Website Design & Marketing for the Pet Industry

Pet owners sure do love their pets. In fact, pets are often considered family members that are welcomed into homes – and even into beds. Because of this, the pet industry relies on emotions and the emotional attachment people feel with their animals.

More than ever, owners are focused on nutrition, grooming, healthy treats and chew toys to keep their pets happy. Because of this, the pet industry has seen incredible revenue increases over the past few years, with consumers in the U.S. spending more than $66 billion on pet products in 2016.

To connect with pet owners, your marketing needs to effectively communicate the value and benefits your products will have on their pets’ lives. It’s important for you to connect with pet owners and make them understand that you care about their pet almost as much as they do. With pet adoption rates highest among Generation X and Millennials, pet industry messaging needs to be entertaining, relatable and socially conscious.

In order to compete in the ever-growing pet industry, a business must offer a great shopping experience on its website, full of relevant products and information. Combining the right presentation with targeted advertising is how successful pet businesses are advancing across social media and shopping channels.

What is important to online consumers buying for their pets?

We’ve found that when shopping online, pet owners generally pay attention to the following.


Perceived quality and brand trust are major factors influencing consumer behavior in the pet care industry. Some pet owners have their pets on strict diets, so it’s important to list ingredients.

Competitive Pricing

Consumers will typically shop around for the best deal, and they’ll pay attention to sizing and shipping costs.

Fast Shipping

When a customer orders a 25-lb. bag of grain-free dog food, they want it delivered quickly – before their current bag of food goes empty.

What’s the best way for a pet business to gain a following in social media?

For the pet industry, social media is about quality products, great photographs and video. Fun and cute pet videos are shared over and over on social media channels, which have the potential to attract potential customers and bring more followers.

The better a pet company’s service and products, the more likely purchasers will spread their appreciation across their personal social media channels. This word-of-mouth advertising will create more buzz around your business.

Finally, beautiful photography of animals with your products – whether playing with toys, eating healthy treats or after a grooming session – will encourage pet owners to like your page, leading to a greater following of current clients and potential future customers as well.

Vertical Rail can also perform market research to identify the best blogs for PR reviews and ad placement. For companies interested in a more intensive PR approach, we can also perform research to help you identify influential bloggers, video bloggers (vloggers) and social media users that would likely be able to persuade your target audience to purchase your pet products.

Is SEO still vital to success in the pet industry?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still critical to success in this industry if you’re interested in attracting quality traffic to your site – traffic that will convert. Simply having content on your website is not enough to stand out from the crowd. Even with the growth of social media marketing, solid SEO is the foundation on which everything else stands.

SEO involves careful research to find the most relevant keywords for your target audience in the pet and animal industry. Search engine algorithms do not reward keyword stuffing; rather, the algorithms favor relevant content that adds value to your site.

Why is it important to track assisted conversions?

Assisted conversions are designed to give credit to your marketing when using attribution models that don’t separate value. Assisted conversions are important because they show the customer’s journey that lead to purchasing a pet toy or treat.

When reviewing performance, often we associate success with the keyword or ad that was last clicked – and the keyword and ad get 100% of the credit for the conversion. Assisted conversions highlight other factors that may have attributed to that conversion.

If assisted conversions aren’t considered when making optimizations, then you may be shooting yourself in the digital foot. If patterns can be identified showing customers performing multiple searches prior to a purchase, then removing these marketing efforts may result in fewer overall conversions within your account.

My conversion rates from mobile are low – is this normal?

It’s common for mobile conversion rates to remain lower than desktop. While the mobile conversion rate continues to rise in the pet industry, desktop is still the leading device that users purchase from. Smartphone and tablet users may be just browsing or there may be other inhibiting factors such as page load speed or mobile checkout problems.

However, mobile is quickly gaining ground so it’s imperative that your pet product website have great usability along with smooth and simple checkout process.

Advertisers can reduce wasted spend from mobile users by limiting mobile for ad placement. We can help identify where and why users are not converting on mobile. We can then develop solutions such as targeting and bid adjustments or improving site performance.

What is our experience in the industry?

Our experience within the pet care industry consists of providing professional services for website design, ecommerce programming, ongoing marketing management (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook), print ad design, Amazon store setups and maintenance, Amazon product optimization, social media management and organic SEO services.

As a Google Premier Partner, we have a higher level of support available for our advertising across Google. That means if one of your products has an issue, we are more connected with support teams at Google to help us resolve those issues.