How to Get Your Vet Website Higher in Search Results
The most technical of veterinary marketing techniques is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). When Google is deciding what websites to rank on Page 1, SEO helps make sure your website is set-up to feature higher in search results.
Google updates their algorithms frequently throughout the year but here are the current veterinary marketing best practices:
Use Relevant Keywords
Do an audit of the most-searched terms in your area to decide what keywords to target. Terms like “veterinarian in [your city]” will likely top the charts. But you can use a free tool like Google’s Keyword Planner to get an accurate list.
Once you have the list of keywords in your city by search volume, your next step is to create targeted content for each keyword.
Sprinkle the most important keywords throughout your homepage, contact page, and additional content so Google is more likely to rank your website for that term.
Create Individual Service Pages
When you look at the breakdown of popular keywords, you’ll notice that several mention specific treatments or services that a veterinary practice might offer.
Building out separate pages that highlight your different services for each of your main pages is an SEO strategy that can give your site a better chance of ranking higher. It also helps outline your specializations for new visitors.
Ensure that each individual service page has at least 500 words of content and uses the keyword several times.
Use Smart Headers (H1s and H2s)
Headlines are extremely important from both an SEO and user experience standpoint. It helps both Google and the user understand how your content is structured. Headers also provides visual breaks in the page to make it easier to read.
Above all, ensure you include the most important keyword for your practice (e.g., “Veterinary care in Portland” or “Austin Animal Hospital”) in at least one headline on the page, as this will give you an extra SEO boost.
Create Effective Meta Descriptions
Another essential SEO component are meta descriptions. These short page summaries are what shows up under your page title on Google search results. They should describe the main point of your page in 160 characters or less and include one or two keywords.
Be sure to add meta descriptions to all your pages, as they’re an essential part of building a healthy website.
Use Alt Descriptions in All Images
Images are essential for both website design and SEO; they also help to build trust when visitors are trying to choose the right veterinarian for their needs. But search engines can’t see images, yet. That’s why you need to include what are called alt descriptions for your images. Alt descriptions aren’t visible to human visitors to your site but describe the image for a search engine.
It’s especially important to incorporate your photo and pictures of your office. Make sure you have added alt text for both types of images which includes your location or other keywords for which you want your vet practice to rank higher.
While your average user can’t see the alt text, Google’s bots can. Including a description of your photo and your practice’s name can help give you a quick and easy SEO boost.
Use Location Specific Keywords for More Effective SEO
Since the bulk of your SEO terms will be based on your location, you want to be sure to mention your location or region frequently throughout your website.
When describing your practice, use a phrase like “a veterinarian in [your city], specializing in [insert your specialties here].” Being location-specific with your keywords is important so when local clients are searching for a vet in your area, they will see your website as a top option.
Include similar phrasing on your Homepage, your About page, and your Contact Us page. You should also list your full address and phone number in your footer, the text at the bottom of your website, so it displays across your entire website. Doing so will help make sure that local clients see your website and practice when they are actively looking for a veterinarian.
Get Google’s Attention on Your Site
Google will crawl your site a few times a year, but you can encourage it to re-crawl by submitting your XML sitemap to Google Search Console.
Your sitemap is a map of your pages ranked by most important to least important, and it’s essential to guide Google to see what you prioritize most on your website.
You should resubmit your XML Sitemap to Google once per quarter, or whenever you make major changes like adding important new pages.
CTA: Search Engine Optimization is a long-term investment requiring persistence.
ProSites has successfully ranked veterinary websites with their dedicated SEO team. These veterinary clinics have, on average, seen a 300% return on their investment. Learn more about our SEO Services.