Why are Google reviews so important for my veterinary practice.

Google Reviews can help you to increase your reach online and ensure that you are the first business pet owners find when looking for veterinary practices in your local area.

Both new and established veterinary practices can benefit from implementing a Google Reviews strategy alongside SEO (search engine optimisation). And it doesn’t need to be complicated.

But let’s start at the beginning…

Why do we need Google reviews?

More of us are using Google as a first port of call when we’re looking for something new. Whether we want to try a new takeaway, book a holiday or find a service in the local area. 

So, when pet owners are looking for a veterinary practice, they might enter something along the lines of “vets in [location]” or “vets near me” into Google search. Google will then present a page of curated results and most people will make their choice based on the first five or so options that show up.

5 star google review

The anatomy of a Google results page 

Paid Advertisements sit at the top of Google results pages, but we’re not interested in those here. Instead, we want your practice to appear in the Map Pack. 

Why? 

Well, because more than 85% [1] of searchers find the location of a local business via Google Maps. 

The first three businesses that appear on a Google results page are known as the local 3-pack. They secure between 40% and 60% of the total number of clicks, largely because almost 70% of searchers [2] view them as the most relevant and trustworthy. 

So, it starts to become clear how securing a place here could lead to more clicks, enquiries, and customers. 

But where exactly do reviews come into play here? 

Searchers actively seek out reviews because they can quickly help to determine whether a business is worth visiting or not. 

In fact, more than 80% [3] of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation from a friend or acquaintance. 

By taking a few simple steps to increase the number of reviews of your veterinary practice, you could:

  • Boost your visibility online

  • Increase your online reach

  • Connect with new pet owners

  • Increase the credibility of your practice

"Convenience is key. Make it as easy as possible for customers to leave reviews by including the direct Google review as a link in emails or you can turn this link into a QR code and leave printouts of them in the reception area or put them on invoices" - Chris, VetsDigital's SEO Manager & Local SEO Expert!

How to encourage reviews of your veterinary practice

We’ve covered the array of benefits on offer, but how exactly do you encourage happy customers to review your business online?

It doesn’t need to be as difficult as it initially appears.

1. Claim your Google My Business [4] page

As Google reviews play a significant role in the online visibility of your practice, claiming your Google My Business page is essential.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask

You might be surprised at how many of your clients will be happy to help you out simply by asking. This can be done in-person at reception, on social media, or via your mailing list. You could even create a QR code that clients can scan to be taken directly to where they can leave their online review.

3. Be responsive

When you receive a review, ensure you’re taking the time to respond to it because it will demonstrate that you genuinely care about your clients and their experience.

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