I’ve received several requests from dog trainers, “Adam– what should my website look like? Can you show us how you would design a website if you were starting another dog training business?”
Here it is:
This is a website for a fictional dog training company I created, “Marin County Dog Training”.
You’ll notice a couple of things about this website:
- No links to social media sites. You’re paying good money to bring people to your website. Don’t send them to Zuckerberg where they’ll get distracted by kitty videos and end up gossiping with their friends. The goal of this website is to get them on the phone or to make contact with you as soon as possible.
- There are elements of this site that can be better. For example: The blog articles are not what I would use for a real dog training site. And the success stories (which I took from reviews of my dog training books over the years) should all have photos with both dog and owner– as well as full names and city/state.
- The site has one objective: Get them to call. It does this by making one offer not many offers.
- The purpose of the site is to “tickle” the visitor into calling so that we can sell them on the phone to get together so that we can sell them face-to-face. It’s not designed to explain everything we do and how our entire program works. Remember: Visiting your website is like a first date, not a marriage proposal. Keep it short and stay focused on your objective.
- The SEO plugin is highly recommended by several pro web designer friends. But just installing an SEO plugin is not enough to rank high on Google. For that you’ll need the help of a dedicated SEO expert. We’ve heard good things about John Victorino and Tom Savoca– both members of The Dog Trainer Marketing Group.
These are the tools I used to build this website:
- Siteground web hosting
- Namecheap domain registrar (domain registration)
- WordPress software (fre– install easily with cPanel)
- Beaver Builder wordpress plugin (standard)
- SEOPress Search Engine optimization plugin (pro)
- Contact Form 7
- Astra theme (free version) available in the WordPress theme depository
- Askimet anti-spam plugin
- All-in-One WordPress migration plugin (best backup plugin I’ve used)
You are welcome to model the design of this site but not to copy the copy (text) — which is copyrighted by Browning Direct, Inc. If you copy the text … you can expect to begin an expensive relationship with “Ralph” … my pit bull attorney.
I’m not kidding.
Don’t be lazy– write your own copy. Or pay to license the use of my copy (below).
You can build a website like this yourself! Yes, you!!
However– if you’re too busy or just don’t have the aptitude for design or copywriting– I recommend you hire a freelancer on Upwork.com.
There are two things you should know that will help you have a successful experience when hiring a freelance website developer:
1. Make sure they have a portfolio of work then can show you. And make sure it’s actually their work. Also– do not pay upfront. If you must pay upfront, pay only half.
2. Give your freelancer a list of websites they can model, like the one above. Three or four, max. It’s easier when the freelancer can see examples of what you have in mind.