Section 1: Veterinarians and Search Engines
Before we charge into the technical, fundamental aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) its worth it to discuss the conceptual side. For those who want to just dive in, skip ahead to _____
A great way to understand search engines is to think of them as libraries.
Let’s imagine you are a library curator. You have thousands, maybe even millions of books in inventory. What you need to make sure is that the patrons of your library get the books they want.
Let’s think about it. Essentially everyone who comes into the library has a certain book they are looking for. Some have a specific title in mind. That’s when it is easy. We just have to find the exact title of the book that matches the one they are telling you. No biggie.
Now let’s think about the other patrons, the ones who don’t have a book in mind. They do know what topic or category they want though.
How do we find the right book for someone that asks you “How do I make a good tasting hamburger?”
Now what about those individuals who come in to learn how to cook. Someone comes up to the desk and asks for a book that will teach them how to prepare a hamburger. Well now we have a not so easy problem to fix. Thousands and thousands of books have been published about hamburgers, how do we decide the right book to find them?
Should we give them a book solely devoted to hamburgers or a book that has a really good chapter on hamburgers.
There are numerous ways we could do this. We could randomly pick a book that has the word hamburger in the title. But it is obvious to you and me, probably not a smart idea. What do we do here then?
Well think about it. When you are telling a family friend or relative where to eat or what to do in your hometown, you will most likely pick something that is popular and of high quality.
The library patron should do the same! Pick the book that has received the most reviews, references from other books, highest rate of check outs, of course of the most relevance.
How do you personally recommend a book or restaurant to a friend? By its popularity, quality, and relevance to what that person is looking for!
Let’s convert this back to SEO terms now. How should the search engine decide what to recommend if someone is looking for instructions on how to cook a hamburger?
There are many options. Should the search engine report back a book, an article, a video? It’s a lot to pick from. This is where the search engines use essentially the same model as a librarian. They pick what seems like is the best option.
This comes in the form of reviews, hyperlinks, traffic and content relevance. All these factors simulate the same example we used with the librarian example. By evaluating reviews, hyperlinks (or citations), traffic, content relevance and many other factors, search engines will provide what they find best.
What this means for your Veterinary Website and Clinic
Now let’s tie it back into your clinic or hospital. Knowing what you know now, how can we ensure that when someone goes to a search engine and asks for a veterinarian, you will the one that will be recommended?
Well you know that you need people to reference or cite your website. You know you need some reviews. You need to make sure your website is relevant to the veterinary topic.
The rest of this guide will go over the technical, exact process of ensuring that you accomplish the above so that you rank well in search engines.