Building Your Boer Goat, Meat Goat, or Goat Meat Web Site
A web site is more important than ever for selling meat goats.
There are things you need to know to do it successfully!
Selling Breeding Stock
Websites have become very important for selling meat goat and Boer goat breeding stock. In the past people were successful selling breeding stock by networking with others at shows and educational seminars, but today most people have access to the internet. They use the internet to find things they would like to buy and to research things they would like to learn about. Many potential buyers don't go to shows and seminars any more because it is easier for them to do their learning, their networking, and their shopping on line.
Selling Goat Meat
Many meat goat producers sell goat meat directly to the consumers via the internet. To sell meat directly to a consumer the animals must be slaughtered in a United Sates Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspected plant. Federal inspectors (veterinarians) must be present all the while animals are being slaughtered and while the meat is being processed. The cost of these inspectors is paid by the processing plant. This makes the slaughtering of sheep or goats in most USDA inspected plants very expensive. Some plants charge as much as $2.00 per pound of meat just for butchering. There are markets for certified organic goat meat and natural grass fed goat meat. These products are being sold to health food stores, restaurants, and directly to consumers often using the internet. The Cypress Valley Meat Company has 2 of the 5 USDA inspected slaughter facilities in Arkansas. The company is trying to get goat & lamb meat into main stream marketing. They will custom slaughter under, USDA inspection; package; and private label your meat for “from the farm sales”. There is a $35 per animal kill fee plus 50 cents/lb. (dressed weight.)
Search Engine Optimization
The key to successful marketing with websites is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is very important, very controversial, and much has been written about it. Few people know for sure what works, because the ones who have been successful aren't telling anyone their secrets and neither are the search engines. If "meat goat" is typed into a major search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo, about 3,420,000 websites that relate to meat goats will be found. If a good job on search engine optimization is done and a site gets into the top 1/100th of 1% of those found it could still be number 300 on the list. Trust me nobody is going to get to or find website number 300.
What will it cost?
To have your own web site you need a domain name (registered by a domain name registry,) a web site building program, and a web hosting server to host the website. Many companies provide all three of these services. After doing extensive research we have found that the best prices and service can be had by using one company, NameSilo, for domain name registration, and another company, Weebly, for a web site building program and for hosting the web site on their server. We have switched to using these two companies for both this web site (critterridge.net) and the North Arkansas Meat Goat Association web site (arkansasmeatgoat.com.) We finished switching the web sites on June 1st, 2015. Nine months earlier the automated technology that these two companies offer for managing domain names and for building and publishing top quality, search engine optimized, web sites was not available. Our total cost is less than $5.00 per month for this web site with two domain names (critterridge.net and critterridge.com.) Weeby has an offer where you can build a free site with less five pages and a Weebly ad at the bottom of each page. The free sites use a site.weebly.com domain name. Most web site hosting companies offer free domains names with their hosting packages. These domain names belong to the hosting company. You will lose them if you change companies. It is better to use separate companies for domain name registry and web site hosting.
In the past we were able to build a good web site using KompoZer, a free, shareware, HTML editor, but we had to use some one that had technical skills to manage our domain name registration, our web site hosting, and much of our search engine optimization. These services cost us five times as much as what we are paying with NameSilo and Weebly. We can build a better web site faster and easier with weebly than we can with KompoZer.
You can do it too!
DomainSilo has tools that are very simple and easy to use for buying, transferring, and managing domain names. Weebly has great learning tools on their web site. You do not need any technical skills to use their web site building program. They also have great instructions and tools for search engine optimization.
More and more people are searching the internet with mobile devices such as iPads and cell phones. Weebly is the only company that has a web site building program with tools for optimizing web sites for mobile devises. Search engines are favoring web sites that are optimized for mobile devices.