The American Pet Products Association reports that 67% of households in the United States own at least one pet. That’s roughly 85 million families with animals that need love, treats and care from a skilled veterinarian.
Clearly, pet owners are everywhere. But how can you attract the ones that live near your practice?
Well, to communicate with them, you’ll have to meet them where they are. And in today’s technology-centered world, pet owners are online. Truth be told, 4 out of 5 consumers use search engines to find local information.
A growing number of people are turning to search engines to uncover nearby services close to them, including veterinary care. And the vast majority of searchers select a business on the first page of results.
In light of this, it’s crucial that your practice implements a local SEO strategy.
Local SEO is a branch of search engine optimization (SEO) that increases the visibility of your practice online. As you’ll learn in this article, a listing in a veterinarian directory is beneficial to local SEO.
If you’re yearning for a first-page spot in the results and more ideal patients, read on!
How does local SEO for veterinarians attract new patients?
Local SEO is a two for one deal. In other words, it provides your practice the opportunity to appear in two prominent places—Google Maps and the Google search results page.
To understand how local SEO functions, we need to examine Google My Business.
Google My Business, or GMB as we affectionately refer to it, is a free tool that serves as an online profile for your business. To use GMB, you set up an account and verify the location of your practice. Then you’ll add relevant details including business hours, phone number, address, and more. The key is to fill your profile with as much information about your veterinary clinic as possible.
Eco Deco in Miami Florida does a great job of this. The profile appears at the top for the term “veterinarian Miami Beach” in Google Maps.
Beyond providing standard information, this pet hospital showcases photos and has lots of reviews, which is great for a local SEO boost.
Eco Deco Pet Hospital also appears on the first page of search results outside of Google Maps. The prime Google real estate that this practice occupies was not given randomly by the digital powers that be. Instead, it’s the result of careful attention to ranking factors in local SEO.
Allow us to explain. Google ranks GMB profiles according to three key factors: relevance, distance, and prominence.
User experience is king when it comes to search engines. To keep searchers happy, Google strives to produce search results that are relevant to the user’s query. So make sure that your information is accurate, up-to-date and fully filled out. Consider going above and beyond with pictures and Q&As like Eco Deco.
Local searches (those that include “near me” or a city name) are met with local results. So the distance between your business and the searcher influences the ranking of your GMB profile. This element is largely out of your hands since you can’t control what other people are looking up. But you can ensure that your address is accurate for all locations.
Well-known landmarks and businesses have an easier time ranking in local search results. Thanks to multiple mentions of these places all across the internet, Google knows these locations are legitimate and popular. Unless you run a nationally renowned clinic, there’s room for improvement in the prominence sector of your GMB profile. Fortunately, there is a straightforward way to do so.
What are citations?
Imagine a pet health blog is writing a piece on the top ways to care for a new puppy. They quote a veterinarian from your practice in the article and link to your practice website. This mention of your clinic is known as a citation.
Each time your website is linked to from another website, you earn a citation. Citations are the building blocks to digital prominence. Simply put, more brand mentions on reputable websites gives search engines more reason to believe that your practice is credible and trustworthy.
To accumulate citations, get your practice listed in veterinarian directories. These provide structured citations that include the name, address and phone number (NAP) of your practice. Consistent information across multiple platforms boosts your authority in the eyes of search engines.
The citation below for a Los Angeles based veterinarian displays NAP along with a few more details.
Veterinarian directories to list your practice in
The climb to increased visibility online takes patience — and listings in a veterinarian directory. To bolster your local SEO, dedicate some time to gather citations across multiple directories.
We whipped up this list of ten all-star veterinarian directories to earn citations in. Let’s jump in!
This veterinarians’ directory showcases board-certified vets that have undergone extensive training in a unique specialty. If you specialize in veterinary cardiology, oncology or another niche of animal health, consider getting listed in this directory.
Vet locator ranks as the top search result for the term “veterinary directory”. As such, the site gets a good deal of organic search traffic. Vet locator offers listings at different price tiers, depending on the amount of promotion your practice would like.
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association
Most veterinarian directories are open to a broad range of practices. But this one is focused on homeopathic practices. Homeopathic and holistic veterinarians are welcome in this directory. To be listed in the searchable directory, you must be an AHVMA member.
Dog owners flock to Bring Fido to learn about activities and locations that are open to canine companions. One section of the site is dedicated to featuring veterinarians from across the country. Since many pet owners visit and trust Bring Fido, this is a veterinary directory worth considering.
The USA Veterinarians directory lists thousands of veterinary practices broken down by state, city, and county. A unique feature of this directory is the focus on cost. Users can request a quote from a listed veterinarian via a tool on the website.
Arizona Veterinary Medical Association
As the name suggests, this directory lists veterinary practices in Arizona. The directory features veterinarians in an array of fields from small animal doctors to those who treat horses and cows. If you are not located in Arizona, there are similar organizations in many states, so search around for a well-known association near you.
The Parsemus Foundation veterinary directory has a very specific purpose. It lists veterinarians in multiple countries that perform alternative procedures to traditional spaying and neutering. If your practice offers services like these, you can request a listing here.
Fear Free Pets
Dr.Marty Becker developed Fear Free, an approach to animal care that reduces anxiety and uneasiness in animals. He describes it as a “transformative initiative for veterinary professionals.” Now, veterinarians across the country are Fear Free certified. If you are one of them, get a listing in the Fear Free directory.
American Animal Hospital Association
This well-respected organization accredits animal hospitals based on rigorous veterinary care standards. If your practice is AAHA accredited, make sure it is also listed in the vet directory. The AAHA offers multiple ways to promote your practice beyond its directory including sponsorships and advertising options.
Closing out our list of veterinary directories is veterinarians.com. This website is more than a directory. It offers a community for pet owners to share photos, chat and learn about all things animal-related. The directory is easy to use. Users simply type in their zip code to locate nearby vets.
Guide your practice towards SEO success
Hectic days at the practice and recurring business demands can lead to a neglected marketing strategy. It takes special care and dedication to help a practice stand out among competitors. Save time and skip beginner errors by partnering with a team of experts.
With a veterinary SEO agency working behind the scenes, you can focus on your four-legged patients while a team of digital marketers builds your brand. A team will secure local citations, manage Google My Business, and maintain the technical aspects of your website.
To learn how your website is currently performing, put it through this quick and free SEO audit.