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SEO and Google ads can signifcantly improve your marketing results

What’s the difference between SEO and Google Ads?

A strong online presence is a key component of any business’s marketing strategy. And a vet clinic is no different. After all, when someone is looking for a service provider – whether it be a hairdresser, dentist or vet – more than likely their first port of call will be to “Google” it.

But how do you make sure your vet clinic is the one that is top of their search engine results? It doesn’t happen by accident. There are two key marketing tactics when it comes to search engines – SEO and Google Ads.

In this blog, we explore the differences between SEO and Google Ads, and how you can use them to your advantage when marketing your vet clinic.


SEO stands for search engine optimisation. In a nutshell, SEO works by optimising your website so that Google (or Bing) ranks you highest when someone searches “vet clinic near me” or similar. This is very important, as studies have shown 92% of Google users never go past the first page of results and as many as 71% of people don’t go past the first three listings.

SEO organic results from vet clinic Google search

So how does SEO help improve your search engine ranking on Google or Bing? Search engines use over 200 ranking factors to determine which websites should rank higher than others. This includes:

  • Your content, including:
    • Relevancy of content to your target audience
    • “Freshness” of content (e.g. new blogs, news, updated information)Images
    • Images
    • Integration of keywords
  • Site usability:
    • How fast your page loads
    • Appropriate security
    • Mobile-friendliness
  • Level of authority:
    • Quality and quantity of backlinks (pages that link to your website, giving it credibility)
    • Internal linking. These links show a depth of useful information on your website, and helps visitors to navigate around your site

When should SEO be used for vet clinic marketing?

SEO is a long-term strategy. If your vet clinic operates in a competitive local market, then SEO is an important technique to improve your brand awareness, push your business up the Google or Bing rankings, and have it stay there. As it’s a long-term play, SEO is typically performed on an annual basis, with constant work and optimisation required.

Google ads

Google Ads (formerly known as Google Adwords) is a form of paid search engine marketing (SEM) that allows you to create and display ads at the top of Google’s search engine results page.

So why pay for ads on Google? Research has shown that over 64% of people click on sponsored search engine results – i.e. Google Ads – when searching online. Google Ads also allow you to target people based on demographics, interests and location. This means you could run an ad promoting veterinary care to dog owners aged over 30 in your local community. And because the ads run on a pay-per-click basis, you can closely track how many times people have clicked on your ad. Plus, if you have Google Analytics on your website, you can also track their actions once they are on your website (such as booking an online appointment) to work out how effective your ads are.

When should Google Ads be used for marketing your vet clinic?

While Google Ads sound enticing, the costs can really add up, especially if you are in a competitive area. The price per click can vary significantly, depending on your location, the keywords you are targeting, and if your competitors are also advertising.

Google advertising is a worthwhile marketing tactic to use if you are looking to drive traffic to your website in a shorter space of time. They are a great marketing tactic to use if you’ve just opened a new clinic, have introduced online booking, or want to promote a particular service.  

Which should you use?

Should you use SEO or Google Ads, or both? It all depends on what your business goals and budget. In an ideal world, using both SEO and Google Ads will provide the best results, and give you a mix of immediate traffic to your website plus a sustained optimal search engine ranking. However, this can be an expensive exercise, so it is best to seek expert marketing advice before making this decision.

How to make SEO and Google Ads work for your vet clinic

SEO and Google Ads are highly effective marketing tactics to put your vet clinic front and centre when people search for veterinary services in your local area. However, they are also highly complex and time-consuming to implement successfully.

It is possible to implement SEO and Google Ads yourself, with a number of online courses available to arm yourself with the necessary knowledge. However, there is considerable time required to keep up to date with the constant changes that are made to search engine algorithms, as well as the technical knowledge required to develop and manage SEO and Google Ads.

Here at VetDigital, our team works in the search engine realm day in, day out, and has a deep understanding of how to implement highly effective SEO and Google Ads campaigns.

Want to know where your vet clinic currently ranks on Google – just complete our online form and enter your business name for an instant no-obligation report.

To find out more about how VetDigital can take the hard work out of marketing your vet clinic, give us a call on 1300 75 75 22.

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