Pet websites need an ongoing content strategy for search engines

What the heck is going on with search engines these days? You may not have heard, but dramatic recent trends could be giving your web page results a search smack-down.

For example, it used to be that pet-related website owners could expect a Google algorithm change every year or so. But in 2010, three major changes have already happened, with another 4 months to go. Plus Bing is now in charge of Yahoo search results.

People responsible for pet internet marketing success (perhaps even you) are suddenly seeing a recent slide in their page rankings and traffic as a result of these major developments:

  • Google May Day: If your web pages use “boilerplate” text from manufacturers and others, they’re no longer considered quality pages. You need original content to stay in the rankings and attract prospects.
  • Google Caffeine: This update brings new content into rankings much faster than before. If your competitors frequently use Twitter, blogs and other fresh updates, they may bump your position.
  • Bing now powers Yahoo organic search results. If some of your best website customers come from Bing or Yahoo, you’ll need to watch how this shift changes your traffic patterns.
  • Google Single Site Results: In August 2010, Google reported… “we’ve launched a change to our ranking algorithm that will make it much easier for users to find a large number of results from a single site.” Suddenly your competition can dominate the first 7 search results and bump you down.
  • Competitive SEO (search engine optimization) and Other Updates: Your competition may be getting smarter about SEO and adding fresh or updated content to move up in Google and other search engine rankings.
  • Video Marketing: Youtube is now the second largest search engine. If your competitors are using video to market their sites, their improved search rankings can bump you down.

So, what’s a marketer to do about these events — plus local tags, social media, personalization, and many other search engine changes?

It’s still possible to attract more prospects via Google, Bing and other search engines. You just need the right keyword search strategy and regular content updates.

The key to success now is fresh, original content updated regularly; at least once a month.

Without this type of ongoing strategy, your Google and other search engine rankings are certain to fade, opening the door for competitors to lure away your precious visitors.

Therefore… here are my three tips for marketing pet products online:

  • Establish a keyword search strategy and check your keywords to see if anything has shifted over time. You may discover that your primary keywords are no longer as relevant or competitive as they were when you last researched them.
  • Regularly post original or updated content to reflect what your primary audience is looking for. A useful strategy is to post a new article, press release, special promotion, product page, blog or other content as often as possible. Make sure it’s content your audience will appreciate! If you sell products on your site that are also sold elsewhere, make sure your product descriptions are unique from the other sites’ descriptions… in time for the upcoming power-shopping season.
  • Measure your search results each month, at least for your top “money-pages”. You can use your web host traffic logs and/or Google Analytics to find out who’s coming to your site via search engines, and which keywords they’re using. Also check your web page results when typing certain relevant phrases into Google, Bing, Ask, etc.

Of course, if you’re not sure how to do these things effectively, contact me for assistance.

Until next time,
Here’s to a clear and prosperous site!

Pam Foster

P.S. Introducing an exciting new program from, a division of ContentClear Marketing: If you’re too busy to stay on top of your web content updates, or you’re not sure how to take control of your search destiny, let me do it for you! Ask me about my monthly Strategic Search Content Update Packages.