LagoLearn, reducing rabbit anaesthesia deaths
According to rabbit CPD company LagoLearn, too many rabbits die under anaesthesia. Rabbits have one of the highest published anaesthetic death rates of any companion animal species(1) and anaesthesia is one of the teaching topics most requested by vets and vet nurses.
The company is seeking to improve this situation by hosting a day-long conference focusing on rabbit anaesthesia on 14th October at New Hall Hotel in Birmingham. Thanks to sponsorship by Supreme Petfoods, the event is currently priced at an Early Bird rate of £110 (plus VAT) including breakfast, lunch and refreshments, representing great value for money.
The event aims to give veterinary professionals the skills and confidence they need to return to their practices and implement new techniques which will help reduce the risks involved with rabbit anaesthesia.
Dr Ivan Crotaz of LagoLearn says rabbits are a species that have always been a challenge to anaesthetise safely, “We’ll be covering all the important areas that contribute to better survival rates, including manual and electronic monitoring, hospitalisation and anaesthetic techniques such as endotracheal intubation and intravenous cannulation.”
The CPD will focus on expanding the options open to practices, enabling them to select from a choice of possible protocols to best fit the patient. Case studies will be used to help delegates apply their new knowledge to real life situations and the session will include practical workshops led by LagoLearn experts using their bespoke rabbit mannequins.
External speakers include rabbit specialist Molly Varga BVetMed DZooMed MRCVS, anaesthesia specialist Ian Self BVSc PGCert Vet Ed FHEA CertVA DipECVAA MRCVS and anaesthetic monitoring expert Mike Brampton.
Prospective delegates can find out more at http://www.lagolearn.com/advanced-rabbit-anaesthesia.html and book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
10 ways to boost your practice website just using words
Remember how you were taught to write a scientific paper at vet school? Well, it’s time to forget all that stuff (unless of course you are planning on writing a scientific paper). There’s a new kid in town who has thrown out the rule book, starts sentences with ‘And’ and is your new best friend. We’d like to say his name is Compelling Copy. But that would be a step too far.
The fact is that many vets that set out to write articles for their practice website are still stuck in that scientific mind set. Ever included a heading such as ‘Diagnosis of x’ or ‘Clinical signs of y’? If that’s a yes, then it’s time to recognise that it’s likely to be a big, fat NO-NO as far as your clients are concerned.
Why do vets need to write using a different style online?
The Internet has changed everything – content is available in abundance, you can flit from place to place with the only limitation the speed of your broadband connection; read a few lines and if that doesn’t grab you there’s sure to be something better a few clicks away.
If you are a writer of content it’s time to make sure your big biros are fully loaded because there are some new challengers ready to take you on and nab your space – probably somewhere in the region of 7 billion of them in all honesty, as these days anyone can be a content creator.
What’s the secret when it comes to writing content for the ‘net?
When it’s hard to get yourself heard you can shout louder (aka paying for advertising) OR you can talk in such an interesting way that people really want to hear what you have to say.
As a vet, you’ve got all the best ingredients at your fingertips – drama, excitement and small fluffy animals – now you just need to package it all up like a delicious strawberry sundae with a big swoosh of cream and a cherry on top. It needs to be so luscious that everyone wants a few spoonfuls of what you have to offer. Here are our tasty top tips to help you make it happen.
- Vets need whales to write ground breaking headlines!
Whales – you know what they are about from the word go. They are big. They are bold. They grab attention. SEO spiders love headlines and online readers need something big enough and bold enough and interesting enough to stop them in their tracks. Like whales.
You want advice that’s a bit less esoteric? Okay, when writing headlines include your keywords (more on this later), encapsulate the whole story in your title but if you can, include a little something to lure in your reader. Make people go wow! And try to keep within an eight word limit.
- Chunk it up
It’s not War and Peace okay? While you want to have some sort of narrative thread, big blocks of text can be really difficult and boring to read online. Introduce bullets or numbers. Brighten it up with some attention grabbing subheadings. If you are really good, a reader could scan the whole article and just ‘get it’ from the subheadings (Smug smile – check this article out. You are welcome).
- Create a top 10!
Taking both these points a step further, it’s no big leap to understand why posts headed ‘5 reasons why’, ‘30 things you never knew about…’ , or ‘10 ways to..’ fare better online. They sound bite sized and interesting. ‘10 things you will love about our veterinary practice’ anyone? Or shall we just go with the usual worthy but boring list of equipment and services?
- Understand your audience
Reverse your perspective and imagine you are the reader. Liken it to your early days in practice when you couldn’t find the cat’s uterus: step back and then step in again pretending you are someone else. It always helped you with spays, so why not your content?
Put yourself in their shoes. What questions do your clients ask you? Write for a typical, mythical client.
- Embrace informality
You speak ‘vet’, they speak ‘pet’, so ditch the jargon and long winded sentences. If you are more Daily Telegraph than Daily Mail, that’s fine as long as the people you are talking to and the ones you want to attract, are also Daily Telegraph types. If not, you are going to have to get down with the kids and loosen up a little. It’s still important to spell properly and to use punctuation though.
- Write what THEY want, not what YOU want.
We’ll say it again. It’s not all about you. By identifying the right keywords you can write copy around topics that your clients find intrinsically interesting and are searching for online. Find out more about keyword planning here
- Think about how it makes you feel
Written words can be powerful – they have probably made you laugh or cry. How do you want someone to feel after reading your content – powerful and energised, or miserable and despairing?
