3 Tips to Getting Started with SEO

The World Wide Web can be a mysterious and confusing place. Is Google just a website or is it an all-seeing Internet-empire? Does my veterinary practice need active Social Media accounts to help me reach a wider audience and succeed online? And how important is it for me to optimize my visibility online anyway?

Luckily, I’m here here to answer all of your questions and help you navigate the myriad of digital elements that come with running a successful veterinary practice in the 21st century. To answer briefly; Google is both a website and an empire, Social Media is an imperative medium for most if not all businesses, and Search Engine Optimization is crucial to your success. I’ll be focusing on the later in this month’s blog and will provide you with 3 simple and proven steps to improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy.

Simply put, SEO means page visibility, and your natural page rank across online search engines. SEO can result in an immediate boon to your practice, as a surprisingly large percentage of business starts online with a simple Google search. If you’ve heard me speak before then you already know Google is the #1 search engine (by far). In fact, in 2014 alone we collectively searched Google trillions of times. We searched so much that it prompted Google to release a “Year In Search” compilation, which as a side note, we recommend watching since it just might make your day.

Why focus on Search Engine Optimization and make sure that this element is as fine-tuned as the rest of your business? Well, if you remember my “Safeguarding Your Online Reputation” article, you remember that Google has “Crawlers” which comb through billions of web pages from all across the Internet, algorithmically analyzing, assessing, ranking, and indexing web pages. They rank pages based on a multitude of factors (known as an algorithm), but the key to a successful page is to leverage the factors that you can control. A better page rank means a stronger reputation and more visits to your website, which ultimately will convert to more pet owners walking in the door.

That last line is the crux, so hang on to the takeaway: a successful SEO strategy can convert for your business and thus provide more money in your pocket. Great! I understand. Now, how do I actually implement this and apply it in real-time?

“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first. ”
Wendy Piersall

Top 3 Tips To Improve Your SEO

(1) Secure as many positive Google Reviews as possible for your business. Again, we encourage you to read our previously published “Safeguarding Your Online Reputation” for a full analysis of Google Reviews, but simply put, this is a crucial element to enhanced SEO. Reviews instantly provide credibility to your business, while bumping you up in Page Rank.

(2) Head over to the Merchant Centric website and register your business. This simple tool will help local search engines and new pet owners find your practice online, all while enhancing your SEO efforts. While you’re at it, go ahead and register your business on Yelp, Google+ and Bing. All of these tools help to enhance your Page Rank, and will allow your business to be recognized easily across each search engine.

(3) Make sure your content has a naturally included list of keywords that people will use when they search for you. These keywords shouldn’t be forced or crammed excessively into your website. They should however, be clear, confident and relevant. A few solid keywords might be “animal hospital”, “veterinarian” “animal clinic”, and the city or region you’re doing business in. All of these words help Google pinpoint who you are, what you do, where you’re located, and effectively deliver results to users with more accuracy.

This is only a small fraction of what is involved in Search Engine Algorithms (and yes, they are constantly evolving). However, these steps should empower you to claim your listings, dive into basic SEO and even understand a bit of what works behind the scenes at Google.

My goal is to help veterinary practices grow their marketing efforts and I hope this information helps you and your practice to grow confidently into the digital age.