In this blog post, we’ll go through the steps on how to set up a Google My Business profile for your veterinary clinic along with some tips on how you can optimize your profile to boost your online presence!
But before that, here’s a short background about Google My Business.
Google My Business for Veterinarians
Google My Business is one of the most effective digital marketing tools that you can use to increase the visibility of your veterinary clinic on local search engines. Here, your target audience can get all of the useful information (e.g. name of your clinic, location, and contact details) needed when looking for a veterinarian. Aside from that, you can access all of its features for free!
The image below is an example of what a Business listing looks like on Google. The results vary depending on the distance, prominence, and relevance of a search query.
- Distance – the closer the searcher looking for a veterinary clinic is, the more likely that business establishment will show up on that searcher’s results page
- Prominence – this refers to how well-known a business establishment is
- Relevance – this refers to how close a search query is to the information in your veterinary clinic’s Google My Business Profile
For example, if the user is looking for veterinarians near the Bronx, NY, and used the search term “veterinarian near me”, the search results will display veterinary clinics located within the vicinity of the Bronx.
Having a Google My Business profile is essential for every local business out there because it helps you climb to the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) whenever someone within your area is looking for veterinary services (which is great, especially for those who are competing with established vet clinics in their area). The more exposure your brand gets the higher your chances of getting more new patients to your pet care clinic.
Another thing about this platform is that it’s easy to use. You can immediately create a profile in just a couple of minutes, and there are also ways how you can get easily verified. It’s like an all-in-one tool that allows business owners like you to promote your products and services, connect with your potential customers, and establish your online presence in one place.
Want to start building your Google My Business profile but don’t have time?
How to set up Google My Business for Veterinarians
Now that you have an idea of what Google My Business is and how your veterinary clinic will benefit from it, we’ll share with you the steps on how to create your own Business profile!
The first thing you have to do in claiming your veterinary clinic’s Google My Business profile is by going to https://www.google.com/business/. Then, click “Manage now.”
After that, enter the name of your veterinary clinic to see if you already have an existing Google My Business account. If it doesn’t show up on the results, click “Add your business to Google.”
Then, type in the name of your veterinary clinic and choose “Veterinarian” as your primary business category.
Click “Yes” to confirm that you want to add a location where your patients can visit your veterinary clinic.
Enter the complete address of your veterinary clinic.
Pin the exact location of your pet care clinic. Then, click “Next”
Choose the best option that describes if you’re also accepting house calls when it comes to treating pets. After that, click “next.”
This is optional, but to let your potential customers know how far you can do house calls, you can select the areas you serve in this section.
Followed by adding the contact details and website of your veterinary clinic. If you don’t yet have a vet website, you can check the box below the “current website URL.” Then, click “Next.”
Choose a way to verify your business. Google provides 5 ways to verify your profile. This includes text, email, live video calls, video recordings, or postcards. If you choose to verify your business via postcard, it may take up to 5 days before it arrives on your doorstep.
Add services offered by your veterinary clinic. If you can’t see the services offered in your vet clinic from the suggestions, you can add a custom service by clicking the hyperlink below.
After adding your veterinary services, add your clinic’s business hours.
If you want to directly accept messages from your vet clinic’s Google My Business profile, toggle the switch that says
“Accept messages.” Then, click “Next.”
Write your business description.
Add photos of your veterinary practice. This may include your brand’s logo, an image of your team working, facilities used in your clinic, or the exterior of your vet clinic.
Google offers a $500 USD credit which you can use when you start creating Google Ads. You can skip this step if you don’t want to set up Google Ads campaign.
If you checked the box that says “I don’t have a website”, Google will offer you a custom domain name which costs $12 USD/ year. You can choose among the given options, explore more domains, or skip this step and create one later.
Lastly, click “Continue” to save changes.
That’s it! You’re done creating your Veterinary Clinic’s Google My Business profile. You just have to wait until your account gets verified, and you can soon access all of its features.
Interested in advertising your veterinary clinic on Google? Check out our blog post on Google Ads for Veterinarians to learn more.
Need help setting up Google My Business for Veterinarians?
Why Google My Business for Vets
Your work doesn’t end with creating a Google My Business profile. You have to exert more effort for your vet clinic to show up on top of search results.
You might be asking yourself, “Do I really need to optimize my Vet Clinic’s Google My Business profile?”
The answer is a solid YES. Here are the reasons why:
(1) Increased conversion rate
A regular Google My Business profile has a business name, address, and phone number. But having this information alone is not enough for someone who is in their first time looking for a veterinarian. Apart from those details, a pet owner will always look at the ratings, reviews, business hours, and photos to verify if the veterinarian that shows up on search results is legit.
So, to increase the chances of getting a lot of conversions from your Business profile, make sure to fill out all of the information needed.
(2) Boosts your local ranking
Aside from distance, proximity, and relevance, another factor that helps Google decide whether to show your vet clinic in relevant search results is the quality of information your profile has. With that, you have to make sure to provide accurate and relevant details on your profile to increase the chances of ranking high on local search results.
(3) Improved engagement rate
The more details you provide on your Google My Business profile, the more features are made available to you. For example, if you add the URL of your veterinary website or indicate your front desk’s contact number, there will be additional buttons that make it easier for your potential customers to take an action toward your brand. Like this:
Does optimizing your Veterinary Clinic’s Business Profile sound like a challenging task for you?
How to Optimize Google My Business for Vets
In this section, we’ll share with you several ways how you can make the most of your Business profile.
1. Booking appointment feature
For those customers who want to book their appointments in advance, the booking feature will surely help them. Not only will customers benefit from this feature, but also your veterinary business. Some of the benefits include (1) getting more bookings, and (2) getting more new customers. This feature is available to businesses like salons, fitness gyms, restaurants, and other local services.
Here are the steps on how to do it:
- On your dashboard, click “Bookings.”
- Choose a scheduling provider.
- Switch on “Reserve with Google”
- Wait for Google to review and approve your profile with your chosen scheduling partner.
2. Select the relevant business categories
In choosing business categories, your main category should be “Veterinarian.” Then, you can add other categories that suit your veterinary clinic. For example, if you’re also offering grooming services or temporarily accepting dog boarding, you can add “pet groomer” or “pet boarding.”
By choosing relevant business categories for your pet care clinic’s profile, you’re helping Google understand more about your business, making it easy for them to determine if you should show up on search results of individuals looking for your vet services.
3. Monitor and respond to patient reviews
Customer feedback matters to every consumer. In fact, 91% of consumers trust online reviews as personal recommendations. That’s why you have to make sure that you keep your notifications on for reviews and make time to respond to your patient’s reviews.
Also, when it comes to responding to reviews, don’t forget to use relevant keywords for your veterinary practice. This will help Google understand the context behind the reviews you’re getting. Which helps you with your SEO efforts.
For example, if one of your customers left a review saying “This clinic was very accommodating in treating my retriever. Highly recommended!”
You can incorporate the name of your vet business as well as the services used by your patient in your reply. Something like “We can’t thank you enough for choosing [the name of your veterinary clinic]. Our team is thrilled to know that Mr. Doggo is doing well after his canine dental extraction. Please let us know if there’s anything else you may need!”
4. Interact with your audience in the Question and Answer section
The Q&A section serves as a section where your potential clients can ask questions on how you can help solve or treat pet-related concerns. It’s important to switch on your notifications for your vet clinic’s Q&A section so that you can immediately respond whenever someone raises a question on your Business profile. Responding as soon as you can to prevent other people (who may not be a reliable source of information) from answering those questions for you.
5. List all of the services offered in your vet clinic
Another feature that helps you become one step ahead of your competitors is by listing all of the services that are available in your veterinary clinic. This feature helps you answer some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) you get from most of your potential customers, specifically the question “What services do you provide?” You can even add a price on each service that you offer, or not, depending on your preference.
