Are we all continue to adjust to this new normal, we have compiled a guide listing many things that you should be doing to your website during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to establish yourself as a thought-leader, help your community, and keep your clients informed about your business. Now is a time that we need to adjust our business for the time being. We have listed various ways your website can help you during this time and also what you should be doing to your site now to prepare for when business is back to normal.
Keeping Clients Informed During COVID-19 Pandemic
Many pet professionals underuse their website. It is a 24/7 sales channels, and it should be a priority to ensure your website reflects your business. During this time of uncertainty, it is even more essential to use your website to create trust and credibility with your audience.
Announcement Bar & COVID-19 Landing Page
- Add an announcement bar/hello bar to the top of your website with up-to-date messaging on the current situation of your business throughout the Pandemic.
- Link this announcement bar to a landing page with information about your business and COVID-19. It could be your procedures, new policies, temporary service offers, new revenue streams, gift cards etc…
Start or Grow your Email List:
- If you have one, then grow it! If you don’t have one, start one. A free service like Mailchimp can be used to manage your email list as well as send emails, drip campaigns, newsletters, and other email communication. Build this now, so you have a baseline for email marketing campaigns once business is back to usual.
- Try adding a pop-up to your website so people can join your mailing list or even offer a free download in exchange for an email address.
- Be your community thought-leader and publish blogs related to the topic of COVID-19 and pet owners. Using only trusted sources, keep your audience up-to-date. Focus on topics that are educational and/or entertaining. Some ideas can include activities for you and your pets while in isolation, a review of your favorite local pet products, the best mobile apps for your pets, or maybe even some grooming/training tips to practice from home.
- Share with your community the updates that you are adding to your website. Share your blogs, new content, videos on social media, GMB, newsletters, etc.. Be helpful. Show you care.
Update Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
- This is the information that people see in the search engine results pages. You can use this to display updates to your services to help entice website clicks.
Add New Revenue Streams
With your main revenue streams taking a huge hit due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is more important than ever to add additional revenue streams to your website. As entrepreneurs, we need to get creative and adjust. We can start by researching to see what options are out there, and figure out ways our business can adjust to the chaos.
Sell Gift Cards and Prepaid Packages
- Cash flow is important! It may now be necessary to find new ways to generate revenue to keep your business going. Make it easy for your clients to purchase gift cards and/or prepaid packages. These can then be used once business is back to normal and is a great way for your clients to support when you need it most.
Add New or Temporary Services
- Put your thinking cap on and think about what you can offer NOW. Maybe it’s a special concierge service to provide no-touch grocery/prescription delivery or pet transportation to vet appointments. Help your community by helping those who are high-risk or sick in quarantine. Deliveries can be dropped off on the front porch, and payment can be made digitally. If you choose to offer these services for FREE, there is a good chance you can earn tips.
- You could also pivot your services to include no-touch or curbside pick-up and drop-off for pet-related services. Offer a particular service for essential front-line workers who still require your services. Talk to local kennel/daycare facilities and see if you can work with them to develop a transportation service for their clients.
Sell Digital and Physical Products
- If you are a trainer, then you can sell your private/group dog training services virtually. Pet owners still require training, and maybe even more now with routines being thrown off! You don’t need to put your dog training business on hold, but it may require a slight pivot! You could also team up with local retailers to help them sell their products. You could also sell branded merchandise or partner with another local business on a new product or exclusive product line.
- If you have a professional camera and have a stockpile of professional quality photographs. Now is a great time to sell portraits or action shots to your clients.
Become a Reseller
Use your website as a way to promote products and services that you can resell to your clients. Use your email list to notify clients about new opportunities and share them via social media as well. Pet parents still need products and services throughout this pandemic.
Online Pet First Aid & CPR Course (Earn a 60% commission)
- Share ProPetHero’s Online Pet First Aid & CPR course with your clients and community and earn commissions. This is a great way for your clients to still support you and you are offering them an amazing product! All you need to do is Signup as Referral Partner then from now through June 30, 2020, use your referral code to earn a 60% commission when someone uses your code to train online. Your clients will also receive a 10% discount! It’s a win-win! More About Referral Program
- Bonus: April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month – so there’s a blog topic to get started on 😉
Become a TrainYourBestie Reseller (earn 25% on all sales)
Offer a “Tricks for Fun Class” (earn up to 75% on sales)
- This class is taught by Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Robin Bennett, CPDT-KAT and is available to help pet care facilities offer online education to their clients, The Dog Gurus have put together an online “Dog Tricks for Fun” training class. This allows YOU to sell the class to your pet parents as another method to generate revenue during this COVID-19 Pandemic, and they take on all the work! They also provide marketing materials for you! Retail price is $99 and you keep all revenue after paying $25 to The Dog Gurus for each sale.
Give Your Website Some Much-Needed TLC
In many cases, your website is a potential customer’s first impression of your business. It is crucial to make sure it’s a good one by keeping it modern, up-to-date, and user-friendly. Outdated websites that are not mobile-friendly displaying old or inaccurate information will scare off more potential clients than you think. Especially the more tech-savvy millennials – don’t give them a reason to go to your competitor.
Audit your Site
- Review your website and ask yourself, is this the right first impression I want to give my prospective clients? Does is scream professional pet services? If no, consider an update or new website.
- Review the design and usability (is it fixable or do you need to start fresh?)
- Review the content on each page. Is it up-to-date and still relevant? Check for spelling and grammar issues. Check your phone, email, and address.
- Test all buttons, forms, plugins, and links to make sure nothing is broken.
- Update your copyright to ensure it reads 2020
- Update each team members biography
- Replace reviews older than 1 year old with new ones
- Remove any awards older than 1-2 years old – Don’t make it look like your company USED TO be great!
- Avoid embarrassment by updating the pricing and policies on your website and checking that descriptions are current.
Keyword and Competitor Research
Switch up your photos
Add new page(s)
- Ensure your website has the important pages like Homepage, About, Contact, Services, Services Area, and Policies/FAQ pages. It is also a good idea to add a page for each service you offer, BUT this is only smart if you have enough content for each page.
Create a Custom Google Map for Service Area
- This is a great tool by Google Maps to help you create your service area. This can easily be integrated into your website: https://google.com/mymaps
Review your Analytics:
- Check your Google Analytics to determine which pages are most visited. Prioritize these pages and review the content for spelling, grammar, and accuracy. If you don’t have Google Analytics, create an account.
- When updating your copy, relevant keywords must not be removed from the copy and headings. This is why doing your research before updating your copy is vital. Removing these important keywords could hurt your SEO. Adjust with caution.
Review Directory Listings
- Review local, national, and industry directories to ensure your phone, email, and address are correct. They should be the exact same as listed on your website.
- It is good practice to keep your passwords secure. Change your passwords and ensure it is unique and not used elsewhere!
Create New Content
- Create eBooks, downloads, local pet-friendly guides that clients can download in exchange for an email address or share as free give-a-aways.
Build a Blogging Backlog
- Blogging takes time, so now is the perfect time to start! Get a head start on content for the remainder of 2020. Create a backlog of blogs by writing 1-2 blogs for each month remaining in 2020. Once you are back to being busy, you will be glad you did!
Implement a COVID-19 Blogging Strategy
- You want to be that go-to person in your community for pet-related services, correct? Now is your time to prove it. Stay on top of relevant topics and share your knowledge. Use blogging to keep top-of-mind to your clients and prospective clients by sharing topics of interest to pet parents.
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.