Search engine optimization (SEO) is incredibly important for modern veterinary practices. The fact is, the majority of people who are searching for a vet turn the internet to find the information they’re looking for. SEO helps to position your practice as high up in those results as possible, increasing the chances of getting new leads and converting those leads into new clients. For those still not convinced of the importance of local SEO, here are a few points that just might change your mind.
SEO ensures your practice is being found by local prospects.
Most practices are competing for business within a certain mile radius. Local SEO helps to ensure that when prospects search for veterinary services in your geographical area, your practice will show up at the top of that list. This is why it’s so important to include the proper geographical keywords and your practice address throughout your website content, as well as in your URLs and tags.
It’s also why local citations are so critical. For instance, an optimized Google Maps page can help you not only rank higher in the search engine results, but also make it quick and easy for prospective clients to locate your practice physically.
People trust online reviews.
Another powerful component of local SEO is online reviews. Did you know that 84 percent of consumers today say they trust online reviews from strangers as much as they do recommendations from people they know? Additionally, 54% of people will visit a website after reading positive reviews and 58% of consumers say that they consider the star rating of a business to be very important.
You can take advantage of this by promoting reviews in your practice. Don’t be afraid to ask your happy clients if they’d be willing to share their positive experiences online. Make it super easy to do so by including links to your review pages (Google, Yelp, Yahoo, etc.) so all they have to do is click and leave a comment.
Of course, it’s important to note that along with positive reviews, most practices will inevitably get a negative comment from time to time. Staying aware of what’s being said about your clinic online and responding in a way that is prompt, positive and professional, offering an apology and a solution can help negate these less-than-ideal comments and put a positive spin on things. (Need more guidance on how to manage your online reputation? Here are a few tips and pointers to get you started.)
As you can see, the importance of local search ranking and the benefits good local search engine performance can have for your practice are undeniable. The easier it is for prospects in your area to find your clinic when they conduct a search on Google or Bing, the more leads your website will bring in and the more your practice will continue to grow and thrive.
With these benefits in mind, focus on optimizing your website and content for local searches and be sure your practice is listed on all local review sites. Include detailed, accurate contact information on your website, online directory pages and social media platforms. And remember, search engine optimization isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes time, strategic effort, patience and dedication to realize positive, consistent results.
If you need assistance in this or any other area of practice management, we encourage you to get in touch with the DVMelite team today. We’re here to help you succeed!