Jan 03 2013

SEO and Veterinary Websites

SEO is an important part of your online presence – by optimizing your site correctly, you will be helping your current and future clients to be able to find your website through search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Here are some great tips to help you stay optimized:

1)     Keywords

The most important thing to remember about Search Engine Optimization is KEYWORDS!  If keywords (key pieces of information) are not in the content of your website – you will likely not be found.

For example:

  • If you want to be found when a customer does a Google search for: “Vet in <YOUR LOCATION>
  • The words “vet in <your location> must be used liberally in the content of your website or it probably won’t be found.

It is important that you also go through the content of your site and add these keywords where they seem to fit.

Here is a great tool to help generate keywords that may have otherwise been left out.

 

2)     Blogging

Now that you’ve got some great keywords lined up, it might be a good time to start a blog.

Blogs are a great way to keep your site relevant. Updating your site with new and unique content keeps your site fresh and doesn’t allow it to become stagnant. Blogs are also a great area to include keywords.  LifeLearn’s veterinary website  platform, WebDVM4, has a blog built right in!

KEYWORDS – I suggest that when adding keywords to any area of your veterinary website that you write the content first, and then go back and add relevant keywords, where they seem to fit. It is important that you maintain a balance in which you add relevant keywords, without compromising the readability of the content. It has to flow, or you’ll lose readers, your bounce rate will skyrocket and your quality score will decrease! (Remember, it is no use driving people to your site, if they bounce off it in 7 seconds.) The content has to be readable.

3)     Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a great (FREE) tool that provides you with the ability to access information about your website viewers.  Information such as how they found your site, what type of device they viewed it on (computer, tablet, mobile device, etc.), what pages they visited, how long they stayed, and so on. You can sign up for Google Analytics here Google Analytics.  Once you’ve signed up, you can place your Google Analytics code on your veterinary website in the SEO area of the WebDVM4 content management system.

Many clients are viewing websites on mobile devices. Actually, around 47% of your clients will be viewing your website on a mobile device. Fortunately, WebDVM4 veterinary websites are completely optimized for mobile devices!

4)     Page Titles, Meta Descriptions and Meta Tags

I first wanted to expose some myths surrounding this area of SEO.

  • Meta Tags (or Meta Keywords) – are no longer used by any of the major search engines in their website ranking.  In fact, recent releases of both Google and Bing can lower a site score by marking your site as “spammy” if you are using meta keywords, especially if your meta keywords don’t reflect your content.   Here is an article posted by the team at Google Webmasters Central Blog on this topic:
  • Page Title – it is important to optimize the title of your web pages. WebDVM4 veterinary websites out-of-the-box creates unique and readable page titles for your website.  We also take it a step further and have added an ability to have a “Search Engine Optimized Title” that appears on the top tab of your browser while visiting the page.  This page title is also crawled by the search engines.
    • Including keywords in your search engine optimized title is important!
      • For example: “Veterinary Services in Your location” – this indicates the services you offer and your target market location.
  • Page Meta Description – Google has also announced that they’re not currently using the meta description to help rank your site but this does not mean that meta descriptions are not valid! The meta description appears under your name on a Google search. This content could prove very valuable when a client is determining whether to click on your site or the one above / below it. Optimizing this content to entice readers to click on your site is key here.

Here is a great tech tip video that LifeLearn created about search engine optimization in WebDVM4 that will likely make this area a little easier to understand!

 

5)     Social Media

Social Media is another great way to increase your online presence and help boost SEO. Becoming a part of the online community through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogging, etc. will help you engage your customers, drive them to your site and help with compliance.

Here are some great tech tip videos for incorporating social media into the WebDVM4 veterinary website platform.

 

Remember SEO is an ongoing process, it won’t happen overnight, and you have to keep at it! But once you start, I think you’ll find it’s kind of fun.

 

About the author: Dale Beech is an Client Support Specialist and SEO Expert with LifeLearn Inc, whose responsibilities include everything from designing and developing websites, advising clients on SEO best practices, and running the weekly WebDVM4 webinars.  In his free time Dale enjoys spending time with his family and friends, discovering new music, and relaxing outdoors. Dale has an extensive collection of sunglasses and his motto is “Life is good!”

Barking Dog | Content Marketing

Comments are closed.