As a new start-up in the cleaning industry you are most likely to operate your business from home. This will be the case for at least the first year or even two. And that is fine and how it should be. However, the fact that there is no storefront only increases the need for a strong web presence in form of a website. Elsewhere on the Internet you will find direction that a basic website is all you need. That is wrong on all levels. Long-term, your website is the single most important investment that you will make. The reason is very simple and common sense – with a well-built website and with proper SEO you will get first page Google rank on local searches. That will eliminate the need to spend money on local advertisement and even Google ad-words.
There are four organic pieces to your Internet presence that matter and one non-organic piece. Following those five rules will get you high rank of your webpage and in that way better access to leads and potential clients.
The first piece of proper Internet presence is a website that was professionally built, with unique content, and SEO optimized for your business. With a little time spent searching, you will find several providers online who will get this type of website built for you at a very reasonable cost – as low as $300 and up. It is always good if you provide some content as well. Your website should have at the very least following pages: home page, about us page, services page, testimonials page, special deals page, FAQ page, make payment page, and contact form page. The make payment page works best if PayPal is integrated with it. Social media buttons should be integrated on the page as well.
Second important aspect of your Internet presence is creation of strong social media profiles for your cleaning service. The profiles need to be detailed and updated on a regular basis. The websites recommended for those profiles are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and a blog such a Tumblr. The three of most importance are Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Google+ shows up in local searches and if you drive your reviews toward that profile your rankings on Google will improve and people will be more likely to hire you due to visibility of your business in the searches. My suggested approach to collecting reviews is to collect emails from your first 40 or so clients, then send them an invitation to enter a drawing for a full house deep cleaning if they complete a Google+ review of your service. Put a timeline on completion of the review such as by 12/28/2015 for a more powerful call to action. These approaches will get you going and if you get as few as five reviews it will be well worth the free cleaning.
Facebook is important for a very different reason. If your clients befriend you, Facebook provides a medium of mass communication for you that is unmatched. Promotions, up selling, new services, and announcements – everything happens with one post and reaches everyone instantly. For example – you introduce tile and grout cleaning services right before the spring-cleaning season and offer it at a 50% discount to all existing clients and anyone they refer to you. All you clients will at least share that post with their friends and in the process build your brand. This is a huge value for your brands so don’t be afraid to encourage your clients to like your business web page.
LinkedIn provides a different approach to business building. This social network is used almost exclusively by professionals and provides great access to people who sign checks in their companies – in other words to decision makers. It eliminates gatekeepers who often stop you from meeting the right person when you try to sell your services. The key to using this successfully is a great profile. Take the time to build the best profile you can with a professional picture, your training and education, titles, and previous jobs listed. Then connect to your former bosses and everyone you know who has some kind of a reputable title. Once this is done, search for various terms on LinkedIn to connect to people who could provide business for you. Connect to office mangers, realtors, executives, bank managers, local business owners and anyone who could eventually become a client. In a few weeks, you will have few hundred people in your network who matter in the community and in their place of employment. At that point start working on posts that will advertise your business and ask them to hire you or otherwise recommend your service if they have someone who needs it. You will be surprised at the doors this approach will open for you.
The next piece of the online strategy for your cleaning service should be citations. Citations are listings of your business in various online directories including Google, yellow pages, white pages, and such. It is very important to list your cleaning service in as many directories as possible, preferably at least two hundred. Completely fill out each listing and don’t miss a detail. Once Google crawls these listings, the detailed profiles will do a wonder for your websites and business ranking on Google. You can enter all these listings manually which will take a lot of time and can be a very boring and tedious process. I highly recommend using of the services advertised online to do the work for you. Just make sure it is a manual entry service you hire and pay once. You want to avoid the monthly subscription services. While they work instantly, they cost more but disappear if you ever cancel the service.
Fourth piece of your online presence should be link building. You want as many inbound inks from high ranked pages to your website as possible. You can get that accomplished by asking other high ranked local businesses to list you as a partner on their website – look for business that work with similar clients but on different things such as plumbers, electricians, and floor people. In addition, either hire a writer or write couple of hundred unique articles and post them in article databases with the link to your business. Choose high ranked databases only.
The fifth, non-organic way of increasing your web presence is pay-per-click advertising. This can get very expensive, especially with Google. I recommend staying away from it until you can afford a budget of at least $30 per day.