Your Pet Business Website Needs Essential Elements

Your Pet Business Website Design: 7 Essential Elements It Must Have

Your Pet Business Website Needs Essential Elements

Finally...

It's time to launch your brand new pet business website. You have toiled over your content, should I include this? and what about that? Is it clear to my potential clients what areas I cover and how much I charge for my services?

There are many different aspects of your pet business website design that your visitors need to see in order to keep them on your website and more importantly, get in touch with you.

There are some pretty awful websites out there in our industry and they always make me cringe! There is no need to have a bad website!

In today's world building your own website is more than possible, it just takes time and a little patience. If time and patience is in short supply for you, have a look how we can help you.

Below are the 7 essential parts that your pet business website design must include to make your site and your business a success straight from day one, success with your potential clients and a success with Google.

The 7 essential elements are not listed in any particular order, as I believe they are all as important as each other.

So...

Let's get down to business.

1. About Page

Dog Walking Business About Page

Your About Page will be your second most visited page on your website behind your HomePage.

Which does make sense really; your potential clients want to know who on earth you are! They want to know that you are able to look after their dog or any pet in a professional and responsible way.

Your About Page should include two lots of information.

  • Some personal information
  • Some business/work information

The personal information you want to put on your About Page doesn't have to be in-depth personal!

A couple of questions you can ask yourself to give you personal content for your About Page are:

  • Are you married?
  • Do you have children?
  • Do you have pets of your own?
  • Have you lived in the area all your life?
  • What are your interests and hobbies?

Remember that, people who visit your pet business website have probably never met you before and know nothing about you, so it gives your potential client the opportunity to start to build a 'profile' of you before you meet.

Pet Business Websites

Having a photo of yourself with your own pets (or other people's pets) is a great idea, however I understand that not everybody is happy to have their photo online.

We actually don't have a photo of ourselves on our own pet care business website. It isn't the deal clincher in getting new clients to your dog walking business, but it does put a face to the words on your website.

Your business and work background information helps your visitor to visualise you more. Again, ask yourself a few questions to give you ideas for the content to include questions like:

  • What did you do before starting a dog walking business?
  • Why did you start a pet care business?
  • What qualifications do you have? (even if they are not pet care related, it could still be useful to include them)

Professional Tip:

If you can include a short story or a few lines about something that has happened in the past that is relevant to being a care-giving person then that is great. It will connect with your visitor straightaway because after all, they are on your website looking for care for their pet.

An example of this is, on our own pet care business website we've included how my wife was fortunate enough to volunteer at Dogs Trust and how it helped with learning and dealing with a variety of dog breeds and their temperaments. Just in case it crosses your mind - Don't Make Things Up, Be Honest!

2. A Page For Every Service You Offer

This element for dog walking and pet sitting websites seems to be greatly overlooked.

I strongly believe it's a 'must have' on every pet care business website even if you only offer one service; i.e. dog grooming, dog day care or cat sitting. What every pet care business should remember is that not all your potential clients and visitors to your website have used a pet care service before.

Explaining exactly how each of your services work is needed for two main reasons:

  • This could be the first time your visitor is thinking about using a pet care service and they have no idea what is included in the service
  • It really helps with your website ranking in Google

It was only three weeks ago we gained a new client who was looking for cat sitting. She had never used a pet care service before and she didn't know such a service even existed!

Starting A Cat Sitting Business

She told us that she found us online and read our pages on cat sitting and feeding and couldn't believe just what a great service cat sitting is.

She had struggled sometimes to find somebody to look after her cat when she went on holiday, and placing her cat in a cattery always made her little one very stressed.

If you provide a free meet and greet (hopefully you do if you're dog walking or pet sitting!) then incorporate that onto each one of your services pages, telling the first time visitors to your website that you always provide a free meet and greet before you carry out your first service. This will give your client peace of mind and of course you get to meet their pet!

The more quality information you have on your website about the services you provide the better it is for search engines like Google to place your site on their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS)

Dog Walking Business SEOOf course, The more quality information that is written, the higher your website will be ranked in Google - which is always a good thing!

If you only provide one service make sure you include more pages about that service in your blog.

If, for example, you were starting a dog grooming business, include posts and pages on your website about different cuts and styles for one particular breed of dog.

Potentially, you could do that for every single breed of dog (that's around 370 recognised breeds, so more than enough to get you started!).

This will add more weight to your website which is better for search rankings and also provides great information for your potential clients.

It's always good practice to use internal linking in your posts.

