Having a professional, comprehensive website is important for pretty much every new business. But getting started can seem intimidating. Below are some tips to help you get started.
Have a Clear Goal
Every pet sitter is different because every one serves a different purpose. Do you want your website to provide information and entice potential clients to call you? Well, you have to build it with that goal in mind. If you want to sell products then you need to build your website around that goal. A website without a clear purpose will cost you time and money while providing little, if any, benefit.
State Your Purpose Clearly and Quickly
The average visitor spends less than 10 seconds reading a web page so it’s important your offerings are very clear and easy for visitors to find.
Tell Customers What You Can Do for Them
A common mistake that newbies make is to write about themselves rather than their customer. Try not to focus on what you do but on what benefit you confer on your customers. For example: “I free up an hour of your day by walking your dog.” Who wouldn’t want an hour of their day back?
Call to Action
“Call to Action” is a buzz word you will read a lot about. And with good reason.
A “call to action” is just a button which invites your customers to do something. For example: “Call Me”, “Sign up for my newsletter?”. How will your customers know what to do if you don’t tell them?
Look for Inspiration
There is nothing more intimidating than a blank sheet of paper so
look at other websites, and get some inspiration, before you write anything.
Pick a Domain Name
A “Domain Name” is your website address (this sites domain name is darrylbrown.co.uk). yourbusiness.com looks more professional and is easier for customers to remember. Domain names don’t cost much. Expect to spend around £10/$10. Head to godaddy to see how much your domain name will cost.
Choose a Reliable Host
There are also plenty of different hosting platforms available. If you don’t know where to start you can’t go far wrong with WordPress (WordPress is behind 30% of websites). But there are others that you can explore: Wix, SquareSpace etc.
Make it Personal
Pet sitting is all about trust. If your customers trust you they will keep coming back. And one of the easiest ways to build trust is to put a face to the name. So include a professional picture of yourself.
Another way to make people feel more connected is to tell your story. Tell people why you created the business in the first place. What do you love about pets? Emotions are particularly powerful. Did you start the business to help people or was there a specific thing that happened that led to you to start pet sitting? People love stories like that.
Make it Visual
Pictures are one of the easiest ways to grab the interest of potential clients. The best images are the ones you take yourself. But if you need a stock photo there are plenty of places you can go. pixabay and pexels are two I use. You can search Google for “free stock photos” but you need to be careful. Never post copyright images. If you are caught you will be sent an expensive bill by the copyright owner.
Make your text easy to read by picking one clear font and adding lots of white space. Don’t be tempted to use “Comic Sans” or “Script”. Not only do they look cheap and unprofessional but they are hard to read. “Arial” or “Times New Roman” is a good place to start.
Make it Mobile
The majority of your visitors are going to look at your website on their mobile phone. But the majority of people will build their website on a desktop. These days every new website should be “responsive” (works on mobile, tablet and desktop) so check before you spend money.
SEO-WHAT? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This is another buzz word. SEO is important if you want to appear at the top of Googles search results. SEO is not for the fainthearted but over time you will want to educate yourself about some of the concepts if you want people to easily find you online.
A website is a living thing and the job is never finished. You should aim to review and update your website every six months. The internet is always changing and you don’t want to get left behind.