It’s no secret that my philosophy is that your pet website should be your main source of new business.
Today, when your ideal and potential client is looking for someone to care for their pet, they hop over to Google, enter in a number of various search terms and begin their search.
Naturally you want your website to appear as high in the Google search results as possible. And when we talk about “SEO” (search engine optimization) there are two distinct areas you need to understand:
- The ability to land high in the search engine results when a potential client is searching for the service you provide.
- The ability to naturally inspire the majority of your website visitors to take action and make contact with you.
Without both of those actions taking place as often as possible, you may find yourself struggling with your website marketing.
We are here to change all of that!
Are you happy with the current condition of your website? Do you know what improvements or enhancements you may need to make to increase search engine placement?
Use this study guide and checklist to fully determine what your best course of action may be for the direction of your current website.
Things to consider/ You may discover:
By the time you are finished completing this checklist, you may confirm that your current website is fully functional and working for you on every level.
Or you may find a few areas or more that need improvement or enhancement.
In any case, after going through these points to consider, you will have the knowledge and ability to move forward with any website direction you choose.
Here are my 5 recommendations to focus on today:
1) Is your website mobile-friendly?
You (and the rest of the world) rely heavily on your smart phone for a variety of reasons every day. You snap pictures, shoot video, check Facebook, send text messages, and surf the web.
This goes the same for your potential clients. More and more of your ideal clients are browsing your website via a mobile device (smart phone, tablet, etc). Want to see just how many?
Install and check your Google Analytics to see what percentage of your visitors are accessing your pages. From my own Analytics, I’m able to tell that a big 32% of my visitors are using a mobile device, including more than a third of those using the Apple iPhone. These numbers will only increase as time goes and if you do not have a mobile-ready website or responsive theme, you will be missing out on more potential clients.
In fact, you may be aware that Google has already put in place a way to favor websites that are mobile-friendly. You want to make certain your website is ready for any mobile device according to Google’s standards.
Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool and find out where your website stands.
More reading: See why some say your business is in danger if you are not mobile. http://www.thesocialmediahat.com/blog/why-your-business-danger-11262013
We Do It For You: My WordPress SEO Website Template for pet sitters comes mobile-ready out of the gate. Just launch and go.
2) Is your website WordPress-powered?
You’ve most likely heard of WordPress. It’s simply the backend tool that powers your website and gives you the ability to easily change, edit, and manage your pages.
While the software did begin many years ago as a blogging tool, it has evolved so much that many of the biggest websites online are powered by WordPress. Even if you do not blog, you would be doing a disservice by not using WordPress to control your entire website.
Personally, I use it for 100% of the sites I build and manage whether a blog will be part of it or not. So why then is it so highly recommended. Simply put, the main thing you want as a site owner is control, right? You want to be able to update, change, edit, or remove things from your site at will.
You do not need to wait for, rely on, or pay a designer to do every little change you want done. If you can create a Microsoft Word document, you can use WordPress. It’s so easy, it’s a no-brainer.
Plus, to make matters even better, Google loves websites that are built with WordPress. Why is that? Because your pages automatically become search engine friendly. Want to hear it from the horse’s mouth? See the video below from Google talking about their love of WordPress websites (and why).
More Reading: Here’s a great video from Google on why they love WordPress so much.
Do It Yourself: You can download and install the WordPress platform on your server and website from http://wordpress.org/
We Do It For You: If you want a completely done-for-you and set up for you WordPress website, visit our WordPress powered SEO template for complete exciting details.
Important Note: I speak with many pet professionals who are timid to change websites from their current template to a WordPress one in fear that they will have to spend hours and hours recreating all the hard work and effort put into their original website.
The bottom line is it’s very possible for us to quickly and painlessly move over all of your content, photos, logo, pages, and color scheme. Nobody has to reinvent the wheel! Your previous hard work will be remain visible on a new website WordPress website with us.
3) Are you blogging?
Perhaps you’ve heard this all before. Perhaps you roll your eyes. Perhaps you already do it. Or perhaps you are utterly confused by the entire process.
