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SEO Case Study - Deer Grove Animal Hospital

Deer Grove Animal Hospital SEO Growth shown on Google Analytics:

Deer Grove Animal Hospital Timeline

Learn how we've achieved these steady SEO growth patterns below!


Feb 2019 - SEO Program Onboarding

Our comprehensive SEO onboarding setup includes:

  • Meta titles and meta descriptions for each page; this is the information that potential visitors will see in the search engine.

  • URL audit (especially to filter out any copy-of-page links, but also to ensure keyword-targeted URLs).

  • Ensured the site's mobile view is sound (text is big enough, the spacing makes it easy to read and navigate, links and buttons are clickable on touch screen devices, etc.).

  • The mobile site meets Google's standards - this is very important now as Google has switched to mobile-first indexing.

  • Each page receives a proper structural setup with H1 heading tags on each page and H2s and H3s for sub-headings. When it comes to SEO, the organization of headers is key because it helps search engines like Google and Bing find and better understand the subject matter within a webpage. This is important for the page's readability for not only human visitors but also for the search engine bots that crawl and index the website; it makes the site user and search engine friendly.

  • Internal navigation audit to make sure all buttons, links, menu items, e-mails, etc., are linked up correctly and pages are easy to move through naturally. An internal link is any link from one page on your website to another page on your website. Both users and search engines use links to find content on your website. Users use links to navigate through the site and to find the content they seek. Search engines also use links to navigate your site; they won't find a page if there are no links to it. Internal links allow search engines to find out what content on your site is related and determine its value. The more links a page receives, the more important it will seem to search engines. Therefore, good internal links are crucial to your SEO.

  • Check for NAP (Name, Address, Phone) - It is incredibly important that a business's Name, Address, and Phone number are easy for users to find quickly on its site, so users know exactly who you are and how to get in touch with you.

  • We enter alt tags on images to help search engine bots get to know the business better. Alt tags are "alternative text" for an image. Alt tags describe the image or what the image is representing. Alt tags also help search engines determine the best results to provide when a user searches for images. Google has gotten quite good at determining the value and relevance of content for its users. When you use an optimized alt attribute with a target keyword, it boosts your page because the alt text is a helpful relevance signal for search engines. These alt tags are attached to the images on your site, which is why it is great to have at least one image per page.

  • We add Local Business Structured Data (JSON-LD) to the home page. This helps bots understand who you are, what you do, and where you are.


For many small or local businesses, ranking in the Google 3-pack map listings is a game-changer for visibility and customer generation. Since the local pack appears on top of search results 93% of the time, this can maximize local business' visibility by getting it featured in the '3-pack'.

The first, second, and third results in the local 3-pack receive 33.55%, 14.96%, and 9.3% of clicks, respectively. The goal is to ensure that, when local people search Google for the products or services a business provides, they see you—not the competition! It is not uncommon for a small business listed on a few local listings without much traffic to beat out big chains that have a location in that area - that is how strong the effect of your presence on a listings site can be. Google wants to give searchers a good experience by emphasizing the truly local results, and it uses these sites as the best way to determine that.

Check it out, Deer Grove Animal Hospital is currently (as of 29 July 2021) 2nd on the 3-pack for the keyword we created this page for "Veterinarian in Palatine, IL".

We always recommend business owners take the time to get their business in some local online listings. Be sure your information is 100% accurate and verbatim across all of them (ex. if you use LLC, use it in all the listings; if you use Rd. instead of Road, use Rd. in all your listings). To aid this process and get the best results, if you have not done so already, create a Google My Business listing and fill it out as completely as possible. Doing so can propel your business to relevancy for local search parameters in mere days!


August 2019 - Keyword reassessment

We checked Google Search Console keyword reports to see where clickthroughs and positions fall for currently targeted keywords and either continue implementing them or utilize new, more popular keywords. This process involves:

- Reviewing/Creating/Updating image alt tags for relevant images

- Reviewing/Creating/Updating headings on pages that do not have them or update existing headings with better performing/more popular keywords

- Improving and/or Utilizing location-specific keywords where necessary

The goal is to get more users on the site in their service area by improving the business's "search-ability" with location-specific keywords.


Sept 2019 - Keyword Research

Keyword research is fundamental to almost everything you do online, from seeking information through Google to blogging, search engine optimization, and online marketing. What makes it so important is that both users and search engines depend on them to find your site. Selecting and utilizing appropriate and heavily searched keywords that match the site's content and website intent helps optimize it to rank appropriately in the search engine. But choosing suitable keywords is an art. It includes figuring out what the people are looking for so that you can be in the right place, at the right time, with the right content. We often try different variations of keywords to see which gets better results. For example, I just learned that 'houses for sale' gets almost twice as many hits as 'homes for sale' - whodda thought?? You may be surprised with some of the results when doing keyword research for your business.


Dec 2019 - Acquisition and Bounce Rate Review

We had a look at Deer Grove Animal Hospital's Analytics Acquisition Report to highlight where their users are coming from and the site's bounce rates by source. The Acquisition report tells us where visitors originate (such as search engines, social networks, or website referrals). This is a crucial section when determining which online marketing tactics bring the most visitors to a website. We monitor the overall bounce rate and continuously look to improve it by encouraging a better traffic flow throughout the website.

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. An excellent target goal for bounce rate is to keep it under 40%, but between 40 & 55% is pretty good, too.

We had a look at the lesser-visited pages on Deer Grove Animal Hospital's website that could use a performance boost and implemented easy links to those pages' in appropriate location(s) on the website.

Here are the current (as of 29 July 2021) Acquisition and Bounce Rate stats for Deer Grove Animal Hospital:

We also focused on user experience improvement by making visual improvements on the home page, mainly above the fold (the space on your Home page visitors see right when coming onto it). Modifications may have included a simple font change, color highlight, button addition, or slight rearrangement. You would be surprised how tiny improvements like these could boost your user experience and lower your bounce rate!


