I picked up so much of importance at a day of CPD in marketing and web development organised by the VPMA.

An inspiring speaker Bash Halow from New York; talked us through exactly how to maintain a practice website and gave us a few ‘pearls’ from how they do it in the USA.

Bash Halow VPMA Congress 2016

I came away feeling very reassured that the service Vetwebsites offers its clients is top standard.

Here are his recommendations for the best practice website you can have –

1. Use WordPress to set up your new practice website. It is the software of the future in web development in that it keeps up with the speed with which our technology is moving by offering Plugins for any function needed on the website. These are similar to Apps on a phone and as they are constantly being developed, the website will constantly move and adapt.

2. Having a new practice website is just the start of the process. A practice website has to stay fully updated with relevant fresh content in the form of a Blog.

3. Gone are the days of hiring a company to do your SEO (search engine optimisation) for you.

Google has changed how it ranks websites, and all sites need fresh fully search engine optimised content to be at top rankings. The only way this can be achieved, is by having your web developer, (or yourself if you find the time); keep the site fully search engine optimised with fresh new informative content to appeal to your clients.

4. Social media links on a website are a must with Facebook being the main one that all practice websites need to fully integrate into their websites. Facebook attracts visitors locally and targets your clients directly and these likes can be used to direct clients to your main website to see the latest special offers, or latest news post.

Use YouTube rather than Vimeo clips wherever you can in your site showcasing your practice or yourself or offering pet advice. YouTube is owned by Google.

5. Websites need to be constantly monitored by adding Google analytics to every site to view which page your clients are looking at the most, what devices they are using and where they come from geographically.

6. And finally – (it goes without saying really) – every website nowadays has to be fully mobile responsive as 65% of people browsing the internet in 2016, are using a mobile device.

This also means that there should be a direct dial facility available over the practice phone number for smartphone users to ring the practice as simply and easily as possible.

Arielle BVSc MRCVS

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