One of the most important pages on your website is the homepage. Typically this is the first page that visitors will land on when they come to your website. Even if they do land on another page, it’s likely they will click the ‘home’ link to before going anywhere else.
For that reason, your website needs to be carefully constructed to ensure you are providing visitors with the information in the best way.
Today, I’m sharing my top 5 things you should have on your pet business homepage to ensure you give visitors the information they seek quickly and efficiently.
1 // A Slogan or Strapline
That thing you heard about only having 7 seconds to impress visitors to your website, is actually true. In fact, you probably have less than 7 seconds to convince them to stick around.
As consumers, we spend so much of our time online and we expect to find what we are looking for quickly and efficiently. If someone clicks onto your website and they can’t instantly see that they are in the right place, they’ll click back and go to the next website.
A good way to help establish who you are with visitors straight away is to include a slogan or strapline near the top of the page in a large font. To have the most impact you need to make sure it includes your product or service keywords.
For example, my strapline is ‘Get your pet business noticed with professional branding & a strategic website.’ – in 11 words I have shown who I work for (pet businesses) and what I do (design branding and websites).
Other examples of possible straplines are:
- ‘Professional dog grooming salon for small breeds in Glasgow‘ – this highlights the service (grooming) and the location you operate in (Glasgow).
- ‘Reliable & Friendly Dog Walking service based in Falkirk‘ – here we mention the service (dog walking) and the area (Falkirk)
2 // High Quality Images
We buy visually appealing products and services and if we’re not impressed by the look of something, we are unlikely to buy it. That’s just the way it is.
On websites, you don’t have the luxury of allowing customers to touch and feel your product or meet you face to face. This means that you need to make those good first impressions through your images. Investing in high-quality images to sell yourself and your business will always be money well spent.
Now I know that professional photography can seem like a waste of money and you can think of 100 other things that you would rather spend your marketing budget on. But I’ve seen countless times before that having good photos can dramatically change the appeal a website or leaflet. As well as creating a credible and trustworthy feel with your potential customers.
This is one of the reasons I teamed up with my husband (aka Mutley’s Snaps) to offer photography services to clients looking for professional photos.
The investment in a professional photo shoot can give you photos to use for years on everything from your website and signage to business cards and social media.
An example of using high quality photography…
I teamed up with Mutley’s Snaps to provide professional photography for Pampered Paws. We spent a few hours in the salon shooting the grooms and a few of the pooches who visited. The photos give a more personal and ‘real’ feel to the website.
Professional photography for the Pampered Paws website.
3 // Call To Actions
A call to action is something you want visitors to do when they visit your website. This could any number of things e.g. enquiring about your service, buying your latest product, signing up for your newsletter or following you on social media. Each of those actions can be achieved by strategically placing your content on the homepage.
You can even have more than one call to action on the page.
A good example of a call to actions:-
On the Poochini’s Dog Grooming website that I designed, we included two calls to actions on the homepage. The first to ‘Book An Appointment’ with the phone number and the second is the prompt to ‘Follow On Instagram’. These call to actions encourage visitors to book a grooming appointment and boost their Instagram following by giving an easy way to see latest photos and to follow.
Call to action examples on the Poochini’s Dog Grooming website.
4 // An Overview Of Your Services
Close to the top of your homepage you should include a brief overview of the services you provide. This should be kept short and sweet but explain what you offer your clients. A dog groomer may include the types of grooming they offer – full and mini grooms, bath and brush and puppy visits, for example. And a dog walker may want to mention that they provide group and one-to-one walks and home visits to their clients.
Having this overview on the homepage lets visitors see quickly if you provide the service that they need. Each service can then link through to a page with more information for them to read.
A good example highlighting your services:-
Recently I design the new website for Paws by The Drop dog grooming. On the homepage, we had a section showing the types of groom they do – we mixed in photos and custom icons to grab attention.
An example of providing an overview of services on the homepage of the Paws by The Drop website.
5 // Contact Details
This may seem like a no-brainer but I still see many websites missing contact information on the homepage. The homepage might be the only page that someone visits. So if your phone number or email address isn’t clearly visible they aren’t going to go searching through your website to find it.
Include ways to contact you in multiple locations. When designing a website, I will normally include the contact details at the top of the page, in the middle and at the bottom. This means that visitors have many opportunities to see a way to contact the business and don’t have to scroll far to locate them on the page.
An example of how to show contact details on your homepage:-
The Meadowhill Dog Grooming website that I designed incorporated ways to contact them throughout the homepage. We have a coloured area showing a ‘contact us’ button which takes you to the contact page, there is a section which shows the full contact information and at the bottom, we have the phone number and email address shown again. Any visitors to the website will have no issue finding ways to contact Meadowhill.
The contact details are shown in multiple locations on the Meadowhill homepage.
The five points above should definitely be included on the homepage of your pet business website. There are other sections that you can add to your homepage depending your individual goals but these are a good place to start.
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