From Pet To Patient: How Pet Owners Choose A Clinic
Choosing a veterinary clinic is a highly personal decision for many pet owners. When choosing a healthcare provider for themselves, much of their decision will come down to what their insurance covers. Seeing as less than 3% of all dogs in the U.S. are insured, patients understand that the money will likely be coming out of their pockets, and they might be a bit pickier with where it goes.
In addition to choosing a veterinarian that they feel truly cares for their pet, pet owners will also aim for convenience and opt for a practice close to their location. Both of these qualities can be communicated through local SEO strategies and SEO content creation.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is a set of methods that is designed to improve the visibility of web pages in organic search results. When your future patients get their furry friend, they will often want care right away, and they will begin their searches on Google. They will be looking through the first page to see helpful information and positive reviews about potential clinics. Your future patients are searching with high intention and want to be able to contact you easily and conveniently.
With SEO in mind, these are some of the qualities that your practice should prioritize when choosing the elements of your website:
A user-friendly website
If your website is outdated, pet owners might have the impression that your services are too, even if that is not the case. In a study published in scientific journal PLoS ONE, joy is the most common emotion that pet owners experience with their pets. It makes sense that when they are looking for a clinic to care for them, they would want those same positive emotions to continue.
Creating a website that is friendly for both SEO and users goes deeper than design. It is important for your website to be responsive on both mobile and desktop. Mobile responsiveness means that the website will adjust to fit the screen sizes of the device. A web designer can help optimize images, enable compression, improve page speed, and include the right page elements to help accomplish this.
Pet owners want to know that their pets are in good hands. They are more likely to leave their pet in the care of someone friendly and familiar than with a complete stranger. That is why it is so important for a veterinary clinic to stay connected with their community.
Stronger community engagement can also lead to stronger SEO. When you have active and consistent content meant for your community, it will help Google search understand your audience and lead more of them to you. Optimizing for search engines will help you optimize for the communities who use them, which is why SEO and community engagement truly go hand-in-hand.
Highlighting members of your team is a great way to get your potential visitors further acquainted with your clinic. This is one more way that veterinary clinics can form connections with pet owners. It is also an opportunity to showcase your team’s skills while incorporating the keywords that your future visitors are searching for. This will help your users trust you, build a lasting relationship, and help your clinic become more memorable. This makes it more likely that users will search for your clinic in the future, which will help your clinic move up the page.
Local SEO Basics For Veterinary Clinics
Local SEO helps individual veterinary clinics compete for visibility on search engines in their local market. Most pet owners search for a clinic near them, so the importance of this marketing tactic cannot be overestimated. Veterinarians must include keywords from both general searches and local searches, but local searches demonstrate a higher intent and greater likelihood of being contacted by the searcher. Here are some other reasons why local SEO matters for veterinarians:
Almost a third of consumers search for local businesses on a daily basis
Even with the rise of social media over the last decade, organic search still drives over 10x more website traffic than organic social media
60% of respondents in an SEO survey said organic results were more relevant than paid ads
In addition to appearing in the organic results of a SERP (search engine results page), it is also necessary to consider how far down the list your clinic appears. The clinic that appears first on a SERP will have a huge advantage. In fact, these businesses are 11x more likely to be clicked on than the tenth result. Investing time and effort into local SEO can create a meaningful increase in web traffic, which can create more visitors to your clinic and more revenue for you and your team.
To learn more about how to utilize local SEO best practices to benefit your veterinary clinic, contact the marketing team at Scorpion.