I had an interesting conversation this morning with Andrea Lane, head of the American Kennel Club’s Public Education department. I recently inherited responsibility for the Progressive Dog Club of Wayne County’s website after the untimely passing of our webmaster. With all I’ve learned recently about search engine optimization that I’ve been putting into practice on my personal and breed club websites, I think I can greatly improve the performance of this all breed club site as well. I asked Andrea if she could recommend any sites that I could refer to as truly best practice examples. She told me she had looked at a lot of parent club sites recently as she was working on updating the AKC breed identification guide, but had not really done a study of all breed club sites. In general she finds the parent club sites of greater quality, but some of the largest all breed clubs and clusters do an excellent job. I know we had looked at all the Michigan all breed club sites before we launched the Progressive site, and they did vary quite a bit in scope and content freshness. Andrea strongly recommended including some of the AKC’s downloadable education content in the site and focusing on teaching people what to expect at a dog show and stimulating their interest in joining the ranks of dog club supporters and event participants.
The Detroit Free Press published an article about upscale pet retailers today which finds that sector is performing well despite the economic woes of the Detroit meto area. The store profiled for most of the article, Teacups and Toys, sells both upscale merchandise and dogs to wear it. I’m not a fan of the sales of dogs in retail outlets, but the story makes it sound like the store’s staff provides a lot more after-sale support for their puppies than the “Michigan breeders” that supply the store’s live merchandise. Other Detroit area pet retailers featured (who don’t sell dogs) are Shaggy Chic Boutique and Pet Supplies Plus and a representative of non-profit industry networking group, Pet Industry Retailers, is interviewed as well.
That VDeck “upgrade” at iPower was pretty darn frustrating, especially since they didn’t tell me I couldn’t have more than one blog with my account. My nascent “show dog blog” which didn’t contain any posts kicked Dog Marketing off the map, I finally came to the realization that I’d just have to start over. My apologies for the hiatus, I hope to get back to posting on a regular basis shortly.