In the past three years I have spent a lot of time working on the web presence of my pet sitting business. I realized that more and more of my clients were searching for their pet sitter on the internet and that my web site is the first impression that they get of me and the professionalism of my business. I love it when customers tell me they selected me as their sitter because they thought I had the best website!
Here are some tips to give your website a competitive edge:
Give it a personal touch
Your website should reflect your unique personality. Write as you would speak conversationally and include photos of yourself and your family if they are also involved in the business. Make sure you are smiling, look welcoming and friendly! My clients often comment that they like that they can see who I am (they know Iâ€™m a real person) and some also say they chose me because they could tell that my business is a family affair!
Maintain a consistent image
Make the look and feel of your website consistent with the look of your business cards, stationary and your advertising. This can be done by using the same colors, fonts, and your businessâ€™s logo. This consistency builds the image of your business and makes you more recognizable to customers.
Give visitors information
Let your customers know what it will be like to do business with you. People love information and it is easy to provide this via a website. Give them details of your policies, the benefits of your service, pricing structures and incentive programs. Supply downloadable copies of any application forms or other paperwork that you need completed.
Showcase customer testimonials
Ask your past and present customers to provide testimonials about your product or service. I recommend that you set up a regimented process to collect these such as a post job survey, so that you have a consistent supply of fresh testimonials. To encourage more effective testimonials ask customers to describe how your service or product solved a problem that they had and what life was like before they found you and how it changed for the better after using your business. Showcase these testimonials on a page of your website. To make testimonials more credible show the customers full name and their website or email address after their quote.
Help make the lives of your customers easier
Provide links to other complementary but non-competitive local businesses. For example customers often ask me to recommend local groomers, dog trainers, and veterinarians. This month I will be adding a list of these local businesses on my site so that customers have easy access to them and have a reason to come back to visit my site next time they are looking for a pet service provider. Make sure you have used these businesses yourself or know of others who have so that you can ensure your customers will receive quality service. Ask these businesses if they will reciprocate by placing a link to your site on their web site.