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How to Get Your Pet Business Noticed Online

Start by asking fans of your business to write online reviews.

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ACCORDING TO the American Pet Products Association, 68 percent of households in the U.S. have a pet. If any of those pet owners are like me with my spoiled-rotten 3-year-old Pit Bull mix Lulu, that means there’s a lot of revenue opportunity for businesses like yours. However, there’s also a lot of competition out there.

You need to make sure your business stands out online, but you need to do so in ways that won’t go against the best practices of Google and the social media platforms you use. Here are five ways to get you started:

1

Put your business in online directories. If your business isn’t listed on websites such as Yelp, Citysearch and others, you are missing an opportunity to gain organic exposure and draw customers to your website. These directories often appear at the top of Google’s results, and many customers use them when looking for local products and services.  Pet industry-focused sites such as BringFido.com and Rover.com might also serve you well. Also, county tourism bureaus, main street organizations, area chambers of commerce and other local organizations might offer opportunities to list your business. If your business provides services like pet sitting, sites such as Thumbtack could help customers discover you.

2

Ask fans of your business to write online reviews. Eighty-five percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey. The survey also indicates that nearly three-quarters of all shoppers will trust a local business more if it has positive reviews.

3

Make sure your physical location is on Google My Business. Sharing up-to-date information about your business will, in Google’s words, “help your business’s local ranking on Google and enhance your presence in Search and Maps.”

4

Stay active and engaged on social media. The more consistent you are in generating content on your social media accounts, the better they will be at raising awareness of your brand.  Create posts that provide information your followers will find interesting or make their lives easier. For example, if you operate a pet boarding business, you might share a blog by an animal behaviorist that offers tips for making your dog’s or cat’s stay less stressful.

5

Employ the hashtag. Adding hashtags can be especially brand-boosting on Twitter and Instagram. By using popular hashtags, you can attract new followers who are interested in pet-related topics. Use tools such as Hashtagify, RiteTag and Tagboard to figure out which hashtags might draw the most attention to your posts.

Building an online presence requires time and effort. These tips are DIY steps in the right direction, and you might also think about consulting an internet marketing firm to help you gain more traction across the web.

Dawn Mentzer is a contributing writer for Straight North, one of the leading internet marketing agencies in Chicago that provides SEO, PPC and web design services. As a solopreneur and freelance writer, she specializes in marketing content — and collaborates with clients nationally and globally.

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