August 5, 2013
The other day, David Beart from PetYak.com alerted me to a growing problem where bad links are seriously hurting pet websites with poor rankings and traffic in Google, Bing and other search engines. He said, “I found out the hard way that my website had 54,000 bogus links pointing to it, and I got penalized. Several hacked sites from Russia and Poland, and from.info and .net sites using cloaking, are hitting all types of verticals (including the pet industry).”
But before I explain bad links, let’s back up a bit.
Google is always trying to give searchers the best possible results. Throughout each year, Google updates their search algorithms (formulas) to clamp down on entities trying to hack the system.
Google’s latest update, Penguin 2.0, is clamping down on bogus inbound links/negative SEO. QUALITY inbound links from legitimate websites/companies… especially links to internal pages of your website, using anchor text such as “See their complete selection of dog treats” (not a real ink) — are fine. However, hackers are flooding unsuspecting pet websites (and other industry websites) with bogus text links from “fake” referral pages, and Google sees those links as “unnatural.”
When this happens, Google can slap your site with a penalty, which can kill its traffic. This is something you need to know about and address with your pet website now. Here’s how. (more…)
July 16, 2013
There’s nothing more tragic than updating your pet website or launching a new site and it’s not designed for SEO (search engine optimization) OR for the best visitor experience.
I’ve heard horror stories about pet businesses working with a web designer who creates “very nice looking sites,” but who didn’t know a thing about SEO. In fact, in a couple of cases over the past few years, web designers have ignored the SEO tags I had written for a client, and therefore completely missed the boat in helping the site generate great Google results. Recently a graphic designer wiped out all the previous SEO content during a site update, and the client lost rankings, traffic and sales as a result — costing her serious revenue. Yikes!
A key component of your website’s success is a pet web design professional who knows how to follow SEO best practices. Here are three ways to make sure your designer has your back.
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 9, 2013
If you do any blogging for your pet website or your pet industry business… you’ll find all kinds of tips and inspiration for success at this year’s BlogPaws Conference May 16-18 in Vienna, VA.
The talks this year are fantastic — everything from Copyright Law and Monetization to How to Write and Publish Your Own Print on Demand Book (like I did with Wildly Profitable Marketing for the Pet Industry.) I’ll be speaking on Friday, May 17, covering the topic of SEO 101-102 for Bloggers. I was at this event last year and it’s a DO NOT MISS if you’re in the pet industry.
The infographic below gives you several reasons to come along. Please note: This conference is nearly sold out, so if you’re interested, register right away on their website. I hope to see you there!
March 19, 2013
Woo-hoo! I’m honored to be among the speakers at the 2013 BlogPaws Conference in Tysons Corner, VA on May 16 – 18, 2013.
This fantastic event brings together hundreds of pet parents and pet business owners eager to hone their online publishing skills, inspire and collaborate with each other on business projects and pet welfare causes, and connect with the pet and veterinary companies who sponsor our events.
I was there last year and I had no idea there was such a passionate and prolific group of pet bloggers. I’ll be speaking on SEO – showing bloggers how to drive more traffic to their sites via search engines.
Will you be there? If so, be sure to stop me and say hi!
Until next time,
Here’s to a prosperous pet website!
December 18, 2012
It looks like 2013 will be a pivotal year in which content marketing is a “must” strategy for pet and veterinary companies, whether you’re marketing pet products or your business is a pet or veterinary industry supplier.
According to B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends,* which surveyed more than 1,400 North American business-to-business service and supply companies of various sizes and industries, marketers are counting on content marketing to help them achieve their major business goals.
They’re recognizing that a competitive marketing strategy must include a steady stream of highly useful content to boost brand awareness, customer acquisitions, lead generation, customer retention, loyalty, competitive positioning and more… while also increasing website traffic.
To illustrate this point, here are just a few statistics from the report: (more…)
October 18, 2012
If you’re wondering why your pet or veterinary website isn’t bringing in the volume of sales or leads you expect… it may be due to your site’s “First Impression.”
Let me explain. I’m always following web industry experts who measure different aspects of what works with search engines and site visitors… and recently I came across some alarming statistics.
The statistics have been gathered through global tests involving millions of websites. They point to a few critical fundamentals that make a huge difference in whether your pet or veterinary website’s First Impression is going to attract buyers or turn them away.
First, a few eye-opening facts gathered through scientific website tests:
1. Website user viewing time is distributed as follows:
- Above the Fold (the first screen area viewed on a website): 80.3%
- Below the Fold (the area that requires scrolling to be seen): 19.7%
This means most of your online visitors only look at the first screen of your site before moving on. They’re very unlikely to scroll or click to another page if the Above the Fold area doesn’t grab their attention.
2. “The first 10 seconds of the page visit are critical for users’ decision to stay or leave. The probability of leaving is very high during these first few seconds.”
The first 10 seconds count more than anything, which means a slow load time can be deadly.
3. In a recent global study involving 1 million websites, just 9.6 percent of the sites had “all the basic web page elements covered correctly.”
This means 90.4% of website are NOT covering even the most basic user-friendly elements to ensure success. Astounding.
To me, these statistics underscore the importance of making a great First Impression on your site within that 10-second window, whether you’re marketing pet products, pet services or veterinary products or services. (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!
September 26, 2012
Recently a colleague made me aware of a really fun little online tool called Wordle. The Wordle website describes itself as “generating ‘word clouds’ from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.”
Now, what makes Wordle an excellent tool for your pet website content (especially blogs) — is you can see if your content is using words that focus on what your customers need, or if the words are all about you.
Too many websites talk about how great they are or how fantastic their products are. Ideally, your pet website content should always be about the solutions your prospects or customers are seeking.
And don’t forget to include those keywords that match what people are using in Google and other search engines to find you.
Here’s how Wordle can help you determine how you’re doing along those lines. (more…)
August 20, 2012
Have you ever said this to yourself?
“I don’t have time to keep my pet blog current…” or
“I don’t know what to write about on my veterinary practice blog…” or
“My blog doesn’t get any traffic or responses; it doesn’t lead to new business for me.”
If you’ve had any of these concerns about your pet or veterinary blog, you’re not alone. Just about every week, I run into pet business professionals who are stumped when it comes to blogging, whether it’s finding the time for regular posts or knowing how to make it worth the effort.
Just so you know, blogging is still VERY MUCH worth the effort. (more…)