Your website is your piece of the web. Yes, your ads, Facebook, Instagram, etc., all have a job to do for advertising, but they should all end up pointing people to your website. Your website is the place where you showcase what you are about as a breeder. As I explained in the post, Why Reputable Breeders Need Websites (That are Easily Found), your website shows that you are your breed’s advocate, it demonstrates your integrity in your breed’s community as well as your reputation among your peers, and that you stand behind what you produce.
You Must Have a Professional Looking Website
Your website should be doing the grunt-work of your advertising. Directory sites such as the AKC Marketplace are for your classifieds ads; your website is more like your own personal marketing agency and the hub of your online activity as a breeder. People may find you in a variety of ways, but your website is the most important element of your online presence. You must have professional one that reflects who you are as a breeder.
Your Website Must “Rank”
What is the point of having a website if people can’t easily find it with a Google search when they are looking for your breed of puppies? They won’t know to Google your kennel name, they will be Googling “X breed puppies in Y area” or “X breed breeders in Y area.” It doesn’t matter if your dogs are Top 10 show dogs or your own the number one agility dog in the country, you are competing with the backyard breeders in Google-land when someone types in a search. If they do websites better, they will show up in the search results before you.
People will only click on the first few results when they Google something, and they rarely go past page 1 of the results. Most backyard breeder sites come up on the first page, and often as the first or second entry in Google’s results. Reputable breeders should be the first sites people see — and it’s not hard to do.
If You Are Thinking of a New Website
In order to set up a professional website that shows up in Google, try following the steps outlined in the article, “How to Set up a Breeder Website That Will Help Your Online Presence” where we walk you through the process of setting up a professional site that is Google friendly and easy to manage.
Next follow the steps in the article, “How to Advertise your Breeding Program (Ethically!)” to make sure that once you create your site, people will find it.
If You Already Have a Website
Here are some key things your current site should have in order for your site to look professional and for your site to beat out the backyard breeders on Google’s search results.
Is Your Website Mobile Friendly (Also Called Mobile Responsive)?
If you are scrolling side to side on your phone in order to see content on your current website, your website is not mobile friendly and is getting somewhat penalized by Google. In the very near future Google will be prioritizing mobile-friendly sites and may even go as far as deprioritizing non-mobile friendly sites. There are a lot more reputable breeder sites that are outdated, old-fashioned and not mobile-responsive than backyard breeder sites because backyard breeders tend to keep their sites updated and modern. This means Google is favoring backyard breeder sites and will start to favor them even more soon.
Besides Google, you probably know from your own browsing habits that most people spend more time on their phones than on their computers. It just makes more sense to make it easier for people to view your website from their phone.
Is Your Website Fast?
Nothing is more annoying to a visitor than slow load times. If you are on an old platform, or using archaic tools, your site is likely too slow. As long as you use a platform like WordPress with well coded child themes, your site will be fast. Not only is this important for your visitors, and Google also considers site speed in your rankings.
Does Your Website Look Modern and Professional?
Flashing images, music and other “bling” are old-fashioned. If you have links to “web-rings” and none to your social media profiles, you site looks 20 years old – which it probably is. There is nothing inherently wrong with these things, except that you don’t present a professional image, and Google doesn’t like stale websites.
If your current site doesn’t meet the three criteria above, consider giving your site an overhaul!