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What Your Pet Business Website Needs

Jul 9, 2024 | Advertising, blog, Marketing

What Your Pet Business Website Needs
I don’t think you understand just how important your website is to the success of your dog daycare and boarding business. In this ever-growing digital age, it’s never been more important to have a strong presence online if you want to compete with all the other pet businesses in your area.

Think of your website as your digital storefront. It’s where people passing by online can look quickly and decide if they want to go in. If they land on your site and decide to take a look around, what do they find? Is your website designed to not only answer all their questions and provide a great customer experience, but is it also set up to lead them to take the next step?

If you want your pet business to outrank, outshine, and outlast all your competitors, you need to spend a little more time and, perhaps, money on getting your website right. It’s true what they say, you never get a chance to make a first impression, and statistically, if someone bounces off your website quickly, they will never come back.

Here are a few things you can optimize on your website to help people find your business, keep them on your site longer, and give them a great experience so they are more likely to become paying customers.

Get Off Those Cheap Templated Website Builders

If you are serious about your business and this is not just a hobby, you need to move away from low-level website builders like Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, etc. As we just discussed, your website is critical to the success of your business, so it’s important you set it up to succeed by giving it the power and resources it deserves.

Those cookie-cutter website builders may be easy to use, but it comes at a cost. There’s a reason that most long-lasting businesses are not on those platforms. They are way too limiting.

The number one website builder on the planet is WordPress. Forty percent of all websites online are built on it – no other website platform even comes close. The reason for this is that WordPress has so much flexibility and functionality – and Google loves it (out of the box, WordPress is set up for Google to index and find your web pages).

Have an Updated, Professional Design

Design matters more than you know. The design of your website can not only improve or hurt the chances of people staying on your site for more than a second or two, but it can also position your business where you want it.

If you want to be known as a premium pet service provider, but your website design is outdated and poorly organized, you will never pull it off. Conversely, if your website is designed the right way, it will attract the perfect clients for your business and help fortify your brand image.

It’s a good idea to redesign your website every 5 – 7 years because trends and online preferences change, and if your website looks outdated, your business will appear irrelevant to consumers. Make sure your design reflects your brand, isn’t overcrowded, uses contrast and white space appropriately, and leads the viewer where you want them to go.

User-Friendly Navigation

There have been tons of psychological studies that have proven if you give people too many choices, they will choose nothing. Remember that when you’re setting up your top menu on your website. Less is more. Keep it simple and don’t have any more than six menu tabs – max.

Think simple and clean. You want people to be able to see where they want to go very easily and quickly (you only have seconds online before you lose them). You can have sub-tabs under each menu item, like having a services page that has a sub-menu of daycare, boarding, training, and grooming.

Try to simplify your pages as much as possible and avoid bombarding the viewer with an onslaught of options.

PRO TIP: Have a separate page for each service, instead of listing them all on one page. That tells Google you specialize in those services (because you’ve dedicated a page to them) and will increase your organic search rankings.

Compelling and Relevant Content

People are coming to your website because they have questions that need answering and/or problems that need solving. The content on your site needs to provide them with the information they are looking for and expand on it in a valuable way. I know you want to get new customers, and your website should definitely help you do that, but when you’re creating the content (words, images, videos, and graphics), you need to do so with the viewer in mind.

While you’re listing your services and telling people what you do, make sure you’re highlighting benefits and not features. People don’t care about how much square footage you have or what brand of products you use; they only care about how that will impact and affect them and their pets. Make your copy more about them instead of focusing solely on your business.

Use Real Photos From Your Resort

Everyone can spot a stock image a mile away. Although they may be professional and taken in the perfect lighting with an expensive camera, they don’t give people any indication of what your resort is really like. People need to see your environment, the facilities, your staff, and dogs in action enjoying your services. You want them to be able to picture their dog in the images.

That’s not to say you can’t use stock images; just use them sparingly and make real pictures the bulk of what people see. They will provide transparency, give people a better idea of what you do, and help them gain trust in your business. If they can’t see what your place really looks like, they will keep surfing and find a business that can show them what’s there.

Dog Boarding Business website design

Contact Information and Accessibility

You need to make it very clear how people can contact you. The less time they have to look and the fewer clicks, the better. I like to have all relevant contact info (phone, email, address, social media links, and hours of operation) in the footer of every page so that they can access it from everywhere. You can also put it in a bar at the top of the pages instead. Having a dedicated contact page is also a great idea.

PRO TIP: Have web chat enabled on your website (it doesn’t have to be live chat). People are much more likely to text a quick question than they will ever email or call you. Just make sure the chat goes to text and not email (that isn’t really chat).

Have Social Proof

People believe online reviews from strangers just as much as they value recommendations from their friends. Even if they have never heard of you before landing on your website, seeing positive reviews from others removes their skepticism and helps sell them on your services.

Instead of having a dedicated testimonial page, I prefer to put a few reviews on every page of the site. That way, you are getting a subtle thumbs up everywhere people go on your website. This is especially powerful around pricing. Even if you’re priced higher than your competitors, the positive reviews show that others are happily paying it.

You can also include any awards or public recognition your business has received to further build confidence in what you do.

Fast Loading Speeds

In the online world of limited attention spans and constant distractions, speed really matters. If your website loads on the slower side of things, people will bounce like crazy. You’ve got a very brief couple of seconds to engage someone enough to continue on. Research shows that 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load, so your site needs to load in 1-2 seconds or you’re losing people (and they won’t be coming back).

There are a number of things you can do to speed up your page load time, including sizing images appropriately, not having a video header, hosting your site on a fast server, among others.

Summary

Your website is one of the most important assets to your business and it can either help or hurt you depending on what you do with it. It’s always the first place to start when you’re trying to optimize your business and get more customers. You don’t want to spend any money on marketing unless you have a website that is going to take good care of all that traffic. If done right, your website will be your biggest ally in bringing in new customers and building your brand into something you can be proud of.

If you would like some help rebuilding your website, that’s one of our core services here at Overdog. Just reach out to us and we can set up a call to go over everything, answer all of your questions, and get your brand new web design started.

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