There are over 8.5 billion searches on Google alone, and pet owners like many others go to Google for answers to their pet-related questions and to find good vet clinics close to them.
If you run a veterinary clinic and your website does not come up on Google’s first page for search results then you need to start investing in veterinary SEO. Veterinary SEO when done correctly is a goldmine for free organic traffic — this means more people get to see and know about your business, which also means more patients and revenue for your vet clinic.
Confused about how to get started? Don’t be.
In this article, we’ll be sharing with you 25 SEO tips you can implement to grow your clinic’s online visibility, rank higher on google, and get more patients for your practice. But first, let’s take a look at what veterinary SEO is all about and why it’s important for veterinarians.
What Is Veterinary SEO?
Veterinary SEO is optimizing your vet website to rank on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to acquire more customers online using SEO strategies like on-page optimization, off-page optimization, keyword research, link building, and veterinary content creation.
Why Is SEO Important For Veterinarians?
There are several reasons why SEO is important for veterinarians. Research has shown that 76% of people who search for products or services on their smartphones will visit the location within a day.
As a veterinarian, having a well-optimized website puts you right in front of your potential clients and makes it easy for them to locate your vet clinic.
Implementing a good SEO strategy will help your vet website to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), and help build trust among your customers. Most users consider the top-ranking websites on Google as being more legitimate and are more likely to patronize your vet business once they trust you.
If you’re a new veterinarian trying to grow your business, you’ll need SEO to meet up and stay ahead of your competitors. Investing in SEO as part of your digital marketing strategy helps to improve your website’s positioning on search engines and with time, your site will begin to attract tons of organic traffic and backlinks.
Driving free traffic to your site will only be a waste of time if they end up leaving immediately. Good SEO allows your vet website to reach the right kind of audience, drive quality traffic and maximize your inbound leads.
SEO helps to improve users’ experience on your website. Improved user experience leads to better engagement and overall improvement of on-site metrics.
25 Veterinary SEO Tips To Help You Get More Patients For Your Practice
1. Know and Understand Your Target Audience
You already know that your target audience is pet owners but don’t just stop at Identifying them. Get to know and understand your audience. Find out the kind of pets they have, their age, income, and education level, and what their biggest challenges are when it comes to taking care of their pets. Asking yourself these questions and answering them is the first step to creating great content that appeals to them.
2. Aim For High-Intent Keywords
With veterinary SEO, keywords are everything. But while carrying out keyword research, look out for high-intent keywords. The difference between your normal industry keywords and high-intent keywords is that they are very specific, and are more likely to drive organic traffic and increase conversions on your website. Take a look at these examples of possible search entries by a pet owner.
- How can I tell if my dog is sick
- Emergency vet clinic near me
Between the first and second search entries, which do you think would quickly be converted into a paying customer?
The second one of course.
The first entry shows that the pet owner is only searching for helpful content and is probably not looking for a veterinarian straight away. While the second example sends a signal of urgency and would most likely lead to a conversion. These are the kind of keywords you should prioritize.
3. Optimize For Local Veterinary SEO
One of the best ways to market your business as a veterinarian is through local SEO. You can do this by optimizing your website and content for local searches to attract more clients who live near your clinic or area of practice. For example, if you live in New Jersey, you can include local search terms such as “vets in New Jersey”, “veterinarians in New Jersey”, or “animal hospital in NJ” in your keyword list for your web pages.
4. Create Relevant and Helpful Content For Pet Owners
Creating content on pet healthcare is a great way to connect with your audience and earn their trust.
Here’s the catch. If they come to you for answers to questions about their pets, then they’ll come to you when they need your services. You can start by identifying the most common questions asked by pet owners, and create helpful content to answer these questions.
You’ll need to dedicate a blog section on your website for this, where you’ll regularly share health, nutrition, grooming tips, etc., for different kinds of animals.
5. Optimize Website Structure
If your website is well organized and structured, it makes it easy for search engines to find your web pages, which helps improve your vet site’s ranking, making it easier for clients to find you. You can optimize your website structure by organizing your website into logical sections while strategically adding keywords in each web page, title, and description. This will help search engines and visitors quickly and efficiently browse through your site and find the information they’re looking for.
6. Use Images, Video, And Infographics To Improve User Experience and Make Visitors Stay Longer On Your Site
In addition to a well-optimized site structure, one way to make browsing through your site as seamless and enjoyable as possible is by using lots of images, videos, and infographics to break up text content and bring your web pages to life. Tons of words with little or no visuals are not mentally stimulating, and having a site like this can increase your bounce rate or exit rate.
What this tells Google is that users do not find your site helpful and as a result, your web pages will receive less traffic. Keep in mind that while adding visuals to your web content, make sure they’re educative, informative, and relevant and that they’re not just random videos and images. It’s advisable to use custom images and video over stock.
7. Use Keywords In Your Meta Titles
Do you see those texts that appear at the top of a web page or a search engine results page? Yeah. Those are called meta titles and they help search engines identify the content of the web page. Your vet SEO strategy should involve adding keywords or key phrases to your meta titles to help optimize your veterinary website. Focus on using keywords that potential clients may use when searching for veterinary services such as “animal care” “pet clinic” “vet center” etc.
8. Meta Descriptions Should Be Optimized and Clickable
Meta descriptions are those short descriptive texts found under your website’s URL and search results. Your meta descriptions must contain relevant keywords and must entice readers to click and get to your site.
