Premium POV

Opportunities for Pet Care Brands to Connect with New Pet Owners

What are the basic human needs?  Having food, water, warmth, and rest are the core needs that must be satiated before anything else can be worried about. Next comes security and safety. Once those are established then someone can focus beyond basic physical needs to psychological needs. The first psychological human need is for relationships, friends, love, and interaction. These need-levels culminate in the need for relationships, making up the first three levels in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Pyramid illustrating Maslow's hierarchy of needs. From base to top, the needs are physiological, safety, love & belonging, esteem, and self-actualization.

During COVID-19 many people struggled to fill their basic needs. Those who were fortunate enough to maintain a steady level of food, rest, and safety, then had to contend with psychological needs such as relationships.  Companionship during COVID-19 has been challenging. Our ability to leave the house at will was taken away.  There were no work interactions, church picnics, weekend basketball games, or dates, leaving an immense relational hole for many.

Pet Adoptions Increased Dramatically During Covid-19

What did all this need for companionship lead to?  Pet adoptions.  The Washington Post and Fox Business have written about the surge in pet adoptions.  Google searches in the US for “dogs for adoption” and “pet adoption” rose by 307% and 83% respectively looking at April year over year.

What does this mean for the pet care industry?  There are many more first-time pet owners and many more people with multiple pets. Not only will these pet moms and dads need supplies, but they will be needing answers, too! If thousands turned to Google, or other search engines, to find a pet, where do you think they will turn when they don’t know what to feed that pet, or how to get the wailing puppy to sleep, or how to train the kitten to use the litter box?  They will take out their phones (maybe a computer – but likely a phone) and Google it!

What Search Data Says About Pet Inquiries

Now instead of talking about human needs, let’s talk about pet needs.  First, there is the question about what to feed these animals?  Google searches in the US for “best dog food for allergies” and “best dog food for puppies” combined went up 87% in April looking year over year.  Now, what about the puddles everywhere?  Searches for “best way to potty train a puppy” went up 86% year over year. That new dog has psychological needs to. Searches for “games to play with puppy” has gone up 127% year over year. The list of phrases that have gone up in searches year over year is incredibly long. Other examples include:

  • leash training a puppy
  • stop puppy biting fast
  • bringing home a new puppy

Dogs are a popular pet, so there are many examples. However, there are plenty of phrases growing in search volume involving other animals, and pets in general.  Some cat examples include “introducing kitten to cat” or “new kitten hiding.”  Searches for “new kitten hiding” has gone up by 125% year over year looking at July.

Who is answering all of these questions?  If you’re a pet care brand, the answer needs to be you. One of the most natural ways to introduce your brand to someone, and create loyalty, is by answering their questions. A solid SEO program, well curated social posts, and a blog, are all great starting points.

How Does the Pet Care Industry Best Reach the Abundance of New Pet Owners?

It all starts with the data. Before anyone can write valuable content to answer the top questions in an industry, they must know what is being asked. Data showing popular pet care questions comes from sources such as social listening tools or keyword tools.

Once phrases are recognized as a “hot topic,” examine the competition. For example, there may be a surge in searches for “dog toy.” However, this is going to be a very competitive search term that will be difficult to rank for. Many pet care brands are trying to rank in SEO for “dog toy.” Simple high-level phrases like this one are excellent for paid search. For SEO, or organic social posts, look for those “long tail phrases” that have a solid amount of search volume, but less competition. That’s how brands can increase their website’s organic traffic (traffic you do not pay for).

Instead of writing a blog article about “dog toy,” write one about dogs being possessive of their toys around other dogs. Dog toy jealousy is a popular topic and will only continue to grow in searches and interest. There is much lower competition for this specific category compared to a high-level topic such as “dog toy.” A blog on dog toy possessiveness can easily make it to page one of search engine results without paid support.

After you’ve done thorough research and chosen topics, it’s time to create content that will be found by the target audience. Creating a well-written article is not enough. Make sure the most important keywords associated with the article are not only in the content, but also used in SEO tags and headings. The most important tags are title tags and description tags. SEO tags are how websites communicate to Google what the theme of a page is. Also share new content on social platforms. Linking to valuable blogs from social content provides new messaging for social media and helps drive more traffic to the site.

Warren Douglas Advertising Loves Pet Owners – And Wants to Help Them Find the Right Brands for Their New Best Friends

Warren Douglas Advertising has an in-depth SEO process to help brands cultivate valuable content that will connect them to a relevant audience on search engines.  The Warren Douglas SEO process is applicable to any industry, not just pet care. We would be happy to walk you through that process so you can see how Warren Douglas turns data into website traffic for you.

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