What are “Near Me” searches?
Most people use Google search and other search engines to find local businesses that are relevant to their needs. “Near me” searches are growing rapidly as more people, including pet owners, have access to devices with GPS-enabled services. These devices help Google identify the location of the search and present the most relevant results that are near the user. This is why “Veterinarian Near Me” searches have become so prevalent.
How important are local SEO and local search?
“Near me” searches are an excellent way for you to reach your clients at the moment when they need your veterinary services the most. Most of these searches have an element of urgency since it’s something that the potential client wants at that moment.
New pet owners need pet vaccinations for their new addition. Maybe they need an animal hospital in close proximity to treat an injury. Either way, they are searching for a vet clinic to meet their needs NOW.
If you can step up in local rankings and show new clients that you’re near them and your veterinary clinic is exactly what they need, then you’ve reached a potential client with almost no effort on the part of your business.
“Near me” searches have increased dramatically in the past two years, even among pet owners. Statistics show that most of these searches relate to food, but that service industries like banking, entertainment, apparel, and even veterinary services also share a hefty chunk of the pie.
Veterinary practices, or any other location-based service or business, don’t need to have an SEO strategy that increases their visibility globally. All you need for your veterinary SEO is for local searches to have your veterinary practice, in the search results. And for that, it’s better to focus on local SEO to capitalize on the growth of “near me” searches and drive traffic toward your veterinary website.
Tips to improve your local SEO for “Near Me” searches
There are lots of ranking factors that come into play for local businesses. Optimizing your veterinary hospital for local search is essential for your veterinary practice in the age of the “near me” search. Whether you’re about to embark on a content marketing campaign, or already have an established SEO campaign, there are several ways that you can adapt your strategy and improve local search results to the benefit of your veterinary practice. Here are some tips on how to rank for Veterinarian Near Me searches.
Leverage your Google Business Profile
Google Business Profiles are an essential way to get any business on the map. A Google Business Profile is a listing that has all the relevant information about your business, such as your clinic name, address, phone number, menu, and business hours of your veterinary clinic.
Once you’ve set up your Goole Business Profile, Google will automatically display the listing for your veterinary practice whenever anyone conducts a location-based Google search in your area. Your business services will also show up on Google Maps, which will provide a link to your website or landing page.
To get consistent results for the right keywords, you’ll need to do a bit of keyword research. After finding keywords that are relevant to your veterinary clinic, optimize your Google Business listing to include as much information as possible that will attract your target audience. The more information you provide about your veterinary clinic, and the more you update the page, the higher you’ll rank.
You can also take advantage of the fact that Google looks for reviews of your business, and once it’s gathered more reviews for your growing veterinary clinic, it will post them on your Google Business Profile listing. This extra bit of reputability can dramatically increase your leads and help you rank higher in local Google search results when people are searching for your main services.
An easy way to get reviews for your Google Business Profile is to request them on social media or via your website. Encourage users to leave reviews on your Google Business Profile in exchange for the chance to win a prize or offer a special discount for honest reviews. Also, be sure to address any clients who have had a negative experience with your veterinary clinic, and do your best to rectify the situation to ensure a good reputation.
Use schema markup
Schema data refers to information that search engines use to provide their customers with more comprehensive information. If you’ve ever seen a rich snippet in your Google search results – the search engine obtained that from a schema markup. The most common schema data includes:
Contact information, including phone number, website link, email address, and physical location
Adding schema markup is relatively simple, but it’s vital that this information is exactly the same as the information on your veterinary websites.
Get backlinks with geographic anchor text
Search engines use a metric called “domain authority” to decide how to rank your veterinarian website, linking pet owners to the best information. High-authority websites of animal hospitals and veterinary clinics have lots of backlinks with geographically relevant anchor text, so having more of these will increase your authority.
A good way to start is to use location-rich variants of existing anchor text. Instead of just saying “best veterinarian near me,” add your city or area to the anchor as well to boost your local listing.
Acquire local links for your website/blog
When it comes to search engine optimization, external links leading to your site are the best way to improve authority. At the same time, create content and a blog to also establish your authority in the area.
The best way to get backlinks to your blog and boost your veterinary SEO is to network with influencers near you and link them in your blog posts. Ideally, they’ll return the favor and link to your website, nudging potential customers within close proximity toward your veterinary website, and essentially, your services. You’ll also need to ensure that the anchor for these links includes your keywords, as well as your “near me” city or area.
As part of your content creation and content marketing strategies, developing backlinks is time-consuming and requires a lot of effort, but the results for your business are worth its because SEO works.
Optimize targeted, location-focused landing pages
If your business has multiple locations, you’ll need to have multiple location pages, each tailored to the area. To optimize multiple locations for “near me” Google searches, you’ll need to:
Optimize the title tags, meta descriptions, and meta tags for your desired local keywords.
Add the relevant business information to each local business page, including your business contact details, business name, address, and hours.
Stick to a user-friendly URL structure that makes it clear exactly which location the page describes.
Mobile devices are the most common device used for a “near me” search. Being mobile-friendly is an essential component of any digital marketing strategy, especially as Google continues to prioritize usable, accessible websites.
Best practices for your website include:
Keep it responsive by minimizing the loading time
Ensure it’s easy to navigate from the very first page by keeping buttons large and visible
Optimize site speed by enabling compression and using a CDN to distribute server load
“Near me” Google searches are great for local businesses and vet clinics because they provide you with an opportunity to get clients when they perform relevant searches on Google. A focus on local keywords can dramatically increase your business visibility and even foster consumer trust. If you want the benefits a “near me” Google search provides but don’t know where to start, get in touch with our team.