Why You Should Optimize Your Google Business Profile Listing 

To stay competitive in an online world, your veterinary website naturally needs to quickly tell pet owners who you are, how you can help them, and why you’re the veterinary team for them. If you already have such a veterinary website, driving traffic to it is key. To help do this, here are three reasons why you should optimize your Google Business Profile listing (or create one):

1. More Veterinary Website Traffic

Companies with a Google Business Profile listing (Google Business Profile) attract roughly 30% more website traffic than businesses without a Google Business Profile listing.

2. More Location Traffic and Customer Conversions

Businesses with a Google Business Profile listing are 38% more likely to see online searchers walk in the front door (or arrive curbside, as the COVID case may be), and arrivals are 29% more likely to become customers.

3. Better Customer Trust

In a competitive veterinary market, listing your practice on Google Business Profile is an important tool to help increase website traffic, customer trust, and practice profitability, and having complete and up-to-date Google Business Profile listing information is key to reaching those goals. 

Google is a business focused on customer satisfaction, and relevant search results are cornerstone to Google to maintain customer satisfaction. After all, if Google displayed search results that were irrelevant to a user’s needs and/or location, people wouldn’t use Google. To ensure this doesn’t happen, Google’s search algorithm and ranking systems are designed to present results that best match what some are looking for, and local results appear for people who search for businesses near their location. 

4. Enhance Your Local Veterinary Website Ranking on Google

Pet owners naturally want to discover nearby veterinary clinics. By making sure you have an up-to-date Google Business Profile listing for your veterinary clinic, you help Google understand more about your business. This makes it easier for Google to match your veterinary clinic to relevant user searches, which enhances your local veterinary website ranking and presence on Google Search and Google Maps.

5. Google Business Profile Includes Insights

The more you know about potential customers, the better you can tailor your overall practice marketing to turn prospects into clients. Google Business Profile provides insights into how people searched for your practice and where those searches came from. You can also find information such as how many people called your practice from the number listed on local search results in Google Search and Google Maps. 

How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile

Image Source: https://www.wufdesign.co.uk/google-business-profile/

1. Complete Your Business Information 

Google determines local ranking according to three main factors:

  • Relevance—how well your Google Business Profile 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 Business Profile 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 Business Profile 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. Make sure your NAP is consistent

NAP stands for name, address, and phone number, and good SEO practices dictate that your NAP should be consistent across your website, and also across all your listings on the Internet, from your social accounts to your Google Business Profile account to Yelp. This is important because Google is very detail-oriented and rewards consistency in listings. When we say consistent, we mean identical. As we stated in our NAP article, if you’re using the word “street” in some listings and the short form “St.” in others, you may be running into trouble with your NAP. So take a couple of minutes to decide exactly how you want your address to read, and check all your listings to ensure that it is the same across your online presence. This is a small task that only takes a couple of minutes to complete and can give your business a local SEO boost.

3. Post Photos to Attract More Pet Owners

 According to Search Engine Journal, businesses with photos in their Google Business Profile 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.

4. Respond to all online reviews

even the negative ones. For why this is important and how to turn negative reviews into positives, read our recent blogs: The Benefits of Negative Reviews and Understanding Why Clients Post Negative Reviews Online. 

5. Respond to all online reviews

Share posts to promote events, offers, and website content. In 2017, Google rolled out Google Posts to give local businesses a simple way to attract new customers and build relationships with existing ones. Google Posts appear on your Google Business Profile listing, and clients can both read a full post and share it with friends directly from Google. 

6. Create a short name and URL for your practice

Once you have a verified Google Business Profile listing, you can create a short name, or custom name, for your Business Profile to make it easier for customers to find you.  

7. 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 Business Profile 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 Business Profile listing
  • How often pet owners call your clinic
  • Photo views and number of photos you have on your Google Business Profile 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 Business Profile 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?

Verify Your Google Business Profile Listing Carefully

Once you’ve created your initial Google Business Profile listing, Google sends out a verification code by postcard that you use to verify your veterinary clinic location. Make sure to enter this code carefully. If you enter the code incorrectly more than five times, you’ll no longer be able to verify your business.

Take a Second Look at Your Veterinary Website.

It’s one thing to attract more pet owners to your veterinary website with a Google Business Profile listing. It’s another thing to keep them engaged once they arrive. So, ask yourself some honest questions:

  • Does my veterinary website have veterinary-approved content and resources to save time educating pet owners and improve compliance?
  • Does my veterinary website have online conversion forms that empower pet owners to request appointments, refills, and more with little practice administrative effort?
  • Does my veterinary website provide Pet Insurance Info, a reliable, unbiased resource that saves time answering pet owner questions.

Improve Your Local SEO ranking with Experts?

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, implement your veterinary practice SEO strategy, grow your veterinary business, and convert website visitors into paying clients. Learn how a WebDVM website can help!