In the September 2007 issue of Pet Age Magazine, I’m quoted in the monthly “Counter Intelligence” column titled, “What To Do Online”.
Columnist Barry Berman recommends that “every business today needs a website”. And it’s no different for pet businesses than any other business.
Does having a website mean selling products on it? Not necessarily.
You can. But having a website can also be more about getting listed in the search engines so when someone searches Google for “pet supplies, yourcity, state” your business comes up in the results. If you don’t have any website presence at all you’re not even in the game!
As more and more consumers skip the Yellow Pages and head right for their PC’s, local search is booming!
According to a recent Comscore study, “…63 percent of U.S. Internet users (or approximately 109 million people) performed a local search online in July 2006, a 43-percent increase versus July of 2005. ” Meaning, if your business doesn’t have a website of any kind, you don’t exist to these people.
As the article goes on to discuss, having a website is only half the equation. The other half is getting traffic to the site in an effort to convert that traffic to new customers.
“Optimizing means using keywords effectively throughout your site,” I’m quoted as saying. For instance, if you’re a pet supply store that sells Solid Gold dog food, make sure you have some text on your site that uses the phrase “Solid Gold Dog Food” several times throughout one particular page of the site.
This will attract the search engines to that page and index it under any searches for the phrase “Solid Gold Dog Food”. This is sometimes referred to as a “landing page” because it’s where the person searching for those terms “lands”.
Having a properly “optimized” site combined with regular updates and some form of email marketing are all ways to grab your share of the action.
Because in the end you have to ask yourself: When people search online for your type of business, are they finding you? Or your competition?