time you communicate with others. Think of the lost opportunity to communicate your brand if you are using a gmail or yahoo email address instead of one that communicates your brand in the domain.
Your practice website is a very important part of your brand presence. It should be professional and should contain the information that is important to your clients. It is highly recommended that you work with an experienced developer who can help identify the specific objectives and functions you need on your website, and then can build and deliver it to you. In most cases, a veterinary practice website serves as an electronic business card for their practice. Most practices do not conduct transactions or drive a lot of traffic to their website. It serves primarily as a source of information for how to contact the practice, to identify services that are available and the people who make up the team at the practice. Work with your developer to optimize your site to be found and positioned optimally in search engine results. This is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. This is a very important part of your website development and management.
In summary, establish a plan for your brand on the internet. Make it easily accessible, clearly compatible with your practice name, and optimize it for search engine results. We'll discuss other components of optimizing your internet presence in future discussions.