How to make a good first impression on your dog breeder and show dog website
Have you ever visited a website and had no idea of who or what it is all about?
That’s why it’s important to put yourself in the shoes of someone who has never visited your site before.
If I were to visit your homepage, I should immediately understand
- who you are
- what you do
- and what you can do for me
This is quite a bit of information to convey to someone in a short period of time.
Why is it a short period of time?
Because website visitors want/expect to find what they’re looking for immediately, otherwise they leave.
This information should be displayed at the top of your homepage to catch your visitors attention immediately.
All of our websites include the following elements to make it easy for you to start building the perfect homepage.
- large homepage banner
- short description
- call to action button
The perfect banner for your homepage
The homepage banner should be a high quality photo.
So make sure you’re taking high quality photos from your phone.
Then don’t resize it.
You can crop and adjust the photo inside the website builder after you’ve uploaded it.
What photo should you choose for your homepage banner?
What’s your main focus as a breeder?
Maybe you’re a prolific show dog exhibitor and then probably a big winner.
A great show dog photo would then work well.
It would immediately convey to your visitors that you’re working hard for breed improvement as your dogs are heavily independently evaluated.
Alternatively, you may have been breeding for a long time and have well known established lines.
Maybe a photo of six week old puppies that conveys breed depth would work.
Or working dogs doing their thing may suit your kennel’s branding.
And you can always change your banner at anytime by simply uploading a new photo.
Some kennels may like to alternate between different banners, depending on their focus at that particular time.
Why doesn’t the website builder use rotating banners?
Rotating banners are like slideshows that run through a loop of different images and content.
Rotating banners can take quite a while to load.
When web pages take too long to load people will leave.
Also, if the load time of a web page is too high it can affect your search engine optimisation.
It’s best to try and convey your primary message using one image and one piece of information.
You need to keep them on your website before they decide to press that back button.
And you need to grab their attention as quickly as possible.
Creating a tagline to grab your visitors' attention
In the context of ethical dog breeding, I’d recommend using your mission as your tagline.
I know there will be a reason that you’re breeding these dogs.
Do your websites visitors care?
Yes, I think they would.
They could be on your website looking for breed information or a puppy to buy.
A puppy purchase is a very important decision.
The buyer/seller relationship is much different to a normal product or service transaction.
Both parties are interviewing each other.
Do you as a breeder want one of your puppies to live with this person?
And do I, as a potential puppy owner, want to buy one of your puppies?
If your tagline conveys your mission then you are more likely to receive enquiries from people more suited to your kennel.
As a potential puppy buyer, do I like/agree with your mission?
Your mission might be to improve and protect a particular breed.
It may be to win big in the show ring and breed typey dogs.
It might be to breed working dogs that are smart and can work all day.
The tagline should be short.
It is a heading. With one glance your visitors should quickly have an understanding about what you do.
Crafting an interesting short description for your dog breeder website
So now you have a great banner and tagline.
Next you need to create a short description to follow on from the tagline.
This should be one or two sentences describing you, your kennel and your dogs.
Why would I want to stick around on your website?
Maybe your have many years of experience.
If so, make sure that you mention that.
Breeding and showing Miniature Poodles for over twenty years.
You could expand on your mission.
Or you could mention a big winning dog or how many grand champions you’ve bred.
If the descriptive text is too long, visitors won’t read it.
It needs to be short but intriguing and interesting enough to keep visitors browsing your website.
Why does the call to action button link to your about page?
What is a call to action?
Business and marketing people call it CTA.
It’s the next step that they want you to take, normally from an advert or web page.
Business websites usually have a CTA button somewhere on their homepage banner or at the top of the page.
In the website builder you can link directly to any of your about pages using the CTA button.
Why link to an about page?
My view is that since you’re a reputable breeder you want people to get to know you first.
For businesses the CTA button could be
- Buy Now
- Start Free Trial
- Sign Up
For reputable dog breeders a buy now button skips the get to know each other phase.
It’s very salesy and probably not the tone reputable breeders want to convey from their website.
When I was searching for a companion dog, I always read a breeder’s about page.
So why not make it super easy for your visitors to find out more about you, straight from your homepage.
If they like what they read, they will contact you.
And that’s what you want.
You want to have a dialogue and begin a relationship with this person that may buy one your puppies in the future.
Make sure to pay attention to these four key elements to help keep visitors on your website
We’ve covered four elements of your dog breeder website that will play a big part in keeping the right visitors on your website.
Sure, they take a bit of thinking about.
But if you get them right, visitors will stay on your website longer.
So remember to
- select a good high quality photo for your homepage banner
- quickly let your visitors know about you by creating a great tagline
- explain more about you and your kennel with a short description
- select an about page for your CTA button