9. Write Engaging Titles
The titles for your web pages and blog content should be attention-grabbing. You’re not the only veterinarian with a website, so if you want your site and content pages to stand out, you need to learn how to write engaging titles. Your title is the first thing a user will see and if it does not appeal to them, they’ll scroll right past your page.
Try using strong verbs and words that create intrigue, while keeping it short and sweet. Take a cue from this article’s title “Veterinary SEO: 25 SEO Tips To Get More Patients For Your Practice” a much better title compared to the plain “Veterinary SEO Practices”.
10. Use The Standard SEO Title Length
While trying to spice up your web page titles, keep in mind the ideal title length should not be more than 60 characters long including space. If your title is longer than that, it will be cut off in search results making it harder for potential clients to find your site.
If you look at the example below, for the first image, part of the title was cut off because it was too long.
While for the second image, the meta title is below 60 characters.
11. Use Related Keywords
Remember, keywords are everything when it comes to veterinary SEO and you want to make sure that you’re ranking high on SERPs for both your focus keyword and other related keywords. To find the right keywords you can make use of free tools like Google keyword planner and Ubersuggest, or paid tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs.
Another simpler option is to search for your focus keyword on Google and scroll through the search results, you see a section marked “Related Searches” or “People Also Ask”. These are great sources of ideas for keywords related to your niche.
12. Increase Your Website Speed
Search engines consider site speed when ranking web pages. So the faster your site’s speed the higher you’ll rank on search engines. Plus faster-loading web pages aid in better user experience, higher engagement, and increased conversions. You can speed up your website by compressing files, optimizing images, and deleting dormant pages.
13. Delete Error Pages
To improve your SEO, pages with 404 errors, pages that have been redirected, pages that are no longer active, or any page that’s no longer needed should be deleted.
14. Use A Readability Analysis Tool
While creating content for your website, you must avoid the use of complex language or industry jargon as this will make it difficult for search engines to index your pages. Plus, using complex language can drive your readers away.
Try using a readability analysis tool like the free Hemingway app to identify which keywords and phrases your audience finds difficult most to read and understand, then go ahead and adjust your content by using simpler language.
15. Build Website Credibility By Creating Great Content That Attracts Backlinks
Creating helpful content for pet owners is great; but if you want to take your veterinary SEO marketing a step further, you’ll need to focus on creating quality content that attracts backlinks from credible sites like the American Veterinary Medical Association. When other sites start to link to your website, it helps improve your site’s visibility and positions you as a credible source of information for pet care.
16. Practice Internal Linking
Alongside building backlinks, practice internal linking for your website. Internal linking is simply linking to other pages on your vet site. Doing this helps Google to index your pages more effectively and encourages easy navigation and better user experience.
17. Try Guest blogging
Another way to get backlinks and exposure for your veterinary hospital is by guest blogging, which involves writing and posting articles on other websites in exchange for a link back to your website. It is also a great way to build relationships with other businesses in your area of practice.
18. Learn and Use The Skyscraper Technique
Still on creating useful content, using the skyscraper technique is your best bet to leveling the field especially if you’re new to the whole concept of SEO for veterinary practices.
This technique involves finding popular content in your field and using them as a standard to create even better content. You can do this by adding current statistics and providing helpful infographics and detailed explanations on certain points that answer more questions than your competitor’s article.
19. Optimize Your Images
When adding images to your web pages be sure to include keywords in the file names and alternative texts so that they’re easily identified by search engines. Also, ensure that you’re uploading the right file size and format.
20. Optimize Your Google My Business
Get listed on Google My Business and make sure to update your business details regularly. This increases your chances of appearing in local search results and it will also make it easier for potential clients to locate your business.
When you optimize your Google My Business properly, you get the chance for getting ranked in the top 3 of the google 3-pack.
21. Have A Mobile-Friendly Website
Most internet users access the various platforms on mobile devices, so it only makes sense that you optimize your website to adapt seamlessly to suit all sorts of mobile screens without cutting away important information. Not only does this improve user experience, but Google also takes into consideration your site’s mobile interface friendliness when ranking for local SEO.
22. Get More Reviews And Ratings
Want to build trust and increase the conversion rate for your vet website? Consider getting more reviews and ratings from satisfied clients who have previously patronized your services.
23. Get Listed In Business Directories
Listing your business on online directories helps potential clients to find you across various platforms. Business directories also help to increase the number of citations and links to your business website. But keep in mind, your business details (name, address, and phone number) should be accurate and consistent across the web.
24. Perform A Website Audit
Regularly upgrade your site’s features and make sure it’s up to the current Google standards. Performing a website audit doesn’t have to be stressful, just remember to update your web pages, post more relevant and trending content, and keep an eye on website speed, mobile responsiveness, and accuracy of content published.
Veterinary Marketing group offers a Website Quality Audit. Contact us today to learn more.
25. Use Google Console To Measure Results
Lastly, make sure to document and measure your progress and results. Google Console is a great tool for this. It will show how often your website comes up in search results and the keywords visitors are using to find you. Having this sort of information helps you identify the strong and weak areas of your SEO strategy and to adjust it for better results.
Increase Organic Traffic To Your Site
Veterinary SEO is an important part of your marketing strategy and should be treated as a long-term investment. With time and the right efforts, you’ll be attracting more patients to your practice. We hope you found these tips helpful. Which one of them will you be implementing? Let us know in the comments.
If you want to get ranked for high-value keywords and increase organic traffic to your site, contact us today to see how VMG can help.