To really deconstruct the idea of how Google affects a business, it all comes down to one thing—visibility. Think of it like this: the higher your veterinary hospital ranks on a Google search, the better your odds are of increasing your clientele. But, as we have talked about many, many times before at iVET360, Google visibility isn’t just a random thing that magically happens—you have to utilize all of the (mostly) free Google tools out there to increase your digital presence.
To backtrack, your hospital’s Google My Business profile is the most important thing you need to manage to ultimately achieve the goal of increased visibility—without a GMB profile, you can’t access any of their available tools. But for now, assuming you already have claimed your business on Google, we’re going to jump ahead past this to talk about Google Categories.
As one of the strongest relevance signals out there, your primary and secondary Google My Business categories are not to be taken lightly. And this can get even more complex if your hospital has multiple practitioners with different specializations in a single professional practice.
For example, let’s discuss a fictional veterinary practice which we will call Healthy Snouts Animal Hospital. Healthy Snouts specializes in everyday pet wellness care however they also have emergency veterinary services that they would like to promote. What do they do here? Should their primary category be related to overall veterinary care or emergency veterinary care?
The answer is quite simple, really—Healthy Snouts just needs to think about what clients they want to attract and then prioritize their categorization accordingly. Since Healthy Snouts is only open on Mondays through Fridays and they merely have the capacity to see emergency services, it would be unwise to put Emergency Veterinarian Service as their primary category—therefore they should use Animal Hospital as their primary category.
But, if they were open 24/7 and their clientele were primarily composed of emergency cases, then they absolutely should use Emergency Veterinarian Service as their primary category, then put Animal Hospital as their secondary and then Veterinarian as their third. Please note: we highly advise that you do not go past five categories.
It is almost important to note that the Veterinarian category is typically meant for a single veterinary practice. To further elaborate, let’s introduce Dr. Whiskers, who has a small practice where she is the only vet, but she also occasionally works with a larger hospital in the same city. She can technically create her own GMB page for herself, and if she did, then the Veterinarian category would be appropriate for her. The takeaway here is, if your practice has multiple vets, use Animal Hospital, not Veterinarian, as your primary category.
While the primary category is obviously the most important choice, secondary categories also have a pivotal role in the visibility of a hospital. We’ve heard of some practices that only pick a primary category and then leave their secondary category blank—please don’t do this, as it is a waste.
Since Healthy Snouts Animal Hospital is hypothetically very good at Google, they have filled out their primary category as an Animal Hospital, AND they have filled in their secondary category as an Emergency Veterinarian Service. Again, the answer lies in your clientele as well as what clients you want to attract.
Let’s briefly bring up another fictional scenario: Wagging Tails Inc. performs select veterinary services, but their main draw is their amazing pet hotel. Therefore, they are using the Pet Boarding Service as their primary category and Animal Hospital as their secondary category. They’re still advertising both services, but they’re emphasizing one more than the other, which reflects their practice. Additionally, they can also add Pet Groomer and Pet Friendly, too.
For further reference, we have kindly added a list of all available veterinary-related categories available on GMB. Please see below and remember, go with the categories that reflect the clientele you want to attract.
List of Animal Categories
- Animal Control Service
- Animal Feed Store
- Animal Hospital
- Animal Park
- Animal Protection Organization
- Animal Rescue Service
- Animal Shelter
- Cat Hostel
- Dog Breeder
- Dog Cafe
- Dog Day Care Center
- Dog Grooming Service
- Dog Hostel
- Dog Park
- Dog Sitter
- Dog Trainer
- Dog Training School
- Dog Walker
- Emergency Veterinarian Service
- Pet Adoption Service
- Pet Boarding Service
- Pet Cemetery
- Pet Food and Animal Feeds
- Pet Friendly Accommodation
- Pet Funeral Service
- Pet Groomer
- Pet Moving Service
- Pet Sitter
- Pet Store
- Pet Supply Store
- Pet Trainer
- Veterinary Pharmacy
At iVET360, we are industry leaders when it comes to veterinary marketing. Our specialists work closely with Google to maximize the online presence of animal hospitals while also staying on top of things like Google Categories, Google My Business and much more.
If your practice isn’t already actively using GMB and Google Categories, or if absolutely none of the above made any sense, we encourage you to contact us. As a veterinary services company that operates on a no-contract basis, our experts can help your practice with not only marketing, but analytics and HR and training, too.
For additional information and more details about our suite of services, contact us today.