When you start up your carpet cleaning or restoration business it’s hard to decide how to proceed with marketing online. We all know service industries must have a solid online presence, however you don’t want to rush into things and go into debt by trying to dominate the internet. It’s difficult to sort through what you research online and it’s overwhelming when you begin to receive all the calls and e-mails from companies trying to sell you something. There’s honest companies out there and there are wolves looking to prey on the new fish in the sea.
A lot of people overthink things. They read articles that you need to pay for SEO, you need the perfect website to get conversions, you need to spend a lot of money on Google because that’s where you are going to get all your business. I’m going to tell you why all of that is a lie.
A) Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Depending on your location the competition and market could be very competitive. You could end up paying anywhere from $300-$1,000 a month to a company to get ranked online, can you afford that just starting out? There are companies out there that charge cheap for SEO like $99 a month, however the fact is those companies are probably only getting you into Directories and they’re more than likely just using Yext for that. So, after month one they may not be doing anything at all for you except collecting your money. To get good SEO you need to pay a little money, you need to ask what they are doing, and you need to do it as a long term strategy. You want an SEO company to get you into all those Directories, fix issues, build links, and stay on top of Google Updates. You don’t want to do SEO for a couple months then cancel because it’s not good gaining and then losing Links constantly. SEO works great on a Domain/Website that has been on the web for a while. Google likes to see SEO done to an aged Domain because it has more trust. So, it’s ok to get a website up and then build up a solid client base before you think about SEO. You want to call around, research, and work with a company that best fits you.
B) The Perfect Website, guess what? It doesn’t exist. The fact is that you will always be changing your website. The styles on the internet change. You’ve been probably noticing a more Fluid Web Design. You just have to be willing to change. Web sites work differently in different areas. If your site isn’t getting conversions don’t blame the web designer, look at other sites in your area and change things until you start getting more conversions. Personalize it, we are always telling people to put family photos on their sites. Some listen and some don’t but we know of a lot of businesses that get awesome conversions because people think their kids are cute.
A Couple Years Ago this was the “IT” Web Site Design: http://mdscarpet.com/
Today People are going more towards this look: http://markitcleanusa.com/
We’ve seen both Designs work so there’s no right or wrong. But this at least gives you an example of how things change over the years.
C) Pay Per Click can work for Water Damage companies because they are getting a lot more per job. We don’t see it working for carpet cleaners because you end up spending a lot of money to get a job. A lot of those clicks are from your competitors. There are cheapers ways of getting jobs.
D) Very Important! DO NOT think you are going to get all of your jobs because of your online presence. DO NOT spend all of your marketing budget on online marketing. Marketing your business works better when you distribute your money in a variety of different ways. It’s like that old saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
#2 – Get A Website Up & Going
First things first, find a web designer you like and get a site going.
DO: Buy your own Domain. It’s like the Title to the Car…you want this in your name!
DON’T: Pay $4,000 for a website! That’s not necessary.
DO: Work with a company that gives you ownership of the website once it’s paid for.
DON’T: Work with a company that holds you in a contract because you can’t get your website from them.
DO: Have a Responsive Website. A lot of people search on phones these days so have a website that can look good on any device.
DON’T: Spend months on trying to get the site done. Get it up and going and fix things later.
#3 – Get People To Your Website
DO: Put your site on your business cards, postcards, van, and everywhere you can.
DON’T: Worry about ranking #1 just yet. Focus on a steady growth.
DO: Postcards…our favorite is the Postcard Sniper Program. The Old School way of doing things was printing out door knockers and spending hours hanging them door to door. With this program it’s an APP on your phone. When you’re out cleaning take photos of houses around you. Then postcards will be sent to those homes. Takes little effort and time. It’s worth every penny! Click Here for a Video about it: https://sendjim.io/bigwest?affiliate_id=477232
DON’T: Listen to companies calling you telling you something is wrong with your site. Anyone that’s telling you you’re doing something wrong is trying to dupe you into buying their product. Don’t trust them.
