SEO: Fact or fiction?

Beyond Indigo

Over the past few years, search engine optimization (SEO) has moved from being a veterinary industry buzzword to a veterinary industry standard.

Even so, there is still a lot of confusion that exists on a clinic-by-clinic basis, in which we see practices question whether they truly need SEO in their particular market or locale. The fact remains, though, the for almost every veterinary practice, it is recommended that your website be properly optimized for SEO in order to remain competitive online as a whole, as well as in your local markets, as your competitors are more than likely familiar with SEO, too.

True or false?

SEO is too expensive and unaffordable to be effective.

While it’s true that SEO has expanded so much as an industry that “everyone wants in on it,” you don’t need to spend thousands upon thousands per month to achieve truly successful results. By utilizing strong SEO tactics from a trusted SEO analyst, you can spend less than you might spend via other marketing channels to get your business in front of potential clients. In addition, Google AdWords only charges you when a user clicks on your ad.

SEO can help me compete directly with more popular or larger clinics in my city.

With a more pronounced online presence, you can gain a larger share of the potential client base searching for veterinarians in your area. A good SEO analyst will use competitor analysis strategies to learn what optimizations and tactics other popular veterinary hospitals in your area use, and ensure that you are using them as well.

SEO can help increase traffic by targeting specific goals, such as driving in more pet boarding or wellness exams.

SEO analysts can optimize your pages and content to target your most important veterinary services, and then set up additional keyword and goal conversion tracking to measure how well those service-related keywords are performing, and how many visitors are going to those pages on your website.

SEO can help me improve and track new client signups and appointment requests.

With advanced goal conversion tracking, SEO analysts can track when a user makes a unique interaction with your website. This includes not only when someone visits your contact, new client, and appointment request pages, but also when these forms have successfully been submitted, allowing you to monitor and adjust your strategy accordingly.

SEO can be a one-time fix. I can hire someone to set it up and just leave it as it is.

Google makes more than 500–600 updates to their algorithm each year. If you take on a “set it and forget it” attitude, you may find yourself being affected negatively by one of these updates, with no one to monitor and correct the effects on a monthly basis.

I pay for social media and AdWords services, so I don’t need SEO.

While it’s true that you can find success just advertising via social media or for paid search via Google AdWords, the truth is that organic search still outweighs both heavily in terms of generating increased traffic and new clients.

SEO is one of the most important pillars in your online presence, but to be truly successful, you should be working toward having all elements of your online business functioning as best as possible.

Melissa Mason is an SEO analyst for Beyond Indigo Pets.

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