How Veterinary Clinics Can Thrive Amidst Economic Softening

Veterinary clinics have experienced a surge in activity over the past few years, driven by COVID-19 restrictions and an increase in pet ownership. The ceaseless patter of paws, non-stop whirring of X-ray machines, and back-to-back consultations symbolise a surge of pressure and responsibility. The industry’s rhythm has become an intense echo of stress and overwork. However, fast forward to 2023, and a hush has descended. As of February, clinics across Australia are reporting a softening in activity, leading to increased “white space” or empty consultations. Economic conditions are softening, and, with them, the flurry of activity is slowing.


On the other hand, while vet shortage remains a chronic issue, it seems to be improving, with more clinics now fully staffed. In light of these changing conditions, it is crucial for veterinary clinics to adapt and find innovative ways to increase appointments and maintain profitability. So what trigger can you pull?


Google Ads is a beacon of hope in these challenging times. A tool that, when wielded correctly, can illuminate the path to sustained profitability. Currently, most leading vet clinics that have good online marketing in place receive around 10-20% of their inbound calls from Ads. When the ad strategy is right, clinics can significantly boost the number of calls and bookings by scaling up the ad budget, which can often drive a doubled impact. From our extensive experience working with our clients, we have found the following strategic approach to be effective in fully utilising the potential of Google Ads:


– We assess the clinic’s appointment requirements to determine how many more bookings are needed to meet the clinic’s goals.

– We review the local environment to evaluate if the capacity exists for achieving the goals.

– We then recommend an appropriate budget increase based on the assessment and the data collected to maximise the impact of Ads.

– We continuously track performance once the budget increase is activated until it reaches the target. Our benchmark is to generate calls and bookings for less than $20 per call.


Another reason why Google Ads is a must-have tool in your marketing arsenal is its high ROI (return on investment) for vet clinics. From our data, the ROI on ads is usually greater than 10:1, which means for every $1 spent, it generates $10 for you. Unlike awareness ads, which can be hard to track, Google Ads drives direct, measurable impact. With such a highly measurable and lucrative ROI, coupled with scalability, incorporating Google Ads into your marketing arsenal becomes incredibly beneficial.


However, the journey doesn’t stop there. There are more tools to help you navigate this soft landing. 


We always recommend a periodic refresh of your clinic’s website. In this evolving digital age, an attractive, user-friendly website that stays current is key to driving traffic and effectively communicating with your clients.


Positive reviews on platforms like Google Business Profile (previously known as Google My Business) is another powerful tool that synergises with Google Ads to boost your bookings. GBP reviews are like word-of-mouth recommendations, carrying the weight of personal experiences and influencing potential clients’ decision-making process. Replying to your client’s reviews with appreciation and keywords that are relevant to your service is also beneficial for your SEO, making your clinic easier to find.


Direct communication, through email newsletters and social media platforms, maintains the connection with your clients once they’ve entered your ecosystem through the sales funnel. This steady engagement ensures that your clients feel valued and informed, fostering loyalty through your demonstrated care and expertise.


Developing targeted campaigns, such as dental health campaign in August, attracts clients who may not have considered these services before, prompting them to recognise their value and schedule appointments.


In these times of change, it’s not about merely surviving, but about adapting, innovating, and thriving. The tools are available and waiting to be utilised. Success is within reach. With a proactive approach and a dash of creativity, veterinary clinics can continue to provide essential care to pets and maintain their own sustainability, riding the wave of economic softening to a brighter, successful future.


For more information about how we can help, contact Michael Umansky