For veterinary teams that don’t use SEO to improve website discovery by local pet owners (or sporadically utilize SEO), the biggest question isn’t the how but the why, and it’s a sensible question. Just like a veterinarian wouldn’t begin a procedure before first diagnosing the reason for the procedure, the mechanics of SEO mean little without first knowing why SEO matters. So, here are five big reasons:

  • Nearly half (46%) of all Google searches are for a local business.
  • Pet owners naturally want a local veterinary practice.
  • The #1 position on Google gets 10x higher click-throughs than the #10 position.
  • The first three organic listings on a search engine results page account for 75% of all clicks.
  • Websites that rank low on Google unsurprisingly get low clicks, or not at all.

Fair question: “Why should I care about SEO right now?”

Given how practices are generally short-staffed and busier than ever, your practice may not need or want more clients and patients right now. So, it makes perfect sense that SEO may not seem important right now. Yet right now is also the correct time to think about the time it takes to rank on Google.

According to the SEO experts at Spiral Analytics, “Google’s algorithm has evolved and become smarter, utilizing over 200 factors to search and categorize a page.” This means it now takes time for websites to rank higher on Google. While author and entrepreneur Neil Patel says it can take 3 months, SEO experts like Ahrefs say it can take 2-6 months.

When you juxtapose ranking time against practice considerations like veterinary competition in 2022 by new pet tech startups, the disposition of pet owners to now shop around online for veterinary care, and veterinary market players focused on expanding services globally, the following conclusion is not unreasonable:

For practices to remain competitive in 2022 (and beyond), implementing some basic SEO today fundamentally hedges against competition and uncertainty.

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