Today probably everyone knows a person who has a pet and who regularly shops for it. And when it comes to buying food, toys or kitty litter, is there any more convenient place to do it than the Internet which provides us with endless offers and efficient courier delivery services? We don’t think so – that’s why doing SEO for the pet industry is a must. Keep reading our article to find out how to reach the top 3 of Google search results!
The characteristics of the zoological industry – pets are all around us
According to Kantar Public pet ownership in the US has increased more than three times since the 1970s. The growth is quite steady and due to the improving financial situation of many people we can expect that the number of pets around us will continue to increase.
Based on more detailed data contained in the research by Kantar Public, we can try to determine a potential target group that the pet shops should direct their marketing activities at:
- It’s more likely that people who own pets also have children at the same time.
- People aged 40-49 own pets more often than others.
- The percentage of pets living in urban areas is smaller than the percentage of pets living in rural areas.
However, we need to consider that generally people living in big cities are more likely to shop online, therefore, as long as the data concerning age may be useful, the influence of the place of residence on the interest in buying online in a pet store needs to be undermined. It’s also worth taking advantage of the data provided by various tools, such as Google Analytics, that examine the demographics of visitors to your website.
What pets are the most popular?
It shouldn’t be surprising that when it comes to four-legged friends, most people choose cats and dogs. But as a result, apart from the greater interest, in this case the competition on the market will also be bigger.
When starting your online activity, you need to make a decision.
1. You decide to run a shop with a wide and competitive range of products for cats and dogs. You also do an SEO process for related keywords.
2. You decide to specialize and enter a niche market, you create a pet store for specific groups of customers (e.g. an equestrian store or a store for owners of snakes or exotic birds).
It may be easier for you to determine your company’s potential by analyzing which subpages generate the greatest traffic to the site and which products are the most profitable.
What to keep in mind when designing your online pet store?
If you don’t run your online pet store yet, we’ll give you a few pieces of advice that will help you create an online shop positively affecting SEO. On the other hand, if you already have your online store, see what can and should be changed:
- Responsive web design – meaning that your web design is friendly for such devices as smartphones or tablets. We’ve written that Google supports websites with mobile versions in one of our previous articles that discusses Mobile-First index.
- An easy-to-use shopping cart – it’ll help you to decrease your bounce rate and improve sales. In a nutshell: it’s about making your shopping cart as intuitive and user friendly as possible because the fewer steps needed to complete the purchase, the better.
- An SSL certificate – thanks to it, not only Google robots but also users will look at your website a bit more favorably. Make sure that your customers feel safe, nobody wants to have their personal data such as a card number stolen. Here you can check what the SSL certificate installation looks like.
- The most popular payment methods – they enable customers to buy according to their preferences. Consider introducing payment methods such as cash on delivery, credit cards, quick transfers or PayPal.
- Flexible forms of delivery – some people prefer parcel machines while others want to have their order delivered to the door. Give your customers the choice. Sometimes people decide to leave a website due to such simple reasons as the price of delivery or unclear information on available forms of delivery. Instead, your potential customers may shop in a place that will provide them with all the necessary information and options.
- Be SEO friendly! How? Continue reading!
SEO for the pet industry – the very basics you need to know
There are two options – this information can turn out to be totally obvious and unnecessary or it can make you realize that you’ve forgotten about some SEO elements crucial for the success of your online store. Now, let’s take a look at a short guide indicating the first activities that should be undertaken on your website.
- Make sure that Google Analytics is properly implemented. It’ll allow you to analyze your progress (the improvement in organic traffic, successfulness of individual campaigns or the most effective backlinks that attract new potential customers) on a regular basis.
- Check the history of your domain. What website could previously be found at this address and what’s the quality of backlinks to this site? If you’ve bought your domain from someone else, it’ll be necessary to analyze all these details before taking further steps.
- Ensure that your website is mobile friendly. We know we’ve already mentioned it but this is really important so if you haven’t checked it out yet, it’s high time to do it.
- Determine the most relevant keywords you want to do SEO for. Remember about long tails and proper research of your target group which will enable you to find out what’s their scope of interests. For this purpose use Google Search Console which will indicate which subpages of your online pet store are the most frequently visited by potential customers. It’s essential to establish whether people are attracted to your store by dog beddings, cat food or maybe horse preparations and riding accessories. Apart from that, Google Analytics allows you to check age, gender and location of users visiting your website.
