Veterinary Website SEO is so Critical
SEO is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing, yet many veterinary practices often neglect their SEO efforts in favor of online advertising and other digital marketing efforts. After all, the payoff of a well-optimized website can often be more subtle than advertisements that allow businesses to track engagement and conversions. However, veterinary website SEO has the potential to be more effective than even the most successful PPC campaign.
How Veterinary Website SEO Works
The best way to think about your website is to compare it to a flyer or brochure.
When businesses use flyers, they naturally want to get those materials out to as many people as possible in their target audience. However, some veterinary practices order flyers, and only leave them on the counter for customers to pick up when they’re there. This is the equivalent of having poor SEO on a website because the only people who are seeing it are those who are already customers of that veterinary practice.
In comparison, a veterinary practice could send someone to deliver those brochures to houses on the streets that are surrounding dog parks, groomers, or pet stores. They could also ask those pet stores, groomers, or even specialized pet service providers to display their flyers. This represents having a website that is well-optimized for search engines, as a veterinary practice website that covers the areas of the internet that pet owners are likely to visit means that it’s more likely to be seen by the people who need veterinary services.
The Value of SERPs to Veterinary Website SEO
When discussing SEO, it’s important to understand how SERPs, or search engine results pages, can determine how high a veterinary website appears on Google’s first page.
Where SEO was once focused on solely achieving the coveted first result for a veterinary practice’s chosen keywords, this is no longer the sole purpose of SEO. As many search engines have modernized over the years, there are more ways that a veterinary practice can be featured on the front page and see impressive results without needing to achieve the top spot.
As an example, look at the following search:
This Google Maps box features veterinary practices within a local area, giving searchers key information like location, contact information, reviews, and a link to their website. The first result of the page doesn’t appear until after this box.
In a similar vein, for veterinary practices that sell and ship items, the shopping SERP feature can be a great way to get customers to click onto a website:
As search engines like Google continue to modernize and add more features that help users find a solution to their problems, veterinary practices will have more SERP features such as these that will help them to reach their target customers without needing to solely focus on achieving the first search result for their chosen keyword.
How Fast Does Veterinary Website SEO Work?
Many veterinary practices often disregard SEO as, when compared to other forms of digital marketing, it’s a slower process. Practices that improve their SEO often begin to see some results within 1-2 months, which often means they’ll see a gradual increase in website traffic at first. Within 3 months of working on veterinary website SEO, practices will typically see improvements in their standings on SERPs.
With that in place, most veterinary practices can expect to see an increase in calls, sales, and customers in an estimated 6 months, depending on how much time has been invested into their SEO efforts.
However, SEO is not an exact science. Google’s algorithm is the one that most SEO processes focus on, and that changes frequently. While the larger changes are often publicized ahead of time, Google SEO teams are constantly tweaking their algorithms to adapt to online trends.
So, the estimates above are intended to help veterinary professionals understand that SEO doesn’t have the same rapid results that are offered by other marketing efforts. That’s not to say that SEO should be neglected, however, as it’s more sustainable in the long term than online advertising.
How Sustainable is Veterinary Website SEO?
One of the main reasons why veterinary website SEO is one of the best investments any practice can make is that it’s the most sustainable form of digital marketing in the long term.
Every veterinary practice should have its own website, which is designed to act as a virtual flyer for their business. And, as discussed earlier, that website isn’t going to get anywhere if it’s only visited by existing customers of that practice.
So, to procure new customers, veterinary practices need to ensure that their website can easily be found by the same people who need to use veterinary services. While online advertising like PPC often comes with tools that let practices select specific demographics to advertise towards, it comes with a cost in the form of a consistent monthly outgoing. Once a practice stops paying for advertisements, then they don’t appear online.
In comparison, practices don’t have to consistently pay for SEO efforts once their website is optimized. When a veterinary practice stops paying for an SEO service or professional to optimize their website, the improvements they’ve made in increasing the website’s rating on search engines will remain.
Also, online advertising can have a varying level of cost depending on the platform or channel a veterinary practice’s advertisement is hosted on. However, this higher cost isn’t always reflected in results, particularly if the advertisement is poorly optimized. SEO professionals, on the other hand, charge based on their proven results and professional experience. It’s for these reasons combined that veterinary practices with a limited marketing budget should always consider their SEO before looking at other forms of marketing. Employing the services of an SEO professional is the best way every veterinary professional can get started with improving their digital marketing and visibility. When it’s not possible to hire an employee to handle digital marketing, hiring help through a marketing agency can not only save practices money but improve their revenue with targeted SEO efforts.