Search Engine Optimization Strategies and Tactics to Rank for the Searches that Matter Most to Your Practice as a Local Business
Help Prospective Clients Searching Online for a Local Veterinarian Find Your Practice More Easily and View it More Favorably—Whether or Not They Visit Your Website
Your practice can be found more easily online if, in addition to building on-page and technical search engine optimization best practices into your website, local SEO best practices have also been implemented. After making any needed upgrades to your Google My Business listing, I focus on “legally” soliciting and managing client reviews, building backlinks to your website from other local organizations and building accurate citations for your practice in key general business and veterinary directories.
Local Search Engine Optimization
My local search engine optimization to-do list has these tasks:
- Evaluate and optimize your Google My Business and Bing Places for Business profiles, completing all profile information and working with your team or a local photographer to secure and upload high-quality photographs as recommended by Google.
- Develop and help your team implement a protocol for requesting reviews from your clients while ensuring balance and fairness (and staying out of trouble with Google and Yelp).
- Respond promptly to all reviews—positive and negative—unless doing so would likely further provoke an angry client. (A local SEO component of the On-Call Marketing Communications Counsel service)
- Contact organizations in your community to build links from their websites back to yours.
- Build accurate, consistent listings or citations for your practice in leading general business, local and veterinary industry online directories.
- Double-check your website’s page-loading speed and mobile friendliness (A local SEO consideration shared with “regular” website SEO services).
Local Searchers With ‘Purchase Intent’
When a pet owner in your community searches for “vet near me,” “vet open now” or “best vet in Anytown,” search engines understand the searcher is looking for a veterinary practice with “purchase intent” and obligingly display results listing veterinary practices in the searcher’s proximity. By optimizing for local search, we can improve your chances of capturing the pet owner’s attention as a prospective client by appearing in the “3-pack” on Google Maps and ranking high in organic results.
Should an existing or prospective client search for your practice by name, an optimized Google My Business information panel appears to the right of paid ads and organic search results, presenting your practice an opportunity to make a positive first impression, provide your location and a clickable phone number, show your office hours and holiday closings, list your services, answer questions—including some we’ve asked ourselves—and drive traffic to your website.
Soliciting Reviews Ethically
The panel also displays your quality ratings and reviews on Google as well as ratings on other sites such as Facebook, Yelp and Angie’s List.
To encourage reviews, we will implement a fair, equitable solicitation process as part of our local SEO strategy.
A Few Negative Ratings and Reviews Are A Positive
Research shows that many consumers consider a perfect 5-star rating too good to be true and are more likely to trust and purchase a product with a rating between 4.2 to 4.5 stars.
Besides lowering your perfect 5.0 score to more credible levels, properly addressed negative reviews can give you ideas for improving your services and opportunities to demonstrate publicly your responsiveness and commitment to client satisfaction.
Local Backlinks and Citations
Together, we will look for opportunities to secure backlinks to your website from websites of other local organizations. These links to your site signal your community connections to search engines and may generate traffic to your website as well.
Consistent citations in leading general business and veterinary industry directories can be helpful in local search and may also drive traffic to your site.