The internet has become the primary source of information for most of us, meaning that 81% of people start their search for a product or service online.
That’s the reason why establishing a strong online presence is essential for your veterinary practice. In other words, you need a decent, well-designed website that will help your business stand out from the pack so that potential clients decide to pick you over your competitors.
To achieve this, your website also has to be optimized for search engines since that will improve its rankings and ensure that your business will show up among the top results when someone looks for veterinary services in your area.
SEO or search engine optimization is a tactic that will improve your website, boost its visibility for relevant searches, and as a result, increase the quality and quantity of traffic it gets from search engine organic results.
Here are some effective SEO tips for vet websites.
Create Great Content
Your potential clients are people who love their pets and want only the best veterinary care for them.
By running a veterinary blog, you can offer them helpful advice about how to best take care of their pets, demonstrate your expertise in the field, and attract a lot of high-quality traffic to your website.
Great content is a must-have ingredient for successful SEO efforts because Google’s main goal is to provide its users with relevant, educational content that will help them find answers to their questions.
First of all, start writing blog posts that revolve around some of the most common questions your audience asks you. For example, “Should I give my cat a bath,” “How to keep my pet safe during the Halloween season” or “How to brush my dog’s teeth” are the dilemmas that pet owners frequently fret about.
Creating blog posts around these questions will add value to your potential clients and get them to turn to you whenever they want to learn something more about how to look after their pets properly. Besides attracting traffic that has the potential to become your paying clients, educational content also serves the purpose of turning your website into a trustworthy source of information.
Given that building trust and credibility with your target audience is crucial for your veterinary practice, it’s obvious why producing content that presents you as an authority and a knowledgeable professional will benefit your reputation and business.
If you want to attract the right audience, you need to find out the exact words and phrases pet owners use when they’re looking for vet services you offer.
Implementing these words and phrases into your content and creating blog posts around them will help your business show up among relevant search results.
One of the ways to identify the most relevant keywords is by checking out what your competitors do.
Another more accurate and effective method is by using keyword research tools such as Ahrefs or SemRush. With the help of these intuitive solutions, you will be able to find out what keywords rank best as well as check their search volume and difficulty. These parameters will give you an insight into how difficult it is to rank for a particular keyword and how many searchers there are for it.
Since it’s challenging to rank for popular keywords with a considerable volume, it’s much better for small businesses to opt for so-called long-tail keywords as they get fewer searches, but the traffic they attract is usually highly targeted. This means that even though you’ll get less traffic, it will be more qualified.
Perform On-Page Optimization
On-page optimization refers to the methods of optimizing different segments of your website and individual web pages.
Some of the most common on-page optimization elements include:
- Improving the speed of your website. Don’t let your potential clients wait for more than 3 seconds before your website loads because the odds are that they will bounce off and go to your competitors.
- Optimizing your website for different devices. Since more than 50% of the global traffic comes from mobile devices, it’s vital to ensure that your visitors can access and navigate your website from their smartphones too, and you can do that through responsive web design.
- Adding meta tags. These elements help search engines crawl, explore, and index your web pages, provide data about your content, and they show that the topics you discuss correspond with the keywords for which it ranks. Add title tags, alt tags, meta descriptions, header tags, canonical tags, and robots meta tags to every web page.
- Building links. Link building is the practice of getting external sources to link to the content on your website. But, we’re not talking about just any website out there – only trustworthy, authority resources count as they in a way vouch for the quality and relevance of your content.
- Creating internal links. These are hyperlinks that point from one page to another on the same website. It’s the practice of connecting different pieces of content on your website in order to help your visitors and search engines navigate and easily find similar content about a particular topic.
- Making it easy for your clients to schedule appointments. This is another successful tactic for improving your user experience. Automating appointment scheduling, collecting patient information, and creating a 24/7 virtual front desk using a tool like Next In Line will allow you to gain a competitive edge.
All these methods will improve your website’s user experience, and that’s what Google is particularly focused on.
Improve Your Local SEO
Since your veterinary practice is operating on a regional and local level, one of your SEO priorities should be making sure that it’s visible to people who live in your area.
The first step is creating a Google My Business account, which is essentially optimizing your Google listing and providing all the important information about your veterinary practice in one place. It will make sure that you rank higher on Google Maps and boost your visibility in local search results.
Voice search has become increasingly popular and people use it when they’re looking for specific information, so it’s important to optimize for this approach and allow your potential clients to find you using their virtual personal assistant.
Research and hone in on local keywords, that is, the ones that contain location-specific phrases. As you can guess, these keywords will increase your local search rankings and improve the visibility of your veterinary practice in local searches.
Customer testimonials will additionally amplify your local SEO efforts. Since Google shows customer reviews for local businesses, it’s a good idea to ask your happy clients to put in a good word for you online. When someone discovers your vet practice through search results, they will be interested to read what other people say about you and that’s how they will form their opinion and find out whether their pets will be well taken care of.
Finally, get your vet practice listed in online business directories such as Yelp, Foursquare, Yellow Pages, as well as your local Chamber of Commerce. When it comes to this approach, it’s essential to ensure NAP consistency. In layman’s terms, this means that your Name, Address, and Phone Number should be consistent across the internet.
SEO should be an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. What you should know is that this approach is worth investing in as it will expand your reach, attract your target audience, bring in more business, and easily track and measure your SEO performance and results.