Veterinary SEO is an online marketing strategy aimed at helping veterinarians and pet hospitals rank better in Google and generate more inbound leads.
Most veterinarians these days have a website, so in order to set yourself apart from the competition, you’re going to need an effective search engine optimization campaign.
Below, we’ll describe a few of the online marketing strategies we’d recommend you use to get a leg up on your competitors.
Veterinary Market Is Growing
Demand for veterinarians is growing as pet ownership is on the rise. In 2011, the American Veterinary Medical Association estimated that there were 70 million pet dogs and 74 million pet cats in the United States. At an average annual expenditure of $375 per pet, the veterinary market is a $54 trillion dollar industry. It’s no wonder the AVMA sponsors educational programs to teach it’s members how to better market their practice on the internet. (See image)
Veterinary SEO Marketing Tips
If someone Googles, “veterinarians,” you’re going to want to be found on page 1 of the organic search results – if you’re not, you are missing a huge opportunity to develop new customers.
In order to get found in Google, I recommend the following strategies:
1) List Your Business In Online Directories. As of February 2015, when I search for “veterinarians,” in Google, the first listings I see are for Yelp. Lower on page 1, I see the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, followed by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Consumers trust directories like these, so they’ll use them to find a local, reputable vet. Most business listings like these are free, so take advantage and list your business information, being sure to include the business name, address, and phone # exactly as it appears on your website.
2) Claim Your Google Business Page. Your Google business page is important because it is what appears in local search results in your market. The challenge is that Google only lists up to 7 local businesses in these listings, so you need to appear as one of them – otherwise, you’re missing a big opportunity to get new customers.
Whether a pet owner is searching from a smart phone or their home computer, search terms like “veterinarians” and “pet hospitals” will show local results. Claim and fully optimize your Google business page for best results.
* NOTE: If you’re a veterinarian working at a pet hospital, you can claim your OWN Google business page, thus giving you a chance to be found personally in search results. This is important because if you change practices, your Google Business page goes right along with you. You won’t lose the content you’ve shared or the reviews you’ve accumulated.
3) Get Reviews. Reviews help consumers make decisions, so you’ll want to put a system in place to get as many as you can. Personally, I recommend giving every customer a post card or letter that encourages them to leave a review for you.
Reviews on your Google business page are especially important because they help you stand out from your competitors. Plus, it’s my personal belief that more reviews help you rank better and make you look more popular – both important factors in the mind of the consumer.
4) Blog On Your Website. I’ve seen time and again how adding fresh, quality content on a regular basis to your website can help you increase traffic and leads. Even 2-3 posts per month can make a big difference.
It’s a pretty simple formula, but many vets don’t have the time to do it themselves. So, we’re here to help if you need it! Our professional SEO copywriters create content for you that helps convert visitors into customers. Just call us at 503-890-6663 for more info.
If you DO have time to write, some great topics to blog about would include:
- Identification and advice on common pet illnesses, such as kennel cough
- How to tell if your dog is in pain
- Tips for what to do if your pet is not eating
- How to potty train your dog
For many consumers using the internet, they will find your blog and this will be their introduction to you. And they might wind up becoming a new customer!
Veterinary SEO Summary
The pet industry is growing and over 63% of pet owners consider their pet to be a member of their family. Quality veterinarians are like the family doctor and generating one new customer could be worth thousands of dollars in revenue over the life of the pet.
Take advantage of the opportunity to get found in Google by following the marketing tips above, or give us a call at 503-890-6663 if you’d like some help!