Should veterinary practices pay to play on the Internet?

Should veterinary practices pay to play on the Internet?

Q: A big online directory of veterinarians is asking us to pay to show up. Is it worth it? Shouldn't I be driving traffic to my own website?
source-image
Jun 01, 2014
By dvm360.com staff

Q: A big online directory of veterinarians is asking us to pay to show up. Is it worth it? Shouldn't I be driving traffic to my own website?

Many directories, such as Angie's List and Google, offer free listings, but for others it'll cost you—especially those that showcase paid listings.


GETTY IMAGES/101CATS
"Essentially, if you want more exposure, you have to cough up the dough—you'd do the same for a billboard or newspaper ad," says Brent Dickinson, practice manager at Dickinson McNeill Veterinary Clinic in Chesterfield, N.J.

Whether your listing is featured or not, directory inclusion may be a good choice depending on your practice's client base. If the online directory is the only good source you have available to you, Dickinson says it makes sense to pony up the cash in order to be included. But if there are other viable options, do your research.

Data-backed Facebook Ads, Google AdWords and Twitter for Business all have the potential to reach precise markets and serve as powerful platforms on which to connect with new clients. You may also find more success advertising with social media, especially since up-and-coming adults aren't using the phone book.

Dickinson adds, "Any practice with a great website should absolutely drive traffic there. But if a site looks out-of-date, it may actually deter customers. Build a great website first—then drive traffic to it. It should be the cornerstone of a well-rounded approach to online marketing."

Hot topics on dvm360

Dog of Dallas Ebola patient will not be euthanized, authorities say

Health officials have quarantined and will monitor dog and amid concerns surrounding deadly virus.

Video: How to perform a belt-loop gastropexy

Prevent GDV in your at-risk patients with this simple technique.

Stretch your skills to earn more in veterinary practice

Finding new tasks could be the key to generating more income for your practice—and boosting your pay.

Veterinary community stunned by Sophia Yin's unexpected death

Prominent veterinary behaviorist died of suicide Sept. 28.

Study shows sustained salary slump for veterinary support staff

Since 2009, technicians paid by the hour have experienced a bump in pay, but pay for other team members has stayed stagnant, according to data from the 2014 Firstline Career Path Study. Here’s a look at changes in team pay from 2009 to 2013.