Mar 2020 - SEO Review & Refresh of Underperforming Pages

We often get asked, "Why does my site need continual SEO updates? And why do Google rankings change so much? Why can't you just do it once and forget about it?" The short answer is that Google is constantly in flux: changes its algorithms, crawling new sites, updating its index, weeding out spam, and shifting up and down rankings to compare sites against each and find which one people prefer. It's a full-time job to keep up with the changes!

For this month's SEO efforts, we based our actions on comparing Deer Grove Animal Hospital's recent performance in Google Search compared to the previous period. This report allows us to see which pages are doing better or worse, and by how much. From this data, we can select which pages need updates and improvements.

We reviewed those pages that have not performed this period as they did in the last one (e.g., those with fewer impressions/clicks). We did a new keyword analysis, and competitor comparison for each of those pages, then updated their titles, meta data, and/or page keywords per our findings. We also checked for any technical issues, such as deleted pages or changed URLs.


April 2020 - Keyword Rankings Analysis

Focused on keywords research to find opportunities to capture more search traffic for your site is vital. To accomplish this, we ran a battery of Google Search Console reports that look at this site's keyword rankings from different angles, such as the most and least improved keywords, recently gained keywords, and what keywords we can potentially boost to page 1 from pages 2-3+.

We also ran competitor analyses this month for Deer Grove Animal Hospital's top keywords to find new variations that their competitors are using on which we can capitalize. Top ranking sites show us what successful actions to use, too. We adjusted the SEO of page titles, meta/alt tags, and/or page content on the site to capture these high-opportunity keywords better.


July 2020 - High Potential Keyword Opportunities

Using Google Search Console, we took the site's top 3 URLs and checked which keywords received the highest impressions while still ranking on pages 2-4+ of the search results. This indicates that those keywords have high potential since they are already performing decently without being in the top 10 results. Using this knowledge, we tweaked and optimized the page titles, meta tags, header, alt tags, and/or body content of those pages with the goal of ranking even higher for the 3-5 most promising keywords.

Here are Deer Grove Animal Hospital's keywords grow-grow-growing over the past year:


August 2020 - Targeting Featured Rich Snippets

With mobile and voice search traffic steadily growing, Google has increased its focus on understanding user intent and presenting info as quickly and simply as possible. This is why rich results are more important than ever. Rich results are those snippets and info cards that appear above and within the traditional search results. Rich snippets present a unique opportunity for SEO since they allow sites to "skip the line" and appear above rank 1 in what's often called "rank 0". By targeting rich snippets, a site can appear at the top of search results while still climbing up the organic results the "old-fashioned way."

Ranking for rich snippets is kind of a Google' game'. To get listed in featured snippets is a sought-after reward that many try to achieve, but it is forever an impossible task to 100% figure out how Google selects these. From research and lots of testing, SEOs can speculate that Google determines answers to questions that people often search for by finding reputable and trustworthy resources. The search engine judges this based on how many visitors a site gets, how many pages they view, if they revisit the site, and how long they stay on a site. This is also judged based on the content quality and the relevance of the text to the question at hand.

The best way to try to battle your way into rich snippets is to answer questions clearly and concisely. Display the question above the answer and ensure proper header structuring (this part is SO important) - the question should be an H2 or an H3, depending on where it is on the site. A lot of sites use an FAQ page to try to appeal to featured snippets. While this is a great technique, it isn't 100% necessary; you could answer questions people ask you about your business regularly on whichever page seems the most appropriate for that content.

Our goal for this month's SEO action was to rework and/or add to the site's content to give Google just what it's looking for in rich snippets. This involved writing short yet descriptive paragraphs that answer common questions, presenting helpful info or instructions in numbered/bulleted lists, or formatting data into tables for easier comprehension. To accomplish this, we reviewed keyword performance and rankings to research what rich snippets Google has shown a preference for, then developed content on the site to match.


May 2021 - UX & Accessibility

In this day and age, a business website needs to be responsive, engaging, and easy to navigate so that its users have the best experience. It is essential to take the time to be mindful of your visitors and how you can deliver the information and experience they are looking for online. From the website design to the fonts, colors, content, navigation, CTA, and more, everything needs to align for your users to continue to stay on your website and look into your products and services. This month, we ensured Deer Grove Animal Hospital meets user experience standards.

Additionally, Google has started to look more closely at accessibility in website design. Web accessibility refers to the practice of making sure that everyone, regardless of any kind of disability, can visit a website to use its services or enjoy its content. Accessibility for voice search queries is also an important SEO element we continue to optimize for and prioritize as it becomes increasingly used. Optimizing for voice search by using descriptive alt tags on images is a real opportunity to use natural language to describe the image/icon and its context on the page.


July 2021 - Competitor Keyword Gap Analysis

Competitive analysis is critical for SEO success because it gives data about which keywords are working in the industry you are in and what we need to do to compete better in the search engine. We looked for keyword gaps between Deer Grove Animal Hospital and its closest competitors. Keyword gaps are words that your competitors rank for that you currently do not.

The insights gained from this analysis help us understand which keywords we should prioritize and shapes the way we continue to build the SEO program for Deer Grove Animal Hospital. By seeing where keyword gaps between this site and their closest competitors, we can aim to outrank their competitors for those keywords in the search engine, helping to capture more visitors.



Google is constantly in flux: there are constant changes to its algorithms; it's continually crawling new sites, updating its index, weeding out spam, and shifting up and down rankings to compare sites against each and find which one people prefer. Keeping your site updated, appropriately structured, and closely following keyword trends and data are endlessly crucial to your SEO success!

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