May 16, 2013
Today I have a long wait at the airport due to circumstances beyond my control. So I thought, what should I do with all this waiting time? I’m talking about filling 4 hours here, while I eagerly wait to arrive at the 2013 BlogPaws Conference. (I hope to see you there!)
It didn’t take me long to realize that I could use this time to write a blog post about online marketing success for pet businesses and veterinary practices.
I came up with these suggested top 3 times to write a blog post for your pet business website. (more…)
May 6, 2013
If you’re taking the time to write helpful web content and a blog in the hopes of attracting more customers to your pet business website, it pays to know exactly which phrases pet owners are using in Google and other search engines.
For instance, if you happen to sell a natural treatment for dog hot spots, you’ll be using the phrases “dog hot spot” and “dog hot spots” in your core content and blog posts, right? That’s a great strategy that helps Google, Bing and other search engines find your pages and list them in the search results when people type “dog hot spot” into their searches.
But in addition to the obvious keywords (phrases) you should use in your blog posts… there are other keyword opportunities you may not have considered. These are keyword alternatives you can easily discover through two search enhancements provided by Google.
Let’s take a look at how these search enhancements can help you choose the best phrases for your pet website content. (more…)
February 28, 2013
I’m guessing your pet business or veterinary company gets the same questions again and again, day after day. Customers and prospects want to know how your product works, how it solves their problems, what colors it comes in, and much more.
And while you’re happy to answer those questions, you may not have thought about this: all those questions can be the foundation of terrific content for your pet or veterinary website.
“How to” questions are some of the most popular queries in Google and other search engines. I just did a quick search and found these popular ‘How to” inquiries in the pet world: how to crate train a dog, how to train a kitten to use the litter box, how to brush a dog’s teeth, and many others.
You can bet people are searching right now in Google, Bing and even YouTube to find a how-to solution your business can provide. Therefore, why not make the most of this opportunity?
Here’s how to turn your common questions into magnetic pet website content that attracts more customers. (more…)
February 6, 2013
Did January slip by before you created your pet marketing strategies to engage prospects with content, such as blog posts, news items, Facebook posts and so on? Well, it’s not too late!
You may be thinking, “Ugh. Something else I have to plan out.” But you can keep it easy with an editorial calendar that helps you schedule your content and avoid writer’s block. All you need to do is this: (more…)
October 2, 2012
This is my first post in a series featuring pet businesses I admire. I’m very happy to showcase them as shining examples you can learn from, because they serve as excellent models of pet marketing strategies that work.
The first featured business is Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips, a unique, powerful and yet very simple solution to the too-common problem of dogs slipping and sliding on smooth floors. Senior dogs, arthritic dogs, dogs with hip dysplasia and dogs recovering from surgery often struggle with standing up and walking on smooth hardwood floors, tile floors, and smooth steps. It’s a heartbreaking thing to watch and live with.
But the good news is, these dogs can have a new lease on life with Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips.
The best way to explain how ToeGrips work is through stories… which is exactly what Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips is doing as a marketing strategy. It’s a very new business, but thanks to the stories… it’s making great progress in reaching veterinarians and pet parents eager to find an effective solution.
Using this incredible product as an example, here are three tips about telling stories for pet product sales.
- Feature stories about real customers using your products and enjoying the benefits. Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips has created a number of authentic videos telling the story of how the ToeGrips are dramatically improving the quality of life for dogs. Check out their Facebook page, which features real-life video stories of dogs using the product. Their videos are proof enough that struggle-free walking can now be achieved, and the pet parents are joyous.
- Provide before-and-after stories that showcase the difference your product(s) can make to a pet, pet parent or pet business. Dr Buzby’s YouTube videos do exactly that. Seeing a dog’s struggle — and the amazing benefits ToeGrips provides him — is extremely powerful. The videos are worth a thousand descriptive words.
- Use all forms of content to tell stories. Videos aren’t the only way to tell stories. Provide case studies, testimonials, articles, blog posts, photo essays and other story versions that deliver compelling proof of how your product can change lives.
People LOVE stories about pets who are thriving, or pet businesses that overcome a major challenge. Use your product as a hero that’s solving a common problem your target audience is dealing with.
And don’t forget to optimize your stories so the content can be found in search engines! In your videos and other story versions, include SEO (search engine optimization) keywords in the content and in tags. This means flow your top keyword or two into the story’s headline, subhead, bullets, internal links, photo or video captions, and meta tags.
Plus be sure to share the stories everywhere — on your site, in social media, on other pet business sites, in local chamber of commerce sites, etc.
If you need help with effective storytelling for pet product sales, or optimizing your pet stories with SEO keywords, just let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, here’s to a prosperous pet website!
July 11, 2012
More than two years ago, I wrote a series of blog posts about the importance of having a clear, optimized website to attract more business, whether you’re marketing pet products, veterinary services or supplies for pet businesses.
A lot has happened on the web since then, but the web-success fundamentals have not changed. In fact, the fundamentals are even more critical now, since competition has exploded in the pet industry.
