Starting a carpet cleaning business is a popular choice for many new entrepreneurs. The barriers to entry are relatively low and it’s a growing industry.
But how do you go about marketing your carpet cleaning company online?
1) Understand Your Carpet Cleaning Customer
It doesn’t matter how great you think your business is, it’s what the customers thinks that matters. So you need to get into the heads of your customers.
Whilst you might think that your customer wants just clean carpets, she might want a hygienic floor for her toddler to play on.
Or a facilities manager may be using your service to comply with health and safety legislation. Business carpet cleaning services are a different kettle of fish to domestic ones.
In short, people have different problems for which your carpet cleaning service provides a solution. You need to understand those problems. And your marketing needs to address them.
Many small businesses make the mistake of using a ‘one size fits all’ approach to their marketing. Creating marketing ‘personas’ (also known as ‘avatars’ or ‘ideal customers’) helps you to understand the problems that your customers are looking for you to solve.
2) Design Your Carpet Cleaning Brand
A business’s brand is not just having a funky logo.
It’s a conversation with your customers.
It’s about what you can deliver for your customer that your competitors can’t. Some people call this your ‘unique value proposition’ or ‘unique selling proposition’, but the phrase I like the best is:
Unique Customer Benefit (’UCB’)
The phrase is totally customer focused.
And that’s what the best businesses are.
Your UCB should answer the following questions:
1) What’s the end benefit to each of your personas of your cleaning services?
2) What makes your cleaning services unique?
3) If your cleaning services are not unique, what can you do make them uniquely benefit your customers?
For example, Sir Richard Branson realised that all airlines had the same basic offering: a seat in a flying aluminium tube. So his UCB for Virgin Atlantic was entertainment screens in the back of the seats.
Turning to the visual side of branding, people need to be able to recognise your brand: your logo and colour scheme are a great way to do this.
But with logos, less is more.
Look at the large sportwear companies like Nike, Adidas, Puma and Under Armour. They all have a simple emblem and the name of the company written in a particular font. The emblem and name are used together or separately. They work in any colour, but particularly well in either black or white. Furthermore, both pieces of the logo work in any size.
This logo concept works brilliantly. Horizontal logos tend to work best in website titles, so the emblem and name positioned next to each other look great on websites. The emblem on its own can be used in the favicon image in the title tabs at the top of the screen. It’s a very versatile concept.
But one note of caution.
The sportswear companies are some of the most-recognised brands on the planet. Your business is not. You’ll need a tagline under your main name telling people what you do, e.g. carpet cleaning or a slogan like, say, ‘carpet cleaning your way’. Otherwise, people will have no idea what your brand is about.
A mistake that small businesses make is not using their logo and colour scheme consistently. For example, the logo on the website could be one design and colour scheme, yet the logo and colour scheme on say, the employees’ polo shirts is completely different. Branding needs to be consistent for it to work.
A great place to get your logo designed cost efficiently is 99 Logos.
3) Build Your Website The Right Way
Your website is the hub of your online marketing. Not only does it have to perform well technically, but it needs to be your virtual salesperson. Let’s look at how your website needs to perform.
One of the easiest ways to get a great website to use the WordPress.org content management system. It’s like the Swiss Army knife of websites. You can read more about it by clicking here.
Google loves websites with good user experience (’UX’).
A Well-Designed Website
‘You can’t judge a book by its cover’.
Wrong. People do. Otherwise publishing companies wouln’t spend large amounts of money on having book covers designed.
It’s the same with your website. If your website is badly designed, visitors are likely to associate it subconsciously with low-quality cleaning services.
WordPress makes it much easier to get a professional-looking website. There are thousands of ‘themes’, both paid and free. Themes are template website designs that install easily into WordPress. Themes vary on how customizable they are. For a small business website, Genesis themes are a great choice.
Read more about Genesis themes: Click here.
Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
Increasingly, internet searches are being made on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. If your website doesn’t work properly on mobile, then your cleaning business will be losing many potential customers.
There are two answers to the problem.
The first is to have a separate website for mobile devices. This can be expensive. The second method is much easier. Install a ‘responsive’ theme that automatically adjusts to fit the device that the website is being viewed on. Most modern WordPress themes are responsive.
One of the most important elements of UX is the speed of your website. If your site doesn’t load in under three seconds, most visitors will click away.
The faster your website hosting, the faster website. But usually, the faster the hosting, the more expensive it is. If your website is built on the WordPress platform, there are plugins that can help your website run faster on whatever hosting that you’re using.