Regardless of where you are, or how you feel about it, blogging is a necessary tool for the current rules of SEO. Why is this? No matter what you call it, the end result is writing content and offering your visitors something of value.
This can be in the form of articles, pictures, videos, audio clips, FAQs, product reviews or a combination of these.
Understand that you are already “blogging” every single day!
How? Each phone conversation you have is a potential blog post… Every meet-n-greet you attend is ripe for a topic of your next article… All the dog parents you chat with at the park or around town is a chance to document the story or insight you are sharing on your blog!
See? Once you become aware of what blogging is and get over any fear or intimidation of how it works you may never stop adding value to your website.
Why is writing and adding content on a regular basis so important to where you rank in the search engines?
Well, we must first completely understand what Google’s goal is. Google is responsible to its customer, the search users. It must be able to provide the searcher with the best (most relevant) websites on that first page of Google for whatever the searcher is looking for.
So, Google needs to return websites that are so extremely helpful and valuable that we all keep using Google as the search engine of choice. If your website only contains a handful of the typical pages we see on all pet sitting websites that display the facts (how much, service area, about us, testimonials, list of services…) you are missing out on a tremendous amount of traffic.
If you create pages of content (through your blog) that offer your ideal client a plethora of information by answering their questions, and offering tools, tips, and advice, you will stand a greater chance of landing in high in Google for many keywords.
More Reading: Not sure where to begin? Watch this hour-long video training session we held to get your blogging going from “Idea to Publish”.
Do It Yourself: You can easily add blog capability to your website through WordPress. Just log into your dashboard, click Add New Post, and begin writing. The tech side of things is automatically handled for you.
We Do It For you: Our WordPress SEO Website system for pet sitters has blogging capability built right in. Point, click, write, publish. We also set up your entire installation so you can begin adding content to your website on Day One.
4) Do you have a nice, clear photo (or video) of yourself on your web page?
Today, many potential clients want to connect with YOU, not a faceless brand or company. Remember, we are selling TRUST first and foremost. Pet parents will not feel comfortable hiring you to care for their most precious pets if they do not trust you.
But what if you absolute hate the way you look on camera?
Here’s the thing: We are asking a lot of a potential client: “Give me your keys so I can enter your home when you are not home… give me your alarm codes… Give me your check or credit card numbers… etc.”
Trust needs to be established early on in the search process. Do not be afraid to put a nice, clear photo (or video) of yourself throughout your website pages to increase the chance of contact being made.
There needs to be a connection between the person hiring you for the job and you. A picture or video is one of the quickest ways to make that happen.
More Reading: Here is a 7-minute Youtube video on how to make great looking videos in no time flat:
Do it yourself: It’s easier than ever today to shoot a pic of yourself (selfie) or have someone snap a nice clear photo of your smiling face. Not too comfy with pics of yourself? Put the attention on your favorite pet and you’ll be surprised how good you appear in the photo.
5) Is your service area (town, city, state) clearly visible on every page?
One thing you may be taking for granted is that every visitor to your website knows exactly what part of the world you serve. You may even have the town clearly listed. (But is that Madison, Wisconsin or Madison, Indiana?)
You’d be surprised how many pet websites I come across that do not have any location listed anywhere.
For the sake of assisting Google and your website visitors, make sure you at least have your town and state clearly listed on your pages. One of the first questions your potential client and website visitor will be asking herself is “Where is this person located? Is this pet sitter near me? Does this business serve my area?”
If your website visitor can not easily and quickly find the answers to the handful of questions she has swirling around her hear during the first few minutes of her visit, you will likely lose any chance of hearing from that person.
Want a boost of SEO? Place your Name, Address, and Phone Number across your website.
More Reading: Here is a brilliant article from Google on “Guidelines for representing your business on Google”.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Those are the top 5 things you should focus on today in order to evaluate the current state of your pet business website.
There is plenty to consider. That’s why I remain close by every step of the way on your continued path to success.
I look forward to your comments below!