In the business world, it is essential that your individual company stand out from the competition so potential clients will choose you over a competitor. One of the best ways to do that is to have high visibility online and to make sure your digital presence is recognized by search engines, like Google, as well as potential new clients.
For your veterinary practice, you probably already know how critical it is to have a well-optimized website that demonstrates your expertise in veterinary practices and medicine to pet owners in your area. Search engine optimization will ensure certain aspects of the website remain at their highest level. So a search engine that crawls the site will recognize its relevance and importance for the industry.
At VetSEO, we focus on the proper optimization of your site. We will take care of the foundational aspects of the SEO process, including:
Aside from facets of the process, we also know digital marketing and the strategies involved need to be at their optimal level as well. Veterinary marketing companies like ours need to make sure your website is in tip-top shape, and our marketing ideas are most beneficial for you.
Here are some of the top marketing strategies and SEO tips VetSEO uses to ensure your site gets the rankings it deserves. While at the same time getting plenty of new patients coming through your door.
Marketing for vets and veterinary advertising relies on several essential factors. One of the most critical is identifying and focusing on your unique selling proposition (USP). This is what will differentiate your veterinary practice from your competition in your area.
Potential clients assume you already have the proper veterinary credentials to care for their pets and keep them healthy. What they’re looking for is the unique aspect of your veterinary practice that differentiates you from other vets. This could be something like free nail trimming on Tuesdays or discounts on certain essential services for referrals.
It can also be something related to your website, such as ease of navigation or reliable online appointment scheduling. Once you figure out what your USP for your practice is, it’s essential to make sure all clients are aware of it and demonstrate its value to them. That’s a sure-fire way to get more pet owners calling to make appointments and ensuring repeat business!
Blogs have been around for a very long time, and some in the business world feel blogs are not viable veterinary marketing ideas. However, these people are not looking at all of the inherent advantages of creating and updating a veterinary practice blog.
When pet owners search for a veterinary practice in their area, they will likely browse your website and see what services you offer, prices for your services, and where you are located. What they’re probably not expecting is a personal blog written by the vet about topics that are important to pet owners and the marketing opportunities that come with it.
Don’t think you have the time for writing and marketing a blog? Not a problem. Your blog doesn’t need long written posts daily. One or two posts per week that are informative and give your clients some insight about their vet is perfect. Think of it as a “getting to know you” technique that can reach all of your clients at once. They will feel more connected to you and confident they have chosen the best vet for their pets.
In our modern world of digital marketing, you must provide both clients and search engines what they are most interested in finding on your website. Fortunately, clients and search engines like Google want to see images and videos. Clients especially love to view photos and videos of you with pets as well as other customers’ pictures.
Ask your clients if they would be ok having their photos taken along with their pets. Let them know they will be featured on the website or on your blog. It creates a sense of community within veterinary practices. Be sure to write snippets explaining who’s in the photo or video as a best marketing practice. This is great for clients but is also helpful for Google when ranking your site.
For veterinary SEO and marketing, when it comes to photos and videos, you want to use image tagging to help Google understand what the image is about (Google only sees code, not the picture, so you have to explain it). You will also want to use schema markup to help with rankings and traffic. The schema markup is like vocabulary for tags in the code that will improve the way search engines read and represent your website on the results pages.
And because vet marketing is not limited to only websites viewed on a computer, you will want to ensure the images are compressed for mobile devices. People who are featured on your site with their dog, cat, bird, hamster, or other furry friends will want to show off their photo to friends. Be sure they can do that on the go!
When it comes to digital marketing strategies, nothing beats patient testimonials as the true measure of your success. With veterinary marketing, we know your clients want to see what other patients are saying about the job you’re doing. People are always asking for recommendations on platforms like social media websites, so you want to be sure your website and blog both have these testimonials.
On your homepage, you want visitors to start scrolling down the page and see how pleased other clients are. So visitors see the quality of care customer’s pets receive at your veterinary practice. Whenever someone reads your blog, they should also be able to see testimonials at the end of the posts or along the sidebar, so they don’t forget how much patients are satisfied with your veterinary service.
Whether you’re sending out email marketing, calling the phone number of a new client, or asking for a phone number in person, always try to remind clients to leave a review for your business, or send you a testimonial to be used on the site.
According to BigCommerce When 72% of consumers say positive reviews and testimonials increase their trust in a business, it’s a no-brainer marketing strategy to start asking clients for a review.
Veterinary marketing ideas come in all shapes and sizes and can focus on any area of the practice. One of the many marketing ideas that you could implement is the creation of special or seasonal offers. Adding and advertising these offers can boost patient numbers and help ensure repeat business.
For example, around the holiday season, when pet owners are taking their furry friends to visit Santa, they want their pets to look their best. This may include getting their nails trimmed and their fur groomed. A special holiday offer may be a percentage off these services. Don’t forget the marketing opportunity to advertise on social media. Ask clients to send you digital copies of their Santa photos over email, so you can feature them online as a promotion of your excellent service.