Caching plugins help your website to load faster. WP Rocket, a paid plugin, is worth installing. For a review of caching plugins, paid and free, click here
Most modern digital cameras and smartphones make it easy to take high-definition photos. But high- definition comes with a downside: large file sizes.
Large file sizes can make the images on your website slow to load. So what can you do?
Firstly, go to picresize.com and resize the image to the size that you actually need. WordPress will shrink the image to fit a space, but the large file size will still be there. Picsize will shrink both the image and the file size. Download the resized image to your computer
Secondly, upload the resized image from your computer to compressor.io. This tool will then compress the image reducing the file size further.
Search Engine Optimisation (’SEO’)
Unless the search engines, like Google, rank your website on page one of their search results, it’s going to be difficult for prospective customers to find you.
WordPress makes it much easier to optimise your website. Install the free Yoast SEO plugin (together with ‘Yoast Glue’ and ‘AMP’ plugins). Yoast has produced a comprehensive guide on how to use the plugin.
It’s also easy to add Schema, a mark up language that the search engines love. Install the free plugin, ‘All-In-One Rich Snippets’ to add Schema to your website’s content.
Many cleaning services websites don’t have one very important feature that search engines absolutely love…
Imagine if a newspaper only printed one edition on just one day. You wouldn’t come back to buy the next edition because it doesn’t exist.
It’s the same with websites. Regular, unique content on your website’s blog encourages the search engines to keep coming back to your website. And the more they come back, the more information on your website will be indexed.
A blog also gives you the chance to publish interesting articles that demonstrate your cleaning expertise to potential customers.
Again, WordPress provides a solution. As is was originally designed as a blogging platform, there’s a blogging system built in. It’s easy to use.
Copywriting: Sell Your Carpet Cleaning!
Your website should be an online salesperson for your cleaning business. This is where your persona research comes in. You need to create sales copy on your website that persuades people to buy your services. Most cleaning services websites don’t. In fact, most small business websites don’t.
A bad example would be something like this:
‘We do carpet cleaning, office cleaning, end-of-tenancy cleaning.
We are a family firm.
We use the latest cleaning machines and chemicals’
It tells you about the cleaning business, but does it want to make you buy their services?
When prospective customers come to your website, image that they’re listening to an imaginary radio station when they do so.
That imaginary radio station is:
‘What’s In It For Me’
From your persona research, you’re likely to have identified at least one feature of your cleaning services that all your personas want. For this example, we’ll say it’s that all the personas don’t want residual chemicals after using your services,
‘Are You Worried About Toxic Chemicals After Your Cleaning Service Has Been?’
At XYZ Cleaning, we understand that you want a safe environment.
You’ll never have to worry about breathing in toxic fumes after we’ve cleaned.
We use machines that clean efficiently and thoroughly without using the [name of chemical]
that can make you feel ill.
For toxic fume free cleaning, click here to contact us’.
Do you get the idea?
If you address the prospective buyer’s problems, then you’re more likely to get the sale.
You could make this concept even more effective. Set up a page within WordPress for each persona that addresses put their problems. Then put easy to find clickable links on the website’s front page to each persona’s page.
For more tips on how to write compelling copy, click here .
4) Use Social Media…The Right Way!
Social media is here to stay.
Cleaning businesses that don’t master it risk losing out to more savvy competitors.
But it’s easy to get social media wrong.
There’s a different mindset when people are using search engines and when they’re using social media. Imagine you’re tap (fawcett) is dripping. You might go down to B&Q (or Home Depot) to find out how to fix it and buy the necessary parts.
Next imagine you’re meeting friends at a coffee shop. Your main aim to meet up with your friends and have coffee. But if you see an advertisement on a noticeboard that interest you, you might just take notice of it.
The trip to the DIY store is like using a search engine. People have a definite problem (or want) and are concentrated on looking for a solution. But at the coffee shop, they’re not primarily trying to find a solution to a problem. This is like using social media.
The big mistake that many cleaning businesses make is trying to sell straight off on social media…
‘GET YOUR CARPET CLEANED NOW!’
People don’t like hard selling on social media. On Facebook, they can ask for content that they don’t like not to be shown them. The answer to this problem is find interesting information that relates to cleaning. For example, you could write or curate a post about:
‘how clean does your house have to be for an appraisal?’
‘can you eat food off the floor?’
‘How clean do your carpets need to be for your baby?’
Here’s a good example of an article that you could share with potential customers on Facebook and Twitter: Click here
People should be able to click from social media to read the articles on your website. From there, you can sell to them.
NOW YOU’VE GOT ALL THE INFORMATION TO CLEAN UP IN THE CARPET CLEANING INDUSTRY!