Until you’ve had to design a website, no one ever truly appreciates the work that goes into it. Designing the perfect page takes a lot of time and dedication which is exactly why web designers like Michael Ayalon are so valuable.
Michael is the founder of PetWebDesigner.com and the man behind the many animal-centric pages his business has created for others. Over the years he has made designs for everyone from pet sitters to animal shelters. Staying loyal to his niche, Michael has seen plenty of success.
Tell us a little about PetWebDesigner.com.
Petwebdesigner.com has been in business for over 7 years. We build websites and blogs for the pet industry. We also help with search engine optimization (SEO) to help your website get to the top of Google for the keywords of your choice using specific techniques that have brought amazing results.
What inspired it?
My Mother-in-law breeds Mastiffs, and she shows her Champions at various dog shows all over the tri-state area, including Westminster in New York City. Back in 2003, she had a litter of 13 Mastiff puppies. She tried to find homes for these puppies, but she had no luck. She asked if I could build her a website to show her champions and the available puppies. I built the site, and used a few techniques to get her site to the top of Google for the term “Mastiff”. It worked, she found homes for all 13 puppies in less than 2 weeks. That’s when she asked me to help others in the pet industry, she felt there was nobody that really knew how to get results like I could.
What are some of the company types that you’ve made websites for?
Over the years, I’ve worked with just about everyone in the pet industry in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Specifically, I’ve worked with animal shelters, veterinarians, pet sitters, dog walkers, breeders, new pet products, pet celebrities, and dog trainers.
How much does the average website cost?
The average website costs between $299 – $399 depending on the number of pages needed. You can even make updates to the website yourself such as modifying text or changing pictures, I have tools that allow people with no technical knowledge to do that on their own.
What separates you from the competition?
I would say my experience and knowledge in the pet industry. Since I’ve been doing website design and search engine optimization in the pet industry longer than anyone else, I know what works. I know where the customers are. I know what the customers want to see. I offer my customers the ability to make changes on their own, which many competitors do not. I’ve been told that my pricing is great too.
Do you have any goals you’d like to reach over the next year or so?
Over the next year, I would like to complete my launch of AnimalRoulette.com, a new site I developed to help double the pet adoptions in the United States using live video and audio so you can see and interact with pets in shelters all over the country. It would be great to help fix the pet adoption problem we have in the US, so if I successfully roll that out all over the country, it will make a huge difference in animal adoptions going forward, and we can save lots of animals as a result.
Are you limited to cats and dogs or have you done other types of pet sites?
No, I do not limit myself to only cats and dogs. I happen to love fish, so we’ve been fortunate to work with them and many other types of animals. I just want to help as many other pet businesses as possible, I won’t turn someone away just because they happen to work with reptiles or some other type of animal.
What are some lessons that your business has taught you?
I’ve learned that to be successful in business, you must be passionate about what you do. I feel like I haven’t worked a single day since 2003 when I started the business because it’s been such a fun ride. I wake up every morning looking forward to the adventures that lie ahead, and it’s a bonus that it always involves pets and the Internet. These are two areas that I’m very passionate about.
Any advice that you’d like to offer fellow web designers that are just getting started?
My advice would be to specialize in something. There are too many general web designers that will do it all, so it’s very difficult to stand out from the crowd if you’re in that situation. If you can take some experience that you had with specific industries, that experience will be beneficial to other customers in the same niche. People seek out specialists, and doctors are a great example. The brain surgeon makes significantly more money than a general practitioner, and people will search for that brain surgeon because of his specific experience. Also, try to get recurring revenue and repeat customers. That’s the key to building a new business.