You need the essentials when running a successful dog walking business, safe transport, being well organized, and great customer communication with both your human and dog clients – but before all of that you need to attract your customers in the first place, and one of the best ways to do that is with a professional and great looking Dog Walking Service Website.
Why do you need a website? Well, where do the majority of people turn to when they want to research something (prior to buying a product or a service) – the vast majority go to Google (or another search engine) – and that’s where you need to be found to create a great first impression.
Of course you could use Facebook and Twitter to in place of a formal website, and whilst these social media tools are great in their own right, your own website will give you more flexibility about how you present your business. A professional website boosts your credibility and draws in more customers through organic search traffic.
Here are a top 5 ways your can take your dog walking service website to the next level
Build your customer base with the power of Google
When your prospective customers are looking for someone to walk their dogs for the first time - how do they find you? It could be word-of-mouth from a friend, or they have seen one of your flyers or they have searched and found you on the Internet (searching for ‘Dog Walking Services’ in your home town) – in the end it doesn’t really matter how people find you, as long as they do and it is easy for them.
Having a website in place dramatically increases your online visibility. And if your service is one of the first few results to appear for “Dog Walking Service [your town],” new customers will find you easily on their own.
Keep the competition at bay!
Using free social networking sites such as Facebook are fine, but they have to make money somehow, and part of the way they create revenue is with advertising. So, if you a have a Facebook page for your business, you might find ads from your competitors showing up on the side, so if you do have a Facebook page make sure it is directing them to your website where you have complete control over the customers experience and what they see.
Create interesting content on your website
When you are setting up your website always remember the job your website has to do – get you more customers!
A few of the rules when it comes to making your website are:
- Keep it simple. Work out your website on paper before you even start building it, what are the main pages you will need (about page, services, prices etc.), this applies if you are building your website from scratch yourself, or you are getting someone to build it for you (even more important).
- Use good quality bright photos, throughout the site, these will break up any text and give the site a more balanced look, no-one likes to read a load of text if they are shopping around, keep the text relevant and concise.
- Keep the layout of the pages clean and easy on the eye; don’t clutter them up with different colors and sizes of fonts, or adverts all over the place distracting the viewers from the main content of your site.
- Most importantly, let people know who you are, share your ‘story’ and background; a dog walking business is based on trust, and the more a prospective customer knows about you the more they will trust you, tell them what your experience is with dogs and why you set up the business, this will all help to build the relationship. Along with telling your story, let other people tell your story; as soon as you can gather reviews of your service and place them prominently on the website. When people visit your website they should get a sense of who you are and what your dog walking business can offer them.
You decide the rules
Unlike when you use Facebook or Twitter for your online presence, using your own website puts you in charge. If Facebook suddenly changes its terms and conditions/or design or you can no longer post your updates to your Facebook page for some reason then you are out in the cold – not so with your own website. With your own website you decide how it looks and what you put on it – you make the rules, this gives you complete control over building your brand.
Show new clients what you have to offer
A website isn’t an all-in-one solution that will magically have clients queuing up at your door (dogs at hand) —the hard part is up to you. Creating a base of loyal clients is all about the quality of your communications, the services you offer, and your power to connect with people.
However, a website does serve as an online version of your dog walking service where people can get to know you and see what you have to offer. And most importantly, your website is an opportunity for you to show your customers that you’re doing something different (or better) than anyone else in your area.
Keep in touch with Dog Walking HQ to learn more about how to set up a successful website and some of the easiest and most cost effective ways to develop an online presence for you dog walking business. See our Resources page for a list of tools to help get you get started.