Welcome to VetNetwork's Monthly eNewsletter

XPocalypse | AAHA Conference | Google Keywords | Mobile App | Merger | Contact

Integrating Technology News into Your Successful Practice

veterinary marketingDear Colleagues,

Keeping you connected to valuable business and veterinary marketing information is a priority for your partners at VetNetwork. Just as you want to provide your clients with state-of-the-art technology, we strive to keep you abreast of current technological advancements for your hospital.

With the launch of our first quarterly technology newsletter we discuss the end of Windows XP's operating system and the impact of the mega merger between Time Warner and Comcast. Both have a direct impact on you and your veterinary hospital. Also, in the ever changing world of Google, a new algorithm has taken center stage. Our veterinary marketing team shares how it directly affects your veterinary website's SEO rankings.

To increase your veterinary hospital's visibility and tend to pet owners' wants and needs, VetNetwork has finalized development of custom veterinary apps that deliver easy, one-touch access to your veterinary practice.

So scroll down and discover how this valuable information can attract new clients, stimulate the interest of existing clients and help your practice grow through comprehensive veterinary marketing.

For more on the latest in veterinary practice marketing and business trends, visit VetNetwork's veterinary marketing blog.

—Dr. Mark Feltz, DVM, and the Creative Team at VetNetwork

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The XPocalypse is Here: The End of Windows XP

veterinary marketing newsletter

Originally released in October 2001, Windows XP has clung to the technology tail for 13.5 years. Rarely does any operating system receive software updates or security patches for so long but, to everything there is a season, and XP's final episode is about to air.

Come April 8, Windows XP will no longer be supported by Microsoft. What does this mean if you and/or your veterinary hospital still rely on Windows XP? It means you need to start planning on migrating to a new operating system- fast. Ignoring the inevitable places you and your hospital in a very vulnerable (and detrimental) position.

Risky Business

With Microsoft no longer providing security updates or technical support for Windows XP, holdout users leave themselves open and vulnerable to security threats, exploitations by malware and non-compliance with regulatory obligations. (Running software that is unsupported by the vendor violates a number of regulatory requirements.)

Because computers running Windows XP after April 8 will not be protected, it is important to migrate to a current supported operating system such as Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. A failure to do so will leave you not only wishing you had migrated but also feeling frustrated as a greater numbers of apps and devices will not work with Windows XP.

Migration Acceleration

To protect yourself and your veterinary clinic and to take advantage of productivity enhancements that more recent Microsoft operating systems have to offer, you need to migrate. Here are three tips to make the transition as painless as possible:

  1. Upgrade your computer
    Windows upgrades (Windows 7 Professional and 8 Pro) are much more powerful operating systems than Windows XP. Thus, they run best on modern hardware. If your computer is somewhat of an antique, perhaps now is the time to consider upgrading it at the same time as you're upgrading your operating system.
  2. Upgrade your programs
    If new hardware is not financially possible right now, consider upgrading your existing devices by downloading and running either Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor or Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant. Remember to secure all components connected to your PC (mice, keyboards, hard drives, printers, etc.).
  3. Keep your head in the clouds
    Cloud-based services serve as a good option for replacing outdated programs. For example, if your old version of Office won't run on one of the newer Windows programs, try the online Office 365 or Google Docs instead.

If nothing else, visit your PC manufacturer's website to learn more about updated drivers and hardware compatibility. Not every individual or company budget can afford to replace computers so upgrades may be the most financially prudent and advantageous route to take.


The time is now to make a change. With proper preparation and action, you and your Windows XP-friendly veterinary hospital can prepare for the end of Microsoft's Extended Support and prevent yourselves from experiencing an all-out XPocalypse.

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We Want to Meet to You at
AAHA's Yearly Conference in Nashville

veterinary marketingFind out how you can get great deals on a mobile site and customized app for your practice!

Hello, I'm John Longley, VetNetwork's Marketing and Sales Director, and I will be attending the AAHA Yearly Conference, March 20-23, 2014. Don't miss the chance to talk to me about what a partnership with VetNetwork can do for your veterinary hospital, what veterinary marketing trends you need to know about, and how I can help you develop a plan that both meets and exceeds your goals.

I – along with the rest of the VetNetwork team – am committed exclusively to your success. Let’s talk about all the ways we can increase your business and make 2014 your best year yet!

Where You Can Find Us

AAHA 2014 Nashville

AAHA Yearly Conference
Nashville, TN
March 20-23, 2014
Booth 464

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Google Eliminates Keywords as Most Important Factor for High Website Rankings

veterinary marketing, veterinary seo

A few months ago, Google announced a dramatic change in their website ranking policy. Google's new algorithm relies much less on keywords and focuses more on website context, which translates to the need for more custom, high-quality content that is unique to your veterinary practice. They have also decided to encrypt the majority of website user activity in Google Analytics, preventing businesses from identifying which keywords were used to enter a site. Their recent changes impact all websites and particularly those that have depended on keywords for high rankings.

Now, more than ever, it is essential to optimize your veterinary hospital's website as a part of your internet marketing strategy. Adjustments and changes to your site are necessary to conform to Google's new semantic philosophy.

Think Online Presence, Not Website...

So, what does a non-keyword ranking algorithm mean for you and your hospital's internet presence?

