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google analytics

Episode 97: Optimizing Your Website Using Google Analytics With Brandy Lawson

Brandy Lawson is the founder of FieryFX, a boutique digital agency, and a Chief Online Officer for-hire. Her mission is to help entrepreneurs maximize their impact and success by making the right digital decisions for their business. Brandy’s zone of genius is connecting business goals with marketing & technology strategies. Her superpower is analogies. Sure, it’s not as impressive as teleportation, but it does help clients grasp new concepts faster than a speeding bullet.  Brandy is a mother, a wife, a native of Montana, a current Phoenician, and a co-host of the Northwest Phoenix WordPress meetup. She is also a lover of ridiculous shoes, a captain of her boat on Lake Pleasant, and doesn’t miss an episode of Jeopardy.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Google Analytics

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want To Miss:

  • Brandy started with a pretty unique position in a large company. She was a product director for GoDaddy, she sat between the consumers and the developers. She had to understand the market on multiple levels in order to produce for both interested parties.
  • What is a heat map? It is basically the analytics tool that looks at where people are actually looking on your page. It’s more than just seeing the link that they click on. You can see how far down do they scroll and how long they spend on your sit. Also, it will let you know what are your hot spots on your site. 
  • Jump Consulting has changed so much for the better after seeing the analytics. Looking at the metrics of what is working and what is not. Are you building trust? Measure that! Are you trying to sell items or packages? Then you need to create indicators of trust and what it is people are looking for when they look at your business page.
  • How do you start a conversation with someone that can help you with your analytics? Think of it as a building a house. Each part has a different purpose, just like a home you need an architect, a plumber, an electrician. A website is very much the same. You need the analytical data to back up what you are trying to achieve in your business.
  • It is important to start collecting your data as soon as possible. You don’t even have to understand it at first. But if you are gathering the data, then when you are ready for the next step you will have a base. Once you hire someone or have time to learn, you will already have a place to start.

Google Analytics

Show Highlights:

  • Living at the intersection of Marketing and Technology [1:00]
  • The importance of Google Analytics. Our businesses are online, websites drive business and you need to understand how to make the data work for you. [5:00]
  • Why you need a heat map with on your site. Check out Hot Jar.  [7:00]
  • How does one measure trust? How do you know if people visiting your site trust you as a business?  [10:45]
  • Building your analytics house for your website. [14:30]
  • What is an order taker? And why you need someone who will ask you, “why?” They will add value by understanding your larger technique. [18:00]
  • How to start with improving your website and incorporating Google Analytics on your website. [20:00]

 

Google Analytics

Links:

Check out Brandy Lawson and connect with her online at FieryFX.com

Downloadable Offer:

Check out this great offer! Grab Your FREE Custom Visibility & Conversion Report at https://fieryfx.com/jump

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pet sitting website

How Do I Know If My Pet Sitting Website Is Current?

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?pet sitting website

Not Mobile-Friendly

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.

Outdated Design

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:

 

5 Major Pet Sitting Website Problems I See In The First Fold

Create Your Pet Sitting Website In A Few Easy Steps

What Do Colors Mean On Your Pet Sitting Website

Have You Copied A Pet Sitting Website?

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.

pet sitting website design

 

bella in your business

Episode 48: Social Media & Faith In Your Business With Heather Heuman

On this episode Bella speaks with Heather Heuman,  CEO/Founder of Sweet Tea Social Marketing, Elizabethtown Family and the
Founder of Sweet Tea Social Marketing Academy.

social media pet sitting business

Heather Heuman

Bella and Heather discuss:

  • What social media can do for your business
  • What steps you should take to make social media work for you
  • What effects bringing her faith into her business had on it.
Heather is the CEO/Founder of Sweet Tea Social Marketing, Elizabethtown Family and the founder of Sweet Tea Social Marketing Academy. She is a social media speaker, strategist and trainer that specializes in helping Christian business owners and entrepreneurs, discover how to grow in today’s noisy social marketplace. Heather has corporate and locally-based client experience and enjoyed speaking at Social Media Marketing World earlier this year. She’s a proud wife and mother of three kiddos under 12 and is excited about her new podcast Business, Jesus and Sweet Tea is launching June 2017.

