So did you read our latest Freesource post on website builders and decide that you’d give it a go to upgrade your pet store’s website, or perhaps build a first website? Go you, you rock. If you get bogged down in the time, details, and learning required to build your pet store’s website exactly the way you dreamed it and want an expert to manage it for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to our expert web design team at Pet Engine Marketing. They love a good pet store website project!
If you don’t decide to have us build and host your pet store’s website, we’ll do our best to help guide you in your quest to improve your pet store’s marketing strategy, website, and assets for free with this post. When it comes to content creation for a newly created website, every pet store is unique and needs something to differentiate itself. However, visitors to your website (your potential customers) have set expectations of your website: what information they expect to find on it and where on your website they expect to find it. So, we’ll advise you on what our experience tells us are the must-have pages that all pet store websites need.
Must-Have Pages for your Site
Obviously you need a homepage. Every website has, by nature, a homepage. However, what we really want pet store owners to ask themselves of their homepage is “does it do everything it should?” Here’s what we think your homepage should include:
A short description of what you are and why you’re in business. In short, your differentiating statement
A brief explanation of your services or products
An attention-capturing piece of video or imagery
The simplest path to convert visitors to leads. If you want visitors to contact you, buy from you, or get directions to your store, those destinations should be one well-lit button away
People don’t care what you do, they care why you do it. Have you ever heard that phrase before from Simon Sinek? Highly recommend you check out his Ted Talk, but that’s neither here nor there.
The About page, or sometimes the Team page, is often one of the most-visited pages on the site. Pet parents are interested in learning more about the people behind their favorite pet store.
On the About page, talk about what differentiates you from local competition, a summary of your company history or personal journey, special achievements and milestones, and/or the story of the business.
Here is where you’d list the vast variety of products your pet store offers in store. Most of our clients have this drilled down into separate sub-pages for Foods, Treats, Supplements, Grooming, Accessories, and so on. Your pet store’s website could be different based on what you want to market and who you’re marketing to.
We recommend making an effort to organize your listings online and provide sufficient navigational support for site visitors. Most visitors want to scan, not read, so bulleted lists, links, and images are preferable to a wall of text. Creating further sub-pages, directories, and landing pages can assist in dividing all of this information into bite-sized chunks.
The FAQ page is your space to answer the most frequent questions you are asked. The frequently asked questions (FAQ) page will tell everyone – on one page – what they need to know. This will save you time answering those same questions on an individual basis and can prevent redundant emails, phone calls, and social media outreaches.
Your answers to these FAQs are an opportunity to persuade a potential customer to take the next step on the buyer’s journey and move towards a purchase, visit, or other conversion.
This page is an opportunity to show off positive reviews your company has received, as well as link to places (Google, Yelp, BBB, etc) where people can read and leave further reviews. For more information and why reviews and testimonials are important, check out our Insider post on how they are a vital piece of your pet store’s marketing plan to grow your business.
Maybe you’ve already got a testimonials page, but it doesn’t do much for you? Spice it up with photos and contact info (don’t forget to ask your customers if this is okay!) of real customers that will vouch for you. This will add authenticity to each testimonial. Anyone can write a review, but those with photos of real people that can be traced to an actual source credibility and establishes trust. You can also spend some time creating video testimonials which are not only easy to make but powerful marketing pieces to use on social media and your website.
Your contact page show potential customers all the ways they can get in touch with you. It’s 2019, so here are some necessities:
Consider dividing this into more manageable inboxes: Customer Support/Orders/Marketing are a few areas that receive considerable amount of email, so it’d be nice to send them to separate areas.
It’s also important to have your phone number, email address and physical mailing address on the footer throughout all of your website pages, where possible.
Yes, you do need a blog. If you aren’t using a blog right now, you’re neglecting one of your pet store’s most powerful and affordable marketing tools.
Think of your blog as your greatest and most affordable marketing tool. A blog drives traffic and leads/sales. A survey by HubSpot found that 57% of businesses who blog have generated a lead from it. A blog gives your company a voice, it creates a place where you can tell your company’s story, share your expertise and engage with your customers.
A blog takes a lot of work! That’s why our team here at Pet Engine Marketing can do it for you, provide SEO services for your pet store that improve your local search rankings to beat out your neighboring competition in search engine results. Give us a shout if helping more pets and getting more customers than your rivals seems like something that interests you!
We’ll go a bit deeper into the world of blogging, SEO, and content strategy in a few weeks with yet another Freesource post, but we’ll throw you a bone or two by saying that your pet store’s content strategy should be relevant (what do your customers want to know about?), it should use language familiar to your audience (what do your customers sound like?), and that quality is preferred over quantity (increases credibility and SEO results).
Should-Have Pages for your Site
We’ve covered the necessities. Let’s touch briefly on some pages your pet store’s website should have to provide a better experience for customers and potential customers.
If your pet store hosts events just as photoshoots, veterinary days, adoption events, customer appreciation days, or any other type of get-together, having a calendar on your website is a good idea.
Have you started email marketing for your pet store yet? Check out our Freesource post email marketing with MailChimp to get you started on that, or just hire us! Include a page on your website to capture visitor information that integrates with your email marketing platform, as well as the benefits and reasons why they should join your list.
Terms and Conditions
Consider a T&C page as the “rules” a visitor to your site must agree to abide by in order to use your website. Your pet store’s terms and conditions page should include the rules and guidelines and how your website functions. For example, which country’s laws that governs the agreement, an intellectual property disclosure that states that your website is your property and that it’s protected by copyright laws, and a links to other sites clause that you are not responsible for or have control over third party links on your website.
This is a useful page if you have open hours for specific appointments, or want to rent out a dog wash, or you have an in-store groomer that has openings. Our team at Pet Engine Marketing uses Acuity Scheduling, a Squarespace-owned entity that makes scheduling extremely simple.
This page could be a sub-page of your Team or Story page, but if you want to provide an opportunity to attract potential employees or managers through site visitors, providing a path apply online would make that route simple for you and painless for the applicant
Your pet store’s website shouldn’t be threadbare. We build beautiful, fully-realized pet store websites that speak in your voice to your audience, convert clicks to bricks, and bring profits to pet stores. If you’re building your pet store’s website or want to improve your site’s efficiency and effectiveness, then we hope you’ve gotten a lot out of this Insider post on must-have pages for pet store websites! If you want these delivered directly to your email in a succinct breakdown every few weeks, you know what to do!