  1. Instead of relying on keywords for high Google rankings, you must think semantically. Google is now interested in the intent of the visitor. Incorporating the words "vet hospital" along with your location are no longer as effective as they were in the past. Unique information relating to your services, specialties and benefits to your clients are now necessary for high rankings.
  2. Additional content such as YouTube videos, infographics and unique images plus social media – Google+, Facebook, Twitter – should be included to produce a more user-focused experience. A website – even a well-optimized website – is no longer enough; you must have an online presence that informs through content, images and social dialogue.

No Longer Keywords? Now What?

If you find the constant changes to Google's algorithm overwhelming, you are not alone. Let VetNetwork help with your veterinary seo. Our veterinary SEO team has developed veterinary SEO packages that deliver the solutions you need to get your website on page one and keep it there. To find out more, give us a call at 800-564-4215 today!

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Give Pet Owners One-Touch Access to Your Veterinary Hospital with VetNetwork's Customized Veterinary App!

In late 2013, we finalized development of a very exciting product: a veterinary app that delivers easy, one-touch access to your veterinary practice. No browser, no searching – your practice remains ever-present and top-of-mind, right on your clients' smartphone and tablet screens. It is the next level of service that your clients will want and appreciate – and eventually come to expect.

Click on the video link below and watch members of the VetNetwork veterinary marketing team explain how your custom veterinary hospital app can ultimately have a positive impact on your business. Get ahead of the curve, and your competition, by purchasing your own customized veterinary hospital app today!

veterinary app video

Innovative use of mobile app technology keeps your clients in touch with you and helps maintain their loyalty. To view one of our customized veterinary hospital apps, click here. To download the free app for Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod by VetNetwork, LLC, simply log on to iTunes and begin the downloading process.

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Merging Mega with Mighty: Will a Time Warner/Comcast Merger Be Good for Your Veterinary Hospital?
Don't Bet On It.

veterinary hospital marketing

In addition to tracking pet arrhythmias, veterinarians also need to monitor the market's pulse. A recently announced megadeal may have far reaching implications for your veterinary practice and its internet capabilities. However, the effects of this proposed merger present a very unclear picture for consumers.

Wired for Success?

On Thursday, February 20, the two largest U.S. cable providers announced plans to merge and simultaneously alter the nation's cable service grid. Time Warner and Comcast's announcement of their $45 billion merger may have electrified Wall Street... but not consumers.

Why? Because the proposed merger transmits more than just telecommunication signals. Higher prices and reduced customer service are almost assured byproducts of the deal. Consequently, the merger hype may have you, a veterinary hospital owner, feeling like you've hit the ultimate firewall.

Climbing Prices and Frayed Service

Shrinking Choices, Inflating Prices

Because both Comcast and Time Warner Cable exist in largely different U.S. markets, the merger presumably will not change much in the way of competition. Neighborhoods and even towns generally have contracts with one single cable provider. Because making any infrastructure investment (laying wires, providing area maintenance) requires a costly investment for cable companies, other providers (i.e., Comcast/Time Warner competitors) aren't inclined to try.

What does this mean for you, a veterinary hospital owner with a Comcast or Time Warner customer contract? It means that you will operate under the mega company's long-time monopoly status and continue to endure high prices. The fewer cable providers, the fewer potential bidders, and the higher cable prices will rise. Even the most reluctant supporters of a free market are sounding the alarm.

Shabby Service

As if higher prices aren't unpleasant enough, you can also expect the merger to further reduce the companies' already lackluster service. Comcast already trails other companies in internet speed and there are no indications that a merger will correct this. With no incentive for the cable behemoths to improve service, consumers are staring at a bleak future.

Tipping the Cap

Comcast currently imposes data caps (around 300GB per month) on its residential customers. Although Time Warner does not, it is likely that the post-merger playing field will have spectators watching similar caps imposed on customers – further handicapping them and their service expectations. Caps do little more than discourage internet use and its exploration.

The Role of the Federal Communications Commission

Time will tell whether the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will approve this merger plan. Legally, it should only do so if it finds that it serves "the public interest" and, in gauging whether it does so, the FCC must discern whether cable prices will be held at a "reasonable" rate. It seems highly unlikely that the merger will reverse the previous two decades' trend of rising cable prices. Additionally, rival competitors such as Cablevision Systems Corp. and Cox Communications Inc. will likely hide behind the merger plans and strategize schemes that will enable them to secure their own government concessions.

If the FCC truly upholds its sworn duty to protect the public, it should block this merger.

Goodbye, Cable Guy

Chances are, however, that the merger will be approved by legislators. Consequently, subscribers should expect to see changes in their cable service by year's end. Perhaps the best option for you, a cable consumer, is to wave goodbye to the cable guy and opt for a better, less expensive alternative. Severing your cable cords will end your cable provider agreement but will also allow you to select services from Internet provider alternatives such as Apple's iTunes, Netflix or Amazon.com. It may be time to pull the plug on cable. Ending your relationship may nudge you into a long-lasting marriage with a cable alternative and bring you optimal business benefits for you and your veterinary hospital.

For help tracking the legal, economic and marketing pulse necessary to keep your hospital healthy today and every day, check out VetNetwork's veterinary marketing blog.

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Sincerely yours,

Mark Feltz, DVM and the Staff at VetNetwork


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