Pets at Home lead the pack for dog-related search terms, but where could they improve?

By David Atkinson • 28 July 2022 • 5 minutes reading time

With an estimated 52% of UK adults owning pets and a whopping 10.2 million dogs, it’s easy to see why the pet sector is booming. According to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association, a staggering 3.2 million households bought or adopted a pet since the start of the pandemic, creating a whole new demand for pet supplies.

With around 44 million monthly organic visitors, Pets at Home are reaping the benefits of the boom in the pet industry. But are they doing everything they can to make the most of their potential?

In this post, we will look into the areas they’re performing well and where they could improve in the doggy sector.

Pets at Home have almost two-thirds of the dog-related search market

Pets at Home lead in three of the four market sectors for the pet industry but they’re the most prominent with dog-related product searches. They currently conquer the sector with a whopping 62.46% of the market share and outperform their closest competitor, petplanet.co.uk by nearly six times with their share of 10.62%.

Pets at Home’s lead in this sector comes from the combination of the powerful brand but also their content and digital strategy.

What Pets at Home are doing right?

Let’s start by looking at some of the key areas where Pets at Home are succeeding:

Pets at Home lead with informational content on dogs

Have you got a question about your four-legged friend? Or a question about potentially buying a new puppy? Well, chances are, if you Google it, you’re going to see Pets at Home whether that’s at the top of the page or pretty close to it.

This is thanks to their informational content. It helps you to learn about their brand, if you were somehow unaware, and generally improve their brand awareness. This takes potential customers down the content funnel, from the discovery and awareness stages to converting customers.

But it’s not just for brand awareness – Pets at Home’s Pet Talk blog features content so good it can naturally build links. If a journalist is looking for something, they’ll Google it. If that’s a pet-related question, chances are it’ll result in a link back to Pets at Home thanks to their handy information.

With 274 historical links to the Pet Talk page (and more going to the homepage), they can sit back and let the content speak for itself by producing helpful information. Topics include how to care for dogs, the cost of a dog and where you should purchase your pooch as well as seasonal content like caring for dogs in heat.

Product pages are optimised for what customers need

Another highlight of Pets at Home’s content is the product page optimisation. Each page has a useful description of the specific product, its benefits and relevant information such as sizing or nutritional content.

For example, the Kong Classic page features a handy description with the sizes of each product and the key features and benefits

But it’s not just the product description that’s useful. The page makes it easy to choose a size, make a purchase online or click and collect the product. You can also look at pictures and see the benefits of the toy as well as more KONG products.

Where could they improve

Despite the generally successful onsite content for the product page, there’s still space for work for Pets at Home. Adding in further information about the product along with headings and relevant FAQs could further enhance the copy answering customer questions.

Pets at Home are at the top with featured snippets

Pets at Home’s informational content is featured in Google’s featured snippets across the pet sector. When customers are asking pet-related questions, Pets at Home are providing 235 answers, the second highest we discovered. It closely follows Pure Pet Food with 294 features.

Featured snippets answer the questions of potential customers helping to improve brand awareness. But importantly, a featured snippet is at the top of the SERPs and is thought to receive around 35% of all clicks for the search term.

For example, the search “Can dogs get hayfever?” has a featured snippet receiving traffic of an estimated 3,700:

Although it’s an informational page, it answers a potential customer question and can lead to a purchase.

Where could they improve

Although Pets at Home are second in the pet brands we looked at, they’re missing out on a potential 21,100 features snippets thanks to missing schema. They also don’t use FAQs which could lead to another 78,000 potential opportunities, a huge missed opportunity.

So where else are Pets at Home missing out?

Despite being the leading brand for dog-related products, there are a lot of ways Pets at Home could secure its position at the top and protect those precious ways customers hear about the brand and end up making a purchase on the site.

Pets at Homes is missing some key top-tier and topical links

As Pets at Home don’t focus on content marketing, they’re only able to achieve links using the tactics we discussed above and product PR. Unfortunately, this prevents them from being able to target backlink gaps by creating interesting and relevant content that could attract those key sites.

Pets at Home have link gaps on top-tier sites like the BBC, Mirror, Daily Record and more. They’re also missing topical sites like Daily Paws, Country Life and Love Your Dog.

Treat-worthy content marketing in the dog industry

So what kind of content marketing works in the pet sector? Canine Cottages, which sells pet-friendly holidays, created Doggy Devotion, a content marketing piece which has attracted 383 historical linking domains.

The content looks into signs you know your dog loves you as well as what happens to their heart rate when you say “I love you”, give them cuddles and when they see you. This incredible content marketing piece attracted links from the likes of Country Living, Uni Lad and many regional sites.

Content marketing allows you to target content creation to sites, finding those most relevant to you. Especially considering dogs and pets are a pretty popular subject matter.

Pets at Home has room for improvement with onsite category page content

Although Pets at Home’s product pages are pretty well optimised, their category pages leave a lot to be desired. With very few relevant headings, short, lacklustre copy and no FAQs or useful information for customers, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

Take the page on wet dog food which you can see below:

With only 36 words, no H1 and a lack of internal linking, there’s great scope to improve this copy and optimise for keywords. There’s also a huge opportunity to provide information for the customers and answer any questions they have on wet dog food.

It is worth noting that the user experience on the page is still positive. The filters down the left of the page make it quick and easy to find products for your pup but with some additional work, customers could find all the information in one place without having to look elsewhere.

Want to know more about search in the pet sector?

Get in touch for advice on how you can use content as part of your digital strategy.

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