Whether you’re a mobile vet practice, a small branch, or part of a huge corporate group, SEO is important. But they didn’t cover SEO at vet school! We’ve explained SEO for vets and given our best tips for SEO for the vet industry below.

What is SEO?

Just a quick overview, for those who aren’t sure – SEO means Search Engine Optimisation. It involves tweaking your website (and online presence) to help search engines find you. Good SEO can help your SERP ranking – your position in search results. If you’re at the top, you’re far more likely to get seen by pet owners looking for a new vet. As a vet practice, SEO is an essential part of your digital presence.

What SEO do vets need?

As a veterinary practice, your SEO is largely going to depend on two things – your local SEO and your on-site SEO. PR (press relations) is another SEO strategy that some practices find useful, so we’ve added that here too.

Most practices need a mix of local SEO and on-site SEO. If you’ve already done a good job with those, PR might be what you need to work on.

Local SEO

Local SEO involves helping Google recognise your business’ location, so you can show up in ‘near me’ results. You can improve this by:

  • Putting listings on business directories
  • Filling out a ‘Google My Business’ profile
  • Managing your online reviews

On-Site SEO

On-site SEO is all the things that you can do to improve your veterinary practice’s visibility in search results. Here are some of the main areas you can focus on:

  • Checking your meta information (such as page names and meta descriptions) to ensure they contain keywords
  • Sprinkling keywords throughout your main pages
  • Rearranging your website so the pages on your menu are the key ones you want Google to ‘read’
  • Adding new pages to your website
  • Starting a blog to provide new keywords for Google to read.

Of course, knowing where to focus your attention when it comes to on-site SEO for vets is hard. We’d recommend working with an SEO specialist to do an audit of your current efforts and make suggestions of where you can improve. Good SEO audits will compare your keyword strategy with others and help you find new keywords to include.


When it comes to PR, there are two main types – reactive PR and proactive PR. Proactive PR means submitting press releases and stories to journalists in the hope they’ll cover your practice. This is especially useful if you’ve just opened or have some great cases you can share. Reactive PR for vets involves submitting your responses to journalists already covering stories, in the hope of having your comment published.

Both types of PR should end up with high-quality backlinks to your website. But good contacts are needed for both types, so it can be difficult to jump in as a newbie.

What’s new for SEO in the vet industry in 2024?

The world of SEO is constantly changing. So what’s new in the vet SEO world in 2024? Firstly, there was a big Google update in March that has really shaken some websites up. If you’ve spotted your website declining rapidly since then, read our Google March 2024 Update article.

Secondly, there’s the rise of AI search (Search Generative Experience or SGE), and with it, AIO – or Artificial Intelligence Optimisation. This means making your website easy for AI to read so that it can return the correct information to people searching. The only problem is, this is still so new we don’t know how to optimise for it! For now, the general advice is not to waste time and money changing anything to prepare for SGE, and instead to focus on areas that can be approved within the current system.

How we can help

If you’re reading this and thinking that SEO for the vet industry is a complete nightmare – don’t worry. We can help! We carefully keep abreast of changes in the SEO sphere and – as vets ourselves – with a particular interest on how changes will affect the veterinary industry.

We aren’t SEO professionals, but we do know some we can refer you to for a quick SEO audit. We can also help in areas you know you’re struggling with – like PR and blog content. Our veterinary digital marketing services are broad.

For more information, head over to our services for vets and vet practices page.

Joanna Woodnutt

Joanna Woodnutt

Dr Joanna Woodnutt MRCVS is a qualified vet, freelance writer, and editor at The Veterinary Content Company. She lives in the Channel Islands with her husband and daughter, as well as their naughty but loveable terrier, Pixie.