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Bella in your business pet sitting podcast

Episode 46: Website Copy, SEO, Blogging, & FB Live With Jen Phillips April

On this episode of “Bella in your Business” Bella speaks with Jen Phillips April, an SEO copywriter and social media trainer. They discuss different ways of impacting the traffic you get from search engines.

blogging SEO pet sitting business

Jen Phillips April

Specifically they discuss:

  • Website copy (the words on your website) and how you need to rewrite so people can find your page more easily when searching
  • The wide range of searches user are doing these days
  • How consistent blogging can affect your SEO
  • The importance of Facebook Live to attract customers.

Jen Phillips April’s online marketing journey started way back in 2005 with a dog treat recipe site. Using content and the best practices of SEO, she grew that site to 87, 500 visitors/month. These days, she works with clients like pet sitters and dog trainers. She writes their website copy so it gets found by Google (and their target market) and she also offers training on social media and SEO. When she is not working with her clients, she is usually reading a novel, practicing her Down Dog or cooking up a delicious meal.

Check out Jen’s free 5 day email course on “How To Gain MASSIVE Visibility with Facebook Live in Only 5 Minutes a Day — Even if You’ve Never “Done” Video Before.” 

You can find out more at www.jenphillipsapril.com

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Bella in your business pet sitting podcast

Episode 42: How To Use Facebook Groups and Video In Your Pet Sitting Business

On this episode Bella speaks with Maureen McCarthy, owner of Love and Kisses Pet Sitting. Bella has found Maureen’s use of Facebook groups, social media, and video to be an awesome example of how to market.  Bella gets the scoop from Maureen, about how Facebook groups can be a great way to connect and expand your reach as a business. Maureen started a group for her own community called What’s Up Indiana Trail and it has grown like wild fire. Through it, she has been able to get more people engaged on her own facebook page and grown her business.

They also discuss Facebook Live videos – which if you’ve been listening to me for awhile, you know that I consider video as a MUST HAVE in your business. Maureen discusses with Bella how exactly she started doing Facebook Live videos with both her and her staff and the direct effect they’ve had on her business revenue.

She talks with Maureen about:

Facebook Groups In Your Pet Sitting Business

Maureen McCarthy

  • The Facebook group she started.
  • Why she started the group
  • How much work is involved
  • How successful it has been
  • How she got into doing videos

Her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/IndianTrailPetSitter/

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Episode 34: “Click Here To Agree” Contracts, Sharing Client Photos, And Privacy Policies On Your Website.

On this episode Bella speaks with Sara F. Hawkins, an attorney who specializes in working with startups, entrepreneurs, marketing and advertising agencies, as well as major corporations where she regularly counsels clients on all aspects of federal and state marketing, advertising, sweepstakes and contests; international promotions; social media and internet law; copyright, trademark, and digital rights; as well as general business matters.

small business social media

Sara F. Hawkins

With a background in consumer product marketing compliance, Sara has worked with clients to create policies and procedures for engagement with agencies, celebrities, and influencers. Sara frequently speaks on legal topics related to influencer marketing; sweepstakes and contest promotions; as well as a host of digital, native, and mobile advertising and marketing topics. Since 1998, Sara has maintained her own firm in Phoenix, Arizona.

Bella and Sara discuss:

  • Where business owners can get photos from
  • Photo licenses and what they are
  • Who regulates photos and copyrights
  • How business owners can get clients to agree to share photos
  • Privacy policies
  • “Click to agree” agreements.

Here is the resource for my Deposit Photo deal 🙂
Sara can be reached at her website or Facebook

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Episode 32: Amy Schmittauer Explains Video In Her New Book VLog Like A Boss

In this episode of “Bella In Your Business”, Bella speaks with Amy Schmittauer from the popular YouTube series Savvy Sexy Social

In this episode they discuss what a Vlog is, and how and why Amy got into it.  They also talk about how pet sitters can use video to enhance their business and marketing and some tips on how to overcome that fear of being on camera.

Amy’s newly released book Vlog Like a Boss: How to Kill It Online with Video Blogging just launched on Jan 31st and just by listening to this episode, you might win a free copy.

Want to join our book club?

