The pet market is huge, and e-commerce in this area is booming. But your online pet shop needs to be visible in order to attract customers! Read our top tips for SEO for pet shops so you can bring in new customers to your online pet shop.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (aka SEO) is the process of tweaking your website to encourage listing by search engines. Having your website in the top five or so search results (commonly called ‘ranking’) dramatically increases the number of people that visit your website. To get there, you’ll need to carefully curate every word on your website to allow search engines to find, understand, and rank your site.

Do online pet shops need SEO?

SEO is essential for pet shops, especially online ones (also known as e-commerce). Competition in all online markets is fierce, and there are hundreds of websites selling pet products vying for attention. The reality is that most customers will only explore one or two online pet shops before making a purchase. Making sure your pet store is in the top few results for a range of possible searches is essential. How do you do that? Well, online pet shops can use SEO to help their products and pages be more visible to potential customers.

Three of our SEO for pet shops tips

1.      Utilise your category pages

You know that text that none of us read on an online website? The blurby bit that sits at the top or bottom of your products and explains all about them? Well, it’s a fantastic SEO tool. Even though your customers will rarely read it, this space for text can be rich in keywords to help Google find and rank your website. You should use this section to describe the products in the category and explain the differences between them, to help guide your customers to buy the right product for their needs.

Adding ‘buyers guides’ to the beginning or end of category pages is a great way to add value and improve your user experience while providing search engines with even more keywords. You’re welcome!

2.      Make the most of your blog

You might have gleaned from the previous tip that having blocks of text is great for allowing search engines to understand your website. That’s where your blog comes in – it provides page after page of white space on which to write information and articles. You can provide Google with even more keywords, review the products you sell and write ‘best of’ round-ups to help people find the right product for their needs.

You can also use your blog for content marketing. This means writing non-sales content that gives your readers essential information, with the purpose of building their trust in your brand. The hope is that, even if they don’t buy anything now, you’ll become a trusted source and they’ll buy from you in future. Plus, keywords!

A good blog is a little like your website’s ‘shop window’. It’s a great place to put offers and highlight different products, as well as get across your USPs. But it can also be a salesperson and product specialist all in one!

3.      It’s all in the hyperlinks

Want to know a secret about hyperlinks? The anchor text (the words that go blue and underlined, the ones you highlight when inserting your link) tells a search engine what the link is about. It should be thought of as a keyword for the webpage you’re linking to. So, using ‘see our dog bowls here’, and linking to the ‘here’, isn’t helpful – you’re not giving the search engine any information that helps. But ‘we stock the best dog bowls’ with the link to ‘best dog bowls’ tells the search engine that your linked page is all about the best dog bowls. The next time someone searches for the ‘best dog bowls’, you’ll be a little bit closer to those sought after top spots!

In practice, this means interlinking your articles and products wherever possible is essential. That trusty blog just became even more useful, as you can link to individual product pages or category pages throughout and leverage the power of the hyperlink. You should also try to find opportunities to get other websites to link back to your pages (called ‘backlinking’) through affiliate marketing, guest posting, or responding to journalist requests for an expert source.

Finding keywords for your online pet shop

So this pretty much all boils down to keywords. At their root, keywords are just the things people type (or speak) into a search engine. If someone that might need your products searches for it, it’s a keyword you should be using. Not sure which keywords are best? We reveal how to find the best pet company SEO keywords!

Conclusion

If you want your e-commerce pet business to succeed, SEO for pet shops is essential. There are a lot of expensive (and probably brilliant) SEO professionals out there who can help you analyse where to start, but in our experience, it’s not too hard to do the basics yourself.

Joanna Woodnutt

Joanna Woodnutt

Dr Joanna Woodnutt MRCVS is a qualified vet, freelance writer, and editor at The Veterinary Content Company. She lives in the Channel Islands with her husband and daughter, as well as their naughty but loveable terrier, Pixie.

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