- 7 Reasons Why SEO for Pet Care Businesses Is Worth Your Attention
What happens next?
Will they find you, or will they find your competition?
SEO is important for pet care businesses because it helps your clients find you. You know your online presence requires a Facebook page, Instagram account, and a Google My Business listing. Professional pet businesses also have a solid website with SEO (search engine optimization.)
That way, your grooming salon will pop right up when someone Googles dog groomer + my town.
Fortunately, you don't need to learn all the technical bits to make a difference. You can get found and gain new clients with a pet-friendly SEO strategy.
We'll cover the basics of SEO for pet businesses in this article.
What is SEO?
Firstly, "SEO" is an abbreviation for "search engine optimization."
In a nutshell, it is how people (such as yourself) improve their online visibility. Without it, Google will bury your website. It might be on page 10 or 110, and you know people don't click through multiple pages to find a pet professional.
According to Oberlo, in 2021, Google processed approximately 3.5 billion searches every day.
Now, if you're a local pet business like a dog groomer or trainer, your competition isn't as high because you want to be found locally rather than across the country. Yay! That means it's easier.
Learning a few SEO basics and implementing them will make a big difference for your local business site.
How Search Engine Optimization Can Boost Your Pet Business Marketing Strategy
Today, the algorithms are more nuanced, but you still want to use relevant terms. Of course, that's just the beginning.
When you implement SEO for your pet care business, you'll discover the connections between your reviews, social media, and website. They all work together to attract more customers and grow your business.
1. SEO Still Incorporates Keywords - it's just more subtle
For example, a Great Dane mom will consciously or unconsciously know to type the keywords "Great Dane grooming products" or "Great Dane dog groomer" into the Google search bar when she's looking for specialty pet care for her giant pup. The question is if you sell pet services, are you using those exact keywords strategically throughout your site?
If not, then you lessen the likelihood she finds your website.
You miss the sale. You miss the new client, all because the buyer didn't find you.
Now, if you're a dog groomer, you probably won't use a term like "Great Dane" in your site unless you specialize in Great Danes. However, you want to strategically place dog groomer and your town in your headline and other relevant spots—more on that below.
👉🏽 The takeaway: The better SEO you have, the better your chances are of connecting with your desired pet target audience.
2. Quality content is part of SEO for small businesses
Did you know?
Digital Marketing Institute found that 32% of clicks go to the content ranked #1 on Google.
It makes sense. The first slot is an easy click.
But how do small business websites get a top-ranking?
The short answer is SEO for small businesses.
As a pet professional, you know you can optimize your website using specific keyword terms.
However, modern SEO is about more than keywords. You also need quality content that addresses the questions your potential customers have. Make it relevant and valuable, and you're a good way toward optimizing your site. Answer the frequently asked questions your customers ask within your content, and you'll naturally weave in relevant keywords.
3. Add Alt text to your photos
"Alt" is short for alternative, and it means the words that appear in place of an image. Do you know how some websites show a blank where a picture would be? Your website visitor will see the words when you include the alt text.
For example, if you label a photo dog bathing in Princeton, those words will appear on the screen if the image doesn't. Having the text does two things for you:
1) It helps website visitors who have vision difficulties
2) It tells search engines what the image is (search engines aren't great at recognizing the meaning of images yet.)
It's also easy to do. Every CMS (content management system) will offer you the option to add alt text or an alt description when you upload a photo. Many people ignore this, but now that you know, you won't. Use your keyword term for the page or a related description, and you'll help your future visitors and Google.
4. Add Meta Descriptions
Your meta description only needs to be about two sentences, yet it needs to be enticing enough that your visitor clicks through to your web page. So make it interesting!
Part of a solidonline presence includes plenty of good reviews. Everyone's heard a horror story about a pet who got away while under someone else's care or the dog was left under the dryer too long, or some other disaster.
Your fantastic online reviews will help your future customers trust you and reach out for more information or make an appointment. Dog booking software can help you automate your reviews, SEO your website, and schedule pet appointments, all in one.
As a local pet business that serves local customers, your focus is on the physical area you serve. If you're a Charleston, SC pet business, you want your Charleston-area customers to find you.
Local listing sites fulfill the purpose of the old Yellow Pages. Instead of your customer picking up the phone book and paging through it looking for dog groomers, they type their search term into the search bar on their phone.
You can ensure your pet business gets found by filling out the local listings. The granddaddy of them all is Google My Business. You want to ensure it's filled out completely with the correct address so your business shows up on the map. You want to have plenty of positive reviews to boost trust and inspire future clients to call you or book online.
Other local listings include Yelp, Foursquare, Merchant Circle, Next Door. Please ensure your information is the same across platforms using the same email address and save your passwords. One common problem is people sign up for these things with different email addresses. Later, when they want to update the listing, they realize the person who set it up has moved on, and the business owner ends up scrapping it and starting over because they can't access the listing.
Maintain ownership from the beginning, no matter who sets it up for you.
7. How Social Media helps your SEO
Facebook and Instagram are essential business tools for local pet businesses. You can include photos of your pet clients before and after, give "how-to" tips on common dilemmas like nail trimming and ear cleaning, and introduce your staff.
Regularly updated social media pages can help your customers find you, recommend you across platforms, and even boost your search ranking.
8. NAP (Usually in your footer or header)
No, I don't mean catch a snooze. Instead, NAP means name, address, and phone number in SEO terms. It's good policy to have this on every page of your website – usually in the footer or the header. That way, no matter which page on your site a person sees first, they won't have to search for your location.
Ever click on a slow-loading website? It's annoying, isn't it? It also counts against your SEO. You already know your potential customers aren't going to wait for your site to load. It needs to load instantly, and it needs to be mobile-friendly and responsive.
10. Updated Content
Regular blogging helps your SEO because it keeps your site fresh. Even a monthly or a twice a month blog post can boost your site to the top of search in your local area because few small businesses do it.
Answer the questions your customers ask, give how-to tips, share success stories and questions to ask your dog groomer (or another pet professional.) There's an endless supply of great blog content you can include on yours, and each time you do, when you hit "publish," you'll alert Google you have something new, and they should come to check you out.
11. Get Backlinks
When other sites link to yours, that's called a backlink. The more authoritative the site linking to you, the more credible your site looks to Google (and your potential customers.)
Locally, if a veterinarian links to you, that's a good start. How do you get the backlinks? That's a big topic, but you can start by asking pet care business owners you know. You can also publish such high-quality pet care content that others link to you unasked simply because they find your website and find it helpful.
In summary, SEO for pet care businesses is a way of marketing your online presence, so you attract more of your ideal clients. It's a blend of many factors, including a mobile-friendly website and quality content.
If it feels overwhelming, not to worry; just create a plan for yourself and take it a little at a time. It's never too soon or too late to implement SEO. As you can see, SEO is important for small businesses, and it's a foundational element to your marketing.
If you'd like to take the guesswork out of SEO for small pet care businesses and have a website that helps you rank well in search and automates some of the processes (such as reviews), try our all-in-one pet business software.