To save staff time, improve efficiency, and generate more revenue, your website needs to be working for your practice as an extension of the team, and in order to do this effectively, it needs to be search engine optimized.
To get you started, here’s a quick checklist to walk you through better website SEO for your veterinary practice.
(No time to read this checklist right now? Download our free SEO checklist with all the points below and read it at your leisure.)
- Create a contact page: Pet owners are typically looking for veterinary practices near them. Creating a specific contact page on your veterinary website will provide Google with information about your location to match it with local pet owner searches.
- Google My Business: Create a GMB profile to confirm your practice location with Google. GMB profiles are the new online directories with updated information about any business. (Read our blog for more on how to set up your GMB profile and optimize it.)
- Services and location: Pet owners search for answers to common pet questions. For example, a pet owner might search for, “How much rest does my dog need after getting spayed?” Answer this question (and improve your SEO) by creating content using market-specific keywords about this service and include your location. Example: “Dog Spaying FAQs, Atlanta, Georgia.”
- Ask for reviews: Pet owners also commonly wonder what others think of your veterinary practice. To address questions about trust, ask for reviews, which are third-party confirmation about your website and service. (If you happen to get a negative review, here are the benefits.)
- Keep your information up to date: There’s nothing worse for existing and potential customers than finding a wrong address or wrong opening hours. Keep your information updated on all your channels: website, socials, GMB profile, etc.
- Titles and meta descriptions: Check for missing titles or meta descriptions on your posts. Update and consider short titles with 70 characters or less and descriptions no longer than 175 characters. Use keywords within titles and descriptions.
- Headlines: Use only one H1 headline per post, with H2 and H3 headlines arranged afterward. Use bullet points or numbered lists to make content easier to read.
- Recycle content: Some pet health subjects are of perennial interest to pet owners. Use old content and update it with modified new meta descriptions, titles, add videos or new images, etc.
- Interlinking: Link your pages internally, which provides “link juice” to other website pages. Remove 404 links and substitute using new links that lead to a new page.
- Optimizing images: Upload images in mobile-friendly formats, use alt text in context, and avoid keyword stuffing. Resize images no larger than 800px wide.
- Backlinks: When someone includes a link from their website back to yours, it’s (unsurprisingly) called a backlink. Collaborate with others in your industry to receive mentions on their websites.
- Participate in forums: Posting to veterinary forums allows you to interact with and gain exposure to new customers.
- Social media: Google has indicated that it crawls social platforms. Your content shared to social media could provide an SEO opportunity and help increase your website ranking. (For additional tips, read 12 Quick-Win Tips to Boost Your Social Media Presence.)
- Listings: Along with GMB, listings can provide reputation and ranking for a search.
- Newsletter and email: Share your website content in your email newsletter. This will provide a reference of traffic, helping you to rank.
- Update your website crawlability: Use the txt file to tell Google which pages to crawl and which ones to avoid.
- Check to ensure your website is mobile-friendly: Run the Mobile-Friendly Test from Google, which will suggest fixes if necessary.
- Fix broken links: Broken website links deliver 404 errors, which translate as a bad user experience and hurt SEO and ranking if your practice website has too many of them. To fix this, redirect a broken link to a new link using a 301 redirect.
- Check for duplicate content: Duplicate content (e.g., two identical pet healthcare blogs) causes SEO issues because Google will not know which page is the original and most important one. Add a canonical tag to point to the original content.
- Check the functionality of redirections: If you create redirections, check their functionality. If they aren’t working correctly, verify the 301’s setup. 302 redirections should only be used on a temporary basis.
By following these recommendations, you’re setting your veterinary website up for long-term success and positioning your site as the go-to-source of trusted information for pet owners, while saving valuable staff time in the process.
Download the above checklist today or request a WebDVM consultation to learn more about how we can do the work for you.