You can alter the speed that a piece is read at by using shorter or longer sentences – a fast read will make people feel more energised. Choose words wisely, opting for positive words rather than
negative (a classic example is ‘no artificial additives’ compared to ‘naturally preserved’). When people are skim reading your content online they can fix on those less positive words and then you lose the ‘feel-good’ factor.
- Call to action
You have an end game in mind. Don’t you? Ultimately you want your reader to make an appointment, renew that booster, get their pet checked out for diabetes, ask you about parasite control.
So…. don’t forget to include a call to action. Whether that’s a ‘make an appointment now’ button, a link to an online symptom checker, or a click though to send an email for a tailored recommendation: INCLUDE IT IN THE ARTICLE. Yes, tell them what you want them to do. Revolutionary, I know.
Don’t forget to get a bit digital savvy by measuring the response and refining your content on an ongoing basis based on the results. Now we’re getting fancy.
- Embody your brand
As well as thinking about your audience you also need to think about your practice brand. The best way to do that is to ‘be’ your brand. Internalise what it means to be your brand. If it helps, think of your brand as a celebrity, or a make of car. If I’m a Landrover writing about kidney disease in cats (go with me on this), I’m going to sound different compared to if I was a Mercedes writing about kidney disease.
This approach can encompass different writing styles as long as the tone stays on brand, so any member of the practice team can write something and it will still fit. Now, at your next practice meeting all you have to do is decide if you are Frank Sinatra or Nicky Minaj. Good luck with that…
- Sleep on it
Word blindness is a terrible thing. After you have pretended to be your audience, internalised your brand, used your keywords, got down with the kids and included a call to action, your article is sure to be riddled with typos. Read it again fresh the day after you have written it and get someone else to read it before publication. All you have to lose are your semi colons.
Need help generating quality content? Ask us about content creation for veterinary companies and practices.
The two little words that vets can use to grab client attention
Sometimes we hear veterinary clinics say that they write lots of content on social media, practice websites and newsletters but it just doesn’t seem to have an impact. There’s a reason for that. Most of you are doing it wrong.
The good news is you can fix it. Over the next few weeks we’ll be giving you a few hints and tips to help you improve what you write online so clients and prospective clients can’t help but find you. And of course, if you can’t be bothered or don’t want to wait that long, you can always give us a call.
What you say, what they want to hear…
So here’s an example. You write some blurb for your practice website. You say, ‘This veterinary practice does this and this and this and we have LOADS of amazing high tech equipment. Yadayadayada. And we love your pet.’ Aw thinks the client, I’m going to make an appointment right now – they love my pet. Nope. For starters they probably didn’t even see your post and if they did they nodded off half way through because you were not talking to them about what THEY were interested in. You were talking about what YOU were interested in.
Now we’ll get to spicing up your content in a future post but first we’re going to share those two little words that are going to make all the difference: keyword planner. What do you mean you were expecting something more interesting? Wait till you hear the rest of it, then you’ll get really excited.
Content – the devil’s in the detail
There are a few keyword planning tools – some you pay for, some you don’t (for example there’s one that’s included when you set up a Google Adwords account).
Keyword planners tell you how people are searching online. And let me tell you, how we vets use language isn’t always how animal owners use it online. In fact, we’d bet that quite often you use language in a similar way when performing non-veterinary searches in your downtime. Formality goes out the window and you just want to find the ‘thing’ fast; you think in fragments and snapshots. All this tool is really doing is allowing you to stand in your clients’ shoes – something we should all do a lot more often.
A keyword planner allows you to enter a word and to find suggested associated words. It will also tell you how many searches are carried out on those words (using parameters that are important to you like region or device) and how much competition is based around those words (essentially who is bidding to create campaigns using those words).
Vet, veterinary, veterinarian – does it matter?
So a keyword planner might tell you that in the UK right now only 390 searches per month are carried out using the search term ‘veterinary practice’. Switch to using ‘vets near me’ and you might just get the attention of the 12,000 people who are searching using that term every month.
But it doesn’t end there because ‘competition’ on the ‘vets near me’ phrasing is a little higher (although still only medium, so still well worth using) making it a little harder to get yourself heard. Relax a little – imagine what you would be searching on when you are sitting in your slippers at the end of the working day. Vets or vet has over 8000 searches per month and veterinary around 5,000. Take a look yourself – there’s even a term that’s over three times as popular as ‘vets near me’.
Go through the list selecting the best keywords with low competition and high volume and then use them naturally. This can be harder than it sounds. Be really careful about which words you choose too – a search on diabetes for instance might show you keywords relating to human diabetes rather than the words pet owners use to search on for pet diabetes. Be aware that using words as singular or plural can make a big difference.
If you have a ‘tagging’ facility on your website, use the selected keywords as tags (but also try and make sure that you have used the words in the copy with regard to frequency and positioning that actually reflects the tags). Oh and be really careful with your headlines as they get noticed more.
Hamster present? Check, Wheel turning? Check
Be disciplined – repeat the planner every time you write new content, or even before you decide on new content – and be prepared to re-visit it as our use of language is always evolving. You can’t second guess this stuff. Separation anxiety in dogs? 10,000 searches per month. Dogs with separation anxiety? 880 searches. Now that could make a difference. You can also apply these principles to your online and offline veterinary PR and marketing efforts too. Just saying.
Let’s recap: using keyword planning is more or less free, it will ensure that you write articles from the client’s perspective (and allow you to focus on topics that interest them) and it will help you be found using search engines. You just have to be a bit clever about it. And you guys are already clever so it should be a walk in the park. Just two little words…