Does Your Website Have A Warning Label On It?
(Google May Think So)
By Alain Parcan
When it comes to online marketing, one of the biggest and most common mistakes we see pet care businesses make is having an outdated website.
Having an outdated Website is an easy way to deter visitors and a sure way to ruin your standing on Google. We understand that all businesses, especially smaller pet care facilities, may not have the resources to consistently keep their Website up to date. Here is a short checklist to help you make sure your website isn’t falling behind:
Double Check That Your Contact Information Is Correct
This one is easy. Go to your Website and find all the email addresses and phone numbers on there. Are all of those still in use and actively checked? It’s amazing how many businesses list an email address on their site that causes an error when someone tries to email it, or is never checked by anyone at the business. Having email forwards set up is a great way to make sure you aren’t missing any communication coming from your Website.
As for phone numbers, many businesses set up separate phone lines to track marketing efforts. This is a useful tactic but can prove detrimental if one of those lines is deactivated and your Website isn’t updated to reflect it.
Keep Your Service Offerings, Accreditations & Certifications Up To Date
Picture this scenario: A potential customer visits a page about pet grooming on your Website, and sees that you offer a specific, all–natural grooming shampoo. They call you to schedule an appointment, only to find out you stopped using that brand years ago. Any credibility you may have had, thanks to that service offering, is now out the window because it’s obviously outdated.
Second, it’s always wise to list accreditations and certifications on your site, but it’s important to keep them up to date. If one no longer applies, remove it from your site. While it may seem worthwhile to continue to list them, it’s simply not worth the risk of appearing dishonest.
Does Your Website Display ‘Smartly’ on a Smartphone?
Looking for a way to turn customers away from your Website? Make sure that your site is difficult to read on a phone! Your customers will look elsewhere before you know it.
This is a bit of a more complex update than the first two items on this list, but it’s incredibly important. Current estimates show that over 50% of Website traffic comes from smartphones as opposed to computers. Whether you set up a separate, mobile version of your site, or build a responsive site, in 2018, a mobile presence is a necessity. To see an example of a pet care business that does this well, check out www.resortforpets.com.
And, Google is now drawing attention to sites that are ‘mobile–friendly,’ so if your site doesn’t receive that designation, you’re giving your competitors a leg up in search rankings.
Maintaining a consistent and current web presence may seem like a daunting task, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Depending on how much time and resources are available to you, stick to the basics and work your way up from there. Take some time after reading this to evaluate your Website on each of these three items, and call your Website provider ASAP if you need to fix any of them. Your success depends on it.
Alain Parcan, Director of Marketing for Market Hardware, Inc., regularly speaks at Pet Boarding & Daycare Expos on behalf of Market Hardware, which helps small pet care businesses compete on the Web. You can Reach Alain’s team at 888-381-6925.