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The Simple Way To Stop Confusing Your Website Visitors and Start Helping Them

confusedDo you know what I love most about receiving email inquiries from my pet sitting website?

Besides enjoying the obvious lead, I love getting to learn more about how my website is actually performing.

Here’s what I mean. I recently received an email that said the following:

“I wanted to inquire about pricing info for in-home boarding. Your site was very informative and I wanted to look into this option further.

It’s no secret that I take pride in my pet sitting website and work hard to make sure it converts as many visitors as possible into leads (which could become potential new clients).

When I read the statement about how informative my site was, I knew what I always thought was correct:

Every visitor arrives on your website with certain questions in mind. The better you help answer those questions, the more likely the visitor will take action and get in touch with you.

Is your pet sitting website helping or confusing your visitors?

You’ve probably already heard that content is king. Simply put, the more relevant content you have on your website, the more your visitors – and Google – will love you.

Below are 9 questions that your visitors need to know the answers to before they will even consider getting in touch with you. (It’s also a perfect way to add more content to your site.)

Side Note: #4 is my favorite secret weapon. Focus on that one alone and you’ll see results.

1) How much does your service cost?

Whether you choose to list specific prices or list a ‘call for quote’ option, your potential client needs to know how the fee is calculated.

If you choose not to list specific prices, at least make them aware why specific prices are not listed (unique to each pet’s needs, based on a variety of factors, etc).

2) What service area do you cover?

Obviously, your potential client will want to know if in fact you serve her area. One thing I have found good success with is offering a list of neighborhoods we serve followed by the statement: “This is just a partial list of the areas we serve. If your area is not listed, please call us to see if we can accommodate.

This accomplishes a few things.

It allows us to decide on a case by case basis if we want to make an exception for certain areas based on service, time of year, availability, etc.

I’d hate to lose a potential client who did not see her area listed because we refer to it as two different names or it was just outside the limit.

3) What services do you offer?

A dog owner looking for mid-day walks. A cat owner going on vacation for 2-weeks. A new puppy owner looking for boarding and training.

Each of these potential clients are desperately trying to discover if you offer the exact service for their specific situation.

Do you make it blatantly clear on your website all the services you offer? Make sure you target the market that you serve.

4) How does all this work?

It would help more than you know to approach every aspect of your pet sitting website with this one motto:

“I must assume that every visitor to my website has never used a pet sitter before and has no idea what I do, how I do it, and what this is all about.”

Trust me. If you build your website pages (content) with that thought in mind, Google will love you, and your potential visitors will love you even more.

Don’t be afraid to spell out and break down how every part of the process works and why it’s in place. Explain in detail why the services you offer are better than every other option the pet owner can choose (kennels, friends, boarding houses).

Walk her through what the first phone call is like, what she can expect, what happens on the meet-n-greet, what forms she’ll fill out to make sure you can take the best care possible, how you send text message (or email or phone) updates during the job, etc.

5) Can I see some references?

Testimonials and reviews are something you should clearly offer on your website (most of us already do).

If you haven’t yet been asked directly to provide some references, assume that every visitor is thinking about it.

How comforting would it be to list prominently on your site something like: “If you’d like to be put directly in touch with some of our happy clients, please get in touch with me and I’d be happy to connect you!”

Guess what that does? It shows your visitor that you are more than willing to get others to vouch for you. It says you have a history of happy clients that you are confident with. And it encourages the visitor to get in touch with you (and isn’t that, afterall, what we are after?!).

6) How does payment work and what payment methods do you offer?

Do I have to pay up front? Can I pay afterwards? Do you bill me or send me invoices? Do you accept Paypal? Can I write you a check? Do you take credit cards?

Give your visitor the peace of mind of knowing how the crucial aspect of payment is handled.

If you are in fact flexible with your payment methods, promote a ‘what ever is simplest for you’ attitude.

