So, you’ve tried getting the word out in your local area, you’re posting on social media, but you’re still struggling to make your veterinary practice or animal hospital grow? It’s time you considered veterinary SEO. If you dedicate the sufficient time and resources, it’s a sure-fire way to generate more traffic to your veterinary practice website, and potentially more footfall through the door − all without the need for expensive advertisements. SEO is a proven marketing practice, and there’s no doubt it should make up part of your next veterinary marketing strategy.

What is SEO?

SEO, or “Search Engine Optimization”, is the process of improving your website’s position in search engines like Google and Bing. This is a powerful marketing technique − rising in the search engine rankings will make your veterinary services visible to more pet owners, all without costing you a cent. From producing SEO-optimized content, to following effective veterinary website design, there are plenty of ways you can develop and follow a strong SEO strategy.

How Can I Improve My SEO?

There are some simple steps that you can take to set yourself up on your path to veterinary SEO success. From starting an informative blog, to making some technical tweaks to your website, here are some ideas to get your practice soaring in the search engine rankings.

1. Maintain a keyword-rich blog

Publishing regular and relevant content via a blog is a fantastic way to give your search engine position a boost. Each piece of content should be focused around specific keywords or phrases that your clients are searching for. How you choose your keywords, and where you place them is important, so make sure you are strategic. Be sure to include your keyword in your H1, slug and throughout your content, but don’t overdo it… Overloading your content with keywords will be penalized. Looking for some inspiration? There are plenty of online tutorials on how to best structure your new blog.

2. Link building and outbound links

Reach out to other businesses or blogs in the veterinary space who would be interested in linking to your website. You can offer them a link on your site in return to make the offer more appealing. Building links like this helps the search engines to trust your website as a credible source, helping you to rise in the rankings. Once you’ve secured those links, make sure you keep them maintained by using a backlink-checking tool, as search engines don’t like to see broken links.

In your own content, don’t forget to link out to other, reputable sources (another plus for the search engines), and finish up your article by encouraging readers to share your content.

3. Work on your local SEO

Local SEO is important, so get your practice set up on Google My Business. This is the best way for people living in your area to discover local businesses and veterinary clinics, and the great news? It’s free! With Google My Business, you can display important information such as your opening hours, contact details and location, helping you to get more feet (and paws) through the door.

4. Optimize your site

To start, make sure your website is running quickly, as search engines hate a sluggish site. To check, Google has a handy speed test tool which is free to use. Running a little slow? You can speed up your site by removing excess code or plugins that you’re not using, reducing your image size and enabling browser caching.

Next, double check that your site metadata (the space between thetags on each page) is up to date, and always complete the page’s title and description metadata. This tells both Google, and the user, what they will find on each page. Using keywords in the title and description is absolutely key.

Lastly, don’t forget that website design is important. Your site should be easy to read and navigate, and mobile-friendly.

5. Aim for the featured snippets

A featured snippet is the text shown at the top of a Google results page (before the first result), which has been prioritized by Google for answering the user’s question. Winning the featured snippet is great for SEO, as it means you can steal traffic away from the higher ranking posts. The best way to ensure your content makes it into the featured snippet is to write a commonly asked question as a subtitle on one of your blog posts or landing pages, and answer it as completely and concisely as possible.

6. Create a dedicated mobile app

While this might seem like a tough task, creating a veterinary mobile app for your practice gives you a great chance of zooming up the search engine positions. Google is now indexing apps on Google search, giving you an additional chance of appearing high up in the results. While this is definitely an investment, and there are tools out there that will help make this an affordable option.

What are a few steps I can follow to grow my veterinary practice?

In addition to following SEO best practices, there are plenty of other ways you can grow your veterinary practice. Try advertising online via Facebook or Google, placing an ad in your local newspaper, running a promotional campaign with a free check-up for new pet owners, or starting an email newsletter to keep potential clients engaged. The possibilities are endless!

When looking for ways to grow your practice, veterinarian SEO is an essential part of your strategy. By simply adding some extra emphasis on keywords, writing relevant content and optimizing your web design, you can be well on your way to securing new business through search engines.

While strong SEO as part of a wider marketing campaign will get new pet owners through the door, it takes excellent service to keep them coming back! That’s where VitusVet’s veterinary practice management software can really set you apart from your competition. VitusVet’s complete set of tools helps your practice to operate more efficiently, increase revenue and boost client satisfaction. Discover how you can automate appointment and prescription refill requests, text your clients, accept contactless text payments, share pet health records, offer flexible payment plans and so much more, by requesting a demo today!