The Jumpers in my FB group voted for Amy’s book as our next book club read. If you would like to join us, we start the middle of February. You can get a copy of her book here and join our FB book club group here

 

Amy Schmittauer

Amy Schmittauer

Amy Schmittauer  is the Vlog Boss. As a new media triple threat —YouTuber, Keynote Speaker and Author—she coaches people to go after what they want in life and leverage online video to make it happen.

Creator of the popular YouTube series Savvy Sexy Social, her channel boasts a global community and millions of views.  And let’s not forget she is Mama to an adorable Beagle named LUCY.

In Amy’s first book Vlog Like a Boss: How to Kill It Online with Video Blogging, she shares her collection of strategies and tactics to help you create video that gets the attention you deserve.

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Britt Alwerud

Episode 31: Types of Apps

In this episode of “Bella In Your Business”, Bella speaks with Britt Alwerud from Handlr.  They discuss  the top 9 apps they think are great for the Pet Sitting business.

The apps they discuss are:

Britt Alwerud

Britt Alwerud lives in Los Angeles, CA with her menagerie of furbabies – two Goldens, Daisy and Taj, two cats, Tiger and Monkey, two horses named Gracie and Moo, and a chameleon named Larry. Britt owns DogZenergy in San Diego, CA. Now she’s the full-time Founder and CEO of Handlr. Handlr is the ultimate business app for busy pet sitters who are looking to automate and grow their business. Learn more about Handlr by clicking here or email her at britt@myhandlr.com. You can also find Britt on Instagram @doggonetechgirl or follow Handlr on Twitter @myhandlr for weekly business tips.

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Episode 29: What Type of Pet Sitter is Best for Rover Type Websites?

In this Episode Bella talks with Walt Galvin, an independent contractor working for Rover.  They discuss how sites like Rover can be a viable option for some pet sitters and walkers who are just starting out or want to keep it simple.

Walt Gavin, independent contractor with Rover.

Walt Galvin, independent contractor with Rover.

Some of the advantages include:

  • Not having to handle payments from clients
  • Saving  time and money but not having to handle marketing
  • Not having to deal with all kinds of administrative headaches and paperwork.
  • Ability to set your own work schedule

For Walt it has turned into a substantial retirement income and he points out that it is also a good option for those who don’t have the desire to hire other sitters and walkers as staff.  Walt also recommends that you pay close attention to the service agreements, particularly in regards to what insurance covers and you may need to purchase additional insurance to cover yourself.

Many of these online websites do not provide adequate coverage for the pet sitters. Only the clients.

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Episode 22: How To Get More PR For Your Pet Business

Susie Timm, President of Knife & Fork Media Group

Susie Timm, President of Knife & Fork Media Group

In this episode of “Bella In Your Business”, Bella spends time with Susie Timm,  President of Knife & Fork Media Group. Susie specializes in comprehensive public relations and marketing strategy in the gourmet food, restaurant and retail industries.

Gaining PR for your pet business can be wildly useful during the upcoming holidays, but if you get copies, you can also use it on your website and social media for months to come!

Bella and Susie discuss:

  • The importance of having a marketing and PR plan.
  • Creating interesting and useful event-based PR that then drive traffic and interest in your business.
  • How the “soft sell” approach works best when trying to get to exposure in mass media.
  • Some great ways to get yourself promoted on mass media.
  • Positioning yourself as an expert.
  • How great content drives traffic to your website.

You can find more information about Knife & Fork Media Group at KnifeAndForkMedia.com.

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Episode 21: How One Pet Lover Took Her Passion For Pets and United An Entire State with Woofalong

Darcy Graham, creator of WOOFALONG.COM

Darcy Graham, creator of WOOFALONG.COM

In this episode of “Bella In Your Business”, Bella talks with Darcy Graham,  creator of WOOFALONG.com. The site, which shows you the dog-friendly restaurants, stores, parks, trails and events in Colorado, was launched earlier this year and is already looking to expand.

Bella and Darcy discuss:

  • The frustration that was the impetus for the site.
  • How Darcy compiled the list of locations.
  • What types of publicity Darcy has managed to get for the site already and how she did it.
  • The engagements her site has gathered so far and how she has gotten it to grow.
  • Her extensive use of social media.
  • What she has planned for the upcoming version 2 of the site.
  • The plans for expansion to other cities.
  • The potential opportunities on WOOFALONG.COM for business owners.

