5 Simple Strategies for Improved Websites
Ecommerce and technology specialist Jo Stern joins host Laura Reeves with five simple strategies to improve your website, reach potential new homes and make the first page on Google.
“Search engine optimization (SEO) is essentially what you are building into your website to make you more findable on the Internet when you are talking about thousands upon thousands of people searching for you as a breeder or your puppies,” Stern said.
“Or they’re just looking into information about breeds. You want to make sure that your website is easy to find, especially if you’ve got litters on the ground and you’re trying to sell puppies, or you’re trying to advertise your studs, or you know you want to connect with other people in the same breed. You want to get your name out there.
“It’s your ability to make yourself appear on the first page of Google. That’s the end goal is when somebody searches your name, your breed, your state, you show up first, and that’s the end goal of what you’re doing.
“(There’s) a little bit of reluctance because technology is scary. But I think it’s also not exactly their fault because it’s very difficult. It’s very convoluted. Google makes it difficult on purpose because they don’t want people to game the system.
“There are different pieces of this puzzle that is SEO. It seems a lot of breeders are missing pieces of the puzzle because that technology is so hard and that education just really isn’t out there. There’s not a lot of layman’s terms education on how to build your website effectively. How you get your name out there. So there’s a lot of guesswork. But I think there’s a lot of things, a lot of strategies that breeders can employ.
“The first thing, is they need to Google themselves. They just need to pull their kennel name. Just go search yourself and see where you show up on Google. See how hard it is to find yourself in Google. If you can’t type in your kennel name, your breed or your state and find yourself, that’s a problem.
“If you’ve got a website that you’ve built and you have not maintained, you haven’t gotten any up-to-date content or you haven’t made any changes, how people can find you? Google likes addresses, they like locations.
“As a pet buyer, I’m not talking about show buyers and people who are very savvy, they’re going to be searching their town, they’re going to be searching their state, they’re going to be searching literally “golden retrievers near me,” as that’s a search function of Google.
Listen to the full episode for more of Jo’s great suggestions. Or contact her at Joannahstern@gmail.com for consultation.
Winning the Messaging War with Better Marketing
Dale Martenson of Touche Japanese Chin shares outstanding information about how to win the messaging war with better marketing and advertising of our purebred dogs.
I’ve included below some outtakes and quotes from a spectacular conversation.
For most of these people getting a puppy, it is a want, not a need. They aren’t going to do anything with it but love and cherish it. They don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on this dog, but our job is to share why our dogs are so awesome to live with and how they are going to enrich families and lives.
Reach people where they are
The foundation lies with the fact that what we want to avoid is impulsive decisions. Buying a dog, choosing a breed, getting a tattoo, none of these things should be done impaired or impulsively. They are long term commitments. Share the information about our breed so we get informed consumers who know this is the right fit for them, then this is a huge step to finding right homes, ultimate goal. Financing hobby and doing the things you want to do with and for your dogs.
Should be a self-funding hobby
We are bringing something to people’s families and lives. I love getting pictures of dogs in weddings and graduations. First thing we have to do is know the breed. Today’s knowledgeable, non-impulse buying consumer is looking for a breed authority.
We’ve had people mail us a kid’s Tshirt, put it on the puppy, mail it back, to see if it works. Know your customer, know your breed. Be knowledgeable. Make it so this is the right choice for them.
Join the 21st Century
Do you have a website? Do you use social media? You can have the best dogs in the whole world, but if nobody knows about them, what use is it?
Replying to emails with price question. We as consumers ask how much something costs. I prefer if I see the price in advance. Ultimately, it’s a transaction. Somebody is paying for something, that is a consumer transaction.
We need to be able to be polite and give a good message back. These folks may not know dog protocol 101. They’re buying a dog to lie on a couch. They’re doing us a favor. Give a little costumer service.
Always give breed information, including that health testing is important, early stimulation and socialization is important.
Just be nice!
Don’t be that person with an attitude of “if you have to ask you can’t afford it.”
Information should be given freely. It costs nothing to be polite. We are ambassadors for purebred dogs and the fancy, if we want it to continue. We have to keep our numbers under control. You will build a customer base that follow your dogs. They become a bit of a family.
Waiting lists are a thing of the past. A good online presence is a really important thing. I highly recommend having a website. This allows you to share great information about your breed, good and bad.
Work on your website, keep it current. When contract and health guarantee are on the website, you can use as a teaching tool. Everybody does better if they know the rules upfront.
“Space Whippet,” Insta Celeb, Provides Social Media Tips
Beth Gordon acquired a race-bred whippet after her mixed breed rescue developed IVDD (intervertebral disc disease). Kuiper the Space Whippet’s rise to fame on social media provides a blueprint for others to follow in promoting purebred dogs.
“I wanted a healthy dog I could do sports with. It’s ok to not want a project. We’ve spent as much as my college education on our older dog with health issues. I just didn’t want to have to do that again,” Gordon said.
“I decided we needed better influencers on this new-fangled thing called Instagram, Gordon said.” She wanted to do something that was informative, not just fluffy. A “space tree” in Salem, Oregon was the idea for the launch of Kuiper the Science Dog, Space Whippet.
In just a couple years, Gordon and Kuiper have acquired more than 150,000 Instagram followers and been to Kennedy Space Center for a photo shoot for the account.
Utterly shameless self-promotion makes all the difference, Gordon said. “Business cards cost $20 and people love to get them.”
“Even though the account name is space whippet, I get a lot of questions about his breed,” Gordon said. “I think it’s a good opportunity. The way you increase representation for anything is by showing it to people, not making a big deal out of it.
“When you’ve been fed this line there are so many rescue dogs, why don’t you have a rescue dog? My answer is that purebred dogs are not fungible with rescue dogs. If my choice was another rescue dog or no dog, I just wouldn’t get a dog. If you have specific things you want to do, you’re much better to get a breed designed for that.
“The general public doesn’t know there are so many things you can do with your dog. May not consider their dog trainable. Increasing awareness of the sports they can do is so important. Purebred dogs are not just for beauty, dogs are functional,” Gordon said.