Veterinary websites are everywhere; you’d be hard pressed to find a practice without one. The only problem is, this means your practice is likely up against some stiff competition. Worse, your website might be getting pushed way down the list in Google search, where no one can find it. But with some extra effort, you can turn your website from the real-world equivalent of a handwritten, cardboard sign into a big, bright, flashy billboard that catches everyone’s attention.
As a vet or vet practice owner, you probably can’t find the time to overhaul your veterinary website into a moneymaker. What’s more, you might not be well-versed in web design and SEO and all the ways, big and small, it affects your website. You might not fully understand how or why your practice’s internet presence has anything to do with your success in the real world.
Even today, many veterinary practices still get a lot of business via word-of-mouth, which remains a big driver for lots of businesses. But knowing just how valuable and necessary SEO is can make a massive impact on your practice and determine its success for years to come. Flourishing online can help you flourish offline.
What Your Veterinary Website Needs to Flourish
Creating a quality website that raises you above your competition isn’t an impossible dream. It’s not a big secret that only a select few are in on. It requires a variety of crucial elements that work in lockstep to put your website at the head of the pack, and it’s achievable with the right strategy, which should include:
Having quality content on your veterinary website is a cardinal rule. Without well-written, fully-optimized content, your website will struggle. When we say “optimized,” we mean that the content contains the appropriate keywords to help your site rank well. This includes proper use of H1s and H2s, target location(s), major words like “veterinarian” and “animal hospital.” You should also be using a variety of secondary keywords that support the rest of the content and provide additional ranking power. Images must also be optimized to bolster your website’s standing.
Furthermore, every page on your website must serve a purpose and achieve a specific goal. If its existence has no effect on your site’s ranking (or worse, harms it), then it shouldn’t be on your website.
Good content is also easily navigable for the average internet user. This means that when a pet owner visits your website, they can navigate it easily to find the information they’re looking for, and will be guided naturally towards a call to action.
Another thing successful veterinary websites have in common is good code. The HTML code, the basis for your entire website, needs to be easy for search engines to read. A well-designed, conversion-optimized website supported by clean, concise code (no excessive scripts) will make it much easier for you to rank for highly competitive search terms such as “veterinarian” and “animal hospital.”
The best coded websites use as little code as possible to achieve the desired look, feel, and functionality of the website and all its features, including images, copy, forms, etc.
Consistent Citations and Quality Links
A citation is a direct online listing of your practice’s full name, address, and phone number (in that order). Partial citations don’t count. If your practice has changed names in the past or moved to a new location, you need to make sure that any citations of your practice online are all current. Having the wrong address, phone number, or practice name in an online directory can harm your veterinary website’s local SEO.
Check your Google My Business profile and any other listings that might be out there, and make sure they match up with what’s listed on your website. Consistency is critical, because it shows Google that not only does your business actually exist, but it’s credible (especially if it happens to be listed on other trustworthy websites).
Links to your website are gold. If you work with local animal organizations, are a member of the local chamber of commerce, or sponsor certain events regularly, you’ll want to call these out on your website (and include links to their respective sites). If you work closely with certain groups or events, it’s in your best interest to request that they link to your practice’s website. These back links will give you an edge over your competition and increase your standing as a trusted authority both online and off.
A Link to Your to Google Reviews
Unfortunately, you can’t take your best Google reviews and stick them on your website (they’re considered Google’s intellectual property, so using them in your marketing would be copyright infringement). But you can direct visitors to your website to click through and read your Google reviews to get a sense of what you offer, and what other people think about your practice. What’s more, it’s an opportunity to invite existing clients to leave a review when they get the chance.
Approximately 86% of Google reviews are given because the business explicitly asked for them in-house (or in-clinic). The more you ask clients for reviews, the more reviews you’re likely to get, and the more positive reviews you’ll get, too. This will help your practice stay competitive and rank well in Google search, and help you maintain a good reputation to boot.
An Outstanding Marketing Team
The best way to reach your intended audience online and increase calls and client numbers is to work with a veterinary SEO expert. They’ll dive deep to make sure you’re reaching the right pet owners and crushing your business goals. You and your team have enough work on your hands already; you shouldn’t have to expect to manage your practice’s marketing on top of that.
By working with InTouch, you tap into the experience, knowledge, and creativity of one of the sharpest marketing teams in the veterinary industry. We’ll help you make sense of all your data and show you the true value of SEO, and why it’s a must for your website. We understand the challenges that veterinary practices face, but we also know what they need to succeed. With our team in your corner, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.