You can find more information about WOOFALONG.COM at, where else, http://www.woofalong.com.

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Episode 18: How to Get More Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Clients

bella-pet-sitting-industry-podcast-album-cover

 

In this episode of “Bella In Your Business”, Bella is joined once again by Kate McQuillan from PawsomeMedia. They discuss the timeless question they always get, “How do I get more pet sitting and dog walking clients?”

More-clients-pet-sitting-dog-walking

 

List All The Services You Offer On Your Website:


In order to get more pet sitting and dog walking clients, Bella notes that people search for many different terms. For instance, she says that  if you are dog groomer and you want to groom small dogs or even cats, make sure you list that. Someone looking to get a cat groomed likely won’t search for a dog groomer first. Make sure you are putting all the services you offer, along with descriptions, on your website. Kate notes you should really review your website periodically and make sure what you want out there is very clear.

fb-group

Promote Yourself On Facebook:

Kate mentions that people often get caught up sharing pet pics, memes and news, but should not forget to put out something everyday about what you do. Images, articles you have written and tips are all good ways to do that. Also, make sure you have filled out all the about sections in Facebook, especially the contact information. Also make  sure your banner clearly says what you do. Facebook pages get Googled and so having all of that information in there may actually help you show up more often in Google searches. For those who feel such promotion is too “salesy” Bella recommends you check out “Gary V” (Gary Vaynerchuk ) who has a book called Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to tell your story in a noisy social world. He writes that it is about giving value, value, value, and then a sale. Bella says it’s ok to keep sharing valuable items, but don’t forget the “right hook”!

Blog About What You Do:

Bella says to blog and talk about what you do. Discuss things like “How much does dog grooming cost?”, “Should I get my cat groomed?”, “How do I train my dog?”.  She says to take every question people ask you, use the exact question as the title of your blog post, and then answer it. She says it’s not only good for SEO (getting higher placement  in Google results), but also gives you an “arsenal” to use when people call with questions. Ask them for their email address and send them the blog post that answers that question. Kate points out that you also need to SHARE your blog post (see tip #2)! And don’t forget to reshare things you wrote months and years ago.  Keep sharing it for those who may not have seen it the first time. And revisit them periodically to “tidy” them up and make them more current.

Make Free Downloads For Your Site:

Kate suggests that you offer things on your site like free EBooks you create or checklists (like one on things to do before your next vacation), cleaning tips, etc. It doesn’t always have to be about the services you offer, just things that are useful to your customers.

Create and use “Bark Cards”

When you are out performing mobile services (grooming, pet sitting, dog walking) and you (dog) hear barking at a neighbor’s house, your worker can leave one of these bark cards. Bark cards are small postcards with a picture of a barking dog you get made up that say “BARK, BARK, BARK, BARK, BARK”. On the back leave the top half blank and on the bottom put your branding, list of services, and contact info. In the blank area, take a pen and write something like. “I think I heard a small dog and they were saying ‘Come groom me! Come groom me!’.  I was in the neighborhood and if you call me for more information I would like to offer you….” Bella says these cards are shocking and attention grabbing. They also target your demographic. Personalization in key with these cards.

 

newsletter_image

Email Marketing:

Kate said to make better use of the email addresses you have collected through newsletter sign ups, or people opting in to your free downloads. Send information periodically to ensure people remember who you are and what you offer.  Bella suggests it could be a “drip campaign” where you have a series of say 5 emails go out over a period of time or it could be a short periodic newsletter.  Kate notes that email is important because not everybody is on Facebook or checking out your website, but they may likely be checking email.

classes-vet-referrals

Talk To Vets

Bella says a lot of pet business owners just walk into a vet’s office, drop their cards and leave.  More than likely the cards get dropped in the trash. So Bella recommends that you build a relationship with the vet’s office manager. People rarely ask the vet about pet sitting or grooming services, but they do ask the front office staff or call in with that kind of question.

