I was recently asked to help design a dog walking website (sophiesdogwalking.co.uk) for a friend. She had recently left her previous job and decided to go into dog-walking full time.
She had previously earned some extra money doing dog walking for friends and family and had a few regular clients from when she was furloughed from her main work. But now she wanted to do it as her own business and main income.
I’ve worked for myself for over a decade now, and I love it when anyone wants to follow their own entrepreneurial yearnings, but I know it can be hard.
Firstly, when she asked me to make her a website, I knew that meant more than just that – it’s so easy to say. But there was going to be a lot of work involved. A website, a logo, a brand, website copy, a little digital marketing (otherwise no one would ever find the website), and a little luck.
But I was happy to help and excited about a new project in between some more serious work.
Sophie’s Dog Walking
We wanted to keep it simple, and Sophie was happy to include her name. For a small site that’s very new, I figured we could keep ‘dog walking’ in the domain just that extra bit of SEO power that may be helpful.
We have the domain, and the website is under construction, so next, I want a nice logo to tide us over while I think about what it should look like. But luckily, the logo I create is well received.
As for the logo…
I just went with the name Sophie and some paw prints… pretty self-explanatory, and simple. Says what it does on the tin, and everyone approves. I decided to make the logo based around Sophie’s name alone in case she ever wanted to expand into other areas such as dog-sitting or pet treats.
So, back to the website.
I wanted to get the site up and running ASAP, as I had a tone of other work to do, and she wouldn’t have any clients until potential customers were seeing it. So I tried to get it done in a few days, and made it live to percolate in the interwebs.
Now, not everyone does this, but I set her up a nice email that includes the website domain. I think it looks 100x better than firstname.lastname@example.org when you are trying to look professional.
So, I set up her email and got to work on getting it out there. I did the usual ‘Google My Business’ listings, and a few choice directories, and then sat back and took a well earned break.
It wasn’t just well earned because of this site, but rather the months of wedding prep I had been doing in amongst other paid work for my sister’s wedding. More on that in another post.
But for now, it looks like it is working. I was watching eagerly for the first appearance in a Google SERP, and that day came a few days ago. So now we gotta wait a little more.
I will do some keyword research and see how many searches we can expect in the local areas, and then decide if we should put some money into Google ads or flyers, and how to proceed next. The budget is limited after all.