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Moor Cottage Veterinary Hospital

Moor Cottage Veterinary Hospital, based near Bracknell in Berkshire, is a family-run veterinary hospital, which has served the community around the village of Binfield for more than 40 years. It aims to provide outstanding care for small animals and their owners within a friendly yet professional environment.

The practice team recognises the need to present a positive image to clients, potential clients and other stakeholders. It has also worked hard to position itself as a practice embedded in its local community.

An effective and easy-to-use website is key to achieving these aims but, back in June 2010, the Moor Cottage team felt that its website was outdated and no longer fit for purpose. It was also difficult to update – a big issue given the importance of keeping it up-to-date and posting fresh content frequently.

To help create a brand new website which would more accurately reflect the hospital’s vision and approach, Moor Cottage called in Vetstream and its practice website service Webpartner.

“We wanted a supplier with a strong understanding of the veterinary sector and who could give us some specific ideas as to how they could help us,” explains Practice Manager Sharon Tongue. “We had very high expectations for the site and wanted it not only to help us communicate with current clients, but also to help us reach a wider audience of prospective clients and staff.

When it came to the specifics, greater opportunities for interaction and the regular posting of content; ease of navigation – whether from a PC, tablet or smart phone – and an eye-catching image-rich design were all on our ‘must have’ list!”

Vetstream's Webpartner service was selected based on the team’s track record in the veterinary sector and because the team set out a clear approach that Moor Cottage felt met their needs well. The new website was available in draft format by September 2010 and went live two months later, in November.

“We opted for the Webpartner ‘Gold’ package,” continued Sharon. “This gave us two personalised designs to choose from; the Webpartner content management system (CMS); all the website back up we needed and unlimited telephone support – something we all felt was important! A range of forms was built into the site for clients wishing to register a pet, book an appointment or request a repeat prescription. An additional feature was an interactive symptom guide, which helps clients check whether their pet needs to be brought in.”

The teams at Moor Cottage and Vetstream Webpartner worked collaboratively on the development of the site, with Moor Cottage producing the text and Webpartner creating the design and adding the text and visuals. “We wanted to rewrite most of the previous content, so it was a huge job but, given the scale of it, the process was pretty smooth if a little tedious at times,” continued Sharon. “Once it went live, we asked our staff to take a look first and their response was universally positive. When our clients started looking at it, they were particularly taken with all the images, particularly when their own pet appeared!”

With the website now fully established, Moor Cottage is reaping the benefits. Google Analytics shows a significant increase in traffic to the site. “The news stories we put up, special promotions and the staff pages receive the highest volume of traffic on the site, says Sharon.

“It’s great that it’s so easy to navigate and to maintain. This encourages us to refresh the content regularly, particularly in those sections that the Analytics show us create most interest. The team at Webpartner is quick to respond if we have a problem.”

In February 2012, Moor Cottage opted to build on the site’s success by working on the development of an online client satisfaction survey and embracing social media. The team now issues a regular e-newsletter using the Webpartner Emailer tool, which enables practices to create, deliver and measure successful email marketing campaigns. The e-newsletter contains short news stories, which link back to full versions on the website, thus further helping to drive increased traffic.

The team has also set up facebook and twitter accounts which help to show the personality behind the hospital and which are becoming increasingly interactive.

“The feedback we’ve received from clients has been universally positive,” says Sharon. “We’re really pleased with the site and have established a good regime to keep it fresh and engaging. We’re also delighted that our move into social media has proved so successful.

We’re constantly looking ahead and would like to add an online shop to the website.

“We’ve been very impressed with the Webpartner service and certainly recommend Vetstream for this,” says Sharon. “From the initial set up of the new site right through to the maintenance phase and addition of new services, they have been very helpful and we feel we have a close and personal relationship with the team, which we all enjoy and which continues to grow. Thank you Vetstream.”