This blog has been updated from an earlier blog to be even more helpful.
When local pet owners search for veterinary clinics in their area, you naturally want those pet owners to find your clinic. To improve your local ranking in Google search results, here are 3 essential tips to optimize your Google My Business listing.
1. Make Sure Your Business Information Is Complete
Google determines local ranking according to three main factors:
- Relevance—how well your Google My Business listing matches someone’s search
- Distance—how far your location is from a searcher’s location
- Prominence—how well a business is known (based on several other factors)
The more business information you provide in your Google My Business listing, the better Google can match your listing to a pet owner’s search. As Google explains, “Local results favor the most relevant result for each search, and businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches.”
When entering your clinic information (clinic name, business category, address, etc.), make sure you have the same information on your website.
Pro Tip: Use your business description to tell potential customers what sets your clinic apart from competitors.
Using “animal hospital” or “veterinary clinic” in your business description certainly informs people that you care for pets. Yet competing practices likely offer the same level of information in their business names alone. To stand apart, use your business description to tell pet owners what distinguishes your clinic. If you specialize in exotics, for example, emphasize that information. If you offer virtual veterinary care like Petriage or after-hours teletriage support like PetNurse, let people know.
Bottom line: Your Google My Business listing will work better for you if you address the key pet owner question, “Why should I choose your clinic over any competing veterinary clinic?”
2. Post Photos to Attract More Pet Owners
According to Search Engine Journal, businesses with photos in their Google My Business listing get 42% more requests for driving instructions to their location—plus 35% more click-throughs to their websites—than businesses that don’t use images.
For veterinary clinics, photos also help convey distinguishing information that pet owners may miss in a business description. A photo of a team member holding a bird, reptile, or rodent, for example, quickly informs pet owners that your clinic handles exotics.
Photos also help convey assurances that transcend verbal description. It’s one thing, for example, to tell pet owners they can trust your team, but a photo of a smiling team member holding a happy pet says the same thing with much greater impact because it resonates as proof on an emotional level. Studies show that people largely make decisions based on emotion, which is why businesses have long followed a basic rule: Show, don’t tell.
3. Use Google Insights to Learn How Pet Owners Are Finding Your Clinic
Understanding how pet owners find your clinic online is key to improving online discovery and reaching more pet owners. Google My Business provides this information with Google Insights, which includes:
- How customers search for your business
- Where pet owners view your clinic on Google
- The most common actions pet owners take on your Google My Business listing
- How often pet owners call your clinic
- Photo views and number of photos you have on your Google My Business listing compared to other businesses
Bonus Tip: Take a Good Hard Look at Your Clinic Website
It’s one thing to drive more traffic to your clinic website with a Google My Business listing. Yet you only have a few moments to keep them on your website once they arrive.
According to studies published by Time, you generally have 15 seconds to capture someone’s attention on your website before they bounce based on numerous factors, including:
- How your website looks and functions
- What pet health care resources and tools your website offers
- How your website generally stacks up against competitors
So, step back and make an honest assessment of your clinic website, and ask yourself some uncomfortable but key questions:
- Does your website work for your practice?
- Does it contain industry-leading pet health content and self-serve tools that empower pet owners to take actions and save clinic teams time?
- Is your website supported by Google Certified account managers and SEO specialists to attract and convert new pet owners through better search engine ranking?
How to Make a Quick, Easy Assessment
The simplest way to make a quick, honest assessment of your clinic website is to look at the kind of websites that other clinics are now using, like WebDVM custom veterinary websites.
Created to save time and improve efficiency, WebDVM websites are designed to attract more pet owners and convert website visitors into paying clients.