In this article, we’re hoping to provide a basic introduction to building a dog trainer website. We’re going to focus on specific areas like developing a profile of your main message and core values and services so you can better represent these on your website.
We’re also going to discuss the basics of the BoldGrid website builder software you’re getting with your Website Creator account. We’ll also take a deep dive into discussing how you can develop a marketing strategy to promote your website when you’re ready.
Branding your business and yourself as a trustworthy dog trainer is very serious business. You’re asking potential customers—who may not know you personally—to trust you with their beloved pet.
Your website is an important opportunity for building your business up and communicating your primary values.
Think very carefully about the message you want to convey. Your website will be full of content meant to represent that message. What emotions are you hoping to inspire in your website visitors?
Getting to Know Your BoldGrid Builder
So now you should have a better idea of what exactly it is you want to say on your site. Now comes the fun part: building and designing your site. With the BoldGrid site builder, we’ve tried to make this part as easy as possible. And we believe you’ll enjoy this process. It’s your time to roll your sleeves up and get creative.
First, you need to learn how to log into your Website Creator site. From your site’s Dashboard you’ll have access to all the controls necessary to build your vision. Here is where you’ll add content, customize your look and feel, and add important plugins you might need down the road.
And what about your company name? It’s important to change your site title. You can also add your company logo here (if you have one) .
Remember, in the previous section, we talked about how your website can be a powerful representation of your company’s primary values. Color gives your site an important psychological edge. What colors will resonate most with your customers? You can add your own colors or mix and match different color palettes with the color tool.
Your Website Creator site comes with example content depending on your selected industry. It’s critically important to now edit these pages, replacing the content that already exists with your own words. You can also add new pages.
Getting the Word Out
Now that you know what you want to say on your site, and you’ve generated a design that works for you, it’s time to promote your site. You’ll be calling upon some classic techniques and new technology to spread the word about your business and the quality services you offer.
But there’s a lot of different ways of playing this marketing game. You’re going to start noticing traffic to your site—new and returning visitors from all different sources.
While all traffic can be a good thing in terms of hitting your marketing goals, you will want to take note of where that traffic is coming from to make sure you’re properly diversified. Diversification is important because you don’t want all your traffic coming from one place; this can be hazardous down the road if that source goes away or is no longer referring people to your site as it once did.
The simplest way to measure traffic and sources is to use the JetPack plugin for WordPress.
If you’re unsure whether or not you’re properly diversified, or if you’re having trouble getting traffic from an alternate source be sure to check with local experts in your area.
Email marketing is one of those classic, constant, and highly reliable sources of traffic you can depend upon. Virtually everyone has an email address. And you can be sure your emails will be seen (even if not always read). People are serious about email, and they guard their inboxes carefully. So don’t abuse your email list.
But what if you don’t have any email addresses yet? No worries. Now is as good a time as any to start. With Website Creator, it’s easy to set up a contact form for email signups.
And while it’s easy to set up the form on your site, for long term list management we’d recommend a third-party service like MailChimp.
Organic Search Results
Another highly regarded source of traffic is organic search engine referral. This is when someone types a query into a search engine (like Google) and are presented with results.
Search engines sort these reviews by relevance based on the search criteria. If they think your site is the most relevant based on the user’s search then they will recommend you toward the top.
There is no known way to influence your search appearance directly (other than paying for a top spot, which you may consider). However, the field of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is all about improving and sharpening your page content in order to improve the likelihood that it will rank higher.
Your BoldGrid builder comes with an SEO plugin you can use to make sure your pages have properly represented a chosen keyword you’d wish to rank for.
SEO has a lot to do with page structure. Is your information properly organized? You’d do well to keep page structure in mind. Instead of merely copying in all of your content and italicizing or bolding haphazardly, learn how you can use other kinds of “markup” strategically, like headings, block quotes, lists (ordered and unordered), and more.
You may already have social media accounts set up for your business. The problem though is that social media accounts are super easy to set up but often undertaken without any sense of strategy. There’s a lot of promise and potential in social media marketing, but if you don’t have a plan, it’s just a waste of time.
Like anything else you will do on your site, there are best practices you must keep in mind when integrating social media into your overall marketing strategy.
- Add sharing buttons
- Link to your social accounts
- Automate social media messages
- Don’t over-extend yourself
And as always, remember that social media is only one source of traffic. If you’re getting all of your traffic from social media, then you must diversify in other areas. Social media companies do not owe you anything and they’re apt to change formats or algorithms without notice or disappear entirely along with all of your traffic. So to keep yourself safe, make sure you have alternate sources of traffic humming along.
Blogging, Sharing, and Link Building
Like email marketing, blogging has been around for a long time, and virtually every business has some form of blog.
It’s because blogs are easy to add to your site. And they give your visitors some hint that you’re an expert in your field. Of course, you have to publish a post regularly (at least once or twice a month) in order to inspire this confidence on the part of your visitors.
Keeping a blog vital is a difficult task. You have to be researching and writing regularly.
But as a dog trainer, you’re surely plugged into the current trends in canine behavioral science. Having a blog can be as simple as writing a few hundred words about those new trends or how you’ve implemented these procedures into your training style.
Blogging is a classic form of content marketing and plays an important role in your overall marketing and SEO strategy.
The most basic—but, arguably, most important—kind of traffic is Direct Traffic. This is when people know your domain name type it directly into their address bar or bookmark your website so they can go their directly.
Direct traffic doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s pretty straightforward actually. You just need to get your name out there. This can mean participating in local events, taking on some local advertising, telling friends, visiting trade shows, or just engaging with your community on some level.
We’ve written in detail about the importance of picking a great domain name. You’ll want something memorable and descriptive. Picking a domain name can be hard, but it’s definitely important.
If you already have a domain name, that’s fine. You can work with what you’ve got. Bear in mind, you can always get a new domain and redirect there.
But basically, in order to get direct traffic, you must be direct and active in your community.
Measuring Your Impact
How will you know when you’ve succeeded? This is up to you. If you’ve worked hard creating your website, you need to make sure you’ve established achievable goals to measure your impact.
These can be anything from the number of email list subscribers, to the number of views, happy customers based on satisfaction surveys, really anything. But it’s important to have some kind of measuring system in place. You will refine it and get more sophisticated as you.
And remember we’re always here to help out if you need anything. Be sure to check out our full Website Creator product guide for more helpful resources.