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Your pet website needs great copy

I’m sure you’ve heard it…it’s probably the most stale utterance in the internet marketing world today…

But it’s true.

Content is king—there, I said it.

It comes with a qualifier, however: GREAT content is king.

You can’t just vomit wordpet websites on your site and call that content…no, I take that back—you certainly can, and so many do. To their detriment, I might add.

If you ever watch famed chef Gordon Ramsay drill his disciples, you know he demands they taste the dishes they concoct. He bulldozes the point home in his own unique way.

Follow Gordon’s advice—sample what you’re about to feed your web visitors. Imagine you’re a pet owner in need of a product/service or information—what about your site speaks to you and makes you want to buy…or at least stick around?

If you have trouble answering this question, you have serious work to do.

To connect with your readers, you first have to know who they are. What are their pain points? How can you play doctor and make those stop hurting?

If you write less than appealing web copy, void of benefits, and that ignores the problems of your readers, most people will leave your site. On average, this takes less than 8 seconds.

The copy on your pet website must focus on the customer

I played saxophone in middle school.

When I first learned to play I wanted to show everybody what I could do.

To my chagrin, nobody wanted to hear me play—well, except my mom, and Iweb copy had a hunch she was faking it.

Just like the souls who would rather not undergo audible torture at the hands of a beginning saxophonist, nobody wants to read about your products and services without understanding what’s in it for them. If you don’t put the benefits of what you offer front and center (and repeat them often), visitors will leave.

If your website focuses on your products and services but pays no mind to the needs of your prospects, why would they want to stick around?

They didn’t come to your pet website to read about how great you are—they’re there because their cat keeps vomiting and they want to know why, and how serious it could be. Or maybe their dog developed aggressive tendencies and they want to know what to do about it.

They certainly don’t give a crap that your dog treats are number one because they contain ingredient X.

Make it quick

Nothing annoys me more than doing an online search for “list of metaphors,” than landing on a page whose first 10 paragraphs talk about what a metaphor is, how metaphors are used in the English language, the first use of a metaphor…

No—that’s not what I’m looking for. Just give me a danged list of examples of metaphors. No flowery language, no back story…just give me what I want!

“Visitors to your pet website feel the same. They want to find immediate solutions to their problems.”

Statistics show that you have between 3 and 6 seconds to provide those solutions before they leave your site.

Because of this, write your web copy as if every visitor to your site is on their way out the door to do something important, but at the last minute they briefly decided to go online to look for a solution to their problem.

Imagine their kids peeking in the door – Mom, we’re going to be late!

That’s about 75% of your visitors.

It sure looks cool, but…

Keeping the time and urgency factors in mind, bold and fancy graphics and video can slow your home page down—a lot. Again, your page has about 4 seconds to load before your potential customer moves on.

She doesn’t care that your page is an artistic masterpiece—you didn’t show her how you can solve her problem. Bye Felicia!

Break it up

Large areas of gray fill most readers with a sense of dread. It implies that the prospect needs to exert themselves more than they may be willing to at this time. Consider this example from Wikipedia on Ukraine:

Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the second-largest European country after Russia, covering approximately 600,000 square kilometres (230,000 sq mi), and has a population of around 40 million people. It is bordered by Russia to the east and northeast; by Belarus to the north; by Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west; and by Romania and Moldova to the southwest; with a coastline along the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov to the south and southeast, respectively. Kyiv is Ukraine’s capital and largest city. The country’s language is Ukrainian, and many people are also fluent in Russian.

During the Middle Ages, the area was a key centre of East Slavic culture under the state of Kievan Rus’, which emerged in the 9th century and was destroyed by a Mongol invasion in the 13th century. After the Mongol invasion, the Kingdom of Ruthenia of the XIII-XIV centuries became the successor of Kievan Rus’ on the side of modern Ukraine,[15] which was later absorbed by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania became the de facto successor of the traditions of Kievan Rus’. Ruthenian lands within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania enjoyed wide autonomy.[16] Over the next 600 years, the area was contested, divided, and ruled by a variety of external powers, including the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Austrian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Tsardom of Russia. The Cossack Hetmanate emerged in central Ukraine in the 17th century, but was partitioned between Russia and Poland, and ultimately absorbed by the Russian Empire. After the Russian Revolution a Ukrainian national movement re-emerged, and formed the Ukrainian People’s Republic in 1917. This short-lived state was forcibly reconstituted by the Bolsheviks into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which became a founding member of the Soviet Union in 1922. In the 1930s millions of Ukrainians were killed by the Holodomor, a man-made famine of the Stalinist era.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine regained independence and declared itself neutral;[17] forming a limited military partnership with the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States, while also joining the Partnership for Peace with NATO in 1994. In 2013 a series of mass demonstrations, known as the Euromaidan, erupted across Ukraine, eventually escalating into the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, which led to the establishment of a new government and pro-Russian unrest. During this period, unmarked Russian troops invaded the Crimean Peninsula, which was later annexed by Russia; and pro-Russia unrest in Ukraine’s Donbas culminated in Russia-backed separatists seizing territory throughout the region, sparking the War in Donbas. This series of events marked the beginning of the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War, and in a major escalation of the conflict in February 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Since the outbreak of war with Russia in 2014, Ukraine has continued to seek closer economic, political, and military ties with the Western world, including with the United States, European Union, and NATO.[18]

Ukraine is a unitary republic under a semi-presidential system and a developing country, ranking 74th on the Human Development Index. Despite having a free-market economy, Ukraine remains among the poorest countries in Europe by nominal GDP per capita,[19] especially in the east[20] due to war.[21] However, due to its extensive fertile land, pre-war Ukraine was one of the largest grain exporters in the world.[22][23] It is a founding member of the United Nations, as well as a member of the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization, the OSCE, and is currently in the process of joining the European Union.

