Your pet sitting website is the online home base for your pet sitting business and is often the first point of contact potential customers have with your brand. Did you know that you only have 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) to make a good first impression? This is how little time it takes new visitors to form an opinion about your website and decide whether they will stay or leave.
According to web credibility research from Stanford, 75% of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design. If you don’t want new customers to find you online, then you don’t need to do anything to your site. However, if you do, make sure your website doesn’t fall into any of the below categories.
How Do I Know If My Pet Sitting Website Is Current?
If your website is still not mobile-friendly in 2017, then you are leaving money on the table. Your pet sitting website must respond to the size of the screen it is displayed on. According to comScore’s new report, 2017 US Cross-Platform Future in Focus , nearly 70% of digital media time is spent on mobile devices.
It’s all about creating a great user experience for customers on the go. Eliminate distractions by using hamburger menus, removing busy navigation on smaller screens, and focus on a simple, easy to navigate design. Be sure to include a clear Call-to-Action to increase conversion rates.
In fact, Google has started penalizing sites that are not optimized for mobile devices. Not only does a responsive website keep visitors on your site longer, but it also helps with your search engine optimization (SEO). Wondering if your website is mobile-friendly? Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see how easily a visitor can use your website on a mobile device.
You might not realize how badly an old and outdated design can hurt your pet sitting business. If it’s been a while since your website has been updated, and it looks ignored or just plain old, it can give your visitors the notion that you neglect other areas of your business as well. If it is hard for you to update your pet sitting website, your blog has not been updated in 2 years, or your website copyright isn’t 2017, you’re sending the message to your visitors that your site is gathering dust.
Your website may have great SEO, but when a potential customer lands on your outdated page, there is a good chance they are going straight back to Google. If your competitor has a professional, modern and user-friendly website, new visitors will automatically give your competitors more credibility. Remember, your website is a direct reflection of your business, and potential customers will judge your pet business based on the quality of your website.
Frustrating User Experience
Your website is a 24/7 salesperson and one of your most powerful marketing tools. If your page is too cluttered and confusing to navigate, it might be time to think about upgrading your pet sitting website. Great user experience leads to happy customers and more conversions.
Be sure to use easy-to-read fonts, adequate line spacing and lots of white space. Also, periodically chec k your website for broken links. Modern web users are impatient and will not wait for a slow website to load. If your site doesn’t load almost instantly, you will lose their attention. A 2-second delay in load time during a transaction results in abandonment rates of up to 87%! Test your website’s speed to make sure slow page load speed isn’t frustrating potential customers.
Lack of Unique Images
Since you are in the pet industry, your website should be telling your story using pictures of the pets in your care. If your website is lacking high-quality original photography, it may be time for an update. It is important to avoid low-quality images on your pet sitting website as this will reflect poorly on your brand.
When adding new photos to your site, it is imperative to follow best practices for file size compression and naming for SEO. Invest in professional photos for your website of your team and the pets in your care. As a pet business, stock photography can decrease trust in your business if it is overused. The best way to convey your brand and services is to use original images – be unique and stand out from the competition!
Poor Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If your business is not on the first page of Google for your most relevant keyword searches, then it might be time to re-vamp. Every day, you are competing for attention and placement in search engines. It is essential to use a tool, like Yoast, to ensure each page and image is optimized on your site. SEO helps search engines, like Google and Bing, figure out what each page and image on your website are about. SEO is always changing, so it is important to keep search marketing a priority. If you aren’t frequently updating your website, then odds are your site isn’t optimized for search engines.
But before you decide to update your website, make sure you develop a plan. It is important to ask yourself a few questions before starting. What is the main goal of your website? Do you want your visitors to call you or book services online? What do you want them to see? Are you going to build it yourself? What is your budget? Whether you are creating a website on your own with Wix or Squarespace, or working with a company like Barketing Solutions, keeping these 5 tips in the back of your mind will set you far ahead of your competition!
For more on pet sitting websites, be sure to check out these articles:
Today’s blog is brought to you by Erika Godwin. Erika is a Co-Founder of The Barketing Blog and the Chief Marketing Officer of ProPet Software, a boarding kennel, dog daycare and pet grooming management software.