Here’s an example:
6. Use Google Posts
Another way to stand out among your competitors is by posting relevant content on your Google My Business profile.
The types of posts you can publish on Google are the following: changes on your business due to Covid-19, details of your latest offers, something new in your veterinary clinic (e.g. new staff member or new facilities), set dates where your promotion starts and ends, and new products.
You could even attach your blog posts and add a call-to-action to guide your potential customers into consuming your content and bring in additional traffic to your vet website.
To give you an idea of what it looks like here’s an example:
Note: Your posts will become visible on Google Search, Maps, and your Google-created website only after your business gets verified.
Best Practices for Google Posts:
- Make it a habit to post regularly
- Google Posts that don’t have a specific date range set, get archived especially if it’s more than 6 months old. With that, you should make sure to publish fresh content on your Google Posts to make your profile look active.
- Use relevant keywords on your posts
- Make your posts relevant to your audience. Think of it as if you are one of your customers. “What phrases will make me want to click and read more in a Google Post?”
- Add a photo or video along with your post
- People are more likely to remember a piece of information if it goes along with an image or video. To increase the chances of your Google Posts getting noticed by your target audience, make sure to add high-quality photos in each of your posts.
- Add CTA buttons
- On Google Posts, you can’t create your own call-to-actions but there are some options you can choose from such as “Call now”, “Book”, “Learn more”, etc. Although this is optional, you still have to add one of these to your posts so that your potential customers will be guided on their next actions toward your brand.
- Optimize the landing pages
- When people click on a call to action from your Google post, they’ll be redirected to a landing page from your veterinary website. So, make sure that your landing pages are working, have a fast loading speed, and are mobile-friendly. Google Search Console can help you detect issues from the pages on your website.
- Before publishing Google Posts on your vet profile, make sure to check for potential typographical and grammatical errors. By doing this, you’re ensuring that people who read your Google Posts will have a clear understanding of what you want to say to your audience.
Interested in the types of posts you can publish on your veterinary clinic’s Business profile? Check out our blog post on How To Post on Google to learn more.
7. Regularly update your contact details
Your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) should be consistent across all platforms. If your vet clinic moved to a new location, changed your business hours, or changed your contact details, it’s best that you adjust them not just on your website and social media profile but also on your Google My Business profile. This way, your prospective patients won’t get lost, arrive at a closed clinic, or call the wrong number.
8. Use high-quality images and videos
Photos of your veterinarian clinic can grab the attention of your potential customers. It can also help your customers make up their minds when choosing a pet care clinic. Apart from that, it’s also a great strategy especially if you’re starting to build the reputation of your brand as it gives your prospective customers what it’s like to be inside your clinic.
Here’s what it looks like when photos appear on your veterinary clinic’s profile:
Best practices for images on Google My Business:
- Use unaltered images (e.g. use of excessive filters)
- Format (for images) should be JPG or PNG
- File size: 10KB – 5 MB
- The minimum image resolution is 250 px tall and 250 px wide
- Recommended resolution: 720 px tall, 720 px wide
Best practices for videos on Google My Business:
- Resolution 720p or higher
- Only post relevant videos to your veterinary practice
- Videos will be reviewed before it gets posted on your profile, so make sure to follow the guidelines
- quick virtual tour of your vet clinic
- behind the scenes, your staff working
- short clip of why your potential customers should choose you over your competitors
9. Add products
Apart from veterinary services, if your clinic is also offering pet products (e.g. dog food, chew toys, leash, etc.), you can also promote it directly on your Business profile.
Here’s what an optimized Google My Business Profile looks like:
Does optimizing your Google My Business sound like a great idea?
Google My Business for Veterinarians is one of the best tools that can help improve your brand’s visibility online. However, the task doesn’t end with creating a Business profile, you have to make sure to optimize your veterinary clinic’s Business profile. This way, potential customers will put their trust in your brand, have a good impression of it, and be encouraged to take action.