Creating an Effective Online Presence for Your Equine Business
By Jenni Bush aka the Equine Business Assistant
In the ever-evolving equine industry, we’ve often been perceived as lagging behind the times. However, in 2023, an increasing number of equestrian business owners are awakening to the realisation that having a strong online presence is no longer a mere option—it’s a necessity.
While word of mouth has traditionally been a valuable growth tool for our equestrian endeavours, it’s essential to recognise it’s not without its limitations.
Once a potential customer hears about your business, their immediate question is likely, “How do I get in touch with them?“
While it’s possible they might find your contact details in their pockets, let’s face it: the more probable scenario is that they’ll turn to search engines like Google or popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and others.
Now, you might be thinking, “Fantastic! They can find me online!” But hold on for a moment. Have you taken the time to search for yourself recently?
As a business coach, part of my role involves conducting online presence audits for my clients to ensure they’re not inadvertently leaving money on the table. Surprisingly, many clients confidently declare, “I have a website; I’m on Facebook,” only for me to discover websites without clear contact or booking information. I’ve encountered lengthy or difficult next steps and even stumbled upon pages that fail to make it clear how potential clients can engage with them.
To avoid these pitfalls, you need to address three key questions:
1 – Is it crystal clear how potential clients can book, purchase, or take the next step?
2 – Does your online presence immediately convey to your ideal clients that they’ve found the right place?
3 – Can individuals send a message or reach out straightforwardly, and can they expect a response within 48 hours?
I urge you to apply these questions to every online profile, from personal pages to business accounts. Think of it as leaving breadcrumbs, ensuring each trail points in the right direction.
To truly make your equine business stand out, you need to “hi-viz” your online presence. A well-crafted website is crucial in achieving this:
Build a Great Website
Websites must be easily accessible and designed to guide potential clients towards taking action. Remember, most people now use mobile phones for their online searches, so your website must be mobile-friendly and look great on computers.
You have two options: either find a website designer who can assist you in achieving these goals or explore user-friendly platforms that allow you to create your own website.
Optimizing Search Engine Visibility
While I’m not an SEO expert, the essence of search engine optimisation lies in incorporating the terms people commonly use when searching for businesses like yours into your website. This will enhance your visibility and ensure you appear in relevant search results. Search engines are also able to complete a phone number search should you receive calls to your business that you do not recognise.
Whether you love it or loathe it, having a strong online presence on social media can significantly benefit your equine business. However, it’s important to note that if you choose not to maintain regular activity on a platform (at least once per month), make it clear that you are not actively engaged there and provide alternative contact information. Otherwise, if your ideal client stumbles upon your dormant social media profiles, they may question whether your business is still operational.
Remember, an effective online presence will amplify your visibility and attract customers and business growth. It’s no longer hard to be online (even for the most untechy of us) but always ensure that every online encounter leaves the right impression on those seeking your services.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenni Bush is an online business consultant and coach specialising in helping equestrian business owners to build stability. Find out more at Jenni Bush.
Featured image Jenni Bush, the Equine Business Assistant Image credit Laura V Photography