Pretty daunting, eh?

Here’s how you could break it down into more manageable chunks:

Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe.

After Russia, it’s the second largest country in Europe. It covers about 600,000 square kilometers, and has a population of around 40 million people.

But that’s not all…

Neighboring countries include:

    • Russia on the east and northeast
    • Belarus to the north
    • Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west.
    • Romania and Moldova to the southwest

The Black Sea and the Sea of Azov lie to its south and southeast.

Its capital and largest city is Kyiv.

I could go on, but you get the picture. Large chunks of text turn most people off. Breaking it up with strong headlines, short sentences and bullets make your content much more user-friendly.

Use charts, tables, and graphics to support your web copy every chance you get. This makes it much easier for visitors to scan.

Have a customer benefit headline or subhead at the top of every page of your pet website

What can you do for me?

You probably ask yourself that question whenever you land on a web page—so do your visitors.

Provide an obvious answer on every page of your site. You only have a few seconds before they leave.

Convey on your site that you understand what your visitor wants, and can meet that need better than anyone else.

Benefits, not features

Customers care that your dog treats are loaded with Vitamin D about as much as they care about the price of pickles thirty years ago. They want to know that your products can fix their dog’s upset stomach, lack of energy, or other health issue.

Try this exercise: Go to online pet forums and pay attention to issues most pet owners talk about. Make a list of those, then ask yourself, “How do my products solve these problems?”

On your home page, display the strongest and most unique benefits above the fold. “Above the fold” refers to the first thing the visitor sees when she lands on your site, before scrolling. The fold line may be different for each user, depending on their screen size.

Why should they believe you?

Your prospects are people. They worry, feel stress, get lazy, have opinions, and become curious.

Just like you.

All other things being equal, they choose to buy from those they know, like, and trust. Notice that all 3 of those are based on emotion.

Your pet website needs to show that you are people, too, and not some faceless, forgettable company that just wants to sell products. If it doesn’t, your readers may not trust you enough to fork out their hard-earned dollars.

Pictures, pictures, and more pictures

You can show the human side of your company by including lots of friendly, smiling photos of your staff, pets using your products/services, and happy customers.

People buy for emotional reasons, not logical ones. If your prospects see your staff having fun, laughing, and providing care to pets, the chances of them knowing, liking, and trusting your company go up a lot.

Your readers feel…

When they see other people feeling too, a bond begins. Are pictures really that powerful?

Yes—but don’t take my word for it. Visit the most successful pet websites and note what you see. All of them are loaded with friendly pictures of people with their pets.

Your company’s history

How did your company get started? How dedicated are you to providing excellent pet care? What special services do you offer? Why are you in the pet business?

How does answering these questions increase your chances of selling your products or services? They force you to show the human side of yourself and your company. It’s another way to build credibility, and to get your prospects to know, like, and trust you.

What do your previous customers say?

This is crucial.

Do you read customer reviews?

I do. Not only that, but…

I base a lot of my buying decisions on those reviews. I have bought products that I was “iffy” about, just because they had stellar, five-star reviews, and decided not to buy products I was fairly certain about, because the reviews said the product sucked.

Recent statistics show I’m not alone—most people say customer reviews is the number one factor in determining whether or not they buy a product.

If you include a long list of testimonials of satisfied customers, many of your prospects will say to themselves, “If it works for them, it will probably work for me, too.”

This is what we call social proof, and it’s a must if you’re going to build credibility with your web visitors.

When your prospects can envision themselves enjoying your products and services the way others do, they are much more likely to buy. When you use testimonials, however, keep in mind these important caveats.

Number one—All your customer testimonials must be real and believable. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can make these up and people will buy them. Trust me, they won’t.

Using fake testimonials damages your credibility.

Number two—Keep your testimonials short, and include specific benefits that your business provided your customer.

Number three—Include customers’ full names, locations, and photographs.

Your pet website needs professional web copy

You may be a good writer.

Heck, you may even know how to write persuasive copy.

If you’re writing your web copy yourself, then you know how time consuming it can be, and that writing a quality article can take well over 7 or 8 hours.

Especially when you consider the time it takes to research, proofread, edit, and rewrite…

Many pet business pros hire either a staff writer to write for them full time, or use freelancers as needed. This allows them to focus on other aspects of the business.

Make sure your web copy is great copy

Like we talked about earlier—it’s not just that content is king, but GREAT content is king. Whether you write it yourself, or you hire others to do so, you’ve got to keep in mind that this is one of the most important aspects of your business.

This is especially true if you’re writing blog posts to attract new customers. If the first thing the reader sees when visiting your pet website is typos and grammatical errors, you diminish your company’s credibility in that prospect’s eyes.

Great web copy, on the other hand, allows the visitor to know, like, and trust you, leading to a positive user experience, increased engagement, interaction, lead generation, and sales.

Editor’s note: While content marketing, newsletters, and blogging are hands down the best way to market your pet business, we at Dogfather Copywriting understand you may not have the time or energy to invest in writing blog posts, ebooks, and email newsletters. We are professional SEO content/copywriters/experts who can handle most or all of your copy/marketing needs. Contact us to learn more.