For example, you could write “We aim to accommodate each of our client’s personal payment preferences. We happily accept cash, check or paypal (credit cards) for your convenience.”

More content, more questions answers, more understanding.

The more your potential client understands about the entire process from first contact to new client, the more likely she will get in touch with you.

Remember, spell everything out in as much detail for her as you possibly can on your website.

7) Will you keep in touch and keep me informed during/after each job?

Reassurance. It’s one more thing your potential client wants from you before fully committing.

She wants to know she can trust (and believe) you are the best one for the job.

Let her know up front that you will leave a report card after each visit. Or that you will follow up each visit with a text message and a pic of her pooch having a blast.

You may even decide to display an actual report card or update as an example.

8) What experience do you have?

Growing up with animals, or loving pets is not impressive experience. Sure, it’s nice for the visitor to know, but go a step further and highlight your skills, talents and abilities.

Focus on things that will assure your potential client that what ever happens, what ever could possibly go wrong, you have the ability and capacity to handle it professionally and make the right decisions in the blink of an eye.

All your visitor ever wants is to know that she made the right choice by choosing you, and that you will not let her down.

9) Finally, can I really trust you?

If you haven’t tied everything together yet, TRUST is really all it comes down to.

Whether a potential client (your visitor) trusts you or not from the short time spent on your website is what will dictate the level of success you reach.

All of these questions bring you a step closer to achieving trust between your visitor and you.

The more content (and transparency) that you provide, the more understanding you shine on the process, the more you reveal about yourself and business practices, the more happy clients you will discover fighting to hire you.

Action Step:

Take just one of the questions above that you think is not fully (or clearly) answered on your pet sitting website and add one page answering the question for your visitors.

They will literally thank you for it.

Leave a comment below with a link to your website so we can all celebrate your progress.

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About Joshua Cary

Joshua Cary is an all around good guy. He is a filmmaker, web builder and business owner. He is a pet sitting business trainer, coach and instructor and has a passion for helping pet sitters build a strong business through a strong website. Joshua is also the co-founder of the Association of Pet Sitting Excellence (you should really check that out).

  • Julie Fredrick

    This is a great blog! So many great points. I’m going to go back through this and make sure my website has all these elments. Thanks Josh!

    • Joshua Cary

      Great, Julie,

      I appreciate your feedback, and look forward to seeing the progress you make with this one.

  • greendoggie

    Thanks Joshua.  Looks like I need to do some revising to the website I recently made.
    I have a rather dumb question about the service area description/keywords… For local seo purposes, I gather it is beneficial to have a list of service areas on each page of your site.  Is it not misleading to say something like “Serving the following areas including but not limited to ….” if I typically board dogs in my home rather than in the clients’ homes?  I don’t advertise doing “in the client’s home” pet sitting but if someone makes a request and I am available, I’m usually open to it. 

    My city according to my postal address is Granada Hills which is in the San Fernando Valley, CA-part of Los Angeles.  But since I’m at the north end of the San Fernando Valley (5 miles south of Santa Clarita), I’d also like to target Santa Clarita.  There aren’t going to be too many people searching for “dog boarding Granada Hills” and even running the keyword phrase “dog boarding San Fernando Valley” didn’t turn up a significant # of searches.  “Dog boarding Los Angeles” however obviously has a far greater # of searches but while my actual city is part of LA, the businesses that tend to rank for that search phrase are usually in the LA metro area.  Someone living near downtown LA isn’t likely to want to drive 35-45 minutes to get to me in Granada Hills. 

    What is the best way to target the areas surrounding me in the San Fernando Valley and Santa Clarita?  (I’ve noticed some of my competitors have a long list of cities at the bottom of each page of their site, some even tag on the word “dog boarding” to the end of each city). 

    Sorry, is it okay to ask for advice like this in this forum?  Thanks for doing what you do!

    Denise Cueba
    Green Doggie Home Boarding (Granada Hills, CA)
    http://www.wix.com/greendoggie/homeboarding

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