In today’s online society, having a website for your carpet cleaning business is a must. However, simply having a website isn’t enough – you must have a GREAT website! But what makes a website ‘great’? My very best suggestion?
Don’t do it yourself! It’s fascinating how as an industry we get all hot and bothered with carpet cleaning do-it-yourselfers. And then what do we with a a highly technical website that demands serious marketing, site navigation and graphics layout knowledge? (Not to mention a basic knowledge of English grammar?) We try and do it ourselves! Think about this…
What’s the very worst a homeowner can do with a rental carpet cleaner? A bad cleaning job or at worst wind up with nasty, mildewed carpets. But if you come up with an amateur website (which forgive me but is very likely) this online dabbling can impact negatively your business and family’s future financial welfare for years to come!
Now this said you do need to have a working knowledge of online marketing and website development. Sadly, there are huge numbers of sub-standard charlatans preying on innocent but clueless service business owners. So you do need be proactive and…
A) Take an active interest in your website development, B) hire a (preferably local) website developer with local references from other home service businesses and C) have clearly defined expectations in writing. (This is kind of the same decision process we hope OUR carpet cleaning clients follow, isn’t it?)
So go ahead- open your carpet cleaning website right now in another browser window and use this handy checklist to see if your current website is ‘up to snuff’. If you don’t have these five things, it’s way past time to update your website! (So use this checklist to hold your developers ‘feet to the fire’ as you have your site redone.)
□ Contact Information
□ A Strong Call to Action
□ Logo, Images and Video Demonstrations
□ Quality Content
□ Easy Site Navigation
Missing a few check marks? Read on to learn more about each item on our checklist.
1. Contact Information.
Having your contact information buried in some corner of your website simply doesn’t cut it. You need to make sure your phone number, email address and business information, such as hours and location, are easy to find.
Put at least your phone number and email address in the header that appears on every page, so even if a visitor leaves the home page they can still easily find how to contact you. On your Contact Page include other information about your business, such as the address and hours of operation.
If you think you can stay on top of replying, consider adding a “Contact Us” form for visitors to fill out. These leads come with a very short window, but are an excellent way for clients to easily reach you.
Steve’s note: If you folks do this be sure to respond QUICKLY to these requests. I am amazed at how many ‘requests for information” I personally submit on the web are never answered. The “Contact Me” submissions a business receives are golden but have a VERY short “window of opportunity”!
2. A Strong “Call to Action”.
Simply put- let your customers know what you want them to do. This point can be a bit tricky, since first you need to figure out what you want from your customers. Are you offering a free quote? Do you want them to schedule a consultation? Decide what the “next step” is for your customer and gently but firmly guide them to it on your site.
HINT: Highlight your Call to Action by putting it at the top of the page. Make it stand out with a unique design element, a bright color, or an attention-grabbing font so that it looks different from the content on the rest of the page.
3. Logo, Images and Video Demonstration.
A well-branded site should give the impression of a professional business. So make sure your professionally designed business logo is on every page.
Since carpet cleaning is an “intangible” it can be hard for a visitor to your site to grasp what makes you different from your competitors. You can fix this problem by using images and video. When selecting images, make sure they are high-resolution and professional – anything else will do more harm than good.
Videos can be used to demonstrate each step in your cleaning process to the potential customer, and they are also an excellent way to show testimonials. Both images and videos have the power to give your carpet cleaning company a real sense of credibility.
4. Quality Content.
Quality content means content that is appealing both to your target market and to search engines. You can create this type of content by (1) identifying your target market and (2) picking 3-5 primary keywords related to your business to include in each page’s copy.
Every page should focus on one of these primary keywords. You can do that by placing the keyword you are focusing on at the beginning of the headline and in the first paragraph of copy. Include links to other sites and within your own site to increase search relevance. Last, make sure you include your keyword in the meta data of the page: the meta title, description and tags, as well as in the meta titles of your images.
Be careful not to write just for the keywords – keep the content fresh by imagining you are talking to your target audience, and update articles and pages when necessary.
5. Easy Site Navigation.
The Internet has created a world of impatient people and if they can’t find what they are looking for on your site quickly, they will simply move on to the next page. So when designing your site make sure that it is both easy and simple.
To see how you’re doing with ‘easy and simple’, configure an analytics application for your site and monitor the bounce rate. The bounce rate tells you what percentage of visitors is leaving your site after visiting just one page. If the number is high you’ll want to make changes to your website fast.
A website is a powerful tool, but it is only as successful as you make it. Follow these tips and your website will be generating more leads for your carpet cleaning business in no time.
Your SFS Team