Busy is the name of the game in this crazy & competitive pet industry.
But, that doesn't mean there aren't things you can do to save you LOTS of time while still giving you LOTS of value in return!
In fact, I've made a list of things you can do in 10 minutes or less that will help you exponentially when it comes to getting seen online by potential customers.
Let's get to it, shall we?
1. WEBSITE: Footers & Headers
Something that a lot of pet businesses miss out on is making it super easy for their customers to see their contact information right away and multiple times on their website. Be sure to add your phone number or best contact method on both your header and footer. On the footer, make sure to include your hours (if applicable), address, and all other forms of communication that you accept for your business. You want to make sure that it's TOO easy for a potential customer to contact you. Don't make them work to find your information. Why? Because they probably won't search too hard when they can just find another business that makes it easier.
2. WEBSITE: Social Media Icons (+ Yelp If You're A Local Biz)
This sort of goes along with number one in that you want to add your social media information on your website as well. This does a lot of things for your business:
It adds legitimacy to your business because you have social media pages.
Customers can see photos, reviews, and other customers interacting with your business, which is PRICELESS.
It transforms you from just another business name to a personality that they want to be around. TIP: You want to create FOMO for people who aren't customers yet. (FOMO = Fear of Missing Out)
It adds to your following & engagement.
It can get you more customers!!
3. WEBSITE: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This can be a really confusing topic for a lot of Petpreneurs in the industry, but it's actually a really great way to boost your presence online and get more business. What is it?? SEO is optimizing, or improving, the visibility of your website so that it gets seen by the right customers. So, how do you do it? Well, it depends on the website platform you have. Typically if you have a platform like Wix, Squarespace, or Wordpress, there are SEO plugins that walk you through each step of optimizing each page on your website.
Other tips include making your website mobile-friendly (especially considering most people are using their phones to search for new businesses), navigation menus, having a blog so you have updated and current content, including your business service area (address) and contact info in your footer, and linking to other websites (Yelp, Facebook, other pet business partnerships, etc.). There are so many things you can do to optimize your page more efficiently and a lot of it is personalized to your business type & website platform - let me know if you have any other questions on this one because I know it's a confusing topic for a lot of pet biz owners.
Looking to make improvements to your website?
4. Call-To-Actions (CTA's)
Again, this falls back to making it SUPER easy for your customers to contact you or purchase services from you - whatever it is! It's got to be easy. A CTA is creating an easy action for your customer to get them to do something that you want them to do. For example, it can be a purchase button or an email button from anywhere that directs them to do something without much thought or effort required.
You can do this on your website by creating a button that easily connects you to a contact form or connects you to your social media pages. Also, this shouldn't just be done on your website. It can be done on your Facebook Page, on Yelp, on other local business listings, on your blog posts - the list goes on and on. One of the CTA's that a lot of businesses forget to do is on social media. You can create CTA's on your Facebook page and you can also create a link to put in your Instagram bio. See example below:
5. Claim Your Business Listings
This is especially important if you have a local pet business! To do this quickly, you can use Yext's free business scan here. You input your information and it generates a report of business listings that you can fix and update. They do have a paid feature, but I think you can do most, if not all of this stuff on your own and it doesn't take up too much time. If you sit down for about 10 minutes, you should be able to update most of these.
Be sure to update the most important search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook, etc. When claiming your businesses, include as much information as you can - including pictures. Adding even a few pictures really legitimizes and personalizes your business.
6. Create A Blog
I firmly believe that every single pet business should have a blog. It doesn't matter if you're a veterinarian, a pet photographer, or a groomer. This doesn't mean that you need to be spending 20 hours a week blogging for your business. You can even sit down and blog once a month if that's all you have time for! Or, what I like to recommend to busy Petpreneurs is to take a day to write out several blog posts and then you can post them separately later so that you can save time and have them done ahead of time.
What this does for your business:
It establishes you as an expert, which is essential when people are trusting you with a pet service or to take care of their pet.
It helps with your SEO & website visibility because you have updated content.
It allows customers to find your website if they are searching for information that you blog about.
It just simply makes you look good!
Need some help getting started with your blog? Check out my list for FREE blog post ideas for pet businesses here.
7. Upload More Images
And not just any image. Give us some background into your business! Show images from the 'behind the scenes' or the face behind the business. This can be on your website, Facebook, Google, Instagram, Business Listings, your Yelp Page, anything! People love pictures and they don't just want to see the pet's faces. They want to see the location, the employees, and the experience of what they'll be purchasing from you.
8. Live Video
Due to the new algorithms that I'm sure you've heard buzzing around the pet industry world, Facebook & Instagram have re-organized what matters regarding the content that gets shown to different people. Probably one of the biggest changes that is impacting small businesses is the importance of live video! If you can plan or schedule to go live even once a week or to include more videos, not only will it be more likely to show up in your customers' feeds, but it'll also create more engagement on your content.
9. Rethink Your Hashtags
Hashtags are another one of those things that actually a lot of business owners don't know much about. A lot of Petpreneurs tend to just use popular hashtags like #dogsofinstagram or #dogs or #thursday; however, these aren't the hashtags that will be especially helpful to you. Yes, it might generate one or two more likes on your photo, but it probably won't get you any more paying customers. Plus, by the time you post the photo, the hashtag will have populated so many more photos with that hashtag, that it'll be gone in the search window for that hashtag.
The general rule of hashtag is to be specific, but not TOO specific. If you're a local business, make it more relevant to your service area. If you're a dog walker, maybe don't just use the hashtag #dogwalker, but make it #dogwalkersandiego or #sandiegodogwalker. Play around with these. You can currently use up to 30 hashtags on an Instagram post.
As far as Facebook goes, I would actually stay away from hashtags. They aren't used like they are on Instagram unless it's trending. However, if something is trending, it's likely that you'll be skipped because so many other businesses are using the same hashtag! Be aware of this especially if you are using Instagram's app to share immediately to Facebook. All of the hashtags will make your Facebook page look messy!
There is SO much information on the science of 'hashtagging,' so, if you want to learn more about it, head to my blog post on Instagram Hashtag Tips & Tricks For The Pet Industry!
That's it's own separate topic, but as long as you take this general information, you'll be off to a good start.
Think you can do at least some of these things this week for your pet business?
I think so, too.
If you need ANY help with any of these or have any questions, feel free to email me OR ask away in my FREE Facebook Group, Unleashed Petpreneurs. If you have a question about something, it's likely that other people do too, so let's help each other out!