Your website can be one of the best or worst pieces of your pet store’s marketing strategy. At best, it displays all of the qualities we’re about to list below. At worst, it’s slow and overburdened, it’s unprofessional and poorly built, it doesn’t serve it’s primary conversion functions, and/or it doesn’t speak in the same voice that your brand does. If your pet store’s website has any or all of those problems, it’s about time we rebuilt it for you! If your pet store doesn’t have a website, then you really need to hit this button.
We’re going to go over a few reasons why the modern pet store needs a modern website and how it can be used to build your business. As always, we’ll be using real-time examples, real-time data from one of our clients, and real-time statistics to back up all of our claims. If you didn’t get a chance to check out Jet’s Favorite Freesources post on Website Builders, you can do that HERE.
Pet Store Websites Should Be…
This is so important! We speak with lots of pet store owners who are simply “satisfied” with their website. They don’t see the need for an extra expense in rebuilding a modern website because all of the important information like location, hours, photos, and maybe even the story doesn’t need to be changed! However, does that antiquated website look good on a smartphone?
75% of the global population will have a mobile phone by 2020. With numbers like that, it's more essential than ever for your pet store to deploy a mobile-optimized website. But just how important is responsiveness in 2019?
Responsive websites are the current best-practice in website design. They ensure you're only maintaining one version of your website and that that version is able to be viewed and used no matter the device it's accessed on.
October 2016 saw mobile traffic finally overtake desktop traffic. This means for the past 3 years, the majority of internet users have been accessing our content via mobile devices. An estimated 57% of all web traffic is mobile with that number expected to grow seven-fold by 2021. With numbers like that, 2019 should be the year you improve your pet store’s marketing strategy with a mobile-friendly website.
Optimized and Indexed for Search Engines
Google indexing is determined by the content of the mobile version of our websites. This means your site's SEO relies on the usability and content of your site as it appears on mobile phones and tablets.
Historically, Google used the desktop version of a website to evaluate the relevance of a page to a given query. This meant that even when searching on mobile, the results were determined by the content of a website's desktop version. But not anymore.
Google's bot will now crawl and index pages with the smartphone agent. This means if your website isn't optimized for mobile, your Google rank is likely suffering.
This makes your website’s mobile-optimization more important, but we can’t overstate SEO as a whole. Search engines drive 93% of all website traffic (Source: SEO Tribunal). The fact that such a high percentage of people use search engines to then land on your website shows that you need to be high up on those results pages and be as relevant as possible.
The modern pet store website needs to have SEO capabilities, whether you use an SEO campaign or not. The site titles, tags, back links, and page descriptions can all improve your pet store’s marketing baseline.
Trusting Your Website = Trusting Your Pet Store
It's not only Google that's judging you based on the content of your mobile website. Your pet parent customers are doing it too. And with more and more people accessing websites via mobile, that's a lot of judgment.
Two-thirds of mobile users say a mobile-friendly website influences whether or not they'll make a purchase. 74% say they're more likely to return to a site if it's mobile-optimized.
And even if you have loyal customers? Half of them are likely to use your site less if it doesn't work well on their mobile phone.
The numbers are in and they're clear: mobile optimization is an essential cog in your pet store’s marketing machine.
Think about it this way: if you are searching online for anything you might need, whether it’s clothing, a type of food, hardware, or a pet product, and you come across a company whose website doesn’t load properly to fit your smartphone, or it loads slowly, or you can’t find the information you’re looking for quickly….how soon do you look elsewhere? People these days don’t spend a lot of time looking at websites that don’t help them.
Your Pet Store Website Needs to Look and Feel GREAT
This might seem vain, but it’s an absolute necessity. Here are some qualities that the modern website needs to display in order to attract and maintain customer visits:
Well planned information architecture and overall organization. You can argue that most websites all have a similar general look, feel, and navigation - that’s because it works, and that’s because it’s what customers expect. No need to fix something that’s not broken right? Navigation should be effective.
Well-formatted content that’s easy to scan and go through. Help customers find what they’re looking for! Headings, sub headings, paragraphs, and bulleted lists immensely improve the visitor experience.
Your website needs to load quickly and not be bogged down by improperly formatted or displayed photos or videos. Too much content can be a bandwidth burden, preventing full page loads and causing visitors to bounce.
Contrasting colors and scheme is a basic, but often overlooked quality of making a website great. Lack of contrast makes text illegible and distracting. You can stick to your pet store’s branded color scheme without going overboard.
If a customer knows what they’re looking for, it should not be more than 1 or 2 clicks away. Ensure that forms, contact information, product availability, blog posts, or events are easy to find to create a positive user flow through your pet store’s website.
These are just a few of the needs we focus on when building modern pet store websites. Usually, any website is better than no website, although you really can’t overlook the fact that a bad website can work against your pet store and cause pet parents to choose a competitor.
Questions, thoughts, concerns, or comments? Give us a shout and make sure you’re following Pet Engine Marketing across our platforms so that your pet store’s marketing strategy is the strongest part of the business!