Most veterinarians understand that their search engine visibility is intimately tied with the amount of traffic on their website. However, the internet marketing industry has done a very poor job educating veterinarians as to what SEO really is. SEO has become more of a buzzword than a scientifically explored topic. Because of this, there’s an enormous mistake that veterinary hospitals typically make. Teaching you how to avoid it will be the focus of this article.
Most veterinary hospitals believe that SEO is about ranking highly for the common keywords that people use to search for veterinarians. Vet, Veterinarian, Veterinary Hospital, Animal Hospital, Pet Checkup, and the like are their focus. If you rank well for these, you will undoubtedly see growth directly related to your rankings.
But most searches aren’t of this variety. Most searches fall into the “long-tail” variety. They are typically a lot more specific than the common keywords that are optimized for. A huge driver of the “long tail” are people googling symptoms or health related questions for their pets. A common example would be: “Why is my cat throwing up?” or “When should I get my cat spayed?”
You’ll gain an important perspective as to how much traffic there is to be had here from the chart below:
Approximately 80% of all searches are of these “long-tail” kind. This is an opportunity for you because most veterinary hospitals have no idea how much traffic there is to be won with such a comparatively small amount of effort! There are really two things you should do in order to tap into this enormous source of traffic.
First, you need a well optimized service page. Each one of your services should go in depth about the underlying issues that lead to patients needing this service. You should explain the symptoms that the service is used to diagnose. That way, whenever somebody searches for a particular term, your website has the relevant keyword and they see that your service should be the next step in their journey (instead of self-diagnosing through Dr. Google).
Second, you need an ongoing blog or educational article campaign that talks about different health issues in pets. This not only builds trust by branding you as the expert, but it draws all the keywords that are related to the topics you write about to trace back to your website. You should focus your blogging efforts on the services that you most want to popularize. For example, if your goal is to increase dental exams, a great blog post would be on “warning signs and symptoms of periodontal disease.” In the article, you could thoroughly explore the symptoms. That way, when somebody asks “why are my cat’s gums bleeding” they’ll find your website!
As you saw through the chart, there are thousands of different keywords that are ultimately very valuable to you. This will be an ongoing effort for you. Start by optimizing your services page, and then set a realistic schedule for your blog posts. You will be very happy you did.