Implement these five strategies to drive more local traffic to your website and boost new business acquisition.
Before they entrust the care of their pet to a veterinary practice, most pet owners will visit the facility’s website and give it a thorough review. The more visitors your website has, the more clients your practice will attract. Here are five ways you can increase the amount of relevant traffic to your website and give your practice a real boost in new business acquisition.
1. Use Local SEO
Local SEO (search engine optimization) is a broad set of marketing activities aimed at getting your website pages to appear prominently in Google’s organic search results. With so many people using mobile phones to find local products and services, effective local SEO could be your best option for driving new website traffic. Key elements of local SEO include:
2. Cultivate Client Reviews
People are strongly influenced by client reviews when selecting any type of product or service, including health care services — you’ve probably looked at online reviews many times yourself. If your practice has several positive reviews on popular sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List, you’ll generate more referred website traffic from these sites from visitors who already have a favorable impression of your practice.
One caveat: Don’t solicit reviews too aggressively. All review sites strive for maximum objectivity and have strict rules against offering incentives for positive reviews. Read the policies of review sites you’d like your clients to use before asking them to upload a review. Here are Yelp’s guidelines.
Some review sites allow businesses to respond to reviews. If you can, it’s always a good idea to respond — especially to negative feedback. Otherwise, potential clients will get a poor impression of your practice that may be completely unjustified. Have someone on your team monitor review sites regularly and sound the alarm when a negative review is posted. The best way to respond is politely and factually. With a good response, a negative review can become a powerful, positive statement.
4. Add a Blog
Google loves blogs with valuable content so, right off the bat, having a quality blog on your site will boost your organic visibility. In addition, by incorporating long-tail keywords (e.g., “vet services for exotic animals”), you’ll start attracting more website visitors looking for specialized services.
Two keys to successful blogging: providing readers with useful information and publishing consistently (eg, weekly or bi-weekly).
5. Add and Optimize Images
Image search is growing in popularity, again because mobile Internet users are drawn to photos, video and other forms of visual content. Also, it’s reasonable to assume that potential clients will be interested in looking at photos of your facility and team members before bringing their pets in for care.
To capitalize on Google image searches, make sure your site has appealing images optimized for search engines. Investing in high-quality photos will not only drive traffic to your site, but also make the best possible impression on visitors once they arrive.
Brad Shorr is director of content strategy at Straight North, an SEO agency headquartered in the Chicago area.