The 5 Worst Pieces of Website Advice You’ve Been Told - Pet Business Edition
Let’s face it - there’s conflicting information out there on any topic you search. **Insert massive confusion**
I totally get it. As Bruce Lee says when it comes to learning and education,
Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own. – Bruce Lee
Always remember that every business is different, which means different things work for each business. However, there are some pieces of website advice I’ve seen out there that I would highly encourage you to stay away from in most cases.
Check them out below. ⬇️
1. ”Just get it up there and you’ll be good to go.”
100% false! While it’s essential to have a website, the last thing you want to do is publish your website and then never touch it again. You’re just asking for Google to say, “Ehh, this business isn’t active and relevant, let’s keep them in the bottom of search results.”
The best thing you can do for your search engine optimization (SEO) and relevancy is to keep your website updated with new content. Whether that means updating your services, changing your prices, or arguably most important, posting new blog posts, your website needs to stay fresh and active.
2. "Make sure it reflects your personality."
This can be a HUGE mistake for your branding. Just because you love the color pink or you love rainbows doesn’t mean it’s going to resonate with your audience and the people you want to be working with. It’s key to go back and realize who your target audience is (for help on this, see the links below) and build your branding visuals from there.
Remember, your branding can make all the difference between someone instantly leaving your website or becoming intrigued with what you’re all about. Not only that, but you will be more effective at reeling in the people you ACTUALLY want to be working with compared to those who, well… ya know. Give ya a bit of trouble! You know who I’m talking about!
Of course, you want to insert some of your personality into your brand and that’s 100% fine, especially if that’s the foundation of your business strategy (in which case, go for it!). However, the bottom line is that it’s crucial for you to sit down, figure out who you want to work with, speak to them from their lens, and from there, add yourself to the story.
3. "Keep it broad so you can appeal to everyone."
No, no, no!!!! As a dog walker or pet sitter, the last thing you want to do is just say oh I serve ALL pet parents in the San Diego area. What separates you from other dog walkers and pet sitters then? If there are 2,000 dog walkers and pet sitters in San Diego all serving San Diego pet parents, why would one choose you over another? Why wouldn’t they choose another one? Why wouldn’t you be immediately replaceable with another?
What if you said… “I help busy, professional dog moms become the best boss they can be.” OR “We help dedicated dog parents who are dealing with separation anxiety.” OR “You shouldn’t be alone in caring for your diabetic dog - we’re here to help.”
See the difference? If I was one of the above personas, I would 100% pick this business over any other because I know you speak my language. I know you can help my specific situation. If something goes wrong, I’d likely still stay with your company because I wouldn’t trust a generic dog walker to assist with my specific needs! I’d be more likely to stay loyal, pay at a higher price point, and refer you to others!
So, make sure your website is clear with who you want to work with. Don’t be afraid to niche down!
4. "Don’t link to other websites. You want to keep people on YOUR website."
While the goal is obviously to get people to stay on your website and purchase/book with you, we have to keep the priority on the user experience (for Google’s sake, too!). For example, by including links to other pet businesses in your area on a resources or community page or perhaps on a blog post, not only will potential clients appreciate this resource but Google will also say, “Hey, this is a reputable and high-quality website that’s pointing to other reputable websites. Let’s give them some bonus points!”
This doesn’t mean refer to another website on your home page. All this advice is saying is that it’s not a bad thing to have links to other websites on your own.
P.S. Bonus points if you get other websites to link back to you! That’s WONDERFUL for your search engine optimization (SEO) by the way.
5. "Add a pop-up to your website to get people on your email list immediately."
To do a pop-up or to not do a pop-up… that is the question!
Here are my two cents on this topic:
I never suggest doing an immediate pop-up. ALWAYS consider the user experience.
Imagine it’s my first time on a new website. I click on the home page URL and I finally land on it and… it’s immediately blocked by a pop-up. Regardless of whether it’s 10% off a product or an ‘enticing’ freebie, I’m likely going to click out of it because I don’t even know if I want the offer yet. I don’t know what the company is all about - why would I give them my email address at this point in the game?
So, I X out of it. Perhaps a minute or so later, I decide that I do want that offer or coupon, but now I can’t find it. Well that just stinks!!
Consider the above scenario when creating your pop-ups. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do them at all. I just recommend that if you are planning on using them, don’t have them pop-up immediately. Delay them at least 6-10 seconds from arriving on the page and be strategic about which pages you want them to show up on so it’s not excessive!
Want more website tips? Check out these blog posts below: