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How to Improve Your Website: Lessons from your dog

Anyone who knows me, knows that our rescue pups are quite literally my entire world. Since adopting my first shelter dog in 2014 (Hunter 🐕) and our second in 2016 (Rylie 🐻), my life has changed in more ways than I ever expected.

I knew it wouldn’t be easy adopting pups with a less than sparkly history and some emotional baggage to boot, but I truly had no clue how much THEY would end up teaching ME.

So today I thought we could put a fun spin on that, and talk about a few website tips we can learn from our trusty best friends. 😍

Here are a few website lessons you can learn from your pup!

 

Use simple commands

When you want your dog to do something, how do you ask them?

With full sentences?
Or with simple 1-2 word commands?

Imagine your pup’s face if, instead of simply saying “sit”, you demanded that they “Please place your furry behind on the ground”… ?

Or “Go run after that toy, grab it, and bring it back to me” rather than the crowd-favorite “fetch”.

By giving a simple, clear command there’s little to no confusion for your pup, and you get exactly what you want.

Usually 😉

Try to apply this same level of simplicity to the “commands”, better known as calls-to-action, on your website. Avoid the temptation to get clever with your CTAs, and instead focus on making them simple and clear.

Easy-to-understand CTAs will convert your readers (aka. get them to do what you said) better than obscure, cutesy ones will. Your audience (and your pups) thank you for keeping it simple so they know exactly what to do.

“Drop”, however… well that’s a mission for another day.  #maytheoddsbeeverinyourfavor

 

Don’t overwhelm them

Maybe it’s just my dogs, but when there’s too much going on around them – they totally shut down.

Hunter will go into a full on panic attack if there are too many people around or just too “much” going on in general. Then Rylie is totally overwhelmed by people getting in her face and loud noises. When she’s overwhelmed she often runs away from the situation, and typically goes to hide (always in the closet).

Sometimes, they just need a little space to breathe… because life can be overwhelming sometimes. Amen to that 🙌

At first it may not seem obvious, but it’s actually really easy to overwhelm your website visitors as well. Two quick ways to overwhelm your website visitors include: 1) not enough whitespace, and 2) pop-ups as soon as they land on your site.

 

Whitespace

Does your website content have breathing room around it?

Are you leaving space between your images, text, and buttons?

Are you breaking long paragraphs into smaller, bite-size chunks?

Because you should be.

I know “blank space” on a website can feel intimidating, but trust me – your visitors NEED that breathing room to digest what’s going on and not get totally overwhelmed.

 

Pop-ups

While it’s okay to have a pop-up – just choose one!

With your one permitted pop-up, be sure to set it so that it doesn’t pop-up the second someone arrives at your website. Set it on a delay or a scroll trigger – something so people have a moment to browse before you get all up in their face.

A cluttery website and immediate pop-ups ares a sure fire way to skyrocket your readers’ anxiety level, or even send them packing all together.

Don’t force people to run and hide in the closet with Rylie – space your content out, and cool it with pop-ups.

 

Be understanding of their struggles

In particular, one of the biggest differences between rescue dogs and breeder dogs, is their past.

Many rescue dogs often suffer from a traumatic past, at no fault of their own, before finding their furever homes.

While some dogs may have more or less emotional or physical “baggage” than others, the key to helping your pup feel safe and at home in your home, is being understanding of their struggles.

The best way to do this is to try and put yourself in their shoes and understand what they’re going through. In doing so, you’ll be able to better determine how to help them, communicate with them, make them feel safe, and ultimately give them the happy, loving life they deserve.

The key to making sure that your website readers know, like, and trust you is understanding them. Talk to them about the struggles they’re having (i.e. the ones YOU solve!) and show empathy.

You do understand what they’re going through.

You do know it sucks.

Show them that.

And then tell them how YOU are going to help them overcome it.

*Bed snuggles and soothing heating pad not recommended for clients 😜

 

Pay attention to your people (and your pets) because genuine, deep understanding is the key to helping you serve and care for them to the best of your ability.

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Communicate the reward

In the world of canine vocabulary, few words carry as much weight as the good ole t-word: Treat.

We use treats to get dogs to like us, to trust us, to train them, and most often: as a reward.

If a dog knows there’s a treat involved there isn’t much they won’t do to ensure they get a bite of that delicious treat. All you have to do is tell them there’s a treat involved!

Just like with our furry companions, we want to make sure our website visitors know what the reward is for working with us – or rather, what they gain from working with us.

And furthermore, be sure to communicate the reward of working together in terms they would use. Talk to them like people, not robots. Instead of using industry jargon, use everyday terms. Speak TO them, don’t talk AT them.

At the end of the day, whether you’re giving your clients a Beggin Strip, or a sales-winning Landing Page for their new product launch, make sure to clearly communicate the reward – so they know exactly what they’ll gain by working with you!

And there you have it! Lessons your dog can teach you on how to improve your website!

 

I may not be Bob Barker, but can I have a sign off anyway?? Here it goes…
Don’t forget: Adopt, don’t shop. You won’t regret it. 💕🐾

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