Simple steps to improve the Google Ranking of your Veterinary Practice.

5 simple steps to improve your Google ranking

Improving your Google ranking is important for both attracting new clients and giving existing clients the information they need.

The higher the Google ranking the more likely your existing and potential clients will find you. It is an essential part of your online marketing strategy.

1. Make sure you are listed in the free Google My Business Service

SEO is heavily influenced by accuracy of business information. Search engines like Google and Bing determine the validity of a business by checking the web for the business’s existence. Therefore the more directories your business is listed the better. It’s important to make sure your Name, Address, Phone Number and Site (NAPS) are all accurate and the same across all directories.

Examples of directories can include Google My Business, Yelp and Facebook. However, these only account for a small subset of business directories. There are many, many more that a business should be listed in.

A great tool to use is Moz Local, which allows for a free scan and review of local listings.

An important factor to remember is that not all directories are trusted and high quality. There are many directories out there that are spam and can cause harm to your site’s SEO. 

Generally the eye test is encouraged. If the site looks of not high quality, do not list your business. Being associated with the wrong business can lead to penalties. However, it’s best to confer with a marketing professional who can properly check the quality of a site.

2. Make sure that the most important information is on the home page and easy to find such as address, phone number, email address and opening hours.

The most important information for a business is the keywords you are focusing on. The home page should have the keyword you are trying to rank for on the home page.

This is where it becomes about prioritization. You cannot and should not keyword stuff your home page. This means you shouldn’t be trying to rank for 10 – 15 keywords on the home page. Generally your goal is to rank each page to one keyword.

Make sure that keyword is in the headings of the page, that it is the content. You don’t have to overdo it, but just make sure its there.

The content on the home page should centre around the keyword you are focusing on.

And like mentioned, your business information should be easily found on the page. This is not only for ease of user experience, but it is also important for SEO purposes.

If there are inconsistencies with the website’s NAPS compared to the web directories, Google and the Search Engines cannot confidently report your business information.

They will then defer to other businesses that have more accurate information when it comes to ranking.

3. Make sure your website is mobile friendly. Test here.

A site’s compatibility with mobile devices and its page speed are extremely important to ranking well. Google success is based on providing good results to its consumers.

That means they want to deliver the best websites for search requests. If a site is slow or it has a non-compatible  mobile site, then the experience for the user will be poor.

This is why Google went through an update, which many called Mobilegeddon. This update gave sites that had mobile friendly sites a boost over those that don’t’. This update was a long time coming as more and more consumers use mobile devices for web use.

If your site isn’t mobile friendly, it is recommended to redesign your site completely as opposed to hiring someone to build a mobile version of the site and keeping your desktop version the same.

We recommend this because if you have a mobile site and desktop site, you’ll have to manage both. Which means if you make a change on one, then you have to remember to do the same on the other.

If you have a site that is dynamic and can function both on desktop and mobile, it is much more flexible and powerful. You don’t have to worry about making changes twice and everything is on one site.

4. Make sure your website has a searchable title and description

The title and description of the site are very important for search engines. These are called Title Tags and Meta Descriptions.

These are important because this helps Google determine quickly what the topic of a website is. This also helps users get a quick understanding of what your site is about.

Like we mentioned in point #2, you want to tie your title tag and meta description to the keyword you are trying to focus on. Remember, like we said, one keyword per page is optimal.

Title tags and meta descriptions cannot be too long either. These tags are used for Google Search Results. The title being the blue front that is underlined in search results and the description being the grey font.

The general rule is that title tags should be under 60 characters and meta descriptions should be less than 160 characters. You can use any word processing tool to check characters.

5. Join other pet-related portals such as PetCheck or online bookings to help drive traffic to your site.

Supplementing local listings citations is link building. The more relevant links a site has the more authority it is assigned by Google and other search engines.

The more authority a site appears to have, the higher it will rank. Though it’s not a straight quantity game, the number of links does have a major impact on how your rankings are.

What you need to do then for your site is find relevant sites that would love to have your information. For example, some sites and blogs want to provide their readers with information about local veterinarians in the area. Make sure that your business is listed.

An extremely important factor for linkbuilding is getting the actual link. So when checking if your business is listed and linked, its not enough to have the name of the business or have all of its information there. You need to actually get a hyperlink to your domain.

It doesn’t matter what format the hyperlink is in. If its your url listed completely or if its inserted into text like “click here”, as long as there is a link that someone can click and it sends you to your site.

You need the link.

And a quick warning, links from spammy or bad sites will hurt you. So again use the eye test and make sure you are linking with relevant, good sites.