A while back I was speaking with a carpet cleaner (we’ll call him Dave) that was working with his THIRD SEO company! Ouch! Even worse, after six months his Search Engine Optimization company simply wasn’t delivering their promised results and Dave wanted to dump them.
Dave wants to rank high in Google and other search engines (don’t we all?) so he can tap into the Promised Land of the Internet making his phone ring. (Even the most behind the times cleaner realizes shoveling money out to Yellow Pages is a complete waste of money!)
The problem is while Dave knows a lot about making carpets sparkle he doesn’t know anything about Google and SEO so he has just been leaving it to the “experts.” After all, he has been paying out hundreds of dollars per month so his SEO people should know exactly what to do to make his phone ring! Right?
Well, yes and no. While it almost always makes sense to hire smart and up-to-date experts (I mean- that’s what you want your clients to do with their dirty carpets!) you can’t just completely abdicate your responsibility to oversee the project. The owner (YOU) still needs to stay informed.
For example, Dave’s problem was based on his physical address location. The issue? Dave was trying to rank in a nearby large city but his physical address was actually 30 miles west of town. Why should that matter? Well, when it comes to ranking local businesses Google wants your physical address to be in that city.
So no matter how much money Dave spent or how much work the SEO companies did his web site simply would not rank high until he acquired a physical address within this city’s limits. (Should Dave’s SEO firm have warned him about this problem? Yes. But then with just a little research Dave could have learned about it too! This “staying on top of things” would have saved Dave thousands of dollars AND he could have potentially gained hundreds of thousands of dollars in new business!)
Keep in mind this “physical address rule” applies only to Google Plus listings. (Formerly known as Google Places.) These are the listings that have little red markers with letters inside them and show up on the Google map to the right. They typically appear at the top of search results and bring in the highest number of phone calls.
Other types of listings include Google Organic and Google Adwords, but the Plus listings yield much higher returns and should be the primary target for any cleaner or restorer who is serious about SEO.
So, what should Dave do in order to keep Google happy? (Moving from the suburbs to the big city just to get “Google love” is a tough pitch to your spouse!)
In the past cleaners would rent a UPS mailbox or use a friend’s address to register with Google. I recommend against this as Google is getting smarter. (You really don’t want to tick Google off!) Google is even calling business owners now to determine legitimate business locations.
The safest long-term solution is to actually rent a commercial space—even if it’s a tiny basement office for $100 per month. This needs to be an official business address where you receive mail. (After you register this address with Google you will need to update all your addresses to the new one.)
NOTE: To make sure you secure a fixed business location that is “Google-Friendly” you can simply do a Google search for: Carpet Cleaning Your City. Once again look for the map to the right and find the cluster of red markers that signify the top 7 businesses in your area. To play it safe if you were to draw a circle around that cluster then your new address should fall within that circle.
Of course, when you hire a reputable SEO company they should tell you all this stuff up front and take care of the updates for you. But now thanks to this SFS web site you’re on top of things too!
Joe Burnich operates a carpet cleaning marketing and web design business. Experience with his own carpet cleaning business makes him uniquely qualified as he incorporates the “practice what you preach” philosophy to help fellow carpet cleaners succeed as he has. Contact Burnich at (406) 214-6504.