All animal owners need the help of a veterinarian at some point or another. Whether their puppy needs routine shots or their cat has fleas, veterinary care is a routine part of having a pet.
Many people stick with the same animal hospital or veterinary center for years at a time, just like their family doctors. Once they’ve established trust with a veterinarian, they’ll often return for all of their pets’ needs.
But competition for those loyal clients is tough – and this is especially true online, where most people research the services they need, including veterinary clinics.
The best way to bring new animal owners to your office is by making it easy to find online. This requires a process called search engine optimization, or SEO.
Keep reading to learn why SEO is so important for veterinarians and how you can start optimizing your site today. And if you're ready to contact us, you can fill out our online contact form or give us a call at 888-601-5359.
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Today’s pet owners (much like other customers) begin their searches for veterinary care online. They use search engines like Google to find “veterinarian in [their city]” or look for information like “when to get a kitten spayed”.
They’ll read through the search results, then choose the one that’s most relevant to their needs. This means if you want those searchers to bring their pets to your veterinary center, you need to rank well for the keywords they’re searching.
Then, once you rank well for those keywords, you’ll attract visitors to your site that are interested in learning more about your center and services. So unlike traditional advertising methods like TV or radio ads, which reach a wide audience (whether pet owners or not), SEO reaches the people who are actively searching for veterinary care.
SEO is an ongoing process and involves making improvements on your site while building your authority online. It can be a time-intensive strategy, but it’s well worth the results.
If you’re new to SEO, here are four steps you can take to optimize your veterinary site for search engines.
Before you optimize your site for search engines, you’ll need to determine the words and phrases pet owners use when searching for your services. After all, you don’t want to waste your time optimizing your pages for terms that no one wants.
You can find the most relevant keywords for your site by doing keyword research. There are many tools you can use to identify how people search for veterinary services and how difficult it is to rank for any given keyword.
As you do your research, you’ll want to focus on long tail keywords. These longer and more specific keywords are easier to rank for.
This means that even though fewer people may search them each month, they’ll ultimately bring more qualified traffic (and potential clients) to your site.
After you’ve determined the keywords you want to target, you’ll need to incorporate them on different elements throughout your site.
It’s generally a good idea to target one keyword per page, and you can include the keyword in that page’s title, headers, meta description, and body copy. This helps search engines understand what the page is about and show it in search results.
You should only use your keyword where it fits naturally. Although search engines rank your pages, human readers are the ones that actually want the information.
So if your copy is stuffed full of keywords that don’t make sense, your search engine rankings will suffer.
Bill Craig WebFX President
People have lots of questions about pet care, and as a veterinary expert, you’re uniquely qualified to answer them. The easiest way to do that is to add a blog to your site.
You can create posts based on common questions like “what type of food should I feed a new puppy?” or “should I brush my dog’s teeth?” Then, you can optimize these pages for those keywords so that when users search for them, they’ll find the information on your site.
This not only helps attract traffic to your site, but also allows you to build trust with pet owners. So even if their question doesn’t warrant an immediate trip to the vet, they’ll remember you later when it comes time for an appointment.
Another huge factor in your site’s ability to rank well is how authoritative search engines believe it is. They determine this based on how many credible sites link to yours.
If lots of trustworthy, reputable news sites, blogs, and other publications link to your veterinary center’s website, search engines know that you have valuable information to offer. As a result, search engines will rank your pages higher in their results.
However, building links is more challenging than changing the titles and headings on your pages. You’ll need to reach out to other site owners and explain why your site is worth a link. Once you do, they’ll link to you and you should notice a corresponding improvement in your SEO analytics.
If you want to bring more pet owners to your veterinary practice, you need to make it easy for them to find you online. And if you’re ready to start using SEO, WebFX can help.
We have years of experience creating successful SEO strategies for our clients, and we’ll do the same for you.
Contact us today to learn more and speak with a strategist!
Call 888-601-5359 or contact us online today to see how WebFX can improve your online performance.