As we head into the second lockdown of 2020, here’s a timely reminder why a website is a sound investment for horsey brands. It wasn’t all that long ago that people found their new horse, riding school or instructor by word of mouth. They chatted to other horsey folk at the feed merchant, shows and even the local pub! But even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, our behaviour had started to change. When you’re new to an area, you turn to Google or Facebook! Googling to find a riding school or instructor is an easy way to get information. Facebook groups are excellent ways for people to share links and information about local businesses.

The impact of lockdowns on our online behaviour

The first lockdown, with pubs closed for months, equestrian events cancelled and limits on our social interaction, accelerated the change. People being stuck in their homes highlighted the need for even the smallest business to have a digital presence. Unsurprisingly, the use of search engines and social media rocketed in 2020. If you had a website and people could find your business from the comfort of their living room, you had better chance of surviving the turmoil of the year.

A digital headache for equestrian brands?

But many equestrian businesses are lagging behind other consume-facing brands. They’ve relied on reputation and word of mouth for a long time, and change comes more slowly. Plus, for a busy rider, instructor or yard owner, getting a website up and running might seem like a huge task. Where do you start with a website project? And there’s always something more important to do, from fixing fences, doing the books or planning your next clinics! Finally, there’s the cost of investing in something that doesn’t feel like it directly affects your business…

Why a website is a great investment

But a website is worth investing in, now more than ever. We’re just about to head into the second lockdown of this pandemic… Once again people will be stuck inside, this time with short days to contend with. They will be scrolling, searching and planning more than ever before, hoping to have fun things to do once we’re allowed out to play again. If you have no website, you risk being invisible to potential clients. Not everyone is on Facebook or Instagram, plus you never know when these channels might tweak an algorithm making it hard for you to reach users. A website is an essential element in this digital age, particularly when we are forced to live remotely. Here are a few reasons why:

  • A website makes your horsey business available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People can still learn about your brand and what you dow even when you’re on asleep!
  • It adds credibility to your brand – you instantly look more professional and trustworthy when you have a shiny website to point people to.
  • They help you convert referrals more easily – if someone does mention you in passing, someone can find you online and send a message.
  • They save you time! A website can answer your most commonly asked questions for you and will filter out some customers who will never buy from you in the first place.

Websites don’t have to be expensive…

Thankfully, getting a website really doesn’t need to be a time-consuming exercise or cost thousands of pounds. Danielle Holmes of Calne-based web firm Black Nova Designs shares more information:

Our website packages are surprisingly affordable! Quite often business owners come to us worried that they will need to spend thousands and have a pleasant surprise when we tell them how much a basic website is. We also ensure that our customers are able to edit the content and pages in the future. If you’re interested in having your own website then make sur you have a logo and colour scheme in place. We do advise that customers invest in some professional imagery, at least 10-15 shots. These elements make a huge difference to whether a website looks professional and therefore the conversion rate you can expect. They also tie together your website with your social media channels and any branded clothing or goods you have.

Black Nova Designs has an excellent pedigree in delivering websites for horsey businesses, working with physios, riding centres, clothing brands and more. Here is just a small selection of their previous work, showing how important strong logos and great imagery is too!

Little Margate Equestrian

Chelworth Fields Livery

Herts Horses Hydrotherapy & Physiotherapy

TopRide Surfaces

So, as we head into winter and a return to tighter limits on our free time, a website is essential for horsey brands like you. Black Nova Designs is perfectly placed to help, so why not get in touch to book a no-obligation chat? Give them a call on 01793 210045 or drop them an email on sales@blacknovadesigns.co.uk.