Recently I conducted a “First Impression Audit” of just over 300 pet and veterinary related websites, and found that just a handful of them (22 or so) met the basic must-have criteria regarding content best practices, use of keywords, the message flow, etc.
Wow. This means there’s all kinds of potential for the rest!
Soon I’ll be finishing a Special Report on my pet industry site-audit findings. Stay tuned!
In the meantime — I’m running one of the original blog posts again here because it might be the first time you’ve seen it. Enjoy.
May 10, 2012
Every month or so, I’m invited to present a webinar about what works online… particularly regarding content that works to attract more customers to the websites of pet businesses and veterinary practices.
I’ve been honored and thrilled to present webinars to veterinarians via LifeLearn; pet sitters and walkers via the Association of Pet Sitting Excellence; and other prestigious groups and organizations.
Each time I present a webinar, my mission is to teach through example, not just rattle off a list of must-dos. So I prepare a slide show that features pet-business sites and veterinary-practice sites following the best practices. A picture can be worth a thousand words… even when talking about content!
The problem is, when I’m preparing a presentation about LOCAL business websites… great examples of local websites are very hard to find, both in the pet business world and with veterinary practices.
This is true for core website content (Home, About, Services, etc.) and blog posts. Many, many local pet-industry websites are not using the 3 critical elements for local marketing success.
Today, I’m happy to tell you what these 3 elements are so you can fix them right away. :-) (more…)
May 3, 2012
You may have noticed by now that PetCopywriter.com’s website design has been updated. Thanks to the wonderful skills of graphic designer Jason Spooner and web developer Joe Dolson, we’re thrilled with the results.
The reason we did this is… I didn’t feel the website was showcasing what we offer pet and veterinary companies in a quick and overt way.
I took a fresh look at the site from the visitor’s perspective, practicing what I preach in this blog.
I said to myself, “When someone arrives here, what should be the first impression they get in mere seconds?”
It’s simply this: You can race ahead of the pack and attract more customers with help from a skilled pet-industry copywriter.
So the web team reworked PetCopywriter.com’s home page with a clean and logical design, simple customer-benefit messages, a video introducing our services to potential clients, and clear invitations for visitors to explore our many services.
That’s it! Much better when it comes to clarity that helps visitors know what to find here. I hope you agree. (Please let me know.)
Having said that, if you scroll below the first screen, you’ll see more content about featured solutions and benefits. But if you choose not to scroll, you can quickly access specific sections of the site you’re interested in.
I’m telling you this because you may want to consider whether or not your pet or veterinary website solutions “pop” in a clear and inviting way for your prospects.
You could be missing opportunities with hundreds of potential customers, so it pays to take a hard look at your site.
April 25, 2012
Quick — what’s the first thing your website visitors see when they arrive at your site? This is a very important question; more important than you’d ever imagine.
That’s because your pet website’s first impression is EVERYTHING.
If people don’t like what they see on that very first screen of your site, they probably won’t stick around and buy from you.
Consider the following two findings from Website Usability guru Jakob Nielsen*:
- “Web users spend 80% of their time looking at information above the page fold.”
This means if people don’t understand the benefits of your products or services when they land on your site — they’ll move on without scrolling down to see more information.
- “The first 10 seconds of the page visit are critical for users’ decision to stay or leave.”
If your content isn’t immediately helpful to visitors, giving them a reason to do business with you… it’s very likely that you’ll lose them.
Here’s one more new finding that may shock you. We found this in a recent issue of Website Magazine:
“When viewing a website, it takes users less than 2/10ths of a second to form their first impression,” according to research at the Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Wow. So, what do you think? Does your website’s Above-the-Fold impression instantly help visitors understand the following need-to-know information about what you offer?
- What company is this?
- What do they offer me?
- How does this website solve my needs?
- How do I see how the product or service works… get more details… or contact them?
- Would I feel comfortable doing business with them?
That’s a lot of information to project in just seconds at the top of your website. But it doesn’t have to be hard. When you focus on the questions listed above, you can clear out all the rest and keep it nice and simple. I recently redesigned PetCopywriter.com to enhance my first impression for visitors, focusing on those questions listed above.
Here’s an excellent example of a pet website that provides clear, “what’s in it for me” messages and a great user experience above the fold.
There’s no question about what this website offers, how to get more information about its services, and how to get started with them immediately.
In addition, it uses SEO keywords in a smart and smooth way.
If you’re not sure about your first impression, perhaps it’s time for a professional, objective assessment that reveals your gaps and opportunities to improve (and boost sales!).
Questions? Comments? Please share.
Here’s to a prosperous pet website!
*Jakob Nielsen findings can be found at AlertBox.com.
August 3, 2011
Are people looking for your dog bowls… or do they call them dog dishes?
Are pet owners searching for a great pet throw, or do they call it a blanket or car seat cover?
And are pet parents searching for a local veterinary hospital, clinic or practice? Or perhaps it’s an animal hospital or clinic… or veterinarian hospital, clinic, etc.)
When you write your pet business web content to attract the people who seek your products or services, be sure to focus on the key phrases THEY use.
This is critical for two reasons, whether you’re marketing to pet owners, veterinarians or other pet businesses. (more…)