Pet web sites are gaining popularity these days because of the increasing convenience of online shopping. If you want to gain more awareness for your pet business, building a website is a good first step.

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You don’t have to spend so much to create an online pet store. You can start small and use a free web site building tool such as Strikingly and then upgrade to a paid account when your online business takes off. This allows you to start building an online presence without incurring a huge expense.

1. Create a digital marketing plan

The first step in building a website for your pet business is to device a digital marketing plan. What are your goals and objectives for building an online presence? How does a free web site fit into these objectives? Who are your target audience? What do you want your visitors to do on your website when they land on the pages? Identifying clear goals for your website helps you frame your message so that it resonates well with your target audience. Your digital marketing plan also creates the framework for the website and user interface design.

2. Select a suitable web site hosting platform

If you don’t have the technical capability or web design background, you can use a web site builder to create your online pet store. These platforms usually come with web site hosting and access to a variety of templates for you to choose from. On Strikingly, you can also connect your personalized domain to your website or register one through the platform to make your site more professional-looking.

3. Check out your competition

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Even in a niche industry such as the pet business, you’re bound to have a sizable competition. It would be good to check out similar businesses and find out what they are doing online. It would give you an idea as to what strategies could work on your website and what techniques won’t. When you make your own website, you don’t usually have the luxury of a comprehensive market research team to scope out your competition. But because everything is accessible online, all you need to do is make a search on the internet and have a look at the pet websites you could be competing with and against for market share.

4. Create good online content

One of the best ways to attract visitors to your website is to create good content. Now what constitutes as good may be subjective but at the very least, it has to be created with your target audience in mind. Imagine that you’re a customer looking at free web sites on pets. You are there for a reason - to get that question in your mind answered. Find out what questions your customers are asking when they look for the services and products you are offering. Answer these questions with your content.

The best way to gain the trust of your audience is to be an authority in your niche. You must be an animal lover to run a pet business. Use that to your advantage. Talk about your pet-related passion. If you have tips to share to fellow animal lovers, by all means, write about it. Make your website for free but spend some more time crafting great website content to engage your visitors.

5. Test your website often

After you launch your online pet store, it’s important to listen to the website analytics data and continuously find new ways to improve your site. Learn more about making your site better through feedback from users. Keep testing your website on all devices to make sure that it renders as it should. Don’t stop working on your website after hitting launch.