It is important to routinely conduct a simple audit to ensure your pet sitting website is effective. It is imperative for every pet business to have a modern website and an online presence. If you don’t have one or if you haven’t updated yours in a while, you could be missing out on countless business opportunities. You need to make it as easy as possible for your customers and potential clients to reach you online. Why is it so important? According to Bright Local, 53% of consumers search for local businesses at least one time per month (vs. 43% in 2015) and 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Here’s our list of 10 must-haves for an effective pet business website in 2017.
Visible Contact Information
Make it as easy as possible for potential customers to get in touch with you to inquire about your services. Add a contact form to your website so prospects can quickly and easily send a message to your inbox without having to navigate away from your page to their email provider. Competition in the pet industry is growing and it is crucial to stay ahead of the crowd. Your phone number and email address should also be clearly visible on every page; you can add them to your header or footer. Make sure it is easy to find, don’t make your customers search your website for contact information. You may lose them before you know it.
Clear Call-To-Action (CTA)
When a customer comes to your dog walking website, what do you want them to do? Do you want them to book a service or consultation? Do you want them to call or email you for more information? Place a book now button that strategically stands out and draws your visitors attention. Without a clear CTA, you might miss out on that reservation inquiry as your visitor may not take that next step. If your website is not easy to navigate and your visitors can’t quickly find what they are looking for, they may quickly move on to a competitor.
If your pet business website is not mobile-friendly, you will want to ensure you update that asap! Unsure if your website is mobile-friendly? Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to find out. Google announced in May 2016 that they started rolling out an update to mobile search results that will help users find more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly. If your pet business website is not mobile-friendly, you could be missing out on traffic from mobile searches.
High-quality images of your facility can tell the story of your business and display your passion to your potential customers. Furthermore, you can create a sense of trust between your business and your client. Invest in a professional and affordable DSLR camera or photographer for your business to display the cleanliness, the security and how well-maintained your facility is. Use professional photographs of your furry clients for website imagery to show the atmosphere and quality of your service. Plus, they can even double as gifts to pet owners upon check out. You could also contact a local high school, college or university to see if they are looking for a project for their students. Or maybe a budding photographer looking to build their portfolio. You can also find beautiful free stock photography online if you don’t have the resources to have your own taken.
Frequently Asked Questions
You probably get asked the same questions day after day. By creating a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ (FAQ) page, you can reduce the number of redundant questions and help answer your prospects questions before they contact you which will result in better-qualified leads. Order your FAQs from the most basic and frequent and add the most complex questions to the end.
Testimonials from your customers are one of the most important things you can have on your website. According to Bright Local, 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. This is a huge percentage! Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for testimonials; a happy customer would be glad to review an excellent service. The best time to request a testimonial is immediately after your client expresses how grateful and happy they are about the quality of the service. Ask your customers to review your business on public platforms like; Facebook, Google or Yelp then add those reviews to your website front and center, so your visitors will see them.
About Us Page
Your clients are trusting you with their most cherished possession, their pet. Take some time to create an About Us page that introduces your audience to yourself, your staff and your business. Tell the story of how you started and your philosophy. Focus on convincing your customers that you are the best option to take care of their pet. Be sure to list any experience, qualifications, and certifications you have. Take photographs of you and your staff. Showing your prospective customers who you are, can begin building trust and confidence before the first meeting.
Description of Products/Services
How easy is it to find a list of the products/services you offer? Your website should have an easy to navigate menu where your clients can find all of the information they need. Be sure to list the services you offer with the pricing. Also, make sure it is easy for your customer to request a service from this page. A straightforward and an easy to understand list of your products or services can help boost your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) which will help prospective customers find you during their online search.
You might be asking yourself ‘What is a Favicon’? It is that small image that sits beside the page title on a tab in your browser. Now you may be wondering why that is important for your pet business website. Think about this. Bob is going on holidays for a week and needs to find a kennel or pet sitter for his two dogs. He has ten tabs open on his browser as he searches for the perfect match. Your business is one of those ten. The favicon of your logo serves as a subtle reminder to Bob about your company as he is checking out your competitors, especially if your competitors don’t use a favicon. Use a service like favicongenerator if your website builder doesn’t automatically create favicons.
Pet Sitting Website SEO Plugin
Optimizing your website for search engines can be a stressful and tedious task. Luckily, there are companies like Yoast ready to help! If your site is built with WordPress, Yoast is an absolute must for your pet business website. SEO helps search engines find and list your website. Yoast will help you optimize your pages for specific keywords to help your business rank higher in search engine results and therefore getting in front of more individuals looking for the services you offer. If you need help with search engine optimization, you can try out a tool like BarkSEO.
Did we miss anything? If we did, or if you have any tips for pet business professionals, we would love to hear from you in the comments below. Is your pet business website in need of an update? Check out our specially designed websites.
Erika Godwin is the President of Barketing Solutions and the Co-Founder and CMO of ProPet Software, an industry-leading kennel management software. Erika has over 8 years of experience with WordPress and graduated from Elmira College in 2009 with a BS, Business Administration- Marketing and Management.