lightswitch coverAs pet sitters, one of the strongest marketing strategies you can rely on is your pet sitting website.

However, just building your website and hoping visitors find you is a long shot.

This article will connect the dots between building your website, showing up in Google for your chosen keywords and gaining a new pet sitting client.

First, it helps to understand exactly how Google works.

How Google Works

What do you think Google’s number one responsibility is?

It’s to deliver the best search results to its customer (search user).

So what do you think YOUR number one responsibility is?

Your biggest goal as website owner is to create an incredibly useful website — full of original, valuable content — so that Google feels confident enough returning your website pages when a search user is looking for the services you provide.

Perhaps you’ve heard that all before, but what does it mean to truly create a website that your visitors — and Google — will find valuable?

You know as well as I know that most competing pet sitter websites tend to look the same. And I do not mean in the design aspect.

When I say ‘look the same’ I mean that many pet sitting websites contain the same handful of pages, all containing similar content.

So how is Google to determine which website should be placed higher in the search results? Let’s break things down a bit to help answer that very question.

I Need One of Those ‘Thingys’

Take a look at this light switch cover:

switch guard I recently needed one of these covers for a light switch of mine that controlled the power to my cable box.

If this switch was shut off, it would take 10 minutes or more for the cable box to reboot itself.

In an attempt to prevent this from accidentally happening, I decided it was easier to get a plastic cover instead.

My journey to Home Depot began.

I had no idea what these things are actually called so I headed over to a customer support employee and asked “Where can I find something to put over my light switch that will prevent me from switching it off?”

He immediately walked me over to a wall of the exact item I needed. Success!

Consider, though, if the Home Depot person walked me over to the ply wood aisle and said “try this aisle.” Obviously, this is not what I need, and I would ask a different person.

So what if another Home Depot employee walked me over to the plastic tubing section and said “Perhaps you can customize some plastic tubing to obtain the result you want.”

After a short while of this, I would naturally tire and leave Home Depot with a bad taste in my mouth – and another store would get my business.

How This Relates to Your Pet Sitting Website

In this example above, Home Depot represents Google.

Home Depot wins my business (along with my admiration and respect) by immediately providing me with the best quality result I am in need of (the light switch).

Just like I was in need of a light switch cover, your ideal client is in need of pet care.

She heads on over to Google and asks Google to please find the best pet care option in Cleveland, for example.

Google is only as successful as it is today because of its amazing ability to show the search user (its customer) a list of what it believes are the best matches for her search.

You as pet business owner need to show Google that YOU are one of those best matches.

If your website has only 5 or 6 of the typical pages, that will not cut it.

All too often, I see pet sitter website pages with a few paragraphs of text and nothing more.

Unfortunately, with all the website options out there, this approach will not impress Google and allow them to feel confident displaying your site in the results.

So how then can you create a top notch website that will impress Google?

Start to think of Google as a recommendation engine. Google needs to view your website in the same positive light as if a friend is asking, “Hey, do you know of anyone good who can watch my dog?”

You can achieve this by adding valuable, original content to your pages.

Whether in the form of blog posts and articles or by answering a bunch of your potential clients’ questions.

The Biggest Misconception

One of the biggest misconceptions I hear from pet sitters is this:

“If I add the right keywords to my meta keyword tag, I’ll be in good shape.”

Forget about adding keywords to your meta tag at the moment.

“WHAT, Josh? Forget about keywords??”

Yes, forget about them… at least for the moment.

I don’t want you falling into the trap falsely believing that if you take your handful of pages containing a few paragraphs of text that adding some keywords will help.

Truth be told, that in and of itself will not do it.

Simply focus on adding valuable content to your pages and the rest will fall into place.

Final Thoughts

This topic is a big one! There is a ton of elements that could become overwhelming.

The biggest point I’m trying to make is how Google works so you can create a professional website that Google can feel comfortable recommending to its search users.

Over the coming weeks, I will continue to focus even more on SEO.

Why? Well, if you have not yet heard, I am offering a full SEO course that will walk you through over a dozen steps to get your website where you want it to be.

You’ll also have direct access to me, my SEO partners, and a full community of pet sitters working on the same thing.

I know there is a lot to do when it comes to SEO. I am here to help.

Please leave your questions below and we’ll keep the conversation going.


  • So true-the most recent search to my site was “who can watch my dog in Melbourne?”

    • Joshua Cary

      Exactly. It’s important to think differently than just ‘pet sitter melbourne.’ Your example search of “who can watch my dog in Melbourne” is called a long tail keyword. These are usually long hanging fruit since not many others will try and rank for those less popular search terms. This is also a prime example of why it’s vital to have Analytics installed. You will be amazed at some of the ways people find your website.

  • Sherry Nichols

    I love how you took your experience looking for light switch thingies and made it so relevant in your demonstration as to how Google produces search results. Great article!

    • Joshua Cary

      Well thank you, Sherry. Happy to know a search for that thingy put things in a good light for you!

  • Carol Preuett

    Helpful & easy to understand. Thanks, Joshua!

    • Joshua Cary

      My pleasure, Carol. Great to see you here, by the way!

  • dedi

    ok here is the funny thing..I could not focus on the story because I AM SO EXCITED about finding out that there actually is a light switch cover..I do not like my garage light turned off and it is forever getting turned off so when I pull in and I shut the door I am in total darkness walking down a hallway to my door..I keep telling everyone to stop turning it off…even put signs up…and taped it…still the light gets turned off and no one claims to have done it….grrrr…now I need one to cover the deadbolt to my garage so they will stop locking me out….lol.. now that I have expressed my excitement over the cover…now I can possibly focus on the story..lol

    • Joshua Cary

      LOL Dedi – Love it. Glad to help in ANY way (even if discovering new products for you :) And the best part is that these covers are like $1.75. It’s been a life saver for me too.

  • Jade

    Excellent advice!

    Before starting my lil pet businesses, I worked for a large online directory. One of the things I learnt there (and so did they when Google released it’s Panda algorithm and there were many redundancies) was that you can’t cheat Google. So any companies that call and offer a “brand new technology” to trick Google into giving you a higher ranking are just a sitting duck for when Google catches on and updates again.

    So stick with making your site as relevant as you can with unique, valuable and interesting content and it’ll happen. Rather than trying to figure out where you can shove those keywords into your text, they’ll come out naturally in a way that people will want to read.

    Build it and they will come!

    • Joshua Cary

      I love love love this comment, Jade! So happy to hear it in that context. It’s true: all those ‘internet marketing companies’ that email you and say ‘we can help you rank higher in Google’ are not doing things right by you. Proper SEO is a marathon not a race and it does take time. But like you said, focus on creating solid content and it WILL happen! Thanks for sharing.

  • valentinavayntraub

    I have been trying my hardest to provide my visitors with great pet sitting and other pet related information for years and still I am having trouble getting through to Google. I find it even more frustrating when I visit other pet sitters sites and they have nothing more than an About Us, Contact, and Service pages up and running. I guess I am missing some key point somewhere along the line and still have much learning to do. Having said that, this article certainly keeps me positive.

    • Joshua Cary

      I feel your frustration. With over 200 factors that Google considers for placement (ranking) in the search results, it’s sometimes difficult to determine exactly why one site ranks and another does not.

      Are you using Google Analytics to keep track of your traffic, how they are finding your site, and what they are doing on your site?

      And when you say you have been trying to get through to Google, what exactly are you doing? What’s your website address? I’d love to take a look.

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