- Check out your competition. Take advantage of available SEO tools and your knowledge of the market. Check who is displayed for given keywords higher than you, analyze why it’s so, see where your competition advertises itself, monitor its link building strategy… and conquer the Internet!
How to add products to your website?
The way you add products to your website affects SEO more than you think. Let’s have an example. You want to add a new, beautiful winter dog harness to your website. What should you pay attention to?
- Include good quality pictures. Below you can see an example of a very convenient interface which allows to zoom in and choose photos. Make your products look as natural and authentic as possible. Instead of tampered colors, users surely prefer to see how a given product presents itself when used.
- Add alternative description. Google can’t see your graphics but it can analyze it thanks to the information provided in the code. Therefore alt saying “a winter dog harness” will surely be more valuable than something like “DCA120_LD.png”.
- Use keywords in your title and description. Try not to gild the lily as too much optimization can turn out to be worse than no optimization at all. Go for something similar to “a dog harness + model”. It’ll do great. Every product description should be unique, otherwise Google will notice duplicate content, rate your website lower and then, as a result, you’ll be displayed on distant positions in the search results.
- Clearly inform about product availability so that users don’t order things that later turn out to be out of stock. We don’t even want to imagine the disappointment of customers (and their beautiful pets!) who found out that they weren’t able to buy the amazing fluffy dog harness. Avoid such situations and provide users with information like:
- Allow public reviews and ratings. Customers are more likely to buy a product that has already been recommended by someone else.
- Make sure you fill in the title and meta description of each product – it’ll definitely be beneficial for your SEO process.
Content on a pet store website
The pet industry is an extremely grateful business when it comes to adding content to the website. As you perfectly know, in order to have your website displayed high in the search results you need to remember about numerous algorithms that analyze content and evaluate its quality. But, more importantly, don’t forget about your customers when you try to outdo the competition on the market. After all, SEO was created to increase organic traffic and content is the element that attracts attention in a natural way.
What kind of content will be suitable for an online pet store?
Something between a blog and a guide: what kind of cat litter to use? Do greyhounds need winter clothes? What’s the best dog food? How to mount a net on the balcony that will be safe for your cat? All of these will answer users’ search queries, influence the position of your website in the search results and at the same time affect SEO!
Are influencers helpful and necessary in the pet industry?
This question is somehow atypical. After all, do bloggers and influencers have something to do with SEO? In the end, it should be about optimization, link building or on- and off-site activities. Well, it’s as clear as day but SEO works best when you combine it with other marketing activities. Even though it might seem that influencers are useful only in the case of cosmetics, beauty or clothing industries, more and more often you can hear that they’re a perfect advertising medium for other industries as well.
And now think about the mindset of today’s society. We love recommendations – we see something in social media, we are captivated by it and we want to have it. Someone tells you that canned food is the best for your cat, you start wondering why, check, read about it and then you buy it. You see a fashionable girl with a dog wearing a fluffy harness and you get the same accessory for your pet.
Undoubtedly, influencers affect sales and improve brand recognition. Apart from that, they also place a link to the advertised products on their sites which is beneficial for link building. That’s why the answer to the titular question is simple – it’s worth investing in influencers as they are helpful and beneficial. It’d be ideal to combine their activity with an SEO process and advertising campaigns. There are so many ways to popularize your online store that it’d be pointless to limit yourself to only one method.
Online pet store vs. special offers and organic traffic
Some people claim that it’s better to avoid all sorts of special offers. However, the truth is that most of us are tempted and take advantage of the seasonal sales such as vouchers, special offers and all kinds of discounts. Thus, this is a great way to generate more organic traffic to your site.
Be smarter than your competition on the market and give someone searching for “cat food sales” something extra! Who knows, maybe the customers tempted by the special offer will stay with you for longer.
A small company operating in the pet industry? Relax, you can do it!
If you’re a small company which just starts its adventure in the pet industry and is worried that it won’t manage to outdo the competition on the market, relax. Just follow the most important SEO rules for the pet industry and you’re bound to succeed. Sometimes it takes time to see the first results of your SEO activities so don’t get discouraged.
Remember about long tail keywords and local SEO. Stay up to date with the current trends and branding which, contrary to what you may think, highly affects your position in the search results. If your customers appreciate you, they’ll choose your store even if somebody else offers given products cheaper.