- THE MAGAZINE
The Internet makes today an exciting time to market your cleaning business. The web has likely been the biggest return for more cleaners than any other advertising source. And more than ever, you have many options for building a website. You no longer have an excuse not to have a website for your cleaning company.
In years past you were limited to rely on a Webmaster. The only other option was to learn how to write code or use complicated software with limited creativity. But today you can easily create a site yourself or have a Webmaster create a site for you where you have the option to edit and make changes on your website.
Here are some options for your next cleaning websites:
WordpressGoogle seems to love it. When a site is designed in Wordpress, it allows even novice Internet users the ability to easily add and edit web pages, pictures and videos. This is great for a cleaning company that wants to keep their site updated with recent specials, news and updates about their business. Suppose a bad storm hits your city and you want to advertise water extraction on the main page of your site. With a Wordpress website, you can easily add it.
There is a small learning curve, but it’s fairly easy to get the hang of. Wordpress used to be known merely as a platform for blogging. It enabled “bloggers” to post news and updates to a website without the use of Webmaster. Because the information being created was instantly posted, Google created a system to quickly allow blog results to show up in their searches. This makes Wordpress websites more search engine friendly and more likely to show up in searches.
Today, entire websites are being created based on the Wordpress platform. You can learn how to set up a Wordpress site at no cost with a little research, but often a Webmaster is needed to initially set it up properly. The cost may start at a few hundred dollars for the set up. Wordpress is a great choice for many cleaning companies because of its ease of use after the site is created.
JoomlaVery similar to Wordpress, it’s another free, open source platform for creating websites. It’s the second most popular blogging program.
Hard Coding HTML or PHPThis is the original way of website building. Yes, many websites are still built in HTML. Most any type of design can be done with HTML or PHP code, which makes it very versatile. The major drawback however is that you need to understand coding to build a site this way. Hard coding is something most cleaning companies should avoid doing themselves, but a Webmaster can be hired to build a site for you starting at a few hundred dollars.
WYSIWYGWhat-You-See-Is-What-You-Get programs. These are programs that allow you to create websites with knowing little or no HTML code. The program converts what you create into code. You can create new pages, text and add pictures to your site. The drawback with most of these programs is they are somewhat complicated to use and can require training. Furthermore, your site will require additional keyword setting if you want it show up in the search engines.
Some cleaning companies are happy using WYSIWYG editors. But you do need to have the time and desire to learn to use the program. These editing programs are purchased as a one time fee and range anywhere from free to $900. Some popular choices are Dreamweaver, Microsoft Expression Web, Rapidweaver, Amaya, WYSIWYG Web Builder and iWeb for Mac.
Online Site BuildersThis is an easy alternative some cleaning companies use to get up a temporary site. These are do-it-yourself site builders where you build your site online. The prices can range anywhere from $5 a month to over $100 per month. The most popular is GoDaddy’s Website Tonight, but many other companies have their own online site building programs. These are typically fairly simple to use and come with many templates.
However, you are severely limited in what the site can do. As well, these sites are difficult to get ranked in the search engines, as many aren’t search engine friendly. For companies on a really tight budget, online site builders can be an acceptable temporary choice. But you’ll soon want to upgrade into a better website.
Free WebsitesYes, there are ways to get completely free websites. Although these obviously aren’t the best choice for your main cleaning website, they’re great for additional web presence. You can create a new website all about pet odor removal, mold, stain removal or any other cleaning topic. Most free websites are built online. The sites are typically fairly easy to build and you some give the ability to do a little tweaking to get the site to show up in the search engines.
One major drawback is that the site you build is often not on your domain name and is actually part of another website. This means the site you are building is helping another website get bigger while your site is staying the same size. Some sites where you can get free websites are GoDaddy, Weebly, Yola, and Webs.
Social Media SitesThese provide extra sources of exposure on the web. They’re not ideal to be used as your main website, but they can indeed bring in new clients. Facebook is the granddaddy of social media right now. But there are other free social media sites online where you can create your own place on the web. These sites are great for posting happenings of your company and for communicating with your clients. They can be a great way to solicit feedback and get testimonials too. Some popular sites are Facebook, Squidoo, Hubpages, Merchantcircle, Yelp and Youtube.
It’s best to think of a website as a work in progress because you should be constantly tweaking and trying different strategies. It’s wise to test different headlines, coupons, offers and calls to action. Perhaps one week have an offer for 100 square feet of carpet cleaning. Then the following week have an offer for $25 off carpet cleaning. See which offer works best.
Why not have a few sites on the web? The more exposure you have, the better chance of your prospect or client finding you. With all the options available to us today it’s crazy for your cleaning business not to have a large web presence.
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