Finding new clients is hard for just about any business, but the task can be especially difficult for cleaning services businesses.
Here’s my honest opinion—there are a lot of people out there who don’t want to admit they have their house cleaned by a professional. In my mind, allowing yourself a little free time to enjoy a professionally cleaned house isn’t anything to be ashamed of. However, it’s absolutely the case that many people feel this way.
That matters to cleaning services who are trying to do an effective job with their marketing efforts, because it means less word-of-mouth advertising.
After all, most businesses rely on word-of-mouth referrals for new leads. For house cleaners, that person-to-person referral isn’t always easy to come by.
Even if it was, do you really want your marketing plan to be based on your clients throwing your name out every once in a while? Wouldn’t you rather have more control over the process?
I certainly wanted to feel like I could influence my own marketing efforts a little bit more, and that’s why I turned to digital marketing for my house cleaning service.
Crafting a digital marketing plan: The best way for house cleaning service providers to get started
“Digital marketing” can be a pretty intimidating phrase, at least to me. The two words seem to indicate the necessity for some significant amount of technical know-how and marketing expertise.
However, after diving in, I realized that just about anyone has what it takes to get started.
It may be true that the intricacies of digital marketing take years to learn, but any cleaning service can get started with an online marketing strategy. Here are my best tips for doing just that.
Take on these tasks and you’ll find that your marketing plan is much more likely to drive new leads and get you to maximum capacity.
1. Set up a website
Websites are the foundation of any digital marketing strategy. Too many cleaning services think that they can skate by with just a Facebook page or another profile on a rented space like Twitter, Instagram, or even Pinterest.
However, these “rented spaces” are risky. They’re owned by someone else, and if that social network ever fell apart, your business would too—at least if it was relying on that one website (or app) for leads.
We’ve seen time and time again that Facebook and other social networking sites have the ability to constantly change algorithmically, meaning that effective marketing efforts could become ineffective in a heartbeat, simply because you’re suddenly being seen less by your intended audience.
Because of this, it’s better to have your own website. You control it, and you’re not as susceptible to other sites making changes.
Your own website should be set up as a great destination for customers and prospective customers alike. It should clearly convey who you are, what you do, where you do it, and how the job gets done.
If your website is extremely effective in conveying these messages, you should expect to see people contacting you through the site, looking into your pricing, and even booking you right there.
2. Start with search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is a very scary acronym. Most people look at it and assume that the entire process is above their heads.
However, it doesn’t take an SEO professional to execute on the basics. Search engines are really just looking for two things—relevancy and trustworthiness.
If someone searches for “house cleaner MN” it’s because they want to find someone in their area who does the job well.
Think about how terrifying it would be to click on the top Google result only to end up on a spam-ridden page that has nothing to do with your search. Sites like these could end up doing damage to your computer or deceiving you into purchasing a fraudulent service.
Search engines fear their users ending up on untrustworthy and irrelevant pages, so they’ve developed complex algorithms that determine what’s what.
Trustworthiness is determined by a few key factors, like links to your site from other trustworthy sites, online reviews, user experience data, history, and more.
Relevance is determined by things like messages that are clearly conveyed, keywords, content helpfulness, and similar factors.
What does all of this mean?
For cleaning services, there are just two important things to catch:
- It’s important to appear trustworthy. You’re increasing your chances of appearing on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines by doing just a few simple things. You just need to do what you say you’ll do in the real world, get great reviews, earn backlinks from other trustworthy sites, and stick around for awhile—continuing to please users who enter your site and customers who book your service.
- There’s nothing like being relevant. Someone searching for a house cleaner doesn’t want to end up finding a painter or handyman. Make sure your website clearly suggests what it is you do and where you do it. Take into account the questions users might have when they enter your site and work hard to answer them.
3. Get on social media
When I talked about social media being “rented space” I meant everything I said. I really don’t think that all of your digital marketing efforts should be combined into one channel that you don’t have ownership of.
That being said, I do think that there’s a place for social media in any digital marketing strategy.
On social media, try to focus four out of five posts on providing value to your followers. Maybe you want to give them a laugh or maybe you want to give them a quick tip to help them out with their self-cleaning methods.
The point of social media is to join in on the conversation. Social media algorithms hate salesmanship, and it’s often smart to avoid making your entire page all about yourself and your product. If you do talk about yourself all the time, customers and potential customers alike will lose interest quickly.
But if you can’t sell, why post at all?
There’s a simple answer to that question:
Social media is about building up brand loyalty. It’s about being top of mind so that when someone comes around to the idea that they need to hire a cleaning service, they think of you first.
Because of that, I tend to think that it’s a good idea to make most of your posts relate to your business or industry. Whether you’re posting cleaning memes or entertaining tips, most everything should be bringing house cleaning to mind.
Rinse and repeat
The most important thing to know about digital marketing is that seeing results can take months. In other cases, results can come in overnight. The reality is that you’ll never really have the chance to know exactly what will work and when.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t analyze your work to figure out what’s working and what isn’t!
To effectively measure results, decide on some KPIs (key performance indicators) that will be the determinants of success or failure.
After you’ve set up your website, for instance, you might decide that KPIs are the number of leads you win via the internet, total web traffic, and the average amount of time a user spends on your site (in minutes).
To measure these results, seek out some analytical tools that can help you to measure all of this in one place. Squarespace has these analytics built in, and WordPress offers a variety of plugins that fulfill this purpose. Other tools to consider are Google Analytics, SEMRush, and SEO PowerSuite.
If you’re measuring SEO results, try utilizing the Google and Bing Webmaster tools—they’ll help you to figure out how your site is performing on search engines. At first, you might find that your site doesn’t rank for search queries at all. Over time, you’ll notice that diligently working toward better results will help you to make a slow climb toward the front page for a variety of different query result pages.
For more on tracking what’s working and what isn’t, check out these articles:
On social media, try watching how your page’s engagement trends over time. As long as you’re moving in the right direction, you should consider it as a great success. If your page engagement is improving over time, you’ll be able to direct the increased traffic down your sales funnel.
If you stick with your strategy, your cleaning service’s marketing plan could set you way ahead of the pack.