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What does your website about page say about your pet sitting business?

by Therese on February 26, 2011

in Pet Business Marketing, The Pet Care Biz

Does your website, and in particular the about page, tell people you’re an anonymous pet sitter or dog walker who is hiding behind your business name? Or does it tell them you’re Suzi, an approachable, a well-qualified, pet professional, who would like their business?

Yes, it does make a difference!

I see quite a few websites (for pet sitters, dog walkers, and others!) that say all sorts of things like, “my goal…,” “I promise…,” “we offer…” but then they don’t back that up with a name. There’s absolutely no way to know who my, I, or we refers to. To me, it feels like empty words. After all, a business can’t talk – it’s the people behind that business who do the talking. And, unless there’s a person who is willing and eager to tell me who they are, I feel let down. It makes me wonder if the person running the business just isn’t thinking, is trying to hide, or isn’t all that confident in what they’re doing.

When I visit a website I want to know something about the business and the people who work there. After all, I’m looking for someone who I’m going to give a set of keys to my home, and ask them to care for my family members who can’t speak for themselves. I want to know, from the get go, that person is proud of his or her business and isn’t afraid to be out in the open.

Sure, I know I could pick up the phone and call to find out who owns the business. But chances are, if I find a pet sitter website that doesn’t give me any names,  I’m just going to go to another website for a pet sitter who IS open about who they are. Face it, there are plenty of businesses out there vying for my attention. And I don’t have time to pry the information out of them when others are happy and willing to put it out there for me.

Consider these two types of websites, and how a potential client may view them:

Pet sitting business website #1
This business offers the services the person wants, but there’s nothing personal about it. The about page is very formal, stiff, and sterile. It talks about the company’s service area, pets they care for, how long they’ve been in business, and mission statement. Nowhere on the about page is there a person’s name. And in fact there’s no name, other than the business name, anywhere on the entire website. Even the contact page just says “contact us.”

Pet sitting business website #2
This pet sitter offers all of the same services as website #1, but the big difference is in the about page. Just like the other website, this one includes their service area, pets they care for, how long they’ve been in business, and mission statement. But, there’s also a picture of the smiling business owner with her cat and dog. She tells a little about why she started the business, about her experience with pets, her qualifications, and what she enjoys about her job. It’s much more personal than the website for pet sitter #1. Her contact page even includes her name.

You’ve undoubtedly heard the word transparency lately, and that’s what this is about. In the example above, pet sitter #2 has the transparency thing down. She lets potential clients know who she is and comes across as much more personal. Even before someone calls her, they feel a bit of a connection to her – a real live person – because they already know a little bit about her. As a result, she’s probably getting more calls than the other pet sitting business.

I know many pet sitters don’t want their names on the Internet due to security reasons. I can understand that – to a point. You don’t have to write your life story, but it’s important to give people a bit of an idea of who you are. Otherwise, it’s almost a sure thing you’re going to lose business because of it. And you won’t even know it! After all, when your competitors understand the value of transparency, and get a little personal on their website, who do you think is going to get more business?

What does your about page look like?

Take a look at the about page on your website. Is it more like the website for the pet sitting business or the second one? If it’s more like the first one, it might be time to make some changes. Here a a few things you might want to include:

  • Your name
  • A picture of you and your pets
  • Why you started your business. Did a pet, or a situation with your pet, inspire you?
  • What makes you stand out from the crowd
  • A mission statement. Let your visitors know how dedicated you are and what your overall mission is for your business.

What type of information do you have on the about page for your pet sitting or dog walking business?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzy February 27, 2011 at 1:39 am

As a service I think it depends on that business and if they want it to be a personal or business website. Not everyone wants to put their personal information on the website for security reasons. The most important factor is to know what kind of service you are providing and that you are insured and bonded.

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Sharon Jones February 27, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Therese this is a well written blog about websites. I totally agree that people want to know who is behind the website and name of the company. I have done everything to protect myself and our pet sitters. I understand being in business I need to expose who I am and why someone wants to do business with us. If you have a website in my opinion it doesn’t matter how you try to stay out of the spotlight, you are in the spotlight every time you say yes to a new client and go out to set them up. People who are going to do evil can do this without knowing who is behind the scenes. Every time a pet sitter is setting up a new client they run a risk. There are ways to protect yourself, in fact in our company we do not send our employees out to meet a new client alone. We send out two people. We also screen our clients in ways to weed out those who might have wrong motives. As in ways to look at things there are always more than one opinion. this happens to be mine.

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Shannon's Pet-Sitting February 28, 2011 at 8:45 am

I wanted my website to be as personal as possible. Pet owners want “warm fuzzy” feeling when they look at your site. They want to be able to relate. Although many SEO website designers say not to put up too many pictures, from a pet owner point of view I disagree with this. Pictures are just as important as text on a pet sitting website.
Yes I worried about my name & info being out there for security reasons. But you don’t want to appear as if you are “hiding” from pet owners.
Think of it as, when a pet owner first lands on your website – What do they think about you & your service? Not sure? Go to your local pet shop or store & give your card to a couple pet owners you have never met (make sure your name, phone , email & of course your website address is on the card!) & ask them to please look at your website & give you feed back! From experience, I have done my own website design & management over the years & am very proud of my page ranking & SEO score. I have been told when people look at my website they see me as the expert in my field. So they can relate & know exactly who is taking care of their pets!

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