DO: Facebook! Facebook Ads have been successful for many companies when it’s done right. It’s affordable and effective. Here are some Videos on that as well: http://carpetcleaningwebsites.net/part-1-of-5-facebook-goldmine-for-carpet-cleaners/
DON’T: Go with a cheap hosting company. Cheap Hosting Companies can be a pain in the butt! Your site maybe down a lot and the customer service is usually awful. Stick with companies like Big West Host (US), Go Daddy, HostGator, or Blue Host.
DO: Ask people where they found you. This gives you an idea where to invest more money for more results.
Top 10 List Of Best Advice To New People On The Net
10. Read Contracts before you sign them. This protects you and the company you are working with. You always want to make sure you get everything when you cancel. Some companies ask you to pay or do extra to get what belongs to you. Be careful and read things.
9. Shop Around, and no I don’t mean “go with the cheapest guy.” You want to work with a company that best suits you. If you are someone that likes to call someone working for you and knowing who you will be talking to then you probably shouldn’t be going with a big company. You also want to be able to see what they’ve done for past clients and be able to read reviews and call people to ask about them if that helps. Good companies don’t hide anything!
8. Use Facebook – I know, some of you are screaming Noooooooo!!!! But guess what, there’s good helpful groups on there and you can make money off of it. Facebook Ads can cost as little as $5 a Day. One great group is “Mason’s Network” – you can vent, ask questions and get a lot of support from people in the industry.
7. Stay legit and honest. Don’t use multiple addresses or whatever and try to create several directory listings thinking it will help you get more calls. Think simple and don’t overdo anything. You may want to use helpful things like Yext and Moz.
6. Don’t work with Yodel. I’ve never heard anyone say anything positive about them. They lock you an a contract to try to force you to start with them forever. Once you cancel it will damage your SEO/Online Presence. Just Google “Yodel Reviews” and read up on them.
5. Don’t over read stuff on the internet. Like most things everyone tells you a million different things that work and don’t work. Like Blogging for instance, you’ll read that you have to do! In our opinion, it works for some companies/businesses but doesn’t work for carpet cleaners and water damage guys. When you start out think simple and over time read things and ask around. It’s very important to network with other people in your business. The internet is a crazy world and it’s overwhelming.
4. When you hire someone to work on your website and internet marketing, let them do that and trust them. You just focus on your business and answering the phones. A lot of people take too much on and I think it backfires. I know it’s hard to trust someone but that’s why it’s important to research the company you’re working with (I don’t care how good the sales rep is) and read that contract! Again a good contract will protect both sides and should entail everything they are going to do for you.
3. Check out your competition. See what’s working and what’s not. This can be anything from looking at their advertising to asking people if they’ve used them and what they thought. I think a lot people just hold up a wall and just build anger towards their competitors. Face it no matter how you feel if they are getting clients they are doing something right. If their clients are now coming to you then you need to ask why that is and not repeat that yourself. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
2. Again, use a variety of marketing outlets. You want to focus on your website, Facebook, networking, postcards/mailings, a good E-Mail Marketing Program, local outlets like supporting stuff at schools or play houses, and eventually SEO. They say a customer has to see you SEVEN times before they use you…so ALWAYS keep that in mind.
- Enjoy your website and make it personal. Some people want their sites to look like Stanley Steamer or some franchise and that’s just wrong in my opinion. A lot of buyers really want to support local businesses and they want to know who they are supporting. We did a site for a guy in Portland. Super nice guy! We harped on having personal photos on the site and we eventually ranked him really well and he canceled…why? He canceled because he had so much business and couldn’t handle it and a big factor of that was he put his face on everything on the site! People knew who was coming into their home and that’s huge!
Joe’s site when he was a carpet cleaner is another example. He did ok with phone calls but then he decided to take a video of him and his kid cleaning carpets and guess what those phone calls doubled. It’s so important to put yourself out there and let everyone know you can be trusted.