One of the single easiest ways to doom your career is to not have a website up and running for your pet grooming business. You need a strong online presence in order to be seen!
Never put together your own site before? No worries! With the following Do’s and Don’ts list, you’ll have all the info you need to get started!
Do: Secure Your Domain Name
When first starting your pet grooming business, you came up with a name. Then you would have legally registered it, so that no one else has the right to use it. The same now needs to be done for your website domain!
Research into various website hosts platforms. This is basically the platform where your website will live and be put together. Once you’ve decided which host you wish to use, make sure that no other website already has your desired domain name registered.
If you’re good to go, lock down your domain name ASAP! If the name is already taken, go back to the drawing board and see what other variations you can play with that still use your pet grooming business’s name.
Don’t: Ignore Design Trends
There’s nothing endearing about clicking on a website, only to find that it looks archaic and outdated. Online design trends are forever changing. So, it’s important that you research into the common, popular trends and industry changes within the pet grooming world!
Pro tip: Many website building platforms will have templates that you can use to build your site. Most of these templates are free and follow current design trends. Templates are your friend!
Do: Know Your Brand
Your brand will be a major part of your business’s identity. If you don’t know what your brand is, how can you know what sort of impression your business will give off to clients?
The best way to start figuring out your professional brand is to ask yourself:
- When my clients think of me and my business, what are some descriptors I want to come to mind?
- If my client was to describe my business to someone else, what would I want them to say?
- What is the overall mission/goal of my pet grooming business?
- What feelings do I want my business to evoke in others?
Once you determine your brand, you’ll be able to start building SO much of your business around it. You’ll be stunned at how much starts falling into place once you have a solid brand as your foundation!
Don’t: Plagiarize Other Websites
Let’s be super clear here: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with referring to other websites as a source of inspiration. But there’s definitely a problem with ripping them off and stealing material for your own use.
Growing up, school drilled into our heads how bad plagiarism is. When it comes to building your pet grooming website, this is of no exception. Simply put, don’t do it.
“But what if I change a few of the words?”
No, don’t do it.
“But how about if I–?”
It’s best to just assume that no matter what, you should never do it.
The consequences can get pretty severe sometimes, especially if the other business were to find out. To give you an idea, there’s always the chance it can result in a lawsuit. At the very least, it could spell danger for your reputation in the industry. No matter how you slice it, it’s just not worth the risk.
By all means, get all the inspiration you need! Keep a journal and jot down notes of any ideas that come to mind when looking through other people’s websites. Just make sure to transform these ideas into something that’s completely your own.
In general, this is the safest way to approach ANY content you put onto the internet.
Do: Learn About SEO
Having a nice-looking website is a good start, but without a proper understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), it can do little to actually get you any real visibility. Your website can only do so much if it isn’t ranking very high on platforms such as Google.
It’s worth it to do some research online and read up on SEO. Learn what it is, how it works, and what you can do to maximize it to your benefit. No, you don’t need to become some sort of SEO expert – but a general understanding can do wonders, and take your business website to a whole other level!
Don’t: Make Things Complicated
Remember what websites looked like back in the early 2000s? Everything was an overabundance of visual graphics, neon colors, barely legible text, and automatic music blasting from every page. We get it; the internet (on a global scale) was still feeling relatively fresh, so we all got a little too excited for our own good.
In this day and age, however, none of these things are a good look. They certainly don’t give the impression of a respectable, professional business. In fact, if you look at the most popular websites out there today, you’ll likely find that most have quite a lot in common! For example, they’ll probably have:
- Black text on a white background
- No more than 3-4 fonts
- Consistency in font use, font size, and color schemes
- A simple, one or two-column layout
- A navigation bar at the top of the page, and a footer at the bottom
- Limited use of scrolling banners
- A clear use of headers, sub-headers, and body text
- Images aligned with the text, in a way that makes sense
- No automatic music (seriously, this is more likely to startle the viewer than impress them)
Do: Add Your Professional Portfolio
Your business website should contain very specific information that will be useful to any potential clients interested in your dog grooming services. This includes details like your contact information, grooming services, qualifications, prices, and more. Just as importantly, you should also include some of your professional portfolio.
By adding images of your past work to your website, you’re giving potential customers a way to physically see the high quality of your previous work. It’s one thing to simply tell them about your prior experience in the field. It’s a whole other ball game to show them visual proof of how awesome you are, and why they should hire you!
Having your portfolio available directly on your website is a guaranteed to way to book more clients for your pet grooming business!
Don’t: Showcase Just ANY Photo
With that being said, there is a standard for the types of photos you should include in your online portfolio. It can be all too easy to turn a good website bad by adding in the wrong types of images.
To avoid this rookie mistake, never use photos you don’t have the legal rights to. Don’t jam pack your website with any images that aren’t relevant to the goal of your business. Similarly, don’t use stock photos either. While they may depict an idea of the services you offer, they can also be very misleading to potential customers.
Try to only use images that broadcast YOUR work. Make sure that these pictures are in high definition, and look to be of professional quality. A high-quality portfolio will mean a high-quality pet grooming business in the eyes of your audience!