Professional Tip:

When creating your web page on the services you offer, give as much detail as possible. Write it like a step-by-step guide for someone who has never heard of that service, be sure to make your content super informative explaining how your service works from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave.

For dog walking especially, include what happens on your walk. Some examples are; what parks and places do you take their dog? What mental stimulation will you give to their dog whilst out walking? How will they be transported to and from the walking destination?

3. Have Great UX And UI

Having a great UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface) is the framework for your pet business website.

Quick Explanation:

UX - The User Experience of your website is what a person feels and thinks as they use your website to find what they are looking for, i.e.

  • Is it clear to the visitor where they need to click to find what they're looking for?
  • Does the website layout flow from one page to the next?

You always want your website visitor to have a great UX.

UI - The User Interface (UI) of a website is the style of screens, pages, and visual characteristics like the icons and buttons that your potential client will use to interact with your website.

  • Does you website look visually pleasing?
  • Does your website look welcoming and friendly?

You always want to create a great UI.

Dog Walking Website UX

OK...

This essential element can be tough to get right if you have limited web design and marketing experience.

If you have the time and patience and want to build your own professional website, I highly recommend using WordPress to build your website. Around 27% of all websites online are powered by WordPress, which makes up a staggering 59% of the market share of all the systems that are available to help build your website.

If you are creating your website yourself or thinking about designing it yourself, there are four starting questions you need to keep asking yourself as you build out your website to make sure your UX and UI are going to have a good base:

  • Is my website easy to use?
  • Does it look modern?
  • Does it look professional?
  • Does it have a friendly and welcoming feel?

Dog Walking WordPress Theme

If you find yourself doubting either the style and look of your website and the ease of use, go back and change it until you are happy.

It is always worth asking families and friends to take a look at your website and asking for their opinion.

There are many, many aspects to creating your own website which has great UI and UX to take into consideration if you're designing and publishing your own website:

  • Is it Optimised for all devices?
  • Have I implemented SEO correctly? (on and off page)
  • Is my website Security configured properly?
  • Am I taking a backup of my website regularly?
  • What is the speed of my website?

Within the web design and marketing community there is a strong belief that you have a limited time which is around 7 seconds, to engage your visitor or they will leave your website - that is definitely not a long time!

Make sure your website shines bright!

Professional Tip:

There are websites which you can submit your website to and be reviewed for various aspects like, SEO, site speed, security etc and they will tell you what exactly they like and don't like about your website and if they could find everything easily without too much searching around.

The reviewers of your website don't know you and are more likely to give you a truly honest and critical review, however harsh it may be! I've found startup and small business forums to be very useful when getting feedback about a new website I've built. More often than not, the community will help you and give specific pointers on what they did or didn't like.

4. Colours

Following on from UI, the colours of your new pet business website are hugely important.

The colours you choose for your website will become part of your branding and advertising and marketing efforts, so you have to choose wisely!

I strongly recommend choosing one main colour and one complementary colour for your pet business web design.

Dog Walking Business Branding

Don't create your website with every colour of the rainbow! It will definitely put people off because your website will feel busy and maybe slightly chaotic.

When your potential clients visit your site they need to feel reassured and calm in the fact you are a professional pet carer that will look after their little loved one. After all, you will be the one with keys to their home and safety of their pet is your responsibility.

There are no wrong colours to choose, it's just a case of being careful and picking colours that fit your business and personality.

My own pet care business has a nature colour scheme, it has warm woodland greens and a creamy/beige/yellow colour. Green is an obvious choice of colour for your website because it can represent nature, outside and has a natural organic feel.

Pet Services Website Design

It is possible to choose bright pink if you want to (I have seen a dog walking business local to me with bright pink as one of their colours!). However, it is harder to give a professional, organised outlook of your business but that is just my opinion. (If you feel differently please let me know in the comments section below)

When you have settled on two main colours, always make sure that all the advertising, marketing and promotion you do for your business uses the same colours, everything needs to match.

Your pet care business needs to be instantly recognisable to anybody who sees a flyer, poster or business card.

Professional Tip:

Choose warm, pastel versions of  colours for your pet business especially if you are providing dog walking and pet sitting services. Colours like;

  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Blue (Navy)
  • Brown
  • Red (be very careful to make sure you choose a warm and soft red)
  • Orange (again, be careful in choosing orange, go for very soft orange colours)
  • Cream

When you have settled on two main colours, always make sure that all the advertising, marketing and promotion you do for your business uses the same colours, everything needs to match.
Your pet care business needs to be instantly recognisable to anybody who sees a flyer, poster or business card.

