There are two key factors that drive your clinic’s place in the page rankings when consumers search for a veterinarian online, keywords and credible links. These should be evaluated regularly as an ongoing strategy to bring traffic to your site. With these two elements working together, your site is sure to not only rise in the rankings, but to maintain its top position as well.
While everyone is familiar with the keywords in one way or another—chances are you did a keyword search minutes before reading this page—the way that linking works to improve your site’s popularity is a little more complicated.
The links we are concerned with are inbound links, or links located on other credible pages, such as directories, popular blogs, online article repositories, or university sites that direct the reader to your clinic’s webpage. As the number of these links increases, so will a search engine’s “trust” in your page. Its software algorithm will see your veterinary site as a relevant result, and in return, you’ll receive a higher rank when a client conducts a search.
There is more to the algorithm than numbers, however. Google’s code also factors in the growth rate and quality of these links to prevent schemers from using phony sites to rapidly generate a large number of referrals. Beware of dubious get-links-quick schemes and do not try to purchase links! These actions can cause Google to remove your site from its index.
So what can you do to increase inbound links naturally?
Provide quality content for your readers. Optimize your site’s pages so that clients are able to find relevant information efficiently. Use landing pages so that viewers can easily work their way through your site using relevant anchor text, and make sure this anchor text includes not only keywords (i.e. veterinarian, pets, healthcare) but your brand name as well.
If you find that your site being pushed down in search engine rankings, contact us! We are experienced in providing the type of optimization you need to help your site maintain a competitive edge.
Check to make sure your website is listed—with a link back to your site—in these five places:
- Myveterinarian.com, a free AVMA sponsored directory
- The university you attended for medical school, as well as any other specialty schools where you received training
- Veterinary industry associations or specialty sites of which you are a member, for example, Canine Rehabilitation Institute if you are a rehabilitation practitioner
- Practice management software websites or other industry vendors. ImproMed, for example, lists its users on their website. IDEXX is another large, credible site that can provide a high-quality link.
- Food suppliers, such as Purina and Royal Canin, have a “find a veterinarian near me” section. Be sure that you are included in this list, and request that they provide an active link back to your clinic’s website.