6 Website Mistakes That Are Costing You Dog Walking Clients

Your website serves as a virtual storefront, so it needs to welcome visitors in to explore, not send them packing to another dog walker's site. If you had a brick and mortar shop, you'd want passersby to come in. And once there, you'd want to entice them to stay inside your store and check out what you're offering. But lots of dog walker's websites are actually driving prospective clients away- yikes! So it's super important not to make any of these website errors. Making them can cost you new clients!

#1 Using a Free Website + Domain Name

Please don't make the mistake of not paying to have your own website domain and hosting! There are a few reasons why this is a big no-no.

  1. If you use a free site, it will probably have ads on it for the web design platform. Ads are distracting, often unattractive and visitors might click the ad to investigate and never return to your website.
  2. These ads often take prime real estate on your website, like the header area of your homepage (or even worse, every page of your site). Which means instead of knowing who you are and what you do, visitors see an ad for something they weren't even trying to find information about. Annoying!
  3. Failure to have a custom domain (ie. gives visitors the impression that you're not professional, and this affects their level of trust. When shopping online people need to feel like your site is a legitimate business, and not having a custom domain will really hurt you there. 

#2 Including Links to Other Websites

It might be tempting to link to other websites as well as your social media accounts, but when you do, you're literally encouraging your site visitors to leave! While including small, understated links to your social media accounts is ok, keep in mind that you want website visitors to stay on your website. So nix any unnecessary links to external websites, and if you must include a link to another site, make sure it opens in a new tab. 

#3 Audio That Plays Automatically

One way to get a visitor to close your site quicker than a beagle chasing a bunny is audio blasting unexpectedly from their speakers. If you have audio on your blog, make sure it's silent unless the visitor turns the volume on. So if you have a video for example, make sure the default setting is to have it muted and people can turn the audio on themselves. 

#4 No Pricing

If you want people to make a purchasing decision on your website, they need to know how much you charge. Requiring people to contact you for pricing adds an extra step they have to take, so it's added work for them. Often times instead of taking that extra step, they'll just bounce to the next dog walker who does have rates listed. That means you just lost a client, grr!

#5 Old and Outdated Websites

Web design is constantly changing, and if you haven't touched yours for a few years, it's time for a design refresh. Remember, prospective clients will be comparing your website with your competitors. An outdated site can give the impression that you're not an active business or pale in comparison to more modern websites. 

#6 Hard to Read

Take it easy on the fancy fonts! You don't want visitors straining to read because you've used fonts that are hard to decipher. Another faux pas is using dark backgrounds with light text on them in the body of your site (a navy blue background with white text, for example). This makes the text a lot harder to read.