Ask successful dog walking business owners for advice about marketing and most of them are going to tell you to get a good website. In the past, we’ve discussed how to get your website found. Today we’re asking: what makes a dog walking website good? Let’s start with what a website does. The purpose of a website is to connect you with people who are interested in your service. You only have a few moments to make a good impression. Good design can make or break your website.
Once you’ve grabbed the customer’s attention it should be easy for them to find the information they need to make a decision. When a potential client makes their decision, you need to direct them to take action and contact you. Your goal should be to get your visitors to provide contact information so you can continue the offline portion of the sales cycle.
I’m gonna keep it 💯: if you weren’t formally a website designer before becoming a dog walker or pet sitter, do not design your own dog walking website. I see so many people spend so much time on websites that look amateur at best and downright offensive at their worst. What message does that send? Dog walking is more competitive now than ever. If you want to differentiate yourself as a “Professional Pet Sitter” you need to present your company that way. You don’t have to break the bank to project a professional image.
Many people I talk to think design just means getting a logo. Having an attractive and informative logo is part of a good dog walking website, but the design also includes choosing fonts, CTA (Call to Action) placement, page layout, and site organization. Our website clients have had success purchasing full branding package on sites like fiverr.com for as little as $100. This isn’t just logo design; they will give you everything from color palettes to custom icons and patterns. Scout then takes those designs and uses them to create an eye-catching, sales-optimized website.
After nailing down the design, you need to focus on your sites’ copy. The design is going to lure your customer in, but the copy is going to sell them. A good copywriter can be pricey but they are worth the added expense. A copywriter is going to help you convey the benefits your company provides to pet owners while taking into account:
- How easy it is to read (Flesch-Kincaid Readability),
- Language usage, such as minimizing passive voice and use of transition words,
- Keywords and phrases that will help people find you in search engines.
If you want people to take the time to read your dog walking website and learn about your business, these factors need to be accounted for. Being a good writer takes practice. While writing a blog is a great way to learn and hone your skills, your “sales” site should be written by someone who specializes in website copywriting. A professional website designer should be able to refer you to a copywriter. If you use an all-inclusive website development company like Scout, they will typically have a copywriter on staff and include it in the cost of the website.
A website is a huge part of any 21st-century marketing plan. All of your paid marketing efforts will eventually lead back to your website. Would you want Joe Schmo with no training or experience to care for your pets while you’re not home? No, you would want a professional pet sitter. Creating a website is no different.