The Top 15 Website Mistakes that Pet Sitters Make
Not understanding how your website contributes to your strategy and, ultimately, your bottom line.
Most websites that I go to visit are just pretty much a brochure. This is the name of my business, the services we offer, and our pricing. Some phone numbers are thrown around there, but that’s pretty much it. There isn’t a whole lot of thought that goes behind it.
Your website should attract your ideal customers, repel your non-ideal customers, and convert your ideal prospects into paying customers.
It’s a whole customer journey they must go through on your website, starting from when they hit the homepage and click through. Every page should be set up so that you are incentivizing and telling your visitors what the next step is that you want them to take.
Not having a clear message.
Who you are, what you do, and how does it benefit your prospect. Basically, “Hi, I’m Colleen Sedgwick. I’m the owner of Pet Nanny pet sitters of The Main Line, the premier pet sitting service of The Main Line. We provide our pet-owning clients peace of mind while they work and travel.” So on and so forth.
“We will create a customized pet care plan so that you can travel worry-free,” or, “you can work worry-free,” speaking to the benefit that they are going to get and how we are the problem solver to those problems.
Again, most pet sitters, “Hi, this is my business name. These are the services we offer. If you feel like it’s a good fit, give me a call.” You want to speak to the pet parents. What are you providing to them apart from the dog walking, the pet sitting, and the house sitting services?
You are giving them peace of mind, which needs to be communicated through each page on your website.
Not showcasing the business owner on the website.
People like doing business with people. People, especially in a local community, want to know who they’re doing business with, and they want to know who’s coming into their house. I never see the owners on the website. It usually stock images of other pet sitters, dog walkers, or pets. The pet owner is rarely showcased.
If you are a sole proprietor, you’re a single woman show, make sure you have a video and a writeup about yourself and if you have team members, make sure that you are creating the know, like, and trust factor with a video of them as well.
Not including your service area and contact info on every page.
On the footer of your website, that’s where I put the services that we offer and the towns that we cover, plus we have a dedicated page to our service area, plus there are ways for them to contact us on every single page, plus there’s a contact us page, yet very well thought out.
How many websites I’ve gone to, and I’m like,
No clear calls to action.
Again, that brochure website, that brochure mentality. “Here’s what the services we offer.” No, you want to say, “Click here to request a quote,” or, “Click here to become a client,” or, “Click here to learn more about our services,” or, “Click here to learn more about our owner,” or, “Click here to get your high-value coupon. Click here to learn more about our amazing pet care professionals.” So on and so forth.
You are leading them down the path and telling them what actions to take on each page. This is a journey, right? So, we’re creating that relationship with the people that land on your website.
Not including social proof.
So, testimonials, testimonials, testimonials. Social proof is the most powerful marketing you can do in the pet sitting industry and is free. You should be showcasing that all over your website.
Not maximizing your footer.
As I already mentioned, I use my footer for keywords, and I use it for our service area. So, what towns that we cover. Very important.
Wasting the above-the-fold space.
How many websites do I go to, and it’s like there’s maybe a dog running, a gif of some sort, then there’s a whole bunch of white space, and I have to scroll down even to find out what the company’s name is, why I’m there.
Above the fold comes from the olden days of newspapers, and people would always read above the fold. So, above where the newspaper folded. That’s the same with a website. It’s before they have to scroll. This is prime real estate. You have 0.3 seconds to make an impression on your visitors. You want them to hit that space and be like, “Oh, wow, interesting.” Calls to action, video, opt-in offer, all right there before they scroll.
Having self-moving elements ruin the user experience.
People don’t like videos that play automatically or those type of gif things. A confused mind says, “No.” People click away from that. So, remove any of that that you have on your website.
Too much visual clutter.
Making it nice and organized for people and their experience. Again, a confused mind says, “No.” If you have a bunch of stuff, a bunch of moving gifs, a bunch of stuff going here and there, then people’s brains are going to get confused, and they’re going to click away.
The font size is too small.
Especially now, I can’t read anything without my glasses. I’m like, “I can’t read the type.” You have got to make your type bigger on your websites and emails.
Not having a question in the headline.
So, old school marketing tactic is a poll marketing question. You want the first thing that you ask them on the website for them to answer yes. “Do you want your pet to get lots of exercises when you’re forced to leave them home alone?”
“Yes, I want that.”
“Do you want to travel worry-free and know that your pet is in the very best of hands, your pet in your home?”
That is an emotional trigger for your pet sitting prospect clients that hit your website. So, poll marketing questions. What you could ask your visitors that they could answer yes to will move them along the process.
Having typos and grammatical errors.
That’s an easy one, happens to the best of us. I still find some here and there, but do your best there. I love the tool Grammarly. It’s one of my favorites. I use it every day.
Not having a mobile-friendly site.
Eighty percent of your traffic will come from people on their mobile phones. So, you need to make sure that your website is also mobile-friendly. You’ve been to those sites where you’re like, “I don’t understand what I’m looking at,” because it’s not mobile responsive. It’s not changing based on the device the person’s looking at.