Clients will be appreciative of these offers and likely refer their friends and family to your business over other veterinary practices because you understand what matters most. Veterinary marketing is all about understanding what is of the utmost importance to your clients and using that information for a mutual benefit.
There are always minor disadvantages to temporary offers as well, though. When the offer expires, and the prices return to normal (as the marketing for the offers will have stated), some patients may be upset or request an extension. You can remind them you only have their pets’ health and well-being in mind and you provide the highest quality service for their furry friends.
Dogs are humans’ best friends and are known for their loyalty, but people can also be very loyal to a business that treats them well. Veterinary practices have found success with client retention when they participate in a loyalty program. This type of plan can bring pet owners back for years to come knowing they have added benefits of sticking with the same vet.
Loyalty programs often include things like incentives for utilizing services that are not essential to the immediate health of the pet. These can be grooming services, boarding, nail clipping, and other aspects of pet ownership besides checkups and vaccination updates. The client may be given a free or discounted grooming service after spending a certain amount or having a specific number of appointments.
People enjoy feeling like they are part of a club that gives them advantages and benefits they would otherwise not have. Making sure you have the right incentives, and marketing them will be the make-or-break moments of your loyalty program.
More so than ever before, people are connected to one another and to the business world through the various social media platforms available to them. If you know that you have potential clients waiting to hear from you on social media, it should be a part of your veterinary marketing plan.
While people may have your phone number or email address (or at least know how to find it online), that doesn’t make them want to reach out to you. When you use social media sites to engage with your clients, they feel as if they know you and your business better. Your veterinary practice relies on returning and new patients, so it’s critical, from a marketing standpoint, that you reach out to them in the places they spend most of their time.
When 3.5 billion people (or 45% of the world’s population) use social media, and 68% of adults in the U.S. are Facebook users, these statistics ought to prove to you that marketing opportunities are waiting for you online. You can use your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other sites to get patients to actually go to your website and see what you have to offer. It is also a great place to share photos and videos of your practice, staff, patients, and new offers. Take real photos rather than relying on stock images! Likewise, you can share links to your blog posts to social media to increase traffic to the blog and then your website. It’s all connected, and you need to get your practice connected as well.
When it comes to marketing, and veterinary marketing specifically, it’s essential to have visual representations of things you want to promote or explain to your patients. People have become very visual and respond positively to images and infographics.
For example, if you have a new supplement to promote for use in older dogs, you could hand patients a pamphlet which explains all the benefits and hope they read it. Or, a better marketing idea is to create an infographic posted on your website, which shows the product, a happy dog who takes it, and a bulleted list of the product’s uses and advantages. As a best practice, it’s easy to look at, gives enough explanation, and ensures you get the important ideas across.
When done well and incorporated correctly on your website, infographics are helpful in marketing to your clients and will assist you in the search rankings. They are great for linkability, and they show Google you have a plethora of useful information, so you should be ranked higher on the results pages.
Many business owners have not taken advantage of the numerous marketing benefits of updating and utilizing their Google MyBusiness profiles. These profiles are an easy way to get all of the most pertinent information across to clients: website, email address, location, phone number, etc. But they are also useful when it comes to providing clients with extra content.
On your Google MyBusiness profile, you can add a map of your location, relevant images about your business, proper categories, and content that may not have a good place on your website. When it comes to ranking in the local search, the Google MyBusiness profile is going to boost your business over your competitors who have not fully utilized this service. The more information you can provide your clients and to Google, the better off you will be when it comes to increased traffic and more appointments at your veterinary clinic.
Another essential marketing strategy is monitoring your Google MyBusiness reviews and responding to them. Whether your reviews are positive or negative, each one should have a response from your company. Not only will it make the client who wrote the review feel heard and appreciated, but Google also takes the reviews into consideration when ranking your website.
Some reviews will have questions from patients or simply contain a favorable comment about your services. Take the time to answer your patient’s questions (direct them to call you or email you for more in-depth answers) and thank them for remembering to leave the review.
If a veterinary patient has left a negative review, it’s essential from a business and marketing standpoint that you leave a detailed response. Address the concerns and try to formulate a way to remedy the situation, if possible. Be sure you are responding in a sensitive, caring way – do not be antagonistic, patronizing, or condescending. While you can’t delete the review, you can reply in a way that demonstrates to other potential clients you genuinely care about your patients and want only the best for their pets.
At VetSEO, our marketing experts focus solely on veterinary practices and making sure your clinic increases traffic to your site and gets more clients through the door. We understand all of the marketing strategies discussed above (and more). We can’t wait to help you optimize your website and bring in more patients. And we are always happy to answer questions and address concerns no matter how small. From an email address that doesn’t respond to significant site overhauls, we can handle it all.