Marketing Solutions for Veterinarians
Marketing solutions are not a "one size fits all" proposition. Every business is unique because they have geographic specificity, unique competition in their areas, and vary by industry. In the vet world, location and competition are the name of the game when it comes to competitive analysis and custom marketing solutions.
Before moving forward with a marketing contract, we always have clients fill out an intake form. We ask a variety of questions and consider the following questions and many more:
Have you carved out a niche within your market?
Are you just starting out?
Are you successful with word of mouth but new to online marketing?
Do you have money to invest in your marketing campaign?
Can you handle more clients? (This isn't a sales pitch, it's an honest question).
Understand Your Competition
Understanding your marketing position compared to your competitors is crucial to your success. If you want to rank for organic search results, the first question you should ask is whether or not this is feasible. In some industries, the top 5 organic search results might be dominated by massive publicly held companies. If you are a small, independent business, the reality is that you are spinning your wheels if you think you can compete with these businesses. Am I being pessimistic? No, I’m being realistic. When doing competitive analysis we take a look at the domain authority of these websites. We look at their backlink profiles. We consider their net worth. If you want to compete with certain sites on a search engine result pages, you better be a well-funded tech company, not a brick and mortar business.
Luckily the veterinarian industry is dominated by local SEO, not giant companies. You can actually dominate your local market if you work with the right firm and market correctly.
Does an example like the one above undermine all of your SEO efforts? No, but it does manage your reality. SEO is still important to your business. Regardless of your industry, your website should be formatted correctly and follow the basic fundamentals that lead to long term visibility. Understanding where you sit among your competition is important because it helps you find techniques that yield a higher ROI. Organic search results might not be attainable for a few years but AdWords might be successful in the interim.
I'm using other industries below as examples but the concept applies directly to local veterinary clinics when competing with hospitals like Banfield or when your grooming department marketing is competing with Yelp.
In the tourism industry for example, let’s say you run a parasailing business. It would be great to show up in organic search results for “Parasailing Miami” for example. Unfortunately, SEO success isn’t an overnight affair.
The top 5 search results might consist of 3 local parasailing companies, Trip Advisor, and Yelp. What if the top business only has 10 reviews on Yelp? You might be able to do a push for reviews and rank first on Yelp in a month, effectively funneling business toward your service for customers who feel comfortable using this avenue. A heavy focus on reviews might get you to show up on third party sites even though your website itself is lacking.
We heavily focus on local SEO but as an agency, we never stop considering the avenues your clinic can use to get new business in short order. Our competitive analysis and pragmatic lead generation is a full time affair.
Hire An Agency
Marketing involves problem solving and the ability to recognize opportunity. At the same time however, businesses need to stay grounded and focus on return on investment for their efforts. Certain approaches such as Adwords may be effective short term while other approaches such as linkbuilding may provide long term return on investment. It's important to work with an agency that intimately understands your industry, your business, your goals, and your competition. Our agency never loses site of the bigger picture and will work tirelessly to get you new business.