Making Your Website Work for You

Why Should You Optimize Your Dog Training Website?

Many small businesses have a web site, but are not using it to full advantage.  A well-designed website can be an inexpensive marketing tool, provide useful information to your clients, and take over some of your administrative tasks.  This article concentrates on the optimization aspects of your web site.

If clients are finding your website through your business name or because you’ve told them to go look at it, you are not taking advantage of its full potential. If you’ve properly optimized your website, people will find you when they do a search.  For instance, if Jane Doe in Austin is looking for a group dog training class, she might go to Google and enter “dog training class,” or “dog training austin.” If you live in Austin and your website is properly optimized, you should show up in the top 3-5 listings for that search.

In today’s high-tech world, this is an inexpensive, efficient and productive means of advertising your business. If you already have a web site, it costs you nothing but time to optimize. You only have to optimize once, and then you leave it alone for a few months. If you’re not getting the traffic you think you should – and that’s easy to determine by where you show up in the search – you can go back and re-think your keywords and other optimizing choices; but once you’ve hit on the proper formula, you’re pretty much done!

If you don’t have a website, you should think about getting one. Again, once it’s up and optimized, your costs are minimal. If you cannot afford a professionally designed website, there are lots of great templates available which make creating a website a simple process. You should be able to find a good hosting company for less than $10.00 per month – the rest costs nothing. The cost of maintaining a website for a year is less than one newspaper ad, and can be just as effective.

What is Optmizing?

Even though I think I’m pretty Internet savvy, I had no idea how much I was missing out on until I talked Amy Dunphy of into collaborating on our e-workbook, “Search Engine Basics: How to Optimize Your Website.”  Every so often, Amy would throw out a provocative statement about optimization; finally, I asked her why she hadn’t written a book on the subject – her response was that she didn’t have the time or the desire to write a book!  Well, being the opportunist that I am, I grabbed that and ran with it. We agreed that Amy would outline the points that needed to be covered and we would have periodic phone conversations where she would teach me search engine basics; I recorded the conversations and then transcribed and organized them into an e-workbook.

Well! I can’t tell you how valuable that experience was for me. Here I am, earning my living from the Internet, and I didn’t know the first thing about optimization!  The first huge eye-opener for me was learning to read my statistics. I knew I had them, but didn’t have a clue what they meant!  Now I know that I can tell what keywords people are searching for when they find my site, how long they stay on my site, what pages they’re entering and leaving from, and a ton of other useful stuff! And, more importantly, I can use that information to create more traffic!

As to keywords, I didn’t have a clue.  But now I know how to find the keywords that will drive people to my site. There are web utilities out there that don’t cost a thing and that tell you everything you need to know to successfully optimize your website, if only you know what to do with them. For a ton of useful utilities, go to Keywords are crucial. I thought you could just stick them in those “meta tag” brackets and you were good to go. Wrong! You have to incorporate your keywords into the text on your web page. And, there are optimal ratios for your keywords – i.e., you don’t want to have too many keywords in relation to the rest of your text.

And – here’s how ignorant I was – I thought optimizing your website meant optimizing your home page. Wrong, again! Every page should be optimized. Every page should have a theme or topic and should be optimized to that topic.

There’s so much more I leaned that I can’t begin to list it all here.  However, whenever I start to get too creative or run off the tracks, I remember this basic concept:  Google’s job is to lead people to the information they are looking for. If you can keep that basic concept in mind, it will help you in your optimizing.  Google will penalize you for trying to be clever (i.e., hiding keywords in the background), and will reward you for providing good and abundant information on a particular subject.

Raising Canine has a school for dog trainers which focuses on operant training for dogs, dog behavior, working with clients and addressing client compliance, and the science behind behavior modification.