If you’re like me, perhaps you’ve experienced an overwhelming feeling from time to time that results from the endless information you’re consuming about owning a business.
There’s a lot to learn regarding advertising, social media, web design, and then the dreaded...search engine optimization.
I know what you’re thinking: What in the world is SEO really, and how can it help my pet business?
Search Engine Optimization
Essentially, Google has created an extremely detailed and complicated algorithm. Yay, another algorithm!
Google chooses where each website and its content fits into search engine results, taking into consideration what a web user is searching for.
The typical misunderstanding here is that a lot of people just assume SEO means choosing the right keywords to put within their website to correlate with their potential customer Google searches. This is important, but it’s not the MOST important. Many default to keyword plugging, which is a huge no-no. Google is smarter than that and knows when keyword plugging is going on.
If you don’t know what keyword plugging is, it’s where you plug or fill your content up with all of the keywords you think will rank, which results in your content either not making sense, not feeling genuine, or just plain obvious with no substance. For example, if I placed this on the bottom of my website “pet sitter web design, dog walker websites, web designer for pet businesses, pet business websites, groomer web design, website tips for groomers, dog groomer, pet groomer…” Google would know this is not quality information. Not to mention, my website viewers would probably run the other way because I’m not even speaking to them!
Moral of the story - PLEASE don’t keyword plug. If a keyword fits into your copy (text) on your website, that’s WONDERFUL! By all means, add it in. But know this.
SEO is more than just selecting keywords to plug into your website.
So, here are some “alternative” things to consider when going about implementing SEO on your website:
1. Add Info to Your Header & Footer
We typically see the following two breakdowns of websites:
100% bare, clean, and minimalistic website with barely any information on it because they want to be modern.
THE COMPLETE opposite. It’s a mess of information overload, but still, none of it seems to be in the headers and footers.
So, what’s the right way? NEITHER.
Your website should be clean, but it should also still contain relevant information. Your headers and footers should contain content like your contact info, physical location or service area, and navigation tools that link to your social media, blog content, product pages, and more.
2. Add Alt Text to Your Photos
I see so many business owners miss this one!
When you add pictures to your websites, add in an alt text description of the photo.
A lot of third-party website platforms have an area for you to do this automatically, which should be in the settings of the photo you uploaded. Be sure to not title the image something SUPER general like “pet business.”
Bonus tip: Also be sure to rename your image files before uploading because that also helps with SEO!
3. Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly and Responsive
There IS a difference between mobile-friendly and responsive, but you technically need both nowadays. Otherwise, you get dinged by Google.
Mobile-friendly means there’s a mobile VERSION of your website. Responsive essentially means if you are on your desktop and you shrink the window, your website should adjust with it so that it can fit any screen that your potential customers are using when visiting your website. This is essential!
4. Frequently Update Website Content
Make sure you are updating your content. Whether it’s photos, blog posts, changing your pricing, descriptions, articles, events, etc. Simple really! Google favors websites that produce new, high-quality content frequently!
Don’t stress so much about plugging in keywords - just be authentic to your audience, write from a place of serving others, and be sure where appropriate to link to other reputable websites (Google loves that!).
5. Write Blog Posts!
Yes, I know I mention blogging a lot on my blog and in my business. But that’s because it’s SO important! A lot of you aren’t doing it. Or maybe you have a couple of posts up from like, two years ago. That’s right – I see you!
This is probably one of the most important things you can do to boost your website traffic over time. You may not see immediate results - that’s normal. But over time, consistently blogging will help boost your website traffic and help you reel in your dream clients or customers.
And if you’re stuck on what to write about, I have plenty of blog post topic ideas for pet businesses here.
P.S. Get my SEO tips specifically for blog posts here.
6. Make sure you’re linking to other websites
I know we talked about this a bit earlier in the blog post, but it was worth repeating! Google LOVES it when you point people in the direction of other pages, whether it’s on your website or other people’s websites. In fact, it’s a ‘bonus’ if you refer to another website (just make sure you have it open in a new tab, so people can come back to your website if they want to!).
Google takes the information you put out like...external links and thinks, ‘hey, that’s awesome. That must be a quality page if the information points the reader to other websites to read more information!’ Brownie points!
7. Add Page Meta Descriptions
You know when you search for a business and Google gives you the link with some description text underneath and you can see different pages you can select? (see example below)
You want to make sure you’re adding in these page descriptions so that they can be used not only to describe what your page is all about so people can know whether it’s right for them, but it also helps you in search result rankings.
8. Get featured on other websites
We talked about linking to other people’s websites. Well, the same is true in reverse! A wonderful thing to do to boost your SEO and credibility is to have other websites link to your website. You can do this in the form of having a referral partner link to your website homepage. You could also write a guest blog post for another pet business. The options are endless, and if you need help getting a partnership set up with another business out there, get my free email template here so you can take action and send it immediately!
9. Clearly explain what you do, who you do it for, and where you’re located
This is my essential website tip for any pet business out there. Not only for SEO but just to have a clear and effective website. The main text on your homepage above the fold should clearly state - what you do, who you do it for, and where you’re located (if you’re a location-based business).
There are so many benefits to doing this, so make sure this is happening on your website!
These “less” talked about SEO factors are actually wayyyy more important than simply integrating the right keywords in your content.
SEO can be a complicated venture to take on, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s touted as this big complicated thing, but honestly, if you’re speaking to your audience clearly and effectively and updating your website frequently with new blog content meant to serve your audience, it shouldn’t be a huge concern!
Every little bit helps.
Resources mentioned in this post:
To get your hands on the website templates that will include ALL the step-by-steps on how to nail your SEO and copywriting as well as give you website and onboarding strategy and so much more, head on over to The Pet Marketing Unleashed Shop. Here, you can customize your own strategically designed Wix website template for pet sitters and dog walkers, dog trainers, and pet photographers. Not only will all of your SEO questions be cleared right up, but you'll also have a stunning website that will help you onboard those dreamy clients without adding to your work load. Check it all out here.