Start A Facebook Group:

Kate says that you start a private Facebook group not to sell services but to allow customers and members of the group to get to know you personally.  Members get to know each other, build relationships, talk about pets, etc., and build a good community.

 

logo_dog_walking 4

Start A Dog Walking Club!

Bella says that by starting these clubs you will have a micro area of people all interested in the same thing. Do it with your existing customers to build up brand loyalty or expose them to other services you offer. You can encourage them to bring a friend. You could start one at an apartment complex and have the complex promote the club as an activity. Kate suggests you could combine that with the private Facebook group as well.

Create Competition

Kate recommends that you create competition events as they are a good way to get new clients. But do it right! Don’t just do a like and share campaign. Really plan it out.  Kate has more information about doing so in her online marketing academy which Bella says is awesome!

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What You Need To Know Before You Redo Your Pet Sitting Website

Have you ever had a really horrible experience with trying to build a website?

I have.

For example: You sort of know what you want but are trusting the person you hired to help you create this vision of miracles?  You expect it to sing your businesses brand and makes people fall over themselves with an incredible impression of who your business is resulting in lots of sales?

This fairy tail doesn’t exist. That isn’t the way it works. It isn’t reality.

So How Do You Get A New Pet Sitting Website?

Most of the time it isn’t as simple as just plugging in some colors and words to a template either. I mean, your business is different and unique, right? So why have a template that isn’t responsive and looks like so many others out there? You need someone to customize a template to make it your own. Not to mention, so many websites are lead with graphics now so having a designer on your team is essential!

It used to be (even just two years ago) you could hire someone to slap up a template and then be finished. There was minimal graphics with a few pictures, maybe a slider at the most. You would write in what you wanted to say and BOOM! You are done.

Somewhere between then and now it has evolved into needing a developer, designer, and graphic artist.

Throughout this evolution, I feel like we (as business owners who want a new website) have forgotten two things:

1. We need to know what we don’t want.

2. A designer isn’t a developer.

Here Is What I Mean:

Let’s take a look at #1 first. Knowing what you don’t want is as important as knowing what you want. Why? So that you steer clear of those things. For those of us who “don’t know what we want” knowing what we don’t want does help to narrow the field down.

But it is overwhelming, right? You want someone to just hold your hand and walk you through the entire process. Telling you what looks good, taking care of the technical side of things, etc. But that is like finding Price Charming. There aren’t many of them out there and you have to kiss a lot of toads first.

So what is a pet sitting business owner to do? 

Often times, myself included, we just throw our hands up in the air and say “The heck with it” and stop the project in its tracks.

Well that does us no good in getting us to our goal.

A Designer Isn’t A Developer

There is a major difference between someone who can throw up a template and insert things into it and then someone that can customize that template, make it your own. Understand that you have certain colors in your logo and use them throughout the website theme, as well as the font. Things need to be uniformed don’t forget!

There is one type of person who can write the code and there is another person that can design the site. Rarely is it the same person that can successfully do both. They can try but….. ?

 

 It is like asking your home builder to tell you how to feng shui your home.

That rarely works out. 

Getting Personal

It took me forever and a day to try and find someone to give my Bella’s website a facelift. Finally one day I just “went for it”  But there was a lot of work on my end required. I needed to figure out what template I wanted. I needed to figure out what pages I wanted to keep and add. I had to find the plug ins and have the creative idea in my head. I needed to remind the person that my colors all needed to reflect my brand as well as the font type and more. It was wonderful working with her. She took direction incredibly well, but I was clearly in control. It still isn’t exactly where I want it to be. A huge overhaul is still in the making. But for now, there is a facelift. Truth be told, I am about to embark on that same journey with the Jump Consulting page.

The only real time in my life I have experienced someone who is great at both the technical and design aspect of websites has been Jake from Precision Graphics. While you may have to get on a wait list to start working with him and he won’t be the least expensive person… you will get both the design and technical mind when you work with him. I have always been a fan of him but finding people like him is like finding a Prince Charming. Jake and I actually met on odesk years ago.

Turning It Onto You

Who do you use for your website? Would you recommend them? Give them a shout out below. Or perhaps you have a horror story that you can share the lesson below? What did you learn from it?

In any case – it is important to know that not all web designers are created equal.