5. Contact Page/Form

Err...Like...Obviously!

Err...Like...No!

The amount of pet businesses that DO NOT have a contact page is, quite honestly, shocking!
If you are one of those pet businesses that do not have a contact page then stop reading this and go and put one on your website...now!

Start A Dog Walking Business

You simply must have a contact page on your website. When your website visitors want to contact you and they can't find your contact details, will they keep looking until they find your details for 30 minutes?

No way!

Make your contact details super easy to find. The best  and easiest way of doing this is putting a link in your main menu bar at the top and a link or contact form in your footer.

These will be on every page your visitors open so there are always two ways they can contact you from whatever page they are on.

People want to contact you, but only when it suits them.

Pet Business Startup Web Design

People want to contact you on their terms. Their terms might be Email, Telephone, Contact Form or through Facebook or Twitter.

Email, Telephone and a Contact Form are essentials - without doubt.
My wife and I receive all our contact through:

  • Contact Form* - 57%
  • Email - 29%
  • Telephone - 11%
  • Other - 3%

*Contact Form includes Meet and Greet Form submissions

Installing and configuring your Contact Form has become less difficult over the past few years, mainly due to advances within WordPress and their Plugins.

It is now a lot more simpler to set up a Form Forwarding Service, so you can  have your form submissions from your website forwarded to your own personal Email.

Professional Tip:

Always synchronise and configure your Email account to your Contact Form so that all your Emails will read as your business name when people receive replies to their enquiries they send through your Contact Form.

It is a lot more professional receiving an Email from the business they contacted rather than an Email from a nickname and number - pammy_6383@ gmail.com isn't very professional!

6. Prices Page

How crass, we're British, don't you know?!

Wrong.

We're running a business.

It is inevitable, people will ask and people will look to your website to find out how much you charge for your pet care services. Your prices page will be in the top 3 pages people go to (along with your HomePage and About Page).

A clearly defined and laid out prices page stops your client having to ask you and reduces the amount of times you will have to tell somebody.

However...

There is very little room in your pet business (or any other business), where being shy or coy will do you any favours when telling your clients how much you charge for your pet sitting, dog walking or any of your pet care service!

Pet Sitting Prices

Be confident and proud as a pet care business owner to tell people or create a page on your website to show pet owners how much you charge for the best dog walking service in town.

There is NOTHING wrong in charging people money for the brilliant pet care services that you provide. You love caring for pets and if you were a millionaire you would probably do it for free! but it's your new business and it needs to be profitable if you are going to continue to run a successful pet care business.

People using a pet care service for the first time will maybe have a vague idea how much it will be, but for the first-timers they won't know if different companies charge vastly different prices.

Dog Walking Prices

The easiest and best way to decide on a price to charge for your services is to simply have a look at what other pet care businesses are charging in your area and then price your services nearer to the top of the average.

Some businesses may charge £8 for an hour group walk and others may charge £11 for an hour group walk. At this point you should charge £10 for an hour group walk, because you are a professional business and not just a 'hobbyist' dog walker.

Never under-price your service.

Professional Dog Walking Business

I've seen people (not professional businesses) advertising an hour dog walk for £5. My feelings on this are quite well known! I believe that pet owners who only go for the cheapest dog walker are not fully taking the safety and well-being of their dog into consideration.

As for the 'hobbyist' dog walker who charges £5 for an hour walk - they are massively giving our industry the wrong reputation...

  • It's really easy to walk dogs
  • Just doing it to earn some extra cash
  • Anybody can do it

NO!

Set Up Professional Dog Walking Service

It isn't that simple. What does the 'hobbyist' walker do when the dog they are walking runs off and can't be found?

Stand there and probably say..."oh no, what do I do?"

That is the clear difference in being a professional pet carer and a 'hobbyist'

Sorry for the rant there, it just really, really annoys me that our industry is not taken as seriously as it should be due to the 'hobbyists.'
Thankfully, the vast majority of pet owners want their pet and house to be safe and secure and have peace of mind that if the worst came to the worst, the professional pet carer has processes in place to deal with that situation.

Professional Tip:

Always include all the prices you charge for every service you charge for.
For example, if you provide group dog walks and solo dog walks then give prices for each as a separate service. If you have a discount for multiple dogs from the same house - make it clear on yours Prices Page.

It's always good to provide a free meet and greet, again make it clear that there is no charge for this.

If you charge extra for pet care services that are outside your stipulated area of service - make it clear what the extra charge is and how it is worked out.

The only service price you shouldn't display on your Prices Page is a pet taxi service if you actually provide it as each pet transport service is very different. You will need to decide if you charge per pet or per mile on each individual pet taxi service.

7. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine..what?

Making sure your new pet business website is optimised for search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo is a must.

Quick Explanation:

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process that improves your website chances to rank higher in Google's results page.

The higher your website ranks on the results page, the better the chance somebody will click to view your website. The holy grail of SEO is being ranked number one on the results page!

There are three forms that SEO takes, they are:

  • On-Page SEO
  • Off-Page SEO
  • Technical SEO

Pet Business SEO

If, so far, you are thinking "What on earth has this got to do with me getting my pet business started and getting clients?"...Don't worry! All you need to know is that SEO greatly improves your chances of your potential clients turning into permanent clients.

Here are some on-page SEO basic techniques that you can implement today on your website.

Keywords - Always include the keywords you want pet owners to find your website for when they are searching Google.

Pet Business SERPS

For example:

If you are a dog walker in Birmingham, UK, your website needs to appear as close to the top of the Search Engine Results Page (ideally at the very top!) when a pet owner types into Google 'dog walking in Birmingham'

but...

Birmingham is a big city and if you are just starting up your dog walking business you will need to define your area more precisely. For instance, you may cover East Birmingham, in that case you want to appear on Google's search results page for 'dog walking in Sheldon' or Marston Green, Elmdon or Bickenhill.

Dog Walking Business UK

To appear in the search results for these search terms (or Keywords) you must include them on your website, i.e. 'I provide dog walking in Elmdon.' Another way of including the Keyword would be, 'My pet care services include dog walking in Marston Green.'

The most important element to getting the Keyword into the content of your website is to make it flow and make it sound natural. Don't just cram the Keyword in any old how!

Dog Walking Websites

Writing a Meta Description

A Meta Description is the little bit of information that appears underneath the page title on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
Placing your Keywords in your meta description is a very good SEO tactic for two reasons:

  • It emphasises to Google what Keywords you want to appear for in the SERP
  • It straightaway tells the pet owner who is searching what area you cover

Always place your Keywords in your Meta Description, but remember make them part of the natural flow of the sentence or paragraph.

Professional Tip:

When you upload an image to use on your website, there will be a little box underneath the upload box (on the right-hand side in WordPress) which says 'ALT Tag' which means Alternate Attribute. This is so Google knows what the image is, because Google can't see images but it can read.

Your ALT Tag should contain a short description of what the image is and your Keyword you want to rank for should be added into the short description as well (again in a natural flow)

Never just stuff all the Keywords into ALT Tags, it is bad practice and it won't do your website any good when Google cottons on to what you are doing.

Many people who build their own websites never fill in the ALT Tags - To be honest, I've absolutely no idea why they don't! when it helps to rank your website higher!

So, There We Go Then!

The 7 elements that you must include in your pet business website design, all as important as each other in helping you get more pet care clients. All the 7 elements above will help you either (or both) to engage the pet owner who visits your website looking for a local pet care service or help your website to get higher rankings in Google.

I'd love to know what you think.

Do you think that there is a more important element or aspect that a pet business website needs? or maybe you just completely disagree!

Either way let me know in the Comment Section below.

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2 thoughts on “Your Pet Business Website Design: 7 Essential Elements It Must Have

  1. Have to say we could have been seperated at birth as there’s nothing there I disagree with. Our home page has a brief description of all the services and prices so it’s the first thing people see. Then they link to full pages for more details. On every page, as you say, we have all our all contact details including our address.

    The only thing I’ve think you’ve missed is a FAQ page as it’s a simple way to say what you do and don’t do. And also a mobile friendly version is a good idea.

    I followed you from http://www.petforums.co.uk keep up the good work. Dr Pepper.

    • Thanks for leaving a comment.
      HaHa! I was getting that feeling myself in the Pet Forum!

      That sounds like a well-designed HomePage.
      Having information about your services visible as soon as your visitor lands on your website, just makes their search for pet care services so much easier.
      I believe the less clicks you make your visitor do to find what they are looking for – the better.

      It’s like you read my mind!
      I’m publishing a further 3 elements later today and one of them is about device compatibility.
      The further 3 elements will take a little bit more work, but they are focused on getting visitors to contact you who meet all of your own service requirements i.e. They don’t live 100 miles away! and you’re able to provide the pet care service they are looking for.

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