You think you’re doing all the right things. You’ve got a website. You have a booking software. You consistently blog. You post on social media.
So why is it that people still are coming to your website and then leaving it without booking??
It’s a frustrating cycle - we can all agree on that. But without making changes to your website, you likely won’t see any changes in the number of bookings either.
So, we’re going to go over some of the most common reasons why people are leaving your pet business website without booking.
1. You have too much text on your website
Back in the day, having lots and lots of text was the way to go for best website practices. People craved information and boy did they get it. As a result, many people stuck as much information as they possibly could on their websites and let the people come to them.
Well, it’s a different time now. People are way too busy to read through your entire website. You want to make it as clear and easy as possible for them to know “Can this business help me?” or “Do I want to work with them?”
My advice? The only information you should have on your website is the information necessary for a client to know before booking with you. Everything else, they can learn later in the form of email communication, welcome packets, or perhaps a page on your website just for clients!
2. You have too little text on your website
While many people have now learned that too much text on your website is not the best practice, several of those people have now unfortunately removed too much from their website. For some, it’s become an overly simplified website with little to no personality or context. Your website is more than just a place to let people know, ‘hey, we exist - here’s our contact info!’
People need context. They need to understand who you are, what your pet business represents, what your values are as a business… you name it! Don’t be afraid to add some personality. This can help you stand out from the rest.
3. They don’t know what you do or who you serve
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes I see pet businesses make on their websites (get my list of the other most common mistakes and how to fix them here). You should be clearly explaining immediately on your website:
What you do
Who you do it for
Where you’re located (if applicable)
Without this, people will be gone immediately. Not to mention the SEO benefits that can come from stating what you offer and where you’re located.
4. You don’t have a clear process or path
As I mentioned earlier, people are just plain busy (AND lazy - let’s be honest). This means you need to clearly tell them what to do next. If they need to truly use their brain calories on figuring out how to work with you or what they need to do first, they’ll move on to another business. It’s GOT to be simple and clear.
5. There’s no clear branding strategy
What’s the point of what you do? What are you trying to achieve in the world? What’s your mission? What do you want your clients to feel when experiencing your website? Why are you helping them? What’s your big why?
These answers all come into play in the way you design your website. From the colors and fonts to the imagery and copy (text), your brand strategy and personality take your website from being pretty or purely informational to something that truly resonates with the clients you want to be working with. This one makes all the difference!!
If you need help with this, check out my 3-part blog series on How to Get Started with Pet Business Branding.
6. You don’t give them an alternative option if they’re not ready to purchase or book
As you’ve probably learned by now as a pet business entrepreneur, some people need more time before committing or purchasing. This is all part of purchase behavior. They say in general that people need to come across a brand about 7 times before purchasing. While this might vary, especially if this person is actively coming to your website, the concept behind it still stands.
You need to realize that every person who comes to your website is on a different stage in the purchase decision. This means you need to support and assist those who may be interested but aren’t quite ready to commit at this point in time. This can come in the form of linking to your social media, creating a compelling opt-in freebie so they can join your email list or receive an offer, writing blog posts with more information, etc. The options are endless here. The bottom line is to make sure you’re serving those at every stage because it’s likely that if you are nurturing these people well, they will eventually come to you if they need your services in the future.
7. You’re missing critical info
You’d probably be surprised to hear how many websites are simply missing critical information on their websites. Things like your specific services or how to book. If you confuse people or make things unclear, they’ll be gone.
If you tell people to contact you, but don’t say how or what method, you’re missing critical information.
If you tell people to book and it simply links to a login page, they’ll be gone. What if they don’t have a login? Should they create an account? This goes back to your booking process - You need to outline the steps for people so it’s insanely easy should they want to move forward.
If you forget to actually talk about yourself on your about me page, you’re missing critical information.
If you simply say you offer dog walking and pet sitting, but don’t talk about any details on the experience or timing or ANYTHING, you’re missing critical information. Because it’s likely these won’t go out of their way to learn these things. They need to know any information they NEED to know before making a decision to get in touch or book.
8. You have pop-ups ‘pop up’ immediately
Like my pun? 😉
But in all seriousness, this is one of the most distracting elements of a website. That’s not to say there aren’t times when pop-ups can be extremely beneficial for businesses, especially for important notices or offers.
However, here is something I will say you should avoid 100% of the time... Don’t have a pop-up show up within 1-2 seconds of them landing on the page. And here's why:
They clicked on the website or page for a reason. By adding in a pop-up immediately, they have to click an additional button to get back to you which is just another barrier to entry.
If they still want to proceed to the page, they’ll just click away from your pop-up. What happens when they liked what they read and wanted to get access to the pop-up again but now it’s gone?
Pop-ups can come off as spammy or salesy, which can really hurt trust. Trust is important in the pet industry.
If you’re going to create a pop-up, I recommend not having it show up for at least 6-8 seconds and only place it on applicable pages. Make sure it’s branded to your business and not overly spammy. You also want it to provide value and make sense for your brand strategy.
For other tips on how to spruce up your website or differentiate yourself from other pet businesses, see below:
If you want a website that makes booking the best clients easier, head over to the Pet Marketing Unleashed shop! Not only do we have beautiful website templates that are super easy to customize and teach you all about copywriting, SEO, website strategy, and more, but each template also comes with the Seamless Onboarding System so your website can work for you to onboard those dreamy clients WITHOUT adding to your schedule! Learn more here.