Let’s say you’ve reached the point in your pet sitting business that you’ve established a clientele and are receiving new customers by word of mouth or your other marketing efforts. It may be time to break away from using a big pet sitting website so you can better establish your own brand and not have to pay their commissions and fees anymore.
Let’s talk about the 5 things that you’re website will need to attract potential customers and then help them sign up for your services once they’re on your site.
1. Professional Photography
If you haven’t already, now is the time to invest in some high-quality photos of you and any employees you may have while walking dogs. People love to see big, high definition photos and this will immediately show any visitor that you are a professional pet sitter and you take your job seriously.
While taking photos, keep in mind these tips that will help you appeal to a wide range of people.
- Showcase pet sitting several types of pets—dogs, cats, guinea pigs, etc.
- Take pictures of caring for several pets at once so people with more than one feel comfortable hiring you
2. Have a Page Dedicated to You
People would rather give their money to people that they feel connected to, so establish that connection right on your site! Make a page that is titled My Story or About Me and spend a couple of paragraphs talking about yourself. To illustrate this, here are two examples, one bad and one good:The Bad:
My name is Bob and I love pets so much that I decided to start pet sitting. I love spending time with my own pets and we go on nature hikes pretty often.The Good:
I got my first pet when I was 7 years old after begging my parents for weeks. They said I wasn’t responsible enough to care for one and that they would end up doing everything. After drafting several contracts and many alligator tears, they finally agreed to get me a puppy. They were proved wrong when I always picked up my dog’s poop, fed him daily, and went on more walks a day than they could count.
Since a young age I’ve loved caring for pets of all kinds and have worked with them for so long I understand their needs. I promise to treat your pet like one of my own beloved companions and look forward to working with you.
3. Have a Way to Book On Your Site
If you are migrating from a pet sitting site, then your clients are already used to booking you online so it’s important to keep that functionality on your new site. One of the easiest to use and most effective software tools we’ve found is Time To Pet. It can accept payments online and gives your clients their own portal where they can requests services and real-time updates, pictures and visit report cards after each job. They have dedicated mobile apps so managing your business from your phone is a breeze.
4. Establish a Quality Blog
One of the best ways to cheaply get clients is to show up when they search the web for things like “pet sitter in (their city)”. The trick is to make sure you’re high on the list. You’ve most likely experienced this: when you search for something how often do you go on the second or third page of Google? How many times do you even scroll down before clicking?
This all adds up to the need to be in the top 3 on any internet search result. Whether it be Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. you need to rank well. One of the best ways to do this is by having a blog and publishing posts often, about 1-2 per month. You can write about what info clients should give their pet sitters before they go on vacation or what to do to help pets remain calm while they're gone. Create content that is useful to your clientele and it will drive traffic to your site and boost your ranking.
5. Put a Proof of Pet Sitting Insurance Badge On Your Site
A few of the big concerns clients have are things like
- What happens if my pet becomes ill or gets injured while in the care of a pet sitter?
- What if something bad happens to my home while a pet sitter is in my house?
These are legitimate concerns that pet owners have. Address them on your site and they will be more likely to book with you.
The best way to address the concerns of pet owners is to carry insurance. Owning a pet sitting policy from Pet Care Insurance will give your clients the assurance they need that if something goes wrong, their pets and home will be cared for.
For example, say you are caring for a client’s dog, the dog becomes ill and you take it to the vet. If the bill is more than your deductible, then your policy may pay for it.
A lot of clients look for the pet care professionals they hire to be bonded. This is to protect them against theft. Pet Care Insurance offers a very similar product that is actually easier to use called Employee Dishonesty Coverage. This protects against theft or damage to money or property. If one of your employees steals an expensive piece of art or a TV from a client’s house, then your coverage may pay for it.
Look at competitors and copy what they do well. Don’t copy and paste any words, but look at how their website flows and don’t be scared to copy certain elements.
Creating a great website is one of the keys to growing and keeping a great clientele. As your